Smooth sailing for cruise Barbados holidays
Cruising seems to be the next big thing for the Barbados holidays market as the island's Tourism Authority launches marketing campaigns to support the cruising industry.
With much expectancy for the Barbados holiday industry, it looks like cruising Barbados holidays are at the forefront of the Barbados Tourism Authority’s (BTA) new marketing thrust. Ryan Blackett, Director of Cruise Tourism, has described it as having “the ability to transform the tourism landscape.” Caribbean holidays are at present the number one cruise holiday destination in the world, although it still faces stiff competition from Europe.
According to Blackett, “cruise tourism can be the answer to the shortfall in our leisure business if the correct strategies are implemented today. We are getting increasingly more arrivals as a result of cruise and stay, and this is impacting our overall leisure numbers.”
Betting high on the future of Barbados holidays in the cruise sector, the island has entered into an agreement with the Carnival cruise line which guarantees 1.2 million passengers sailing to the island over the next three years.
Short term tactics related to Barbados holidays aboard cruises include day passes for cruisers, which are meant to benefit hoteliers with possible incremental business. This tactic is meant to be completely developed in 2 months from now.
Planning is still on-going for the first of three familiarisation trips. Planned for September, it will target travel agents from across the USA who already sell Barbados as a part of their package and those interested in introducing Barbados holidays to their clients.
The cruise consultation which is planned for early September is meant to involve all the stakeholders in the cruise industry. They will have the opportunity to discuss critical issues and industry trends and seek to find resolutions to matters at hand.
The BTA’s cruise tourism website will soon be re-launched and will feature links to improve island spend.and new imagery in keeping with the new branding of the destination.
Meanwhile, the figures for cruise give reason for optimism. In 2008, the cruise passengers who landed in Barbados numbered 597,523. The figures for 2009 were 635,212. From January to June, 2009, 368,157 cruise passengers enjoyed Barbados’ treats compared with 368, 327 for the same period this year.
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