Bid to grow German market
BARBADOS IS INCREASING its presence in the German market as it looks to return tourism growth to the economy by year end.
?According to chairman of the Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA), Adrian Elcock, Barbados will add another flight to its two Condor winter season flights out of Germany in November, thereby boosting the hundreds who come in on the current Thursday and Friday flights.
“We have been able to negotiate and come to a good conclusion that Barbados will have a third flight during the winter in November 2014, lasting through April 2015, and that will be tremendous for our arrival numbers and for our strategy,” said Elcock, while speaking at the ITB tourism fair in Berlin recently.
Describing Barbados as one of the “icons within the Eastern Caribbean markets for Germans”, Elcock said this third flight would be partnered with Grenada.
“Condor spoke to us about the opportunity with Grenada and they knew that we wanted a third flight. We’ve proven that we can fill it. Grenada is in its infancy and will do quite well, I’m sure, and we’ll be there to hold their hands and make sure that flights are successful for both of us.
“I believe that very quickly we’ll be in a position where you can see four flights coming out in the winter and two flights in the summer. Because the amount of investment we’ll have to put out will warrant that level of aggression in the marketplace,” he added.
At the ITB fair where several competitors from Caribbean and Latin America participated, Elcock said Barbados was “on a heavy roller-coaster” in the industry.
“We’re still down in our numbers but we ended (2013) on a growth trajectory. We had a very strong January, the United Kingdom is back performing on all cylinders where you have 17 flights now out of the United Kingdom, and we ended February again on an up.”
Elcock said he had no doubt that by winter 2014-2015 Barbados would be “back in a growth position”, as a result of a strong team of workers in the local sector, a greater focus on niche marketing, and a year-round programme featuring key events like Top Gear in May that will include Formula 1 race driver Lewis Hamilton, the annual Food, Wine And Rum Festival, and the BTA’s relationship with superstar Rihanna.
Conceding there were concerns in the United States market with the cancellation of American Airlines’ service from New York, he said Barbados was “on an aggressive push to solve this challenge”. (RJ)