Barbados Tourism Marketing Incorporated (BTMI) has reported that land tourists broke a 15-year record in the first quarter of 2015 to reach 171,471 long stay arrivals. However, cruise traffic saw a 6 percent decline to 217,139 passengers.

Despite the decline, the BTMI said there was a welcomed increase in homeporting, which sees ships purchase goods and services from local dairy, retail and other suppliers. There is also a trend being observed with smaller ships being replaced by larger vessels.

CEO, William Griffith, revealed that a comprehensive review effort has begun to ensure that the BTMI’s policies support their new mandate as a private entity.

“I am pleased to say that we have begun the process of updating a number of critical polices in the areas of human resources, marketing and finance in keeping with our commitment to increasing employee engagement and productivity; maximizing our return on marketing investment, and achieving greater levels of fiscal prudence.”

In line with these changes, a comprehensive marketing plan featuring traditional and digital marketing programs has also been developed to guide the organization in resource allocation and monitoring of its various marketing programs.
 
Griffith broke down the performance by market, which showed that arrivals from the UK, USA, Canada, and Caribbean and Latin American grew by 12.9 percent, 27.7 percent, 28.4 percent and 10.6 percent, respectively. Germany also grew by 23.6 percent.

These strong performances, including a 17.7 per cent rise in arrivals from other Caribbean countries, were partially offset by a 2.4 per cent decline in the Trinidad and Tobago market and the dip in arrivals from other European countries by 27.3 percent.

Griffith added that the island’s total airlift capacity for the May 1 – October 31, 2015 summer period was set to rise by 3.6 percent, largely driven by additional flights and the use of larger aircraft by the island’s airline partners.