Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Tourism officials looking beyond traditional markets

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Arrivals from the United States, United Kingdom (UK) and Canada have increased, but Barbados is looking beyond these markets to grow its tourism arrivals.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Donna Cadogan, and Barbados Tourism Investment Inc. chief executive officer William “Billy” Griffith, outlined the plan today as the Estimates Debate started in the House of Assembly under a new format.

With the Standing Finance Committee in session, Minister of Transport, Works and Maintenance, Dr William Duguid, asked what Barbados was doing to attract visitors from non-traditional markets.

Cadogan, who like Griffith was among several officials who accompanied Minister of Tourism Kerrie Symmonds, told the House: “The ministry’s mandate has now been extended to look at places such as China, Asia and the African continent.

“Traditionally we have looked only at the markets the USA, Canada [and] the UK, but we are now moving to diversify our source markets. Given the geographical location of Barbados, we see it particularly alluring for us to move in the direction of getting people to come from these other destinations using Barbados as a hub,” she said.

“And we really want to move to have the Grantley Adams International Airport look at additional revenue streams. These streams would include offering services to airlines coming from all destinations. This is part of the strategic plan of the Ministry of Tourism.”

Griffith said diversification beyond Barbados’ core tourism markets depended on “how much funding we have, [and] how much awareness there is in the specific market areas”.

“Our objective then is to go towards the areas of highest potential – China and India. Only 18 months ago, China achieved a visa waiver and I think it’s our objective as well that if we are going after these markets, that there needs to be the opportunity not to have to apply for a visa to get to these markets,” he said. (SC)

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