Barbados recorded over 10,000 air passenger arrivals in July, months of being hard-hit by the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
For the first time since December last year, the local tourism industry is suggesting a positive turnout for the industry ahead of the 2021-22 winter season.
Figures released by Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) show that during last month, an estimated 10,819 visitors traveled to Barbados, representing an increase of 6,745 visitors when compared to the corresponding period last year.
The BTMI said the United States (US) was the major contributor with a 43.3 percent market share, while the United Kingdom (UK) contributed 34.4 percent of business with 3,722 arrivals for the reporting period.
“This occurred after Barbados was added to the UK COVID-19 Green watchlist. Barbados has been fortunate to be placed on this list for the second time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to a statement.
For the same period, Caribbean arrival figures stood at 1,391 with Canada accounting for 390 arrivals, with the BTMI saying that this represented an increase in arrivals from both markets year on year.
BTMI interim chief executive officer, Craig Hinds, described the achievement as a step in the right direction after the efforts to rebuild the tourism product.
“Barbados has, and continues to weather this COVID-19 storm, but while this period has been difficult for the industry, the BTMI is so pleased to see the recent sprouts of positive growth.
“This growth is a direct result of the excellent sales and marketing efforts in our overseas markets through campaigns like our “Sweet Summer Savings” promotion, as well as, maintaining strong partnerships with our airline, cruise and tourism partners,” Hinds said.
BTMI said it continues to tow a line of strong representation in the United States market, sponsoring this year’s “Citi Open” which was held in Washington, resulting in Italian teenager and competition winner, Jannik Sinner, winning a five-day, four-night vacation to Barbados.
The BTMI also said there were other activities held in July to promote the island in the United States and the United Kingdom markets.
It said also contributing to the increasing arrival numbers, was the Welcome Stamp program and that it was not surprising to see that the majority of uptake came from the destination’s primary source markets of the US, UK, Canada and Ireland.
The BTMI said that with one year of success already under its belt, the “Welcome Stamp” program was recently renewed for another year, presenting openings for more digital nomads and other professionals to live and work from Barbados.
“The program has proven to be a successful innovation which has positioned Barbados as a leader in the world’s eyes as we adapt our tourism product to complement the changing global climate,” Hinds said.
“Many global citizens have made Barbados their home; millennials, families and investors alike, and BTMI is therefore looking forward to continuing the promotion of the initiative for another year, allowing those already here to extend their stay, while giving prospective “Welcome Stampers” the chance to experience all that Barbados has to offer,” Hinds added.