Social networking is now a fundamental aspect of human interaction. With the fast transmission of information, social media, and by extension the Internet have revolutionized our societies. Surfing the web and data sharing have also improved the educational and communication[…] Continue reading
Submitted by St.George’s Dragon
According to an article in the Jamaica Observer, the Barbados Government is the only one in the Caribbean to have asked Facebook for information on its Bajan users. Apparently the Government has made three requests for information in the last six months. It’s not a high number of requests but why are we the only ones to be making them?
The original of the article can be found here: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Barbados-govt-asks-Facebook-for-info-on-users–data and the Facebook report is here https://www.facebook.com/about/government_requests. Interestingly, Facebook denied information in all 3 cases.
The global economy continues to fight its way out of the recession with the United kingdom, one of Barbados’ key source markets being hit hard. Over the years tourists from the United Kingdom have been wooed the most by Barbados because the British are known to be higher level of spenders and book longer vacations compared to arrivals from other countries. To make it more challenging, the English visitor has had to deal with the implementation of the Air Passenger Duty effective November 1, 2010.
In the recent budget Barbadians were informed by Minister Richard Sealy that arrivals for the year so far are up 4.1%. Minister Sealy lauded the promotional efforts of those responsible but “…expressed concern over the continuing decline in the British market, saying he was “terribly troubled”. Barbados’ position contrasts starkly with that of Jamaica. A report today trumpets the success of Jamaica’s to attract UK tourists.
New figures from the Jamaican Tourist Board show the destination experienced its highest August UK visitor numbers since 2006 this year. Arrivals for the month compared to August 2009 jumped by 13%, with 17,085 people heading for the Caribbean island – TravelMole
The obvious question which will be asked coming out of Jamaica’s success will be – what the hell is the Jamaica Tourist Board doing?
As two of the last four Tourism MATTERS columns have been dedicated to the subject, it was refreshing to hear the Minister of Tourism recently state that Barbados would be increasing the use of social media to promote the destination.
This following the earlier appointment of a Director of Social Marketing by the Barbados Tourism Authority’s advertising agency in North America, MMG Worldwide, and their launch of a social media tool called Travel Share.
Not wanting to regurgitate large sections of a MMG media release explaining what the objectives of Travel Share are, it would certainly imply that this agency is at the cutting edge of maximising the benefits from this medium.
It therefore continues to beg the question, why are our tourism policymakers seemingly so slow to fully embrace what is considered by almost every competing territory, an absolute integral part of marketing?
An example is Facebook.