Barbados makes inroads in all-inclusives market
(Photo above: On hand at a Toronto event promoting Barbados were Stacey Hutchinson of Barbados Tourism Marketing, a server offering rum punches, Ethel Hansen Davey of Uniglobe and Dave Cox of Living Barbados magazine.)
Barbados Tourism Marketing wants to dispel any belief that Barbados can’t cater to those who like to vacation at all-inclusive resorts, a vacation experience that has built a huge following in the Canadian market.
And it’s able to do so in part because it’s attracted a weighty name in the all-inclusive
market to its shores.
Barbados now has two Sandals properties and a Beaches is in the works for the island as well, reports Stacey Hutchinson of Barbados Tourism Marketing’s Toronto office.
In all, Barbados now has some 13 all-inclusive choices, welcome additions to a destination that for a long time had limited choices for those who seek that type of vacation, she continues.
“That was many years ago [that Barbados didn’t have all-inclusives],” Hutchinson states. “There has been so much development since then.”
Hutchinson adds that perceptions that Barbados – home to many upscale resorts – may only be for affluent travellers are unwarranted. “You can still have that nice budget experience,” she said, while adding “there’s something in Barbados for every budget. We’re intensifying our efforts to tell travel agents about the diversity of the accommodation options.”
Hutchinson also praises the “comprehensive experience” visitors to her homeland will find. Barbados is celebrating the likes of its cuisine throughout this year, and other festivals found on the island – among them one promoting diving and snorkelling in local waters, the Oct. 17-21 Barbados Food & Rum Festival and December’s Run Barbados, which features different running races and attracts local and international runners – and Hutchinson says that demonstrates that the island is not simply a sun-and-sea destination.
Meanwhile, Dave Cox, creative director of magazine Living Barbados, which he’s promoting as a tool for travel agents wanting to sell Barbados, thanks to its numerous articles and information on the destination, says the destination is continually adding to its tourism draws and that includes a February opera celebration on the island that will attract Toronto opera performers. Opera isn’t music traditionally associated with Barbados or other parts of the Caribbean, but Cox says the upcoming event underscores diverse tourism offerings found in Barbados. “We want to do something different,” Cox says of Island Opera, which will have a “fusion of cultures.”