Barbados needs to pay attention to Air Mile point programmes
There is sometimes so much misinformation disseminated in the media about tourism, it becomes even more important that the facts prevail.
It’s official: Our neighbour, St. Lucia, overtook us for the first four months of this year, in terms of United States long stay visitor arrivals.
Despite having a much smaller room stock, St. Lucia welcomed 43,335 American visitors between January and the end of April, an increase of 6.6 per cent, when compared with the same period in 2012.
Barbados recorded 42,516 for the identical four months, a decline of 11.9 per cent.
The trend continues with the addition of a new weekly flight nonstop United Airlines service from Newark to St. Lucia, adding another 3,000 plus seats during the second half of 2013. So there is little doubt that St. Lucia will still be ahead in this market, by year end.
Newark Liberty Airport, offers for many, a more convenient access than JFK or La Guardia in the TriState area, one of the most populous urban agglomerations in the world. It is also United’s third largest hub after Houston and Chicago with the St. Lucia flight connecting with 22 US cities plus a number in Canada, increasing travel options and reducing overall journey times.
Americans have generally less paid holidays than Europeans, so it becomes even more critical to be able to reach the ultimate destination in the shortest time, if ‘we’ are serious about competing in this market.
And this perhaps, partially explains why we have seen such a dramatic fall. Continue reading