Daily Archives: February 9, 2015

Connections: American tourists, Super Bowl advertising and QR codes on Barbados rum bottles

Mount-Gay-Rum-Barbados

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

Ecuador recently went into history by becoming the first foreign country to take a thirty second television commercial which was aired during the recent Super Bowl at a quoted cost of US$3.8 million to reach an estimated 112 million television audience.

As first thought, any comparison between a country boasting a land mass of 109,484 square miles and a population of 15 million people with tiny Barbados seems almost totally illogical, but then look again.

Ecuador welcomed a record 1,500,241 overseas visitors last year up until 22nd December according to the website of their own Ministerio de Tourismo. Of that number the second largest market, the United States, supplied 16.6 per cent of the overall number which was 14 per cent up on the previous year, amounting to 232,868.

Colombia, its northern neighbour, produced the single biggest number, 23.8 per cent or 333,197 persons.

Sadly while Barbados Statistical Service posts critical information so late, it was almost impossible to compare our 2014 Barbados arrival figures with that of Ecuador for the same year. Up until last Tuesday the most recent posting covered the month of September, with October and November only being added in the first week of February.

So let’s look at 2013, where Barbados welcomed 120,584 American long stay visitors which represented over 50 per cent of the US numbers who travelled to Ecuador. Despite the initial geological and demographic disparity, their tourism planners were able to persuade the Government of Ecuador to splash out a staggering BDS$7.6 million, apparently for a single shot 30 second ‘ad’…  Continue reading

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