There are many new entries at BIT24, Barbados among them, known to most as the “gem of the Caribbean”, which represents a geographic area that has shown to be one of the best performers in the post-pandemic recovery of the tourism sector over the last three years.
According to data released by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association last May, the Caribbean tourism market plays a key role in the economy of the entire region, accounting for 36.6% of GDP and 13.4% of employment. Against this background Barbados, which recently joined BIT24, is also witnessing momentum, also thanks to an extremely dynamic and cutting-edge tourism and transport policy, which focuses on the development of local and international air connections to facilitate passenger flow.
As confirmed by the Barbados Ministry of Tourism and Transport, from November 2022 to April 2023, Barbados recorded 313,820 arrivals by air; figures that represent a jump from the previous two years (211,228 arrivals).
“In terms of demand”, specified Lucilla Venditti, Sales Rapresentative of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, “we have 50% more departures from Italy, compared to last year, from the major airports, thanks to fast connections via London, Amsterdam and Frankfurt”.
Barbados’ strength is a constantly evolving offer: there are many attractions and activities available on the island.
“Barbados’ offer is transversal”, Venditti continues, “it caters to all targets, from honeymooners to solo travelers. It offers all types of accommodation, from 5-star luxury hotels to guesthouses. It differs from the other Caribbean islands because it offers a wide range of entertainment: from boat trips to swimming among the wrecks or along the coral reef, and original activities such as swimming in the forest, to nightlife in the Saint Lawrence Gap neighborhood”.
But above all, Barbados is a destination that is attentive to sustainability and the concept of community-based tourism. Since the 1990s, in fact, the local government has been involved in sustainable tourism practices, introducing legislative and commercial measures to prevent damage to the environment, people and the local economy. “Barbados”, Venditti continues, “has historically been very committed to the protection of the land and its local culture. There is also an on-going reforestation project that takes into account the protection of trees in the construction of new hotels, like the 422-room Sam Lord's Castle in Windham, a five-star luxury resort that opened in March 2023, in the south east of the island”.
For the next few years, local, sports and nature-based tourism will be a central focus for Barbados, with a focus on the preferences of travelers, including Italians.
“We expect the same numbers from the Italian market as in 2019”, Venditti concludes. “We are developing a marketing plan in collaboration with the main tour operators, long-haul specialists, to increase visibility and knowledge of the island throughout Italy: from road shows to digital marketing, transversal programming, several fun-trips to Barbados with the major Italian networks. After all, with its B2B and B2C core, Bit provides added value to our marketing strategy”.
BIT24 promises, therefore, to be an excellent platform for the public and buyers to learn about the island's wide-ranging offer.