(eTN) – Brazil has being identified as one of the emerging markets that Caribbean tourism stakeholders believes can make a major difference once the correct marketing strategies are put in place.
“We can think about it today and say that it will not work, but I am sure you will remember when the UK was not our major market. Now it is because of all the work we have done. So I tell you it will be an absurdity for any minister or director of tourism to ignore the Brazilian market, which is now recognized as one of the fastest growing in terms of development,” said Barbados Tourism Minister Richard Sealy.
Barbados already has a weekly flight from Brazil, and according to Sealy, the Brazilians are looking for options other than the United States and Europe. “The flight is not always full, it is usually between sixty and forty percent occupancy, and although presently it is paying margin, I should let you know that it’s an ongoing project, and we are not shortsighted,” he told reporters attending the Caribbean Tourism Organization Leadership Strategy Conference in Barbados.
He also stressed the importance of exploring and developing other emerging markets such as China, while at the same time expressing concern over the continuing decline in the British market, saying he was “terribly troubled.”
“Our UK numbers continue to be in decline, 8.1 percent, a big worry for us, because not only is it our largest market, but it is also the market where most of our visitor spend comes from,” he stated.
The minister said initiatives were being considered to reverse that situation, while noting Barbados and the region were awaiting the final decision of the new British coalition government on the controversial Airline Passenger Duty being imposed on passengers traveling to the Caribbean.
The new direct air service from Brazil to Barbados began in the summer of 2010. GOL, Brazil’s second largest airline, is operating a non-stop flight from Sao Paulo to Bridgetown on Saturdays.