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New way forward

Gercine Carter

New way forward

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Barbados can expect to see a new approach to the marketing of the island as a tourism destination.

New chief executive officer of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI), William “Billy” Griffith, said the agency, which replaced the Barbados Tourism Authority, would be changing its business model. He said technological change in the traditional and potential markets demanded a different approach in the way Barbados sold itself and the way it sought business.

Griffith delivered his maiden address as the head of Government’s tourism marketing agency to the annual general meeting of the private sector organisation, the Tourism Development Corporation (TDC), at Accra Beach Hotel yesterday.

He promised to create a “new results-oriented culture” at the BTMI, adding that his organisation, together with the sister Barbados Tourism Product Authority (BTPA), would work to transform the current tourism landscape.

Griffith suggested it was imperative to change the way Barbados’ tourism was being marketed, considering the effect of the Internet age, which had seen the abandonment of the travel agent-driven model by airlines for a more direct consumer model, and the decimation of the travel print media, among other changes.

In outlining the way forward, Griffith said “the creation of the new organisation BTMI was therefore necessary to allow more flexibility and speed in execution of new ideas and strategy”.

He added the TDC’s mission to improve the sustainable growth of tourism in Barbados was in line with his organisation’s goal to be a catalyst for the island’s tourism development. He pledged to collaborate more with the TDC.

The latter agency continues to fund a range of tourism projects and yesterday its new board and members were updated on the progress of work on the Garrison tunnels being developed through TDC funding assistance.

Vice-president of the Barbados Historic Garrison Consortium Inc., Peter Stevens, gave a slide presentation on the over 100-year-old tunnels which he said should be open in a week’s time.