Ten retail stores are teaming up to bring tourists back to the City.
The Bridgetown Express, said Chief Executive Officer of The Royal Shop Hiranand Thani, is very important for Bridgetown.
“We need to bring tourists back into Bridgetown and this is what we thought would be the best way to do it. … [We] had the experience already with this, so they knew what they were about to present and us coming on board only lends more support for the initiative and it is a very strong initiative that will open more doors to the further development of Bridgetown and that is what we are looking for,” he said at the launch last Thursday evening.
Thani and Colombian Emeralds’ Marketing and Relationship Coordinator Christopher Burnett, are members of the committee that worked on the initiative which should start on October 1.
Burnett said that the project was “a perfect example of what happens when you build and establish meaningful relationships and how that contributes to mutual and lucrative business development.
“The idea of a collective … came out of a meeting in the offices of Colombian Emeralds two months ago when Angela Reifer, Area Manager South said the best ways to make our shuttle bigger and better is if we partner with our competitors to make it happen. … We really were surprised by the positive energy that everyone had and so the positive energy turned into 12 meetings over two months, many, many emails and phone calls later and now we are here to unveil the Bridgetown Express.
“If we, fierce competitors can do it, I think this is a project that can be taken throughout Barbados and if other industries, other businesses could partner together that’s the way forward honestly,” he said.
President of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry Lalu Vashwani said he was “happy” about the initiative.
“For a very long time we have been making the pitch that business persons have to invest in the marketing where their primary customers are, either on your own or through the Chamber. The Chamber has certain facilities that have been set up, but you can also do it on your own, and I think you have used the correct title. A train has many coaches but one engine and the duty free sector has been the engine to drive the activities in Bridgetown and this fits in most harmoniously and fits in with everything we are trying to do with the Bridgetown Alive project
“I think it is a tremendous initial step and we must look forward to how it can go. I would think that it has started with the duty free shops but there are many sub-sectors within the tourism industry in Bridgetown, we have hospitality, food, we have malls here, and I would like to say from a personal level we would be happy to join in once we are willing to be accepted in this group … It is really the right model because nobody knows your business as well as you,” he said.
Tourists who book the round trip service through their hotels have a chance to win items in a raffle. To be eligible they will have to get a stamp from each of the participating retailers.