Let’s hope Barbados Tourism Marketing does a good job with the Internet

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

Trawling through the Internet when it has been available this last week, I have been almost overwhelmed by the sheer number of beautifully presented and creative local world class websites, clearly built by what appear to be mostly small Barbadian entrepreneurs. Often with stunning images both in still and video format, the websites are frequently highlighted by outstanding graphics.

To me it raises the question why any private or public sector entities feel the need to venture overseas for this expertise, which is plainly available on our doorstep.

Follow this to a logical conclusion and it is an absolute wonder why so many websites, especially in tourism, look sad, neglected, out-of date and lack the dynamic attraction that is a prerequisite these days to compete on a global stage.

The quality and resolution of images are especially critical. Thirty plus years ago, as a tour operator, I recall spending hours and sometimes days with renowned photographers attempting to capture the ‘right’ picture that would dominate the front cover of a holiday brochure. These would be placed on the shelves in thousands of travel agents throughout the UK.  

The exact placement in a prominent position at eye level was absolutely vital to ensure maximum pick-up and would directly influence the eventual level of bookings. Thankfully, three decades on, the Internet and Social Media have almost eliminated what usually ended up as tons of waste paper, however the importance of quality images remain, in whichever format.

I remember asking a senior Thomson official at the time, what the brochure collection to booking ratio was and he responded, 50 to 1.

So how do we bring this abundance of locally available creative talent together with the ‘managers’ to elevate these many less than impressive websites?

An improved web presence also has a direct correlation to revenue generated and profits in tourism. The larger percentage of direct bookings attracted at rack rates obviously mean higher profits, some of which it is logical, should be used to enhance your position in the marketplace.

Our ‘tech’ expert recently reported that there has been an increasing use of mobile devices (phones and tablets) to research and book travel and this is highlighted by the leading private sector destination site, Barbados.org where 48 per cent of users are currently using a mobile device to gain access. She also points out that if managers had a more quantitative view of the value of their website they would invest more in improving, maintaining and promoting them.

Tools like Google Analytics, which is free for most businesses where it is possible to do so, down to a transaction (booking) level. Add that it is just as important to understand and target your customer base, by geography, browsing habits, way of accessing the site, etc.

My sincere hope is under the new Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. that all these objectives will become everyday common practice and our policymakers draw on this incredible fountain of available talent and ability, who are clearly not being fully utilised at this time.

9 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

9 responses to “Let’s hope Barbados Tourism Marketing does a good job with the Internet

  1. NYCBGI

    YOU ARE HOPING FOR A LIGHTING BOLT TO STRIKE THE BTA AND MOVE THEIR THINKING TO THE 21ST CENTURY, THE INTERNET IS AN EXTRAORDINARY MARKETING TOOL . .ONCE THE BTA EMBRACES THE POSSIBILITIES CAN MOVE YOUR OCCUPANCY RATES UP SIGNIFICANTLY, ITS AMAZING HOW THE CRUISE SHIPS SAIL WEEK AFTER WEEK OVER 90% FULL. NEED I SAY MORE.

  2. Cookie

    and the fact that local hotel, restaurants and attractions to do respond to emails from inquiring potential visitors. How hard is it to have someone check email once a day!!! Wake up Barbados! this isn’t 1970.

  3. Anonymous

    If the BTA paid for photographs/artists/creatives rather than expecting freebies all the time, giving you the ‘you should be proud to represent your country’ line, they may get more help, being proud doesn’t pay the bills.

  4. D Oracle.

    The new head of the BTA is a sizzling hottie, never mind embracing the new technology, I’d LOVE to embrace her.

  5. rastaman

    @D Oracle: And we all know what you have to offer .🙂

  6. Pingback: Let's hope Barbados Tourism Marketing does a good job with the … | fast horses

  7. Buun

    The problem is that the leaders in the Caribbean can not see the visions and therefore incapble to excute on it. Let them keep meeting, planning and thinking they have a vision using WORDS! We the entreprenurs will make that change without them.

  8. Buun

    The problem is that the leaders in the Caribbean can not see the visions and therefore incapble to excute. Let them keep meeting, planning and thinking they have a vision using WO7RDS! We the entrepreneurs will make that change without them using ACTION, PERSISTANCE AND KEEPING THE FAITH.

  9. Green Monkey

    Let’s hope a global economic crash doesn’t intervene to mess up BTM’s plans and the internet too.

    Will the Global Financial System Survive? What are the Triggers for a Crash?

    In view of the public debate they have raised in Germany, Matterhorn Asset Management is extremely pleased to feature the below written interview Lars Schall did, on our behalf, with Marc Friedrich and Matthias Weik this past week. German economists Friedrich and Weik co-authored two books which unfortunately are still only available in German. In their latest publication, “Der Crash ist die Lösung”, the economists explain from a German and International perspective, in easy to understand language, why “The Crash is the solution” and why this crash will be more catastrophic than the previous one. They describe based on solid economic fundamentals why a ‘final financial collapse’ is on our doorstep.

    LS: Why do you think the financial system won’t survive?

    M&M: The financial system won’t survive for several reasons: We’ve had a fiat money system in place since 1971 based on interest and compound interest. In other words, it grows exponentially. But exponential growth is mathematically impossible on our planet with limited resources and thus destined to fail. We have a monetary system based on debt, so our system constantly needs new debt in order to grow, i.e. new money is generated only through the issuance of credit. This means our financial system has a mathematically finite lifespan–and it expired in 2008. Added to this is bank money created from nothing. This enables all banks to create money out of nothing by lending money.

    Let me explain this madness: Central banks and commercial banks can create nearly unlimited amounts of bank money from “nothing”. This completely perverse system works this way every time a loan is granted by a bank. By creating money out of nothing, banks do something that is not only incredible but also makes every banker’s heart beat faster with delight–it’s what we call the 8th wonder of the world, in addition to the effect of compounding: Banks lend money that they themselves can create from “nothing”. Since January 18, 2012, banks in Europe are only required to deposit a one percent minimum reserve of central bank money at the ECB as collateral. This means that for every euro deposited at the ECB, the bank can create 100 euros and lend this with interest and compound interest. The banks lend money created from “nothing” and charge interest for something that actually does not exist. It’s brilliant! Banks make money without directly having to do anything for it. The interest that the customer has to pay ultimately means that more money is paid back than previously existed and was lent. In turn, the banks take this additional money and grant new loans. This automatically leads to more and more debt, which the banks must create out of nothing again, ad infinitum. This creates an unending circle, which, mathematically speaking, must eventually collapse.

    The only way to keep the present financial system alive is to ban math and thus overturn the laws of nature.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/will-the-global-financial-system-survive-what-are-the-triggers-for-a-crash/5394350?utm_source=feedly&utm_reader=feedly&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=will-the-global-financial-system-survive-what-are-the-triggers-for-a-crash