The Barbados Tourism and Marketing Inc. (BTMI) has revamped its Caribbean marketing strategy with a new informed and holistic 360 approach.
During a press conference to highlight the two new services available on air carrier Air Antilles, BTMI’s Director for Caribbean and Latin America, Corey Garrett, revealed aspects of BTMI’s new Caribbean outlook strategy to improve inter-regional travel.
Mr. Garrett noted that tourism had been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and as the tourism industry seeks to re-start, especially inter-regional travel, BTMI is seeking to re-brand Barbados, and to “repair a fractured Caribbean story”.
In explaining what was meant by repairing the fractured Caribbean story, Mr. Garrett stated: “For years, Barbados has been positioned not necessarily with our regional neighbours in mind, per se. There are obviously inconsistencies when it comes to offering CARICOM rates, value for money, when it comes to our competitive set…
“The social and psychological impacts, like the xenophobia that have been created over the last 20 years…we’ve identified in terms of the lack of correct imagery that we use when we promote the Barbados Destination Product to our Caribbean brothers and travellers, and of course the lack of PR.”
Mr Garrett said that going forward, the island will be marketed as the “isleaway”. “Barbados is just a short trip away from the next nearest Caribbean island; it’s a chance to escape to somewhere that feels like home and is very near to home, home away from home,” he stated.
According to Mr. Garret, “Isleaway” will target five niche groups. Those are: ‘Days of our lives club’, De Young People, Lovers, Business, and Foodies. The ‘Days of our lives club’ will be marketed to mature/retired persons, who visit the island to see family and friends and to visit places like Oistins and Martins Bay.
‘De Young People’ will target the younger generation, millennials and Gen Z, who want to experience adventure, sporting events, fetes and skiing/sea bobbing.
Barbados will be marketed to the ‘Lovers’ niche group as a romance destination, where persons can get married, renew their vows, spend their honeymoon or just getaway for a weekend for some couple time.
The BTMI Director for the Caribbean and Latin America said that ‘Business’ is key for Barbados as it would seek to encourage its Caribbean brothers and sisters, not only to do business here, but to set up businesses in Barbados.
The last niche group ‘foodies’ will target those travellers interested in delighting their palettes with authentic Bajan and Caribbean dishes.
He stressed that now is the time to push inter-regional travel and to offer value-added affordable packages, and the BTMI would be working with local hotels and Air Antilles to offer discounts and packages.