Barbados Strengthens Ties with the Travel Agent Community Targeting Key Source Markets in the U.S.

Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI), led by Petra Roach, Director US, officially kicked off its regional road show with an event attended by over 70 top travel agents in the Boston, Massachusetts region. Currently the seventh largest source market for U.S. visitation to Barbados, Massachusetts is now home to the recently announced start of JetBlue’s new direct service from Boston to Barbados.

Moving along the coast, the BTMI and local partners continued the educational series in key northeastern markets Connecticut, New Jersey and New York representing the fourth, third and largest market respectively for the island, reaching an additional 200 agents.

Moving along the coast, the BTMI and local partners continued the educational series in key northeastern markets Connecticut, New Jersey and New York representing the fourth, third and largest market respectively for the island, reaching an additional 200 agents.

Barbados recognizes the importance of the travel agent community by continuing to implement innovative programming that ensures travel partners are adequately equipped to sell the destination.

"Getting in front of the travel agent community and educating them about what is different and unique about Barbados is a priority for us, and ensures that we get their loyalty and support in spreading the Barbados message to their clients. Travel agent's in most cases, are the direct liaison between travelers and the destination, as the majority of consumers rely implicitly on the recommendation of their agent." said Petra Roach, BTMI US Director.

Getting in front of the travel agent community and educating them about what is different and unique about Barbados is a priority for us, and ensures that we get their loyalty and support in spreading the Barbados message to their clients. Travel agent’s in most cases, are the direct liaison between travelers and the destination, as the majority of consumers rely implicitly on the recommendation of their agent.” said Petra Roach, BTMI US Director.

Ms. Roach continues, “Phocus Wright estimates that the travel agent distribution channel accounts for one third of the U.S. travel market, projecting sales of over 100 billion this year. Tour operators who sell mainly through travel agents rather than direct are reporting double digit growth of up to 30% – the agent community offers what no online service can and that is personalization.”

Over 23 partners from the hotel and ancillary sector have joined the two-week long tour, engaging with over 400 agents as a result of the regional road show.

The "Spirit of Barbados" road show has attracted top producing retail and home -based agents in addition to luxury advisors from the Virtuoso, Ensemble and Signature consortia. Event highlights included a marketplace where agents interacted with the exhibitors and an extensive training presentation overviewing the best that Barbados has to offer.

The “Spirit of Barbados” road show has attracted top producing retail and home -based agents in addition to luxury advisors from the Virtuoso, Ensemble and Signature consortia. Event highlights included a marketplace where agents interacted with the exhibitors and an extensive training presentation overviewing the best that Barbados has to offer.

Andrea Franklin, West Coast Villas noted, “I am happy with the caliber of agents who came out for the first few events and am looking forward to further developing the villa experience with them.”

Patricia Alfonso Dass, Ocean Hotels commented, “Excellent to see the agents engaged and excited to sell the destination and based on the response I have seen, I know that we are poised to make good headway in this market.”

Recently re-launched, Barbados’ Elite Club Training Program remains an important tool in the ongoing education and training of agents. Loaded with rewards and benefits, the ten chapter program covers the island’s niche markets and elite insider tips to keep agents in-the-know.

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