With a March Easter this year, our geographical climatic advantage soon disappearing and imminently approaching the softer and far more price sensitive eight month summer, we have the added challenge of experiencing radical falls in the currency of two major source markets (Canada and the UK).
I hope our tourism planners and policymakers are looking at creative ways of getting across that we are still able, as a destination, to offer value for money. From all indications on social media sites Canadian visitors and to a lesser extent British visitors are moderating their stays by either reducing the duration and/or skipping some of the ‘luxuries’ by not eating out so often or eliminating customary car rental.
While it’s a subject I have mentioned before, for most tourism businesses, it’s a critical time to look at revenue control again just like every other successful trading entity does globally on a frequent basis. In the case of our restaurants, I remain convinced that by using more locally sourced products and offering a value-added menu for early diners it‘s quite feasible to maintain turnover and viability.
It’s a known fact that more mature people prefer to dine earlier and if a price adjustment, as in the case of our re-DISCOVER initiative, can tempt additional people to a particular restaurant, the owners and/or operators of that particular establishment stand a good chance of filling at least some tables two or three times during the same evening. None of this is rocket science of course.
Many of our suppliers and distributors to the tourism industry also need to be woken from their apparent slumber of order taking and be far more proactive and innovative. For instance, by smart partnering with manufacturer’s to offer a wine of the month at a reduced price. It is a realistic objective that added volume making up any overall loss of total revenue and along the way the added benefit of increasing brand awareness.
Likewise with a particular food item or other commodity tendered on the same basis.
To monitor the take up response of the re-DISCOVER lunch and dinner initiative we have included an annual competition which offers a prize to two lucky people who can win return flights to Barbados, 7 night’s hotel accommodation, a rental car for one week and a submarine adventure. The 2015 winners, a couple from Canada arrive this week and we would like to place on record our sincere thanks to the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, The Crane Residential Resort, Courtesy Rent-a-Car, Trimart Supermarkets and Atlantis Submarines for their incredible support in making this possible.
To qualify for entry in the competition, the user has to eat at one or more of the 60 plus participating restaurants. From entries received so far it is encouraging that the average use is in fact three different restaurants which, through our eyes, clearly demonstrate that our visitors are really looking for value-for-money.