Published on Sunday, May 13, 2018
Barbados is looking to push itself as a year-round destination to boost overall tourist arrivals.
Outlining its plans at this month’s trade event, Connect Barbados, Billy~Griffith, CEO at Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, said it wanted to move away from being a seasonal destination.
He said new winter flights from the UK, its largest market, would help boost numbers.
This winter season Virgin Atlantic launched a twice weekly flight from Heathrow and Thomas Cook Airlines launched a weekly flight from Gatwick.
Both services will operate again in winter 2018/19.
The efforts will also be aided this year’s focus on the island’s culinary experiences, with tourism marketing targeted at~showcasing~its high-end~restaurants, local dishes~served~in rum shops and beach~shacks,~and food festivals.
The Barbados Food and Rum Festival returns on October 18-21 and there is also a dine-around programme where guests can have a three-course meal at a top~restaurant~for US$50.
Last year Barbados achieved record visitor numbers with 663,511 visitors, a rise of 5% over 2016. ‘¨
The UK remains the number one market for Barbados, representing a 33% share, although bookings stayed flat at 222,322 arrivals.
The number of US arrivals grew by 11.7% followed by Canada with 7.9%.
by Jill Sayles