June will turn out to be a very important month for our tourism performance for the rest of this year and into the coming winter season. Throughout this month, there is going to be noticeable activity taking place within the tourism sector.
Last night British Airways got things started by hosting a reception at the residence of the British High Commissioner simply to say thank you to some of the partners and suppliers on the island who would have contributed to the success of British Airways in Barbados over the last 59 years.
This weekend the activity switches to Kensington Oval where the Barbados Legends Football competition will take place. Once again, this competition will attract some of the top UK football teams, Barbadians and visitors alike can come expecting excellent quality football.
There are eight teams participating in this tournament, which is now in its third year. Taking part this year are some very recognisable names like Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham United, Liverpool, Everton, a Caribbean All Star Team and the Local All Star Team.
This weekend’s activities are more than just football. British Airways and the Barbados Tourism Authority are the two main partners in this initiative, which brings senior members of the English football league to the island. In addition, they will be interacting with our local and regional players, experiencing the Barbados tourism product firsthand and be able to relay the countless interaction over the period of their stay on the island.
From June 20 to 25, once again we are going to have a Mega FAM trip for 300 plus agents from US, Canada, UK, Europe, Brazil, the Caribbean and China. We bring together agents from all of our major source markets to experience Barbados at its best.
Our industry has changed dramatically over the last ten years, especially with the introduction of new technology and social media, but a firsthand experience is still one of the best ways of understanding a product.
So, how can we as a people ensure that we get the best benefit from all of these activities? I believe that it is important firstly to actively participate when events are happening here in the island. To my mind, the absolute best this that could happen in relation to the football tournament, would be to have a packed Kensington Oval over the weekend and support this initiative wholeheartedly.
During the dates of the Mega FAM, we as Barbadians once again have a chance to demonstrate to the world why they should visit our country. For a long time, our surveys have indicated that our people are the main reason why guests return to Barbados repeatedly; we should not take this for granted. Competition for visitors is greater than ever before and during this month, we have the golden opportunity to sell our destination but it requires the input of all of us.
* Tourism is our business, let us play our part.