With its first property on the island yet to be officially opened later this week, Barbados is reaping some rewards from having the Sandals brand on the island.
Chairman of the Barbados Tourism Authority, Adrian Elcock, suggesting that the name alone had “an extremely powerful pull for airlift”, noted that Barbados could benefit from a potential opportunity.
“[A]nd it will see the expansion of the airlift out of one of our markets. I think there are a lot of pros and cons to any deal you get into, but we need to understand that it is a very dynamic environment [we are operating in]. You have to look at it in its totality rather than just focusing on one narrow aspect of a particular deal.
“There are tremendous benefits to Barbados that could be accrued because we now have a brand of that magnitude. We were in London last month [and] every single day in the newspaper there was an ad for Sandals Barbados. Not Sandals Jamaica, St Lucia, Antigua; it was Sandals Barbados featuring the Casuarina property which is opening in a couple of days; and the bookings are tremendous,” he said, adding that everything was being done to help to pull the sector back from the dark days it had seen.
The BTA chairman, speaking to the media on the sidelines of the launch of the Barbados Official Travel Guide App, at the Radisson Aquatica Hotel, also revealed that based on discussions at the just concluded World Travel Market in London, the 2013/2014 winter season was looking strong.
“That is the information that we got from our partners . . . . They were comfortable with the bookings and the patterns, and, we’re happy to see that it is being reflected on the ground. We had a very good November. We ended November flat with last year when we were originally projected to be down and I think that is through our events strategy.
“Going into winter and next year, in the summer we will have a few early challenges, but I think a new initiative that we will announce probably in a week or two will really reshape the way the entrée into the summer will be and I think that will be a good thing for us,” Elcock said. (RG)