A new domestic tourism survey is being launched with the aim of having the average Barbadian sound their voice to influence the future of tourism.
The University of the West Indies (UWI) and the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) have partnered to conduct research and gather insights into how Barbadians use local tourism products and services, and to communicate what they want to see more of in the future.
The information gathered from this survey will be used to assist in making informed decisions to further develop the current tourism offerings so that locals have the opportunity to enjoy Barbados in a more fulfilling way, which puts Bajans first in tourism planning.
BTMI’s Chief Executive Officer, Jens Thraenhart explained: “Coming out of this survey, it is our hope to have the documented research to guide future decision-making in the island’s most critical revenue-generating sector. The first tourist is a Bajan and we want to ensure that what we are marketing externally is a tourism product that Barbadians feel proud about and they themselves engage in on an active basis”.
He added that the survey will target Barbadians between the ages of 18 and 75, and will run from March 18 to April 16, 2022.
Mr. Thraenhart said that it would be administered physically in Bridgetown, Oistins, Holetown, and Speightstown. In addition, Warrens and Sky Mall in St. Michael; Six Roads, St Philip; Sheraton and Lanterns Malls in Christ Church; The Walk at Welches, Charles Rowe Bridge in St George, Four Roads, St. John, Mile and a Quarter in St. Peter and Belleplaine in St Andrew. The survey can also be completed online by visiting bit.ly/tourismsurvey246.
He noted that getting input from Barbadians on the best way to market brand Barbados bodes well for all involved as through the creation of a more locally-attractive product, the economic benefits for locals will increase.
The BTMI official pointed out that greater local participation in tourism products and services would make the industry more resistant to external shocks that lower demand from the traditional source markets, like COVID-19.
The survey seeks to address ways to deal with the issue of seasonality; to increase and stimulate economic activity on the island year-round.
By expanding the domestic tourism portfolio, local entrepreneurs and artisans will have a greater opportunity to market their products to Barbadians and increase local uptake of their offerings.