BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, September 25, 2018 CMC – Barbados is hoping for increased airlift from the United States, with American Airlines indicating that it will be providing a daily service to the island from Charlotte, North Carolina, and twice daily from Miami.
Tourism and International Transport Minister, Kerrie Symmonds, speaking at the 2018 Annual Convention for the Society of American Travel Writers, here, yesterday, said that the new flights should allow Barbados to capture “the tremendous power” of those gateways.
He added that the aim is to increase capacity, year round.
“The process again, is one of development. We are looking at maintaining those flights that we now have… I am confident that if we do the right things, we can maintain the level of interest in Barbados, year round, and keep those extended flights that we now have in winter, on the table as we go into the future,” Symmonds said, noting that it was critical that airlines did not see Barbados as a risk, because of down or slow periods.
“What we have to do is make destination, Barbados, a hive of activity that there is a year-round demand that would satisfy the supply of seats coming into the island, so you don’t get into an issue of having to subsidize them [the airlines].”
He explained that this gives Barbados the opportunity to focus on the quality of its attractions, by “fleshing out” old ones and building on new ones.
However, Symmonds said Barbados seems to be on the right path, as the island recorded its highest number of visitor arrivals from the US in 30 years, and attributed this success to the US Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. team.
“Thanks to the hard working crew in the US, there has been spectacular improvement in connectivity and airlift out of continental United States. We have seen arrivals from the US reach a 30-year high of 189,000 visitors last year, and with our current trajectories, there is every suggestion and reason to believe that we can increase that by about six per cent.
“That tells us we are doing some things right, that we are building out a product and a relationship that has value on both sides, and we want to expand on that,” Symmonds said.