BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Jun 22, CMC – The Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc (BTMI) says the island remains on track to record another year of tourist arrivals.
“The BTMI is already reporting 324,551 arrivals for 2019, which is four per cent above the same period for 2018. The United Kingdom grew by 9.6 per cent over 2018, and the United States, which has been showing consistent increases, is up 7.5 per cent over last year,” said BTMI chief executive officer, William Griffith.
Speaking at a ceremony celebrating British Airway’s 65 years of civil aviation services to Barbados, Griffith said that other successes were recorded in the Caribbean, Central and South America, and also Germany”.
He said Barbados was closely watching the German market “as we welcome a new Lufthansa service this October”.
Williams told an estimated 60 tour operators from the UK and Ireland that the island had made tremendous strides in developing its tourism product and plant and that the planned Barbados’ Family and Friends programme “will play an integral role in the Vision 20:20: We Gatherin’”, which is a year-long global celebration of Barbados, with the aim of encouraging persons in the diaspora and visitors to invest in the island’s future”.
In his address, Griffith lauded British Airways (BA) for its ‘unwavering support’ to Barbados’ tourism industry for the last 65 years.
“In many ways, BA’s successes have been our successes, and we appreciate the integral role they’ve played in our island’s tourism success story,” Griffith said, noting that as a tourist destination, one of the key facilitators to growth is air capacity and that for 65 years, British Airways has been bringing visitors to Barbados from its number one source market – the United Kingdom (UK).
“Last year alone, 222,519 of our 681,197 visitor arrivals came from the UK, representing 33 per cent market share. This share from the UK market alone contribute approximately US $400 million in visitor expenditure to the island annually.”.
Griffith attributed the 10 per cent growth in UK visitor arrivals for the last three years to its partnership with BA.
“Our hope is that on this visit you will discover all that Barbados continues to provide. We hope you will immerse yourselves and realize why Barbados continues to be the number one Caribbean destination in the United Kingdom,” the director of the BTMI’s UK Office, Cheryl Carter, told the tour operators.
On Thursday, April 1, 1954, BA made its inaugural flight to Barbados, touching down at Seawell Airport, Christ Church.