Barbados recorded over 10,000 air passenger arrivals after months of being hard-hit by a global pandemic. For the first time since December 2020, the local tourism industry has recorded a major tourism milestone with the latest statistics from the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) suggesting a positive turn for the industry ahead of the 2021/2022 winter season.
During the period July 2021, some 10,819 visitors travelled to Barbados. This total represented a significant increase of 6,745 visitors when compared to the corresponding period of July 2020.
The United States (US)came out on top as they copped a 43.3% market share, while the United Kingdom (UK) contributed 34.4% 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 COVID-19 pandemic.
For the same period, Caribbean arrival figures stood at 1,391 and 390 arrivals from Canada. This represented an increase in arrivals from both markets year on year.
Interim CEO of BTMI, Craig Hinds, described the achievement as a step in the right direction after the tireless efforts, on and off scene, to re-build the tourism product.
He stated that “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.”
Contributing to the increasing arrival numbers, was the “Welcome Stamp” programme. It was not surprising to see that the majority of uptake came from the destination’s primary source markets of the U.S., U.K., Canada and Ireland.
With one year of success already under its belt, the “Welcome Stamp” programme was recently renewed for another year, presenting openings for more digital nomads and other professionals to live and work from Barbados.
Mr. Hinds stated that “the programme 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.” He added that “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.”