Barbados achieved a record 171,471 long stay visitor arrivals during the first quarter of this year, breaking a long- standing 25 year figure, Chairman of the Barbados Tourism Marketing, Inc (BTMI), Alvin Jemmott, has said.
“2014/15 was a very strong winter season. The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has predicted a five per cent increase in long stay arrivals for the region for the entire year and we believe our performance in this first quarter bodes well for us to comfortably exceed that target.”
Jemmott said there were record arrivals in each of the first three months of 2015 and attributed this milestone performance to a number of factors including increased airlift capacity negotiated by the BTMI, healthy economic conditions in key markets, a commitment to developing new source markets, Barbados’ strong reputation among its global partners and the agency’s solid promotional strategies for reaching the travel trade, media and consumers in each market.
BTMI Chief Executive Officer, William Griffith, said that a comprehensive review effort has begun to ensure that the BTMI’s policies support their new mandate as a private entity.
According to the figures released by the BTMI, arrivals from the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America grew by 12.9 per cent, 27.7 per cent, 28.4 per cent and 10.6 per cent, respectively.
The BTMI said that these strong performances, including a 23.6 per cent increase in arrivals from Germany and a 17.7 per cent rise from “other Caricom” overshadowed the 2.4 per cent decline in the Trinidad and Tobago market and the dip in arrivals from “other Europe” by 27.3 per cent.
While the cruise sector declined by 6.1 per cent to 217,139 passengers, there was a welcome increase in home porting, resulting in ships purchasing goods and services from local dairy, retail and other suppliers. There is also a trend being observed with smaller ships being replaced by larger vessels, some with the capacity to carry over 4,000 passengers.