Barbados Has Big Tourism Plans
Barbados is seeing a renewed tourism boom. The island known for rum, culture and refined luxury reported record arrivals in the first half, and has even bigger plans ahead. To learn more about the country’s tourism priorities, Caribbean Journal caught up with Petra Roach, director for the US market at Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.
What is the outlook for Barbados tourism in 2015 and the forecast for the 2015-2016 high season?
We expect to finish the US market to finish the year with a 25 percent increase over 2014, which is significant growth. This is being done in a very systematic way to ensure its viability. We have been extremely strategic in terms of analyzing the US visitor to Barbados by their age demographic, gender, geographical location, the distribution channels they are using, length of stay, where they are staying etc. This then informs our marketing and advertising activity. Currently we are seeing exponential growth in the villa market as well as in the 36-to-45 year old age category which currently represents 29.7 percent of our overall business. persons attending weddings are also 23.7 percent up over last year.