TOURISM MATTERS: Time to look at revenue control
WITH EASTER IN MARCH this year, our geographical climatic advantage soon disappearing and imminently approaching the softer and far more price sensitive eight-month summer, we have the added challenge this year of experiencing radical falls in the currency of two major source markets – Canada and the United Kingdom.
I would think that our tourism planners and policymakers are looking at creative ways of getting across that we are still able, as a destination, to offer value for money.
From all indications on various social media sites, our Canadian visitors, and to a lesser extent British visitors, are moderating their stays by either reducing the duration and/or skipping some of the “luxuries” by perhaps not eating out in our restaurants so often, or eliminating the customary car rental.
While it’s a subject I have mentioned before, for most tourism businesses it’s a critical time to look at revenue control again. Just about every other successful trading entity does this on a frequent basis.
In the case of our restaurants, I am still convinced that by using more locally-sourced products and offering a value-added menu for early diners, it’s quite feasible to maintain turnover and viability. It’s a known fact that more mature people prefer to dine earlier and if a price adjustment, as is the case of our re-DISCOVER initiative, can tempt extra people to a particular restaurant, the owners and/operations of that particular establishment stand a good chance of filling at least some tables two or three times during the same evening.
None of this is rocket science, of course. Many of our suppliers and distributors to the tourism industry also need to be awakened from their apparent slumber of order-taking and be far more proactive and innovative. For instance, by smart partnering with manufacturers to offer a wine of the month at a reduced price.
It is a realistic objective that added volume making up any overall loss of total revenue and along the way the added benefit of increasing brand awareness. Likewise, with a particular food item or other commodity tendered on the same basis.
To monitor the take-up response of the re-DISCOVER lunch and dinner initiative, we have included an annual competition which offers return flights to Barbados, seven nights hotel accommodation, a rental car for one week and a submarine adventure as a prize to two lucky people.
The 2015 winners, a couple from Canada, arrive this week and the organisers would like to place on record their sincere thanks to the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., The Crane Residential Resort, Courtesy Rent-a-Car, Trimart Supermarkets and Atlantis Submarines for their incredible support in making this possible.
To qualify for entry in the competition, the user has to eat at one or more of the 60-plus participating restaurants. From entries received so far, it is encouraging that the average use is in fact three different restaurants which, through our eyes, clearly demonstrate that our visitors are really looking for value for money.
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