Scottish visitors sell island at home
THE?IMPORTANCE OF word-of-mouth tourism was emphasised on Monday evening during a reception for 50 tourists from Scotland.
The visit was organised by James and Heather Hume, who have been coming to Barbados for over five years. They were assisted locally by Shane Thomas, who also visited the Humes in Scotland last year with some of his friends.
“The idea is to promote tourism the old way through friends who bring friends and they become repeat [visitors].
“We meet people who have been coming for four and five years and it shows that we do have a brand and it is a brand that people talk highly of,” Thomas told the media at the reception held at Dover Beach Hotel, Christ Church, where they were staying.
He added that “hearing about Barbados first-hand” encouraged newcomers to the island’s shores in a more meaningful way.
“If we got more tourists who are friends of Barbados to do that, then wow!”
Chairman of the Barbados Tourism Authority Adrian Elcock noted that connections and relationships made through word-of-mouth tourism could also help Barbados’ tourism product become more viable.
“We should be in a good position in a sustainable way, as opposed to just in an ad hoc way as would have happened in the past,” he said.
The reception started with a rendition of the Barbados National Anthem on bagpipes and continued with a steady flow of rum punch and local food. Calypso kept a steady beat, while the visitors joined in a congaline.