There are key strategies in place which will help the local tourism sector grow from strength to strength.
This was revealed by Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA) Marketing Director, Averil Byer, last week, as she delivered a presentation on The Road Ahead for Tourism, at the Barbados Network Consultation 2012 at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
Ms. Byer explained that these strategies ranged from smart partnerships with sports teams like the Chelsea Football Club, the Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat, to the more traditional sports and cultural events like Crop Over – which welcomed more than 40 international members of the press this year.
The BTA Marketing Director revealed that: "The Miami [Heat] dancers came to Barbados and they filmed their entire calendar here…over the Crop Over weekend there were 64 executives from the [Miami] Heat in Barbados, who chose to come as a group. There were representatives from Pepsi, Anheuser-Busch, American Airlines, Fox Sports, CNN…I met with them and they were thrilled at what they were experiencing here in Barbados."
The diaspora also had a vital role to play in the development of the tourism sector, Ms. Byer explained, with the Barbados Family and Friends Programme now boasting more than 1,300 members strong; while the designation of Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison would lend to a greater appreciation for local history and the creation of entrepreneurship opportunities.
A National Host Programme will also be a part of the strategic endeavours for the sector.?? "This is going to be critical in helping us deliver on our promise. It’s called Barbados Together, Hosting Bajan Style…it will allow us to manage the visitor experience in Barbados…we spend a lot of money promoting the destination but we don’t consider what we have to do to make sure that that experience matches up to what we promise.?? This programme…will actually allow us to put the systems in place to ensure that we are doing exactly that," the Marketing Director noted.????
Other key strategies for the sector include effective marketing to different generations; placing greater emphasis on the luxury market to help increase revenue; and a continued focus on the global Rihanna campaign, which will assist in taking the ???Barbados’ brand further afield.