The Adrian Loveridge Column – AA Daily Service from North Carolina a Boost

We are just under a month away from welcoming what was once a single weekly Saturday service, to a non stop daily flight from Charlotte (North Carolina) to Barbados with American Airlines (AA). Initially the route will be operated every day until 2nd April 2019 and then again from 6th June until 9th August.

In the system at the moment, AA have scheduled an Airbus A319 with a total seating capacity of 128 seats, 8 in first class, 24 in main cabin extra and 96 in main cabin. This configuration offers tremendous possibilities for our huge myriad of accommodation choices, from luxury to budget.

In total, the additional capacity provides another 17,792 airline seats in Barbados over the next eight months.

Judging by the enormous social media feedback the increased availability from Charlotte and its connecting cities is being warmly welcomed.

Despite the pivotal role Miami plays in attracting US airlift, many Americans prefer not to transit this enormous hub, if there is an attractive alternative choice.

That having been said, American Airlines are also adding a third daily service into Barbados, from Miami again starting December providing even more connecting city possibilities.

I think we have to give enormous kudos to all involved in growing our US market to a record number of stay-over visitors of 188,970 last year.

It is even more remarkable, when not that long ago, US visitor arrivals went through a prolonged period of stagnation, with little or no growth during a period lasting a decade.

The Charlotte Metropolitan area is the fourth largest in the US south eastern region, only behind Miami, Atlanta and Tampa with a population embracing Charlotte, Concord and Gastonia that exceeds two and a half million residents.

Of course, it’s not all about the numbers. We learnt from our experience as a tour operator installing one of the first custom built computer booking systems in the United Kingdom, that demographics played a critical role in building any travel based business.

Even 40 years ago, our computer system was based on searching by customer last name and postcode. It soon became apparent, that our market was largely captured from particular defined economic residential areas with relatively higher average household incomes.

So obviously we concentrated our marketing efforts and promotional spend in those locations to maximize effectiveness.

Looking at the median income levels in the greater Charlotte area, it would appear that a large number of residents have the means to afford a vacation in Barbados.  From statistics available by age, median income levels are listed at US$32,769 for under 25 years; $48,006 for 25-44; $58,863 for 45-64 and $40,405 for over 65’s.

The secret of course is how ‘we’ most cost-effectively reach those with sufficient disposable income and convince them that of the current 24 Caribbean destinations which have non stop flights from Charlotte Douglas International airport, Barbados is their most compelling choice.

Judging by the impressive growth from the United States over the last three years, personally I have no doubt that considerable effort is going on in the background, to ensure every possible media opportunity is being pursued, which will raise destination awareness, to help fill these flights.

15 thoughts on “The Adrian Loveridge Column – AA Daily Service from North Carolina a Boost

  1. how do you cure a nymphomaniac……feed her wedding cake….This is the problem with barbados everyone one has been so intent on getting fat that they have forgotten what peaked everyones interest in the first place.
    Cleanliness yes for you fanatics it is next to godliness but it also is a necessity for a good tourism product and that doesnt just mean pick up what you drop paint, get rid of derelict buildings install decent facilities etc.
    Every man is an island attitude when it comes to tourism doesnt cut it, take john donne’s advise your all in it together act like it.
    I can get on a plane in the morning and be on the beach before lunch in the dominican at a beautiful resort, for half of what it costs for barbados you have to up your game, if mia is stupid enough to keep adding more costs to travel she better have something for the people willing to do so. Renting a place then finding you cant go in the water you may catch people once but never again.

  2. “Anything goes” is the new “brand” . . . trouble is, no one “comes back” . . . not even in the form of feedback to help policymakers know why !! What ever has happened to the much touted and postponed Tourism Development Plan ?

  3. @ David BU

    Product? What product? Is the service deteriorating? Are we targeting the right markets? Tourism is a service industry. It is people centred. Tourists travel for the cultural experience. They interact with people.

  4. Barbados. 30c Sunshine,nice Beaches, Friendly people. That is the basic attraction.

    What is needed?

    Things for tourist to do during their stay in Barbados.

  5. I agree that “Tourism is a service industry. It is people centred. Tourists travel for the cultural experience. They interact with people.”

    But if tourists travel for the cultural experience and they interact with people….. why are tourism officials pushing the all inclusive concept?

    The main objective of the all-inclusive concept is to provide an adequate supply of goods and services to have guests spend as much time as possible in the hotel. The high levels of security and exclusiveness of all-inclusive resorts form a barricade that prevents tourist from experiencing the destination’s culture and interacting with the native population.

    There are three (3) Sandals resorts in St. Lucia and if you check their website, you’ll read that “Only Sandals Gives You Three Vacations In One.” This means that guests can stay at Sandals Regency La Toc in Castries, for example, and enjoy the services and entertainment offered by Sandals Grande St. Lucian and Sandals Halcyon Beach. This program gives them the option of dining at 27 restaurants or enjoying entertainment provided by the 3 resorts…….as well as breaking the monotony of committing to spending almost every hour of their vacation at one resort.

    Why would guests venture to dine at “Elena’s Café Italiano and Pizzeria Italiana,” when they could enjoy prepaid Italian cuisine at Sandals Grande St. Lucian Toscanini’s Restaurant?

    Think how three all-inclusive resorts with at least 85% occupancy levels would be financially beneficial to Butch Stewart, whereby, rather than the “tourist dollars” being distributed between the various stake-holders, the spending would be confined to one resort offering a variety of goods and services.

    Juxtapose this with 3 all-inclusive Sandals resorts in Barbados with the luxury of 40 years tax free concessions and its effect on the other tourism stakeholders…….

    ………. and this current BLP administration that was critical of such gesture, is now willing to offer similar concessions to other hotels.

  6. @ Artax at 1:46 PM

    I concur. And that was the Bajan Brand. All of a sudden we decided to change what suited our culture to one that was designed for other cultures. The traditional tourist that visited Barbados preferred the freedom to explore services and sights outside those offered by their hotels. But here again we were playing the numbers game–meeting a target (visitor arrivals) without calculating the net benefits to the economy.

    If we do not know where we are going any road will take us there.

  7. @ David BU

    And what is that product ? David products are tangibles like sugar,cotton.etc. Tourism is a service: room occupancy,dining, tours ,theatre, diving etc. medicine, legal work,hairdressing etc. Viewing tourism as a product maybe a marketing ploy for job creation but is economic nonsense.

    • @Vincent

      You are missing the point, the tourist sector is a service industry but there is a plant that serves the industry which has to be maintained, and be competitive.

  8. @ David BU

    If you say it is so. It is so. I wanted to communicate to you that I do not understand what you mean?

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