Nation e-Edition

$11m plan to boost tourism

Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy (centre) explaining the new tourism programme yesterday, flanked by Parliamentary Secretary Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner (left) and BHTA president Patricia Affonso-Dass. (Picture by Lennox Devonish.)

Sun, April 21, 2013 - 12:08 AM

Barbados will invest $11 million on a new tourism product – Barbados Island Inclusive – that officials estimate will result in visitor spending of almost three times that amount. 

In unveiling the package yesterday, Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy said it would offer visitors an air and accommodation package from April 29 that earns them free dining of up to $600 per person at local eating houses as an inducement to greater spending in Barbados.

“While those previous promotions delivered savings at the point of purchase to the customer, they did not promote or commit this proposed level of spending in Barbados. That money stayed in the distribution channels outside of Barbados,” he said.

He told journalists in the Barbados Tourism Authority’s (BTA) boardroom at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre that the intention was to spread returns of this investment to eating houses beyond the BTA and Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association’s definition of a restaurant. (GA)

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Posted by Carl Harper 1 year, 6 months ago
Sealy: "While those previous promotions delivered savings at the point of purchase to the customer, they DID NOT promote or commit this proposed level of spending in Barbados. That money stayed in the distribution channels OUTSIDE of Barbados."

Minister, thanks for finally admitting that your previous promotions have been a failure. The BHTA and other interested parties have been telling you this for the past five years but you went full steam ahead and would not listen. Hence Barbados is now facing, perhaps for the first time ever, an 8% decline in arrivals in a tourist season.

If the tourists are not coming, then there is no one to spend the money that you are projecting. Your logic just boggles the mind. You must first get the tourists to start coming in increased numbers, then implement your promotional program. In essence, you have placed the cart before the horse.

Furthermore, you have complained that our tourism source markets are still in the grips of a recession, and the Air Passenger Duty (APD) in the UK is limiting travel. How then will you be able to increase capacity if the above factors remain in place?

Mr. Sealy, how could offering "free dining of up to $600 per person at local eating houses" be seen as "an inducement to greater spending in Barbados?"

This sounds like another BTA giveaway that is doomed to failure. The tourists will eat their bellies full and thank the restaurants for a delicious dinner and go to bed, after being exhausted from soaking on the beach all day.

No wonder Ms Affonso-Dass is looking at you with total disbelief and bewilderment on her face.

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Posted by David Hall 1 year, 6 months ago
Wonder why i am not smiling ? Is this proposal a page from the much touted but never revealed - Tourism Master Plan. This Minister has not done a single credible thing which has worked significantly for tourism.I will await the outcome of this one. I just think he could do with a holiday.

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Posted by Tony Webster 1 year, 6 months ago
The merry band of messrs Harry Niblock, Peter Morgan, Ralph Edgehill, and my very dear friend, Paul Foster G.C.M., must be wondering...what the HECK is happening to their life-long efforts which gave rise to the no.1 reason we can eat every day? BTW, my own "ex" came down from the UK several times when BTA was bribing folks to visit Bim. She stayed with her sister; thought it was a "great deal". Yup.

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Posted by SANDREA BUTCHER 1 year, 6 months ago
Ammm, Mr Minister, I hope that this plan leads to increased visitor arrivals (sigh).

I could be wrong, but wunna ain't tackling one of the more fundamental problems of tourism in Barbados, PRICES. The fact is that there are cheaper tourist destinations. Stupse! Those rose coloured glasses that the tourism officials are wearing, need changing.

So after a mission to China, have there been any increases in Chinese tourists, Chinese businessmen, etc?

What is the plan for non-traditional markets?

What do you all plan to do about Greame Hall Swamp? It used to be an attraction.

So we have worked on getting Bridgetown to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Good for Heritage tourists! We have the usual sun and fun that ALMOST ALL tourists destinations have. We have our festivals. We have some some sporting events, cricket, sailing, surfing, one hockey festival, car racing. we have conference tourism. What else? Think outside the box!

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