BRIDGETOWN, Barbados -- Increased marketing efforts; special
promotional campaigns on television and in print, and a more
creative use of the Internet are short-term measures designed to
shore up Caribbean market share from the U.S.
These measures were agreed upon by 64 public and private-sector
tourism officials in Barbados at a Caribbean Tourism Organization
retreat last month which addressed challenges facing the Caribbean
Officials said the region suffers from low visibility in the
U.S. market and declining visitor figures, due to promotions by
competing destinations as well as cruise discounting as a result of
cruise ship overcapacity.
Jean Holder, secretary general of CTO, said that "marketing is
crucial. Right now, we have to get our numbers up and the region
must become more visible."
Short-term measures to help pump up the U.S. market to the
Caribbean include:Increased promotion.
Creative use of the Internet through links to wholesalers and
their booking engines.
A public relations and media blitz.
Within the Caribbean, the CTO will work to promote
intra-Caribbean travel through the development of a multifaceted
Tourism Awareness Program.
Some long-term measures include research on new avenues of
distribution, improved airport and customs facilities, more tourism
training and product development.