Adrian Loveridge Column – Barbados Welcome Stamp a ‘Hit’
There can be no reasonable doubt that the 12 month Barbados Welcome Stamp initiative has brought the destination an almost unparalleled level of media and public awareness and kudos to all those involved in its conception and ongoing content enhancement.
Amongst, the latest exposure is the planned Lion Television Scotland 60 minute documentary, which in their words, will ‘follow adventurous British families and individuals as they take an almighty plunge and relocate in the middle of a global pandemic, to work remotely from Barbados’.
According to the news release ‘the documentary will follow millennial Ashley, who only needs his laptop to work as a 3D digital animator, young family Kris and Brigitta and their three children who have been enrolled in a local school and Steve and Amanda. Amanda has recently retired and plans to get to know the island and its locals, while Steve works remotely for a pharmaceutical company’.
When filmed and edited the show will be aired on the UK’s Channel 4.
Popular shows on this channel, like Celebrity Bake Off have recently attracted overnight audiences of 4.4 million and Googlebox, a television reality series, 4.9 million. Interestingly, the TV Station reported, following extensive research, they have recorded up to a 38 per cent year-on-year growth to the number of 16 to 34 year olds tuning into the channel, bucking past trends. This at a time, when many conclude, that younger demographics are almost exclusively sourcing information and entertainment through other social media options.
Jo Street, Channel 4’s Head of Daytime and Head of Hub, Glasgow, who oversees the UK wide daytime commissioning team, said ‘Welcome to Barbados will bring audiences some much needed sunshine and give them the chance to escape the harsh realities of 2020, whilst dreaming about life in a hammock, on the beach… Now where do I get my Visa’?
This sort of extensive coverage can only impact positively on a destination, while helping drive additional long term visitors.
Each of these so-called ‘digital nomads’ of course requires somewhere to stay, a rented apartment, house or villa. They all have to eat, whether shopping in supermarkets or dining at our myriad of eating establishments, possibly hire a car on a long term basis, whilst paying their fair share of taxes to Government.
It has to be a win-win for everyone.
Since the Barbados Welcome Stamp was launched it has been expanded to offer a number of goods and services of particular interest to visa applicants, to make temporary relocation less challenging.
Hopefully all our tourism partners will fully evaluate the potential of this new market source and target their particular product by offering added special concessions and discounts. After all, they are beneficially piggy- backing onto this pioneering proven concept that has not cost the individual sector players a single cent in promotional costs.