British Airways (BA) has been lauded for its ‘unwavering support’ to Barbados’ tourism industry for the last 65 years.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., William Griffith, commended the airline for annually boosting tourist arrivals today, while speaking at a Breakfast Trade Show and Seminar held at Sandals Royal to celebrate BA’s 65 years of civil aviation service to Barbados and its centenary anniversary.
“In many ways, BA’s successes have been our successes, and we appreciate the integral role they’ve played in our island’s tourism success story,” Mr. Griffith said.
He noted that as a tourist destination, one of the key facilitators to growth is air capacity, and he stated that for 65 years, British Airways has been bringing visitors to Barbados from its number one source market – the United Kingdom (UK).
“Last year alone, 222,519 of our 681,197 visitor arrivals came from the UK, representing 33 per cent market share. This share from the UK market alone contribute approximately US $400 million in visitor expenditure to the island annually,” the CEO said.
Mr. Griffith attributed the 10 per cent growth in UK visitor arrivals for the last three years to its partnership with BA, and also to the work of the BTMI’s UK Office team, headed by Ms. Cheryl Carter.
Ms Carter, Director of the BTMI’s UK Office, welcomed the 60 tour operators from the UK and Ireland to Barbados, who are here as part of BA’s “incredible milestone” celebrations.
“Our hope is that on this visit you will discover all that Barbados continues to provide. We hope you will immerse yourselves and realize why Barbados continues to be the number one Caribbean destination in the United Kingdom,” she stated.
On Thursday, April 1, 1954, BA made its inaugural flight to Barbados, touching down at Seawell Airport, Christ Church.
Barbados was fortunate to be one of four countries in the world to receive scheduled Concorde service, which began in 1977, with taking her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II back to London at the end of her Silver Jubilee tour.
British Airways currently has daily flights to Barbados during the summer, and 12 weekly flights in the winter months from Gatwick airport in London.