Daily Archives: February 25, 2010

Big excitement in Barbados over direct Brazil flights – but still no Portuguese language on Barbados Tourism Authority website after ten years

Why won’t the Barbados Tourism Authority get off it’s lazy ass and welcome BTA website visitors in Portuguese?

Sorry for the subtitle language, folks. I don’t know how to express the frustration of the entire Barbados tourism industry in any clearer manner.

Hotel owners have been asking the BTA to put up welcome pages in Portuguese and Spanish for over a decade. Tourism and Industry ministers under four different governments have talked about tapping into the huge tourism potential of Brazil and some of our other Central and South American neighbours for 17 years. Barbados spends millions upon millions of dollars every year in tourism marketing and subsidies but we haven’t got what it takes to put up a few webpages to say “Come to Barbados!” in the language that our prospective customers speak.

It just boggles the mind.

“Language is one of the strongest elements of Brazil’s national unity. Portuguese is spoken by nearly 99.9 percent of the population.”

… from Wikipedia’s entry on Brazil

Pointing out the BTA’s lack of Portuguese & Spanish website for five months

BFP started focusing on this one simple issue in our September 23, 2009 article: Idiocy! Government Minister Hutson says “Look to Latinos”, but Barbados Tourism Authority failed to establish Spanish, Portuguese language websites despite 10 years of begging by hotel owners

We followed up on November 6, 2009 with this story: Six weeks later: Still no Spanish, Portuguese language welcome on Barbados Tourism or Investment & Development websites.

“Its now over ten years since I pleaded with the BTA to place a Spanish and Portuguese language version on the national website, so at least some of those 400 million plus potential travelers could do the prior research or planning.
 Look on YouTube and you will see a Spanish version of a television ‘ad’ prepared for the BTA. Of course it was almost a waste of time and money because it contained no-call-to action (telephone number or website address).”

… Adrian Loveridge, private sector hotel owner, “Peach & Quiet Hotel” Barbados

What is it about the BTA that makes them unable to understand the importance of language in marketing?

The Barbados Tourism Authority should have established a Portuguese-language welcome page at the BTA website a decade ago. It’s a basic requirement for entering any tourism market: you have to be able to speak to your target audience. If you’re not willing to do that you are just pretending.

In the case of the BTA, they can do things ass-backwards because they’re playing with the never-ending buckets of our tax dollars and don’t have to show any measurable results. The BTA can make so many basic errors and nobody seems to call them on it.

This is just so stupid.

Our government went to the trouble and expense of lobbying for and facilitating scheduled flights between Brazil and Barbados, but can’t spend what amounts to rum-money to hire a translator to provide some basic information on the BTA website in Portuguese. We’re not even talking about hiring a Brazilian call center to answer questions by prospective tourists – but that’s pretty basic too.

Is there something I’m missing here? PLEASE tell me I’m wrong or crazy or something. Tell me I don’t understand tourism marketing. Explain to me why I should believe that our BTA people are doing the right things at the right time and they are not a bunch of idiots who are unable to make such a simple and low-cost, yet vital, addition to the BTA website.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism

Barbados athletes to train in West Sussex for Commonwealth Games & 2012 Olympics

Bajan athletes will train at K2 in Crawley

This makes sense to me. Barbados has chosen one venue in the UK as a training location for both the upcoming Commonwealth Games and the 2012 Olympics. That way our best athletes will be able to develop a familiarity and comfort level with their surroundings as they ready themselves to be the best they can be.

The home team always has an advantage and part of that is simply the physical comfort of being in known surroundings. Nothing makes up for being at home, but it looks like the folks who are running our work-up to the 2012 Olympics are making decisions based upon what is best for our athletes within whatever budget they have to work with.

Here’s looking forward to seeing Bajan colours on the podium in Glasgow and then London in 2012!

Some excerpts from the BBC story West Sussex to host Barbados athletes for 2012 Olympics

Crawley has been named as the official training site for athletes from Barbados in the run up to London 2012.

The team will use the K2 leisure centre, which has an 50m swimming pool, running track and other facilities. Crawley Borough Council said the town’s proximity to London had also helped attract the Barbados National Olympic squad to the venue. West Sussex County Council leader Henry Smith said he believed their decision would boost the area’s economy.

(snip)

Crawley Councillor Lenny Walker said: “This is fantastic news for Crawley and the county.

“K2 Crawley is the jewel in the crown of the town’s leisure facilities and it’s extremely gratifying to get this kind of international approval.

“However, this isn’t just about a few weeks in 2012. The Bajan athletes are looking to use K2 Crawley as a training venue before this year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow so we are looking to build educational, cultural and sporting links with Barbados over the next few years.”

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Filed under Barbados, Olympics, Sports