Minister of Tourism and International Transport Richard Sealy is upbeat about the success of the recently concluded Winter tourist season.
In addition, he welcomed the announcement by Chief Executive Officer of JetBlue Robin Haines of a scheduled weekly flight out of Boston, USA, beginning November 7 this year.
Sealy welcomed these developments last night while addressing an audience, which included national hero, the Right Excellent Sir Garfield Sobers, cricket legends Sir Wesley Hall, Charlie Griffith, Joel Garner, Wayne Daniel and Desmond Haynes, and United States Ambassador to Barbados Larry Palmer at Sandals Resorts, Dover, Christ Church.
Speaking on the recently concluded tourist season, Sealy noted that it was now May and Barbados was still enjoying winter-type occupancy in hotels.
“There is not a hotel room available anywhere at the moment. I think this is a tribute to the good work being done by our teams in the United Kingdom, the USA and Canada,” Sealy said.
Sealy noted that visitor arrivals were up 27 per cent out of the US and six per cent out of the United Kingdom as of April.
He however pointed out that the later figure did not include the thousands of British visitors who were currently attending the third Test Match at Kensington Oval.
In welcoming the announcement made by Haines that a weekly Boston to Barbados flight had been scheduled from November 7, Sealy pointed out that the air carrier had made a substantial contribution to the success of the season.
Sealy told the gathering that Barbados would be going after the 15 000 romance niche, a favourite of the Sandals Resorts chain.
Meanwhile, in a brief address, Haines said Barbados was the first market to get their airbus A 321s.
Haines also reiterated that this winter JetBlue will be flying its premium product, Mint, to Barbados.
The CEO described the airline’s Mint product as the best premium product in the US providing four private suites for its passengers.
He recalled that JetBlue’s first flight to Barbados touched down at the Grantley Adams International Airport on October 1, 2009.
Stressing that Barbados had always been considered as a second home for him, having spent 19 years with British Airways, Haines said:” We are so happy to add the Barbados to Boston flight. We just love coming to Barbados. Barbados is very much a part of the JetBlue family.”