“One of the reasons why I am so passionate about airline loyalty programmes is because existing marketing initiatives in the USA simply have not worked.”
Barbados is losing ground in our second largest tourist market
The merger of American Airlines and US Airways has now pushed the combined frequent flyer membership above the 100 million mark.
Put another way, that’s almost 33 per cent of the world’s third most populous country, the United States.
In any market it would be difficult to persistently ignore a huge segment of our second largest source of long stay visitors, but that is what Barbados has done. It defies belief, especially during times of economic challenges when holiday budgets can be among the first to suffer. It may also partially explain why some of our Caribbean neighbours have overtaken us in American long-stay visitors.
Sadly, the loss of the American Airlines direct service out of New York will further restrict the potential, previously having lost Dallas/Fort Worth and San Juan, plus Philadelphia with US Airways.
But with the miles now totally interchangeable between the two carriers, we still have daily service from Miami and currently once a week from Charlotte. Whether the re-organisation will result in a downsizing of the North Carolina hub and curtailment of this flight remains to be seen.
Route changes have yet to be announced, so ‘we’ are not fully aware of any new opportunities that it may present, but that should not stop us from exploiting what already exists.
One of the reasons why I am so passionate about airline loyalty programmes is because existing marketing initiatives in the USA simply have not worked. There has been no overall long stay visitor arrival increase from this market for six years, so surely it’s long overdue that alternative strategies are at least tried. Continue reading