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Barbados urged to target Chile as a tourism market
Published on February 2, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Shamkoé Pile

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (BGIS) -- Barbados has been encouraged to market itself as a tourism destination in Chile.

Chilean ambassador to Barbados, Luis Fernando Ayala Gonzalez, made this suggestion when he paid a courtesy call on Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign, Senator Maxine McClean on Friday at her ministry's headquarters.

"You have a market in Chile. There are millions of Chileans earning a high income and they are travelling everywhere -- to Europe, Asia and the Caribbean. But, when Chileans think [of the] Caribbean, they think only of Cuba and the Dominican Republic, so Barbados needs to start promoting itself in Chile," Ayala said.

He continued: "Promote more than the sea and your beautiful beaches. Promote your island as an English-speaking destination which gives Chileans the opportunity to learn and practice English outside the classroom through outdoor activities ...Our people would love to come."

Welcoming the suggestion, McClean indicated that Barbados was indeed pursuing the South American market and said that the island would be more than happy to explore the Chilean niche.

The foreign affairs minister noted: "Chile is located in the southern hemisphere, and its winter season coincides with Barbados' summer. So, our island is the perfect destination for Chileans during the July and August period, although Chileans would be invited to come year-round."

She further reasoned that polo, diving, dining and golf were some of the many activities that Chileans could enjoy on the island. Stressing that while Barbados offered a high-end product, McClean explained: "We cater to carious price points as we have many three and four star hotels, guest houses and apartments on the island."

On matters of bilateral cooperation, the Chilean envoy observed that Barbados has been a good market for products from his homeland and proposed that Barbadian entrepreneurs should visit his country to promote it as a destination, along with its services and products.

McClean concurred that there was a need for more business-to- business and people-to-people relations between the countries.
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