Barbados Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Senator Lisa Cummins reported that summer bookings received for the island were increasing and she expected the numbers to increase since most people were booking summer trips last minute.
This is in comparison to the more advanced bookings traditionally done for the winter season and despite a bleak outlook for the cruise industry. The minister explained that the window for summer bookings for Barbados since 2018 has been significantly shorter than the bookings for winter.
Minister Cummins was addressing a press conference at Grantley Adams International Airport after the launch of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.’s Giant Postcard Summer Campaign Promotion when she delivered her remarked about the promising June to August bookings that are based on tourism source market reports.
“So, if you are 3, 4, 5, or 6 months out from summer, it looks a little soft and we start to get a little anxious, and we are concerned that we are not seeing a significant amount of traffic. But as the windows get shorter and it gets closer to summer then you start to see the uptick.
“I am happy to share that based on the reports from all of our overseas markets we are seeing a very strong summer season being projected.”
“Our airline partners out of the US market have already indicated that their load factors are running on average around 75 percent and in some instances even higher for some days… Virgin Atlantic has already given a clear indication of what their summer is looking like and it’s quite strong.”
Regarding cruises, the minister said ships that would usually visit Barbados during the slower summer period were decommissioned and have not been replaced. However, she said the 2022/2023 winter season was already looking promising and encouraged Barbadians to have confidence in “Brand Barbados” as it seeks to rebuild and take “tourism forward.”
“I think that if anything COVID taught us was that even in the worst of times, Barbados remained top of mind for many of our travelers, especially those people who had been in lockdowns and didn’t have an opportunity to travel for the last two years, and we are still seeing the extrapolation coming from the pent-up demand where people have not been able to travel for the last two years,” Minister Cummins said.
“We saw that in winter, and we expect that we’re going to see that continuing throughout summer and the numbers that are coming into us already suggest that that is going to be the case, so we are quite confident in what the summer season will look like.”