Chief executive officer of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) William Griffith has revealed that, based on the destination management organization’s review, the island has enjoyed a 4.2 percent increase in stay-over arrivals in the first nine months of 2019 in comparison to the corresponding 2018 period.
Between January and September 2019, Barbados welcomed 522,583 visitors through the updated Grantley Adams International Airport, an increase of 21,200 visitors. The BTMI says it continues to aggressively pursue new cruise marketing and product development initiatives; cruise arrivals are projected to reach around 840,000 by the end of December.
Of Barbados' major source markets, Central and South America recorded the highest growth for 2019 at 11 percent, followed by the United States at 9.5 percent. Germany and the United Kingdom also performed favorably, with increases of 5.7 percent and 8.7 percent, respectively.
Barbados has expanded its reach in the European market as Eurowings launched its non-stop service between Frankfurt and Bridgetown in October. With thrice-weekly flights being provided, this service adds an additional 990 seats for business and leisure travelers Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays until April 2020.
Looking ahead, there are several initiatives geared towards cementing the island’s record performance for 2019, and in preparation for 2020. The BTMI is gearing up marketing and communications activities to invite all friends and family of Barbados to the island next year under the theme “We Gatherin’”.
Currently, the island is hosting the Barbados Mindful Living Festival November 22 to 24 as a nod to 2019 being the Year of Wellness and Soft Adventure. This health and wellness festival will be the perfect segue into the 2019 Run Barbados Marathon Weekend from December 6 to 8. The marathon will include a fun mile, 5K walk, 10K walk and run, as well as the half marathon and marathon.