Barbados’ tourism success has come mainly from high-end tourists but general manager of the newly renamed Radisson Aquatica Resort is suggesting that it was time to target a wider range of visitors.
Christopher Forbes told the BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY that for January and February, more than 50 per cent of the hotel’s occupants had come from the CARICOM region.
Forbes said that currently, many of the guests were booking within two to four weeks in advance and “a good percentage” of present business was coming from online tour operators.
The hotelier is expecting the new international brand name hotel to impact positively on the island’s tourism product.
In fact, Forbes noted that management of the hotel was already in the process of attracting increased visitor arrivals to Barbados from Latin America.
“I returned from Brazil [two weeks ago] and we are expecting to see an increase in that market coming here based on our interactions,” he said, opting not to give details.
He also said that the hotel was expecting an increase in visitors from North America and to become a prime destination for honeymooners.
The hotel welcomed its first guests in December 2012 but celebrated the official opening last Friday.
And while the Barbados Tourism Authority and the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association were doing what they could for the island’s struggling tourism product, Forbes said there was always room for improvement both by operators of each individual property and policy making bodies.
He said: “More than anything else though, it is a perceived value for money that we are providing for the rooms and the service. You can have a good hotel but if you do not have the service to go with it the experience will be bad”.
Radisson Aquatica Resort Barbados is a member of the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. They currently employ 96 people here. (MM)