Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Tourism Product Authority William Billie Griffith says the local sector is capable of handling the influx of tourists coming for the West Indies versus England tour which begins on January 23 at Kensington Oval.
“The upcoming England Test series with the Test Match from January 23-27 and the one-day matches which are set to begin from February 20-22 is a welcome fillip to the current winter season,” Griffith said, adding that BTMI expects an increase from UK visitors.
“Alongside seat capacity increases by American Airlines out of Miami and Charlotte as well as Air Canada from Montreal certainly sets the stage for an encouraging season. We are optimistic that all efforts will be made by the tourism team to make this year another successful one,” he told Barbados TODAY.
Griffith said Barbados would be able to handle the increasing number of persons seeking accommodation in the island. In fact, he noted that the island is as ready as they were when the World Cup was held in Barbados back in 2007.
The BTMI CEO noted that the immediate goal for the organization for 2019 was to finalize the three-year strategic plan, which would be completed soon.
“Our continued success trajectory is dependent on product improvement and to that end, there are new and exciting plans in the future,” he said.
some of the major hotels on the South Coast are reporting full occupancy ahead of the start of the West Indies versus England series.
Director of sales and marketing at Hilton Barbados Resort Tracy Jones said that the hotel was sold out over the dates of the cricket and the winter season was doing exceedingly well.
“Based on occupancy it is on par with last year with sold out days over the cricket period. So far the bookings are strong, and it is looking to be a successful winter season,” Jones said.
Ocean Hotel group sales and marketing manager Jackie McDermott said the hotel located in St Lawrence Gap, Christ Church was fully booked with the hotel season being very positive
However, she noted that the occupancy for the summer period was slow and she hoped that it would increase in the months to come.
Sales and marketing manager for Sugar Bay and Bougainvillea Resorts Jamal Griffith said that the hotel was fully booked for the cricket period with occupancy exceeding the statistics from the last winter season.
Griffith said that the due to the cricket some persons booked their stay with Sugar Bay Resorts and Bougainvillea Resorts from as early as June last year as they wanted to be in Barbados to watch West Indies versus England live.
“Yes, on some days we are sold out, we have no more room. Occupancy is pacing ahead of last year . . . and we expect a pretty good January and February. One of the factors is people are coming down for the cricket. Some of them were booked up from last year June without knowing the exact dates. Last year was a really good year for us and we expect this year to follow this trend and we expect to exceed what we did last year,” he told Barbados TODAY. (LG)