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‘Nothing’ for the Brazilians


Shawn Cumberbatch

‘Nothing’ for the Brazilians

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Barbados is not ready for Brazilian tourists. While tourism officials are upbeat about the prospect of increased arrivals from this South American giant, new research has revealed that there is a significant disconnect between what Barbados is offering and what the Brazilians want.

This emerged in the findings of Targeting A New Tourism Market: Is Barbados Ready For The Brazilian Market?, a study conducted by Cristina Jonsson, a tourism lecturer at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, and UWI management studies graduate Nicola Harrison.

From 2010, Barbados has been benefitting from a scheduled GOL airlines service from Sao Paolo. Barbados welcomed 4 703 Brazilian tourists in 2013 compared to 2 354 at the end of 2010.

The research concluded that “the general consensus among the Brazilian Embassy and the Brazilians was that apart from closing the language gap between Brazilian tourists and tourism operators, there is an urgent need for more aggressive and targetted marketing, extensive improvements, infrastructure upgrades and market driven development of Barbados’ tourism product to attract the Brazilian market”.

“Based on the findings, it can be concluded that the Barbados tourism sector is not readily prepared to neither receive nor meet the needs of the Brazilian tourist. It was realised that there was a lack of knowledge of the travel trends, characteristics and motivations of this market segment, which is imperative for destination marketers in determining whether the destination is suited for the potential target market,” it added.

The report pointed out that both the Barbados Tourism Authority and Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association had researched the Brazil market to “determine viability”. However, it said Barbados was “more concerned with wealth and profitability which can be garnered from the Brazilian market rather than research to determine whether there is a needs and amenities match between Brazil and Barbados”.

“The findings revealed that there is significant domestic travel within Brazil and its surrounding region which shows that Barbados has to compete with Brazil and the entire South American region, which in essence has the same ‘sun, sea and sand’ product on offer, on a higher quality level,” the study found.

“This raises the question, is the Barbados tourism product at a level to compete with an emerging South American market? Determining whether Barbados is currently prepared to receive and to meet the needs of the Brazilian market, unfortunately the answer is no.”

The researchers said their findings suggested there was “an urgent need for collaboration and cooperation among all tourism stakeholders to ensure that the most accurate and up to date information is utilised in their marketing efforts.

“Collaboration and information sharing as seen in the results is a hindrance to the effective marketing, management and development of the sector. Therefore it is necessary for all tourism stakeholders to partner in order to achieve maximum efficiency in preparing the sector to receive the Brazilian market.”

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