The Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) says the island has recorded a 4.2 per cent increase in stay-over visitors during the first nine months of this year as compared to the same period last year.
BTMI chief executive officer, William Griffith, said between January and September 2019, Barbados welcomed 522,583 visitors, an increase of 21,200 and that the BTMI would continue to aggressively pursue new cruise marketing and product development initiatives.
He said the island is projecting that cruise arrivals to reach an estimated 840,000 by the end of December.
The BTMI said that of Barbados’ major source markets, Central and South America recorded the highest growth for 2019 at 11 per cent followed by the United States at 9.5 per cent. Germany and the United Kingdom also performed favourably with increases of 5.7 and 8.7 per cent respectively.
Griffith attributed Barbados’ favourable performance to the development of strategic initiatives, noting “several of these efforts are bearing fruit and we must press forward in this light to conclude the rest of the year with a solid performance.
“One of the pivotal elements of guaranteeing the viability of our tourism industry is ensuring that the island remains easily accessible by land and sea. The BTMI has worked closely with our airline partners to maintain, and even boost airlift and this has contributed in part to our favourable increases in arrivals,” said Griffith.
Barbados has expanded its reach in the European market as Eurowings from the Lufthansa Group launched its non-stop service between Frankfurt, Germany and Bridgetown in October 2019.
Tourism officials said that this service adds an additional 990 seats for business and leisure travellers until April 2020 and that the BTMI is gearing up marketing and communications activities to invite all friends and family of Barbados to the island next year under the theme “We Gatherin’.
“We are pressing full steam ahead with our deployments and activations in the market as we seek to drive more business to the island. Amidst Barbados’ independence celebrations, the BTMI is looking forward to the Barbados Mindful Living Festival this November 22 to 24 as a nod to 2019 as the Year of Wellness and Soft Adventure.”
The BTMI said that the health and wellness festival will be the “perfect segue” into the 2019 Run Barbados Marathon Weekend from December 6-8.