The Barbados Postal Service took another step today towards increasing its revenue stream and keeping in tune with trends in the international postal environment, with the launch of a series of prepaid postcards.
During the launch ceremony at the General Post Office in Cheapside, Acting Postmaster General Valeta Best acknowledged that “over the years, the Post Office has had to change its business model in terms of its commercial operations given technological changes, which have caused a decline in people sending traditional letters, competition from local and international courier services and a growth in e-commerce”.
“This prepaid postcard was given careful consideration in terms of the benefits it would bring to stamp collectors, the general public and corporate Barbados, and is an excellent marketing tool that can be used to promote new businesses, as well as to introduce new products and services,” she said.
The postcards differ from their regular counterparts in that there is a “forever stamp” embedded in them, which, according to Minister of Home Affairs Edmund Hinkson, “is worth the value of the first class postage rate to any country and remains valid even if that rate increases.
“Therefore, customers who purchase them can send them at any time, even years after initially purchasing them,” he said, adding that the postcard contained the same security features as regular postage stamps.
Hinkson also indicated that philatelists would benefit from the product as prepaid postcards were now beginning to attract their attention, and that they represented yet another way to promote Barbados as they depicted “images which highlight the geo-cultural heritage of Barbados while showcasing the tranquil beauty of island life, and they will increase the visibility of our tourism product since they will not be hidden in an envelope or package and will be sent all over the world”.
The ten postcards in the first set launched today comprise photographs of the Bridgetown Port’s Cruise Ship Terminal; Harrison’s Cave; the Barbados Blackbelly Sheep; the Barbados Landship doing a maypole dance; Kensington Oval with the statue of Sir Garfield Sobers in the middle; the Gun Hill Signal Station; South Point Lighthouse, which was recently refurbished; Morgan Lewis Windmill, Culpepper Island and St. John’s Parish Church.