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.
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.
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.
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.