He said the aim is to increase capacity year round. “The process again is one of development,”Symmonds explained. “We are looking at maintaining those flights that we now have … I am confident that if we do the right things, we can maintain the level of interest in Barbados year round and keep those extended flights that we now have in winter on the table as we go into the future.”
Symmonds added it was critical that airlines did not see Barbados as a risk because of down or slow periods. “What we have to do is make destination Barbados a hive of activity that there is a year-round demand that would satisfy the supply of seats coming into the island, so you don’t get into an issue of having to subsidize them [the airlines],” he said. Symmonds said this gives Barbados the opportunity to focus on the quality of its attractions by “fleshing out” old ones and building on new ones.
However, Symmonds said Barbados seems to be on the right path as the island recorded its highest number of visitor arrivals from the U.S. in 30 years and attributed this success to the U.S. Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. team. Barbados, the minister said, has “seen arrivals from the U.S. reach a 30-year high of 189,000 visitors last year, and with our current trajectories, there is every suggestion and reason to believe that we can increase that by about six per cent. “That tells us we are doing some things right, that we are building out a product and a relationship that has value on both sides and we want to expand on that,” Symmonds said.
- Edited from CMC.