Daily Archives: January 5, 2013

Barbados Tourism Authority’s strategy for failure: We don’t advertise on TV because our current customers don’t watch TV

But if BTA advertised on TV, would their current customers come from a TV watching crowd?

‘We don’t advertise on television because our market intelligence tells us that our consumers do not watch much television. It is also a very expensive medium to invest in, so unless you have the money to be consistent it makes no sense to do it. Every advertising expert we have consulted has told us the same thing’.

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

This is a verbatim quote from one of our leading tourism policymakers and it got me thinking about the merits of these views. ‘Very expensive medium’ and ‘so unless you have the money’. You cannot really argue with either of those statements. But is that the point?

I then went onto YouTube and typed in ‘tourism tv commercials’ and started trying to tally the number of destinations and tourism brands that have produced  and aired ‘ads’ within the last two years. I lost count after one hundred, so do these national marketing agencies, hotel groupings, tour operators etc., employ different advertising experts, or simply ensure their expenditure is cost effective.

Sandals Resorts for instance, recently launched a series of 45 second commercials on British television and the century old travel giant, Thomas Cook, presently have a major tv campaign to boost January holiday bookings.

So do their clients not watch ‘much television’, or is it more about where and when their ‘experts’ decide to air the ‘ads’?

Of course you could argue that many of the destinations and travel companies have bigger promotional budgets and can afford this type of medium – but in a multitude of cases, that simply isn’t true.

Outstanding Newfoundland and Labrador: 21 percent increase in tourism revenues over five years!

One outstanding example is Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism. Their annual budget has been doubled during the last six years, but is still only CAD$13 million (about BDS$26 million). During their current series of TV ‘ads’, tourism spending has risen 21 per cent for the period 2005-2010, and non-resident visitors have increased by 7.3 per cent alone in 2010 to 518,500, despite any negative effects of the recession. Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism