Tag Archives: Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc

Incentive Travel another opportunity for increasing Barbados tourism… but will we make it happen or just talk?

“When implemented successfully, incentive travel can be a powerful influence of productivity, profitability and loyalty.”

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

One of the first and largest groups I brought to Barbados was back in the Nineteen Seventies – 72 people in total which included salesmen, their partners, distributors and the company’s senior management. While the firm, Cavalier Caravans, was headquartered in Sweden, it had a substantial manufacturing plant in the Eastern English port town of Felixstowe, which was at that time growing into one of the largest container ports in the world.

The company found itself in a situation where both production and sales were concentrated into particular months and they desperately wanted to try and level the disparity, allowing better control of manufacturing unit costs.

It was easy to identify the month of September, for all sorts of reasons, as being the month that stood out as recording the least number of sales and smallest number of caravans actually being built. We sat down and devised a simple incentive scheme, that if each salesperson exceeded their annual sales target and which were invoiced in that month, they would ‘win’ a 10 day/9 night holiday, each for two persons to Barbados.

To say it was a resounding success is a huge understatement. I quickly learned that travel and experience was a far greater motivation than taxable pay.

When implemented successfully, incentive travel can be a powerful influence of productivity, profitability and loyalty.  Continue reading

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Time to resurrect re-DISCOVER the Caribbean

barbados-beach-sand-surf

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

One of the most difficult and painful decisions I have ever made was to cancel our last re-DISCOVER the Caribbean Show some years ago, which had become a highly successful annual event spanning over seven years.

As well as highlighting and driving new interest in Intra regional travel it was also used as a catalyst to build trade between the islands. It also brought almost around $1 million of foreign exchange into Barbados, filled scores of hotel rooms, generated significant car rental business and helped keep our multitude of restaurants busy, during a traditionally quieter off-season period.

If you were among the thousands of people who visited the show over the two days it took place each year, you would have met representatives from up to 22 participating territories, from Surinam in the south to Jamaica in the north and almost everywhere in between.

What finally prompted the final resolve to stop co-ordinating the show was the reduced funding by the then Barbados Tourism Authority, which even at its peak, represented less than 10 per cent of the actual cost…

Plus the sad realisation, that they could not find two or more of their staff to ‘man’ a stand for the duration, out of what were then over one hundred employees.  Continue reading

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Discover Card to partner with Barbados

Discover Barbados

Innovation pays off for re-Discover programme

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

I am frequently surprised and occasionally humbled by some of the people who read this column. Out of the blue a couple of weeks ago, I had a call from a senior executive of the Illinois based third largest credit card issuer in the United States, with a quoted 47 million card holders.

He had been following some of our tourism initiatives and wanted to see how we could ‘partner’ to help increase their brand awareness and acceptance on Barbados.

Of all our major markets the United States has, for the last decade, been one of the most challenging. Until the 2014 figures are published the industry at large can only speculate about any real recovery last year.

But what we do know though is that 2013 recorded the lowest number (120,584) of long stay American visitors over the past 11 years.

So clearly, there is work to be done and I am sure with the recent restructuring that has taken place, we will start to witness increased numbers in the not to distance future; especially if we wish to sustain any added airlift.

So what is finally being negotiated with DISCOVER is a win-win scenario that will hopefully achieve their objectives, while at the same time help to raise our destination visibility in US market, again at minimal cost.

With help from the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc (BTMI) the new branded re-DISCOVER DISCOVER lunch and dinner voucher will be mainly distributed from the BTMI office in the arrivals hall of Grantley Adams International Airport. As we know, the vast majority of passengers have to pass this office after clearing immigration, baggage collection and before clearing customs. This will be critical in the possible success of the promotion.   Continue reading

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WestJet’s Valentine’s Day proposals a huge hit. Kudos to Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

Kudos to the recently revitalised national marketing organisation renamed the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., for facilitating the production of a series of videos where the airline WestJet partners with the chain store Michael Hill Jewellery and a number of Barbadian tourism interests to highlight two couples who become engaged on our island.

At the time of submitting this column already well over 1 million people had watched the three videos and this number will rise substantially over the next few days. Add the media coverage by print, television, radio and other shared social media and realistically millions of people will be exposed to Barbados as a desirable destination. Timing of course, can be everything, and the fact that WestJet posted the videos just before Valentine’s Day can be no coincidence.

To reinforce the positive effect the airline rolled out a supportive seat sale to Barbados which required booking by 14th February, but for travel up to 24 June 2015.

When preparing for the filming, a few cleverly conceived twists were applied and to quote WestJet’s Manager of Communitity Investment, Sponsorship and Experiential Marketing (what an incredible job title), Corey Evans, revealed that ‘girls thought they were auditioning to appear on a new WestJet commercial that we were shooting in Barbados, and had no idea what was going to happen’.   Continue reading

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Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. must start with improving the basics

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

Even after fifty years in the tourism industry, one thing that never ceases to amaze me is how the industry is constantly changing and barely a day goes by without some new insight or revelation emerging which affects the way we do business.

Probably one of the biggest paradigm shifts has been the Internet and this is still constantly evolving. Concepts that ten or twenty years ago would have then been thought far-fetched are today in everyday practice, generating new sources of revenue and employment.

But I wonder if we place a high enough value on the source and management relating to much of this information, particularly when you see websites at a national level being so poorly maintained and frequently found outdated.

For many visitors, especially those traveling here for the first time, this is often an early point of reference to assist in decision making and selection choice. Therefore it is critical that the quality of our site has to be at least to the standard of our competitors.

Hopefully this will become a priority for the new Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc (BTMI), and they will return the day-to-day operation of www.visitbarbados.org to local people with proven ability, knowledge and who fully understand the product offering. Continue reading

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New bill creates Barbados Tourism Product Authority and Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.

Adrian Loveridge, tourism expert

Adrian Loveridge, tourism expert

Currently before Parliament are the Barbados Tourism Product Authority and Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., bills. Not surprisingly, considering the protracted time it has taken so far getting these long promised changes in legislation to this stage, many industry partners may have forgotten about them altogether.

Given the infrequent holding of Parliament, the late starts, early finishes, extended lunch periods and volume of none constitutional subjects discussed, whether it is now realistic to have the required readings of these bills in both houses and passed into law by the stated 2nd April 2014 date seems rather ambitious.

The Barbados Tourism Authority as we have known it will cease to exist and be replaced by the two new entities. What does this mean in reality?

Will some current employees be severed and if so how many? Government’s stated moratorium, ‘no new hiring’ will surely limit staffing the new statutory corporations – so what is the plan?

Reading through the documentation contained on the Parliament’s website, it would also appear that all the substantial debt of the present Barbados Tourism Authority will be transferred to one or both new companies. How will this impact on budgets and spending?

Are there now to be two boards with two Chairman, two Deputy Chairman, two Presidents/CEO’s, two luxury SUV vehicles, multiple first class travel allowances, two administration offices etc., and what will become of the current ‘consultants’ employed by the BTA after the transition? Will either or both organisations be mandated to operate on performance based criteria and obliged to publish their annual audited accounts on a timely basis?

So many unanswered questions! Continue reading

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