I just finished reading your story in Barbados Today about the need to enhance arrivals during your tourism “off season”. I am a Barbadian living in Colombia.
I would like to give my opinion on a possible solution to the dilemma about which you wrote; attract tourists from nearby countries in the southern hemisphere.
I have found that it is very difficult to travel from South America to Barbados and that it can be very expensive.
Save for a weekly flight from S√o Paulo, there are few options other than those that involve lengthy and expensive itineraries. For me to get home to visit my family each year, I normally have to go on a nearly 16-hour odyssey through various airports.
“Deep south” South Americans (Chile and Argentina) experience cold winters from June to September. Additionally, many South Americans from all over the continent travel to the Caribbean just as Europeans and North Americans do looking for warmth, beaches, and relaxation.
They generally go to Aruba, Nassau, Jamaica, St. Maarten, Curacao, or the Dominican Republic. They choose those islands, in my opinion, due to the ease in getting to them! Copa Airlines provides one-stop connections to each of those destinations from many cities throughout the Americas.
As well, I often see advertisements for these islands here in Colombia, but have never seen any promoting our country. Most of South America is experiencing growing economies and there are clearly many South Americans with money to spend on a holiday.
So, what is my point? I feel if Government could finally convince or attract Copa Airlines to begin a service to Barbados from Panam√ with its connections to most major Latin American cities (after over six years of discussing it and stating that the flight will begin “soon”), perhaps we would see some of the relief that we are in dire need of during the slow season as you discussed in your story?
— Russell Turk