Chief Executive Officer of The Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) William Griffith has revealed that based on the destination management organisation’s review, the island has enjoyed a 4.2% increase in stay-over arrivals in the first nine months of 2019 in comparison to the corresponding 2018 period.
Between January and September 2019, Barbados welcomed 522,583 visitors through the enhanced Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) thereby accounting for an increase of 21,200 visitors. The BTMI continues to aggressively pursue new cruise marketing and product development initiatives, which has projected cruise arrivals to reach around 840,000 by the end of December. It is anticipated that these initiatives will contribute to longer term growth.
Of Barbados’ major source markets, Central and South America recorded the highest growth for 2019 at 11% followed by the United States at 9.5%. Germany and the United Kingdom also performed favourably with increases of 5.7% and 8.7% respectively.
Griffith applauded the tourism team in Barbados and across all markets and attributed Barbados’ favourable performance to their development of strategic initiatives. “Several of these efforts are bearing fruit and we must press forward in this light to conclude the rest of the year with a solid performance.”
“One of the pivotal elements of guaranteeing the viability of our tourism industry is ensuring that the island remains easily accessible by land and sea. The BTMI has worked closely with our airline partners to maintain, and even boost airlift and this has contributed in part to our favourable increases in arrivals,” stated Griffith.
Barbados has expanded its reach in the European market as Eurowings from the Lufthansa Group launched its non-stop service between Frankfurt, Germany and Bridgetown, Barbados in October 2019. With thrice-weekly flights being provided, this service adds an additional 990 seats for business and leisure travellers Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays until April 2020.
Looking ahead there are several initiatives geared towards cementing the island’s record performance for 2019, and in preparation for 2020. The BTMI is gearing up marketing and communications activities to invite all friends and family of Barbados to the island next year under the theme We Gatherin’.
“We are pressing full steam ahead with our deployments and activations in the market as we seek to drive more business to the island. Amidst Barbados’ independence celebrations, the BTMI is looking forward to the Barbados Mindful Living Festival this November 22 to 24 as a nod to 2019 as the Year of Wellness and Soft Adventure.
This health and wellness festival will be the perfect segue into the 2019 Run Barbados Marathon Weekend from December 6 to 8, which has evolved into one of the premier sporting attractions on the island. The marathon will feature a fun mile, 5k walk, 10k walk and run as well as the half marathon and marathon. Destination Barbados will be wrapping up 2019 with a burst of energy as we encourage travelers to “Come for the run, but stay for the fun!”