Written by 7:31 am Travel

Officials advised to pursue upmarket tourists in untapped destinations

Barbados should look to focus on wealthy individuals in already defined source markets somewhat than search out tourists from distant sources.

That suggestion has been recommend by former Central Bank Governor Dr Delisle Worrell, who has urged tourism officials to hunt diversification of source markets through a method that distinguishes communities inside traditional markets based on their spending power.

He said once those areas were identified, data may very well be used to permit for a product development and marketing strategy for tourism, geared towards increasing revenues by improving product quality and adding services and products to boost the appeal of tourist destinations to a wealthier clientele.

In his April newsletter, Dr Worrell said the additional advantage of an upmarket strategy is to make the visitor supply more resilient within the face of economic downturns that are less prone to affect the travel plans of the relatively well-to-do.

“In the primary place, the Caribbean’s well-established markets in North America and Europe are already well served by airlines who’ve a stake within the success of Caribbean tourism, which is a big source of reliable and highly profitable business for them. Their contacts in source markets and their marketing efforts complement those of Caribbean destinations,” he stated.

“Secondly, this strategy could be designed to construct on the region’s existing business, by providing services and special attractions and features that construct the image of every destination. Every major tourism economy boasts its list of websites and experiences which can be unique and unmissable, and the news about them spreads by word of mouth. In that way, the grapevine augments the country’s marketing programme.”

The economist said the Caribbean would start with a bonus over the competition within the European and North American markets from which our tourists mostly come.

“Visitors from those countries benchmark tourist resorts within the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean and the Far East against what’s on offer within the Caribbean. The Caribbean can also be more accessible for many visitors from these areas,” he added.

Nonetheless, he identified that the supply of services to wealthy visitors was paramount.

Dr Worrell said they expected high-quality service in any respect times, and he subsequently advised tourism providers to advertise and present such services.

“Developing and implementing a value-added strategy is harder than it might appear, especially in the supply of services. For essentially the most part, hotels, restaurants and other tourism providers shall be operating in the center ground between those for whom money is not any object, and the budget-conscious travel market. The vast majority of visitors from upstate New York and similar areas shall be expecting consistent good quality somewhat than extravagant luxury. They can even expect services to be as advertised. They’ll have witnessed too many examples where this has not been the case,” Dr Worrell said.

“To succeed, tourism providers are well advised to start out with pilot projects, testing and proving them until every detail is perfected, before unleashing a marketing drive. Once established, the new level of quality should be jealously guarded and maintained, with rapid and full compensation should there be any slip.” [email protected]

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