As this story from Adrian Loveridge went to press, REDjet announced the airline was suspending service. That is the end of that potential increase in intra-Caribbean tourists to Barbados. At the same time, Adrian reports that the annual re-DISCOVER the Caribbean Show may not take place – and what a tragedy that would be because as he points out the show costs practically nothing and has a fantastic ROI Return on Investment.
Take it away, Adrian Loveridge…
Unbelievable! Barbados Tourism Authority backs out of re-DISCOVER the Caribbean Show…
BTA “not even being prepared to ‘man’ a stand for the two days of the event.”
By now, much of our energy would be going into fine tuning the annual re-DISCOVER the Caribbean Show, which usually takes place in late April. Just in time for the longer and leaner eight summer month tourism season.
Sadly, unless a major sponsor comes forward, it will not take place this year and this may prove to be one of the biggest mistakes ever.
The Barbados Tourism Authority lost interest in what would have been the eighth annual show by reducing their already limited financial support and not even being prepared to ‘man’ a stand for the two days of the event.
This despite a compliment of over 130 staff members and the enthusiastic support in the past by the current Minister of Tourism.
In fact, before entering office, he won and enjoyed one of the spectacular prizes donated by our many exhibitors.
It became ever more difficult to explain to the twenty other participating Caribbean countries, who were willing and enable to send a delegation, often at considerable cost, when the national marketing agency of the host country was half-heartedly supporting the endeavour.
If three of our main traditional markets, the UK, Canada and USA, fail to show some sign of growth during this summer, it will be largely down to the extra air capacity being generated by REDjet within the region, to give any hope of maintaining visitor arrival numbers this year.
The event itself, brought in over 400 overseas delegates annually, who all needed hotel accommodation, with secondary spending on meals, taxi transfers, car rental etc. Many extended their stay to take into some of our tourism offerings and/or visit travel agents. Continue reading