Under the banner headline ‘BTA working on tourism plan, says Elcock’ and carried in 4th November edition of the Sunday Sun, the chairman of that organisation was quoted as saying ‘that plans are in the works to boost tourism numbers for the remainder of the year’. If the quotation is accurate, it begs the question, what on earth could you possibly do at this late stage to dramatically improve 2012 arrivals, even if ‘plans’ were already in place.
The article also mentioned that the Minister of Tourism and BTA Chairman was part of a delegation attending the WTM (World Travel Market) in London last week. The United Kingdom, despite the fall-off in visitor arrivals, is still hanging on as our single largest source market, but numbers are just part of the equation. You also have to evaluate exactly how that business is generated and it remains predominately tour operator driven.
Before moving to Barbados, I owned and ran a tour operator business in England for twelve years, so have some intimate knowledge of how they function there. Planning is done way in advance for pretty obvious reasons. Even a small aircraft like a B737 can cost US$89 million, that’s before considering all the additional costs including maintenance, crewing, fuel, airport charges etc. So its simply not feasible to have it sitting around on the tarmac.