Tourism planners and marketers are ???pulling out all the stops??? to position Barbados as a 12-month destination for tourists who are looking for a different holiday experience.

Chairman of the Barbados Tourism Authority, Adrian Elcock, made this disclosure on Monday, while addressing a press conference to announce the restart of Delta Airline???s service to Barbados from December 4. It was held at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, Hastings, Christ Church.

He told journalists, tourism and airline officials that a number of initiatives would be announced shortly that were geared towards attracting visitors to our shores year- round.

Mr. Elcock said: ???What we are trying to do is position Barbados as a 12-month destination [by] putting a lot of energy into the April to December period, which has traditionally been soft outside of the Crop Over period.???

He further stated: ???In late July, early August, we have had some soft windows there, and that???s why we???ve had some strategic initiatives [such as] increasing our support to the Reggae Festival and Gospelfest; bringing on board the Top Gear Festival; and then we go into our national festival period and we close that period with a number of FAM (familiarisation) trips [and] Connect Barbados, where we host our tour operators on the island.???

The BTA Chairman said other initiatives were being planned for later in the year and this signalled that the agency was delivering on its promises to sustain or exceed its airlift capacity.??In fact, Mr. Elcock is predicting that airlift from ???every single market across destinations from which tourists are sourced, will be up???.

Meanwhile, interim President of the BTA, Petra Roach, said the new Delta service was expected to bring as many as 33,000 holidaymakers to the island per year. She explained that in addition to negotiating a flight to Barbados out of Atlanta for the first time, Delta Airlines will also be offering a service from New York to Barbados.

In addition, Regional District Sales Manager for the English-speaking Caribbean, as well as Haiti and Belize, Richard Pile, said the service was an opportunity to build good relationships within the industry.

???Relationships are very important because that is the way that we do business. So, we have a good relationship with the Government of Barbados and we will continue to foster that good working relationship because we see the opportunities that we are going to bring with these two new flights.

???We are just so very excited and on behalf of the 80,000 employees of Delta Airlines, we want to thank you, Barbados, for opening your arms and welcoming us,??? he added.

The B 737 aircraft has 160 seats and will operate on the Atlanta/Barbados/New York and New York/Barbados/Atlanta routes twice a week, on Thursdays and Saturdays.

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