Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA)??member, Denis Roach (left) and Acting Chairman??of the BTA, Austin Husbands fielding questions from the media at today’s briefing aboard the M.V. Harbour Master.

Barbados is going all out to tap into the diaspora market and augment its tourism arrivals and revenue.

This was revealed today, by Director of Marketing Services of the Barbados Tourism Association (BTA), Averil Byer, during a media briefing aboard the M.V. Harbour Master, where it was noted that this segment of the market had the potential to "add to overall visitor arrivals", serve as "an extended sales force" while allowing such individuals to be "ambassadors for Barbados."??

According to Ms. Byer, a project known as Barbados’ Family and Friends will be launched in cyberspace, tomorrow Friday, July 17, with an e-mail that will be distributed to addresses in the databases of all consulates and missions. "This message will automatically open on Monday, July 20 at 12:01 a.m., announcing the programme and website details," she said.??

The launch will be accompanied by promotional material and other events, including educational seminars on "ways to get additional visitors to Barbados" and familiarisation trips that would allow members to come here on organised tours and develop hands-on product knowledge of the island.

To join the club, persons must first register by logging on to Following this, they will receive a welcome package in the mail and be encouraged to generate business by getting individuals, groups of friends, family, colleagues, or associates to visit Barbados.

"Members will earn rewards and benefits for the business they generate and can take advantage of the many discounts secured for them when on personal travels to Barbados," added Ms. Byer.??

While noting that the BTA would be introducing an awards ceremony as part of the project, she explained, "Top producers from each core market, the UK, USA and Canada, will be formally recognised and presented with prestigious awards at the end of each year."

The objectives of the initiative, as outlined by the BTA official, are to honour loyalty and patriotism within the Barbadian community in all markets; to generate incremental business to Barbados; to extend the tourism sales force; to maximize marketing opportunities and increase room nights in the accommodation sector.

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