Brazil – Barbados GOL flight a tremendous achievement!

Just for the record, I would like to applaud all those involved in securing the direct non-stop flight from GOL flight from Sao Paulo including the Minister of Tourism, BTA, Barbados Diplomatic Corp and BHTA.

It is a tremendous achievement, and I believe it offers the very best option in terms of route, carrier, duration of flight, connecting city possibilities and gateway.

From comments made by the Minister in the media, he is not expecting every flight to be full in the initial operating period, and however sceptical some may be about this foray into South America, this is in my humble opinion is a very realistic approach.

I would, though, offer some suggestions how, perhaps, more of those seats could be filled by specifically targeting niche markets…

I think that we should break down 60 of the available 150 seats per flight and set some achievable goals and objectives.

1)    The majority of the buses operated by the Transport Board are made in Brazil and so many of them seem to be prematurely retired for mechanical and spare parts challenges. Let’s initiate an ongoing programme, where an average of ten Brazilian mechanics train Barbadians to keep these vehicles on the road.

Please don’t anyone say it’s not possible. London Transport kept buses on the road, well maintained for up to 40 years and in the sixties and seventies that was made possible partially by Caribbean immigrants.

2)    Trade Missions (in both directions). Ten seats a week dedicated to forging better trade links between the two countries. The Goddard Group have spectacularly demonstrated that size (Barbados) is no impediment to ambition.

3)    Cultural exchanges. Another ten seats a week.

4)    GOL operates a highly successful frequent flyer programme called SMILES with a stated 6 million members, but also allows the 50 million American Airlines AAdvantage members to use their miles on GOL flights. To tempt those 56 million people who already have the means to reach us, Barbados could be offered at a reduced mileage.

Another ten seats a week.

5)    Meetings, conferences, incentive and motivational travel.

Surely, we can find ten people a week that would be motivated to excel in return for a one week holiday in Barbados.

6)    Sports groups. Football, polo (connecting flight to Buenos Aires), athletics, golf, yachting! The list goes on.

7)    Education and Language studies. Corporate sponsored language development courses to build for the future.

8)    Freight. While each seat costs from around US$750 return, in freight terms this could only be about 375 kilos of freight.

Brazil is one of the most advanced agro production countries in the world and could offer our tourism industry endless new exciting fruit, vegetable, meat and seafood possibilities.

Just ask yourself how much Brazilian coffee is consumed in Barbados annually and what is the current cost of getting it here?

9)    There is no doubt that we have stolen the thunder from our neighbours in securing this flight. St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada and St. Lucia must be especially envious, but let’s work with them to collectively fill the initial flights and grow the route.

For sure the Brazilians that currently visit Mustique regularly are going to find this six hour option very tempting.

Of course, I could go on and many others could (and should) add to this short list.

Adrian Loveridge
26th June 2010


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

16 responses to “Brazil – Barbados GOL flight a tremendous achievement!

  1. rasta man

    I am still wating to hear the cost.My understanding is that it will be more than going thru Miami???

  2. rasta ruler

    My understanding is it will cost US600 or thereabouts and the flight is five hours or so. Thru Miami the flight took thirteen hours. Sao Paulo, Brazil has become closer than Canada and costs less. The numbers speak for themselves. Kudos to all concerned

  3. Adrian Loveridge

    Rasta Man.

    According to the GOL website there is currently a promotional fare of RS$1,480.82 (about US$832)
    return including all taxes.
    SIX hours NON-STOP.

    Travel in September and compare with American Airlines for outward travel on 18th September (BGI-MIA-GRU) travel time 16 hours 55 minutes
    and return 25th September (GRU-MIA-BGI) 24 hours 30 minutes
    on cheapest online bookable fare the cost is US1,575.20 (Faresaver).
    The same dates with GOL costs US871.47 based on todays exchange rate.

  4. Sims

    What a waste of our money! A market that will never produce for us.

    In these times we need to focus on where we get the most value for our spend and this is not it.

    Tremendous achievement???????

  5. Facts

    I couldn’t have said it any better.

    If the above is a promotional fee, how will Brazilians respond to the regular, higher fee?

    Isn’t it obvious that they will maximize their money by traveling to cheaper destinations?

  6. Nonsense

    I hope I rong but I think Here is too expensive for Barzillians

  7. John Da Silva

    Brazil is the fifth most populous country in the world (about 194 Million) and the per capita income is US$8,200. If we can’t find 160 people a week to fill the plane, something is wrong, especially if the airline promotes vacations in neighbouring islands as well.

