BTPA taking Barbadian visitors to new heights with one-of-a-kind diverse travel experiences
Visitors to Barbados, across all demographic groups, want to get into the DNA of the destination and live like a Bajan.
So says CEO of the Barbados Tourism Product Authority (BTPA), Dr. Kerry Hall who spoke today as a part of a joint media brunch with the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) and the Barbados Tourism Investment Inc. (BTII) at the Savannah Beach Hotel.
“We have taken a very scientific approach to product development through secondary research, such as trend analysis, and primary research through focus groups targeting boomers and millennials. So far we can say without a doubt there is a strong desire among travelers today for authentic experiences.”
This has motivated the BTPA team to take a two-pronged approach to tourism product development that merges new product development with quality assurance.
Among the new products are the BTPA’s own innovations, such as Speightstown Sizzlin’, designed to breathe life into the quiet, quaint northern town; the Holetown Heritage Walk with live reenactments of life in Barbados’ first town; and local dining experiences in the homes of Barbadians.
One particularly successful project has been the Breezin’ bus tours, which take adventurous visitors off the beaten path to learn how to roast breadfruit, drop fish cakes, and experience non-traditional sites and places of interest.
“Barbados has long enjoyed a high percentage of repeat visitors and Breezin’ has been the answer for those who thought they had seen and done it all on the island.”
The BTPA team has also formed alliances across key niches including Country Sizzle and rum shop tours in the culinary niche and the Barbados Archives department to promote genealogy tourism with astro-tourism and voluntourism on the horizon.
Simultaneous with the creation of these new experiences, the BTPA is moving to strengthen industry regulations to ensure high-quality standards are maintained, particularly for newer forms of accommodation and currently unregulated restaurants. The BTPA’s mandate also extends to a number of national awareness programmes, including the Clean Bim anti-littering campaign and ‘I am Tourism’, which will highlight the important role of non-traditional industry workers.
“At the end of the day, Barbados’ tourism stands on three key pillars: cleanliness, safety and friendliness. Our work ensures protecting these important brand elements, while guaranteeing the sustainability of our tourism industry, first for Barbadians, from which our visitors can then benefit;” added CEO Dr. Kerry Hall.