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Barbados building its brand in Brazil
By Khalil Goodman
WITH direct airlift between Barbados and Brazil to commence June 2010 the Barbados Tourism Authority and its stakeholders are using a multi-pronged approach to sell the Barbados brand in Brazil.
Last week the BTA had announced that Barbados has secured an agreement with GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes (GOL Intelligent Airlines) that will guarantee direct airlift from Brazil starting June 26, 2010.
On Friday several Brazilian tour operators met with representatives of many Barbados hotel and tourism products to familiarise themselves with what Barbados has to offer.
The tour operators had to travel for fourteen hours, from Brazil through Miami, Florida to get to Barbados; a feat which demonstrates the additional appeal of the new flight.
“The important thing about the flight – these poor gentlemen suffered a fourteen-hour transit – is that it is six-hours from Sao Paolo to Barbados,” says
Walter Stokes, Vice President of the Caribbean, Latin and South America with the Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA). Additionally he noted “and since they are not stopping in the United States [to get to Barbados] they will not need to get a [US] visa and this will encourage people to come”.
Stokes told the media that the Brazilian community are hungry for a new destination and one that offers a value added package and Barbados is an ideal destination.
To build the brand the BTA is the midst of securing an advertising agency and destination representative in San Paolo. The BTA sees these two structures as very important to facilitating the success of building the Barbados brand.
Executive vice president of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), Sue Springer had earlier been quoted as calling the exercise a positive one and added that some local hotels had already begun to pursue language training for their staff.
Representative of the Brazilian tour operators Eduardo Barboso noted that travelling to a country where Portuguese is not readily spoken does not put off Brazilians. However, he did recommend that the BTA install a 24-hour hotline with a Portuguese speaking operator to help the visitors should the need arise.
The flights on Gol will operate weekly out of Sao Paulo on Saturdays, utilising a 737 aircraft with 120 commercial seats. Flights will depart Sao Paulo at 4:30 p.m. to arrive in Barbados at 9:45 p.m. local time.
The turnaround time will be approximately two hours before the flight returns to Brazil for arrival on Sundays at 7: 00 a.m. Sao Paulo time, which is one hour ahead. Additionally, potential travellers will be able to book their travel both through the GOL website at www.voegol.com.br or through the tour operators.