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Cruises ‘an easier sell’

luigimarshall, [email protected]

Cruises ‘an easier sell’

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AS THE COST of air travel remains prohibitive, Barbadians are taking to the high seas and opting for cruises.
According to Indar Weir, managing director of the Indar Weir Travel Centre, many Barbadians “settle for taking the one-week [cruise] that departs from Bridgetown Port on Wednesdays” but some are sailing off to more exotic locations.
“They want to do the Mediterranean cruise, which seems to be fairly popular, in addition to seeing the Panama Canal,” he said during an interview at the company’s Hastings, Christ Church branch.
Weir said cruises were “an easier sell than convincing a person to spend perhaps the same kind of money or more to see one destination”.
He said a “significant increase” in cruise interest had prompted the agency to market this area more aggressively.
“We feel that if we can package it in such a way that people are getting more than just what the cruise lines are offering, it makes it far more attractive and then we are able to move people from the comfort of going to the Bridgetown Port,” he said.
Weir noted that one of the factors which has significantly impacted business by air “is the fact that air fares have consistently been high over a very long period of time”.
“I’m disappointed when you can see certain low-cost models are taking advantage of the fact that they can charge higher fares out of Barbados and are doing so with a fair amount of ease.
“I don’t see why the air fare from a low cost model should be on par with the air fare of a legacy model like American Airlines and British Airways but there are times when you have a low-cost carrier charging almost the same price, with a differential of $100 or $200 which isn’t significant,” he said. (NB)