Bajan treat for travel agents
A recent visit by 70 leading travel agents from the United States has led to hopes for a major boost in tourist traffic from that country to Barbados.
The agents were in the island as a result of an initiative by the Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA) to attract more United States visitors for the coming winter season.
Director of marketing service of the BTA, Averil Byer, called the four-day visit a “huge success”.
Speaking to the Daily Nation after the Back In Time Gala Dinner hosted at the Crane Resort on Sunday night, Byer said: “This is the first time we had so many agents on the ground at any one time, but it was designed to coincide with our new American Airlines three-day-a-week service out of Dallas Fort Worth [International Airport] in Texas in December, as well as the first anniversary of JetBlue to our island.
“This service will open up the west coast of the United States, allowing persons the luxury of flying into Barbados in seven hours instead of the normal 13 hours it takes when they had to connect through New York or Miami.”
The visitors arrived last Thursday and Friday and were treated to various aspects of Barbadiana. They were taken to Oistins on Friday night. On Saturday morning they attended a seminar entitled The Marketplace at Hilton Barbados, where over 44 hotels and other attractions displayed their products and services, since the agents would not have been able to visit all the hotels and attractions.
Later in the evening they enjoyed a cruise in the serene waters off the island on board a catamaran.
On Sunday they were taken on an island Safari/Fun-fari tour, which included a treasure hunt. A beach barbecue at the Boatyard was also part of the excitement and entertainment for the visitors. The tour ended with the Back In Time Gala Dinner.
Byer noted that from the feedback everyone had a fantastic time and many of them were not too keen about having to leave. She said while it was not the first visit for some of the agents, there were quite a few who were on their first visit and were impressed by the overall Barbadian experience.
At the gala, Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy gave a short address. He also took the opportunity to present small tokens of appreciation to the winners of the fun quizzes and treasure hunt.
Officials from both the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association, the Intimate group of hotels and the BTA were in attendance.