Government has granted a five-year contract to a US-based firm to beef up marketing of the island’s products and services at the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA).
The first-of-its-kind partnership for Barbados with Clear Channel Airports (CCA), is aimed at increasing revenue for the country.
Minister of Tourism and International Transport Kerrie Symmonds told Barbados TODAY a lot of the airport’s space was currently under-utilized and it was therefore necessary to put it to good use.
“The Clear Channel contract is an effort to try to up the level of non-aeronautical revenue in Barbados. Frankly speaking, if you go through any airport in the world that is a serious place you are going to find that the airport almost takes on shopping mall experience,” said Symmonds.
“You will find a variety of purchase options and the customers are invariably led through a path that makes you come almost in contact with all of those shopping options. In addition to that you see a lot of advertising and that advertising space is paid for,” he explained.
Symmonds said: “Grantley Adams has failed in the context of using its space and terminals for the purposes of developing a pattern of revenue growth. We don’t get a lot of non-aeronautical revenue. We rely on parking fees, landing charges, et cetera and that is a mistake we are making.”
A release quoting the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the GAIA Terry Layne identified Clear Channels Airports as “the airport media innovator and leader”.
“The sophisticated media programme CCA proposed is comprehensive, best-in-class and will deliver what brands want, and, improve overall experience for our valued customers,” said Layne.
There was an estimated 2.2 million passengers through the GAIA in 2018. The airport gets passengers from two-dozen regional and international cities
Symmonds said many airports were able to get about 40 per cent or more of their revenue from airport advertising and marketing.
“A part of what we are trying to do is have a more aggressive type of marketing of the island’s products and allow people to place within the terminals of the airport, advertisements that better facilitate that type of revenue for the airport, and opportunities for visitors to learn what the country is about even as they arrive,” he said.
Among other displays, the media programme is expected to include LED video walls, illuminated and non-illuminated tension fabric displays, mobile charging stations, exhibit and other special displays.