A friend directed our attention to the website of the Barbados Family & Friends Club – an initiative by the Barbados Tourism Authority to encourage Bajans abroad and people overseas (Bajan or not) who love Barbados to encourage their friends and family to vacation in Barbados. There is a membership card with points for each referral and discounts once folks are on the island.
The points are a “nice to have” feature to reward those in the diaspora who help Barbados through referrals. I think that people will collect points and this will maintain interest in the programme by giving the cards and membership some value, no matter how modest. The folks who put this together should be thanked and congratulated. I only hope that the people administering the programme receive the long term resources to make it successfully grow into a major source of visitors and revenues for Barbados. It seems to me that this type of programme needs a few evangelists to make it work because merely sticking up a website won’t be enough.
Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy greets visitors to the website in a video where he comes across as your best friend inviting you back home for a visit. No slick politician fine words: just a sincere message that we care about our friends and family living over and away, that we’d love to see them again, and we could use your help to invite other friends to Barbados.
I think that Minister Sealy’s talk is exactly what is needed to set the tone and purpose for this programme. Have a look for yourself and tell me if you agree that he did an excellent job…