  8. Bad man saying nuttin

    Stupid Barbadian Bias showing again from some bloggers. Do you know how many engineers doctors contractors entrepreneurs lawyers middle class comfortably wealthy people there must be in 194 million Brazilians?
    Surely enough to pay $1000 USD for a return fare and fill a single non stop flight per week. I am sure there are enough Bajans who can afford the return flight for a vacation experience.

    Let me give an example. Lots of Bajans would like to vacation in Europe at least once. The cost is not overly prohibitive but the idea of connecting flights and over-nighting is a deterrent. The same thing may apply to Brazil and Brazilians who may wish to tour the Caribbean. This flight may make a world of difference.

  9. Peltdownman

    Brazil is on the same growth path as China and India, and there is tremendous individual wealth in both those countries. My prediction is that they will soon need greater frequency/larger aircraft. Greater frequency would facilitate more business travel, as a week is a long time for a business trip. No major time zone change either, so jet lag is not in the picture. Win/win all round, I’d say.

  10. Alan S

    With a direct flight out of Barbados, many other Caribbean island residents can now get cheaper flights and spend less time getting there. Not only does the flight go to Sao Paulo but GOL has connections to the many cities in South America. The FIFA World Cup in 2014 is in Brazil, think of the possibilities.

  11. Adrian Loveridge

    I am so pleased that many people have made positive and constructive contributions to this feature.

    No-one yet (seemingly) has picked up on the cruise and stay potential. A one week hotel (or villa) stay and then a 7 night Caribbean cruise.

    I hope our tourism policymakers are in discussion with some of the smaller cruise ship brands like Star Clipper, SilverSea, Seabourn etc., to persuade them to home port in the summer months as well.

    If I was the CEO/President of SVG, Grenada or St. Lucia Tourism entities, I would be banging on the door of Minister Sealy or David Rice asking ‘what can we do to help’?

  12. Alex

    I totally agree with Adrian. A US$800 ticket is cheap for Brazilian leisure and business travellers. Also, increasing commerce with Brazil, will lower the costs of almost everything in your Island. Gol will not raise the ticket price.
    Most of the posts placed here are not well informed about Brazilian capabilities.
    My advise is that you should be prepared to a happy Brazilian invasion very soon.

  13. I am a Born in uk of Caribbean (Antiguan descent) living in Rio de Janeiro Brazil. I rent apartments to tourists.

    Personally I think the flight is great! as when I went to the Caribbean at the start of the year I had to fly through Miami, & with a lengthy connection, so this would be a good alternative.
    In Brazil as you may know, it is a country of the haves & have nots there is a growing middle class, but a very Wealthy upperclass,who are educated (which includes speaking enough English to get by) And are well traveled.

    The main problem I see ,would be marketing to make Barbados the next ‘Go to’ destination.

    This is because both countries are tropical, beach locations which could in fact compete with the other for the average holiday maker looking for a vacation. I hope that they can overcome this problem as I would hate to see this flight here today, gone tomorrow.

  14. It is nice to try and open up other markets in the caribbean which is a two trade , this allows brizilians to visit barbados and also allows Bajans to visit Brazil with out going via the US , we need to trade with each other because Europe is going to leave us dry .

  15. Barbadian tourism partner

    Perhaps we could also note that the cruise ship industry is very successful generally when compared to the hotel industry in the Caribbean & Barbados in particular. It appears that a major factor for this is that most of those floating hotel resorts have no big Low Season as we do here in our Hotel industry, because ships usually move between Winter & Summer to different itineraries to catch the action in alternate parts of the world where there is greater demand.
    In Barbados we have grown accustomed to Low Season & are prepared to suffer through it since we cannot move our hotels in Summer. But possibly the South American connection can offer an alternative to Low Season Summers or at least significantly alleviate the problem.
    It will take long term effort & constant revision ; but it is an excellent effort with tremendous potential . We should from the start think South America not just Brazil, this is only the beginning. Clearly it is not straightforward or easy but with constant study of the culture , travel habits & potential for manipulation through advertising & promotion there is a goood chance that in ten or twenty years Barbados could grow closer to year round High Season in the accomodation & tourism sector; with only short shoulder seasons between, allowing for any major refurbishments to be quickly squeezed into the shoulder seasons.

  16. Adrian Loveridge

    Barbadian tourism partner,

    You have to look at the reasons WHY the cruise industry is relatively profitable.
    Look at their wage costs, the duties and taxes they do not pay, no land tax,
    low port fees (no ridiculous departure taxes or APD). I could go on and on.
    And when the going gets tough, the can just raise the anchors and sail off to more profitable destinations.
    Just as they have this summer.