This year should end on a high note for the tourism industry, if the strong summer arrivals transition to promising numbers for the winter season.
Following the launch of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association’s Schools Tourism Education Programme at the Hilton Hotel, Minister Richard Sealy, explained that charter flights from Scandinavia and Canada should provide the required ???boost’ necessary to continue the momentum gathered during July and August.
The Minister noted that while he was pleased with the progress made in various markets, dedicated efforts would continue to ensure that their true potential was reached.?? These strategies included the identification of viable regions in existing markets such as the United Kingdom and the United States.
"… We are looking at the urban centres outside of London – Birmingham, Manchester …we are looking at Ireland, Wales and Scotland…We’re reasonably satisfied with how the US has been going…This is a market which still has a lot of potential.?? I think that the success of the Dallas flight demonstrates that we’ve got to stop seeing the US simply in terms of the northeast," Minister Sealy stressed, highlighting the current non-stop flight from Barbados to Dallas Fort Worth, Texas.
Mr. Sealy remarked that another issue of interest, the Airline Passenger Duty Tax (APD) which saw increased taxation of British travellers based on the distance from London to their destination – would continue to be addressed. He stated that in addition to national efforts, the High Commissioner in London, other regional High Commissions and concerned British citizens have continued to lobby for a fairer application of the tax.
With regard to Barbados’ third largest source market – the Caribbean – Mr. Sealy observed that consumers in this important sector would be well served by their increased carrier options.
"I think the more options the Caribbean people have, the better the airfares available to the Caribbean people, the better for Barbados’ tourism…I look forward to seeing all the providers of airlift do well in the future – LIAT, REDjet and CAL [Caribbean Airlines]," he stressed.