Canada tops tourism again
THE?CANADIAN MARKET is again one of the main sources of visitor arrivals for Barbados.
According to Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy, this was realized after he assumed office in 2008 because it was one of his priorities to get the Canadian market “back up to respectable levels”.
He said the tourim industry did well in 2011, with the market attracting 572 000 arrivals – just as many as were here in 2007.
“There was a time when [Canada] was our number one source market in the late ’70s and early ’80s. It dropped all the way down to our fourth largest . . . with just over 50 000 Canadians coming here a year.
“In 2010 and 2011 we have seen in excess of 70 000 Canadians.
So the strategy of this Government has worked,” said Sealy, speaking at the first Democratic Labour Party lunchtime lecture for 2012 last Friday.
These strategies, according to the minister, included a joint effort with the National Cultural Foundation to market Crop Over, the Rihanna concert and the Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival.
“Huge numbers came in for the month of August – that quarter, the Central Bank still calls it the Rihanna quarter. The spending was through the ceiling.”
He also said the arrivals out of Europe were dwarfed by the United States and Britain and to some extent Canada, “but we can get those European numbers up as well. And it is good business to move because of the spend”.
The minister, speaking on The Effect Of The Eurozone Debt Crisis On Tourism And International Business, said he was not “too worried” about the Eurozone situation.
“. . . I appreciate the spend is not where we would like it to be. We cannot force people to spend either what they don’t have or what they do not want to spend . . . [but] it is good to know that the destination is still desirable and they are still willing to come and have a vacation experience.
“The other thing is, if your average spend per visitor is down, the more visitors you have, [the] more [the] overall spend would be.” (JS)