The Adrian Loveridge Column – Getting Value for Money from Destination Barbados
Booking flights independently can be very time consuming and challenging, but it can also reveal dramatic savings for those with tenacity and determination.
While researching a return flight from Gatwick recently, the fare on the two legacy carriers, who serve the route, for identical dates varied by a staggering GB Pounds 300 to buy a no-frills economy ticket.
Cab you imagine for a family of 4 what a huge difference that can make to the overall cost of an annual holiday?
I tend to use GOOGLE FLIGHTS as a guide- by no means as an absolute ‘bible’ to try and hunt down the lowest price options.
This column had to be submitted before the 2019 CONNECT event which invites tour operators across all our major markets to visit Barbados and experience our tourism offerings personally. While I have not yet received specific details of the event, I understand that the theme will be to ‘Fly into Savings’. With the imposition of a whole range of additional taxes on our visitors, this will be our first full summer, where we can measure the cause and effect they may have had.
As mentioned before, it will be absolutely critical that our friends in the travel media are brought to Barbados and are exposed to those tourism partners who can demonstrate exceptional affordability. Advertising can often be incredibly expensive and not always clearly tied-in directly with results.
The American, John Wanamaker often described as a ‘pioneer in marketing’ is accredited to having said ‘Half the money I spend on adverting is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half’. He opened one of the first and most successful stores in the United States, which went on to become part of Macy’s.
While our ‘rich and famous’ guests will probably not give it a thought, the vast majority of our visitors will be carefully comparing costs and what they actually get for their money.
We recently hosted a couple of friends for lunch who have been visiting Barbados every year for over two decades. The English couple mentioned that they were travelling again next month to a large family wedding. I asked if they had considered Barbados as the preferred destination. They admitted they had but had chosen Bali in Indonesia because it was far better value-for-money. To begin with the flights were less expensive despite the massive over 7,000 miles in return travel distance.
Again, think back to the above family of four and then multiply by a much larger family gathering. Of course it’s not just about flights but accommodation, meals, transportation, activities and attractions which all become part of the price equation.
Some may say, ok we have lost one potential wedding group, so what?
But, we should all fully realize that even our most devoted arrivals are comparing what they get for the price paid.
I sincerely hope that all our tourism partners will fully endorse and support the ‘Fly into Savings’ promotion, while appreciating the ultimate benefits it could generate.