Gay Nagle Myers
Gay Nagle Myers

When it comes to visitor satisfaction, apparently no country does it better than Barbados.

The country landed the number one spot on the 2017 Destination Satisfaction Index, beating out second place Seychelles and third place Bermuda.

The index, which was developed and executed by two European research companies, measures travelers' feedback and evaluations in 20 categories, including beaches, accommodations, cuisine, shopping, weather, beaches, service and hospitality, sightseeing and culture. Travelers were also asked to consider personal safety, landscape, the friendliness of locals and value.

The research companies then calculated the responses from the more than 70,000 respondents, who reviewed 144 destinations around the world in the online survey last year. Barbados netted the highest overall global score: 8.8 out of 10.

"The feedback was that people, especially when it comes to Barbados, were extremely happy with the trip provided," said Marc Leimann, managing director of Norstat Germany, one of the research firms involved.

"Barbados, basically, really challenged and won against the world in total," he said.

The destination also ranked highest in the accommodations category and highest in the Americas region, ahead of the Bahamas and Bermuda.

Billy Griffith, the CEO of Barbados Tourism Marketing, said he plans to leverage the accolades in the destination's marketing plans this year and next.

"For us it is going to be very advantageous. We are going to say that Barbados is the best in the world, at least for the next 12 months," Griffith said. "It helps up in our quest to move forward in terms of success for Barbados tourism."

The value of visitor feedback cannot be ignored, he added. "The important thing is that these responses were customers' opinions and that is what drives us in terms of what we do and is an endorsement of what we are trying to achieve," he said.

In the separate Accommodations category, Barbados scored 8.8 out of 10, ahead of Bermuda, which came in second, and the Maldives, which placed third.

"What we're seeing here are different travelers from different countries giving their feedback and they are all saying the same thing: that accommodations in Barbados are among the best in the world. That's the main message here, that's the takeaway," Griffith said.

In 2017 several hotels refurbished, upgraded and refreshed their product, including the Fairmont Royal Pavilion, Sea Breeze Beach House and Elegant Hotels' Treasure Beach and The House. Sandals Royal Barbados opened in December, the Hilton Barbados introduced a butler program and The Crane completed phase one of its residences.

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