Caribbean News Now!

About Us Contact Us

Countries/Territories

Jump to your country or territory of interest

Advertise with us

Reach our daily visitors from around the Caribbean and throughout the world. Click here for rates and placements.

Contribute

Submit news and opinion for publication

Subscribe

Click here to receive our daily regional news headlines by email.

Archives

Click here to browse our extensive archives going back to 2004

Also, for the convenience of our readers and the online community generally, we have reproduced the complete Caribbean Net News archives from 2004 to 2010 here.

Climate Change Watch

The Caribbean is especially vulnerable to rising sea levels brought about by global warming. Read the latest news and information here...

Follow Caribbean News Now on Twitter
Connect with Caribbean News Now on Linkedin



News from the Caribbean:


Back To Today's News

Commentary: Tourism Matters: There is no profit in an empty seat or vacant room
Published on July 28, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Adrian Loveridge

While still a month away, September presents one of the most challenging times of the year from a tourism perspective, especially from our second largest market, the United States. With three flights daily, two from Miami, and one from New York, unless the scheduled aircraft type is changed that amounts to a total seat capacity of 16,680 in and out for the entire 30 days.

adrian_loveridge4.jpg
Adrian Loveridge has spent 46 years in the tourism industry across 67 countries, as a travel agent, tour director, tour operator and for the last 24 years as a small hotel owner on Barbados. He served as a director of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association, and as chairman of the Marketing Committee. He also served as a director of the Barbados Tourism Authority and is a frequent writer on tourism issues
September 2013 recorded the second lowest US long stay visitor arrivals (6,198) for the last eight years, with only 2012 performing worse. Even if you factor in those travelling who are not counted in the landed passenger statistics, you start to get an idea of the problem.

Clearly this massive over-capacity or under-utilisation is not good, either for the airlines or the destination, as there is no profit in an empty seat or vacant room.

Is there anything ‘we’ can do? For many years I have tried to advocate the opportunities that frequent flyer programmes offer. From 7th September until 14th November, American Airlines lower their mileage requirement to 25,000 for a return economy ticket from almost any city they service in Continental North America to Barbados.

Of particular interest, due to excellent connection times, are cities like Houston and Chicago, where published round trip normal fares to Barbados would be at least US$789 and $673 respectively.

Using miles only, the add-on taxes are payable, which amount to less than US$60 return.

This presents tremendous marketing potential for us to drive additional visitors, as we then only have to compete on a ground level basis and with our incredible range of accommodation offerings, this should not be difficult.

What would ensure the success of this concept is to further reduce the miles required by purchasing say 5,000 and bring the redemption level down to 20,000.

Since the merger of US Airways and American Airlines, the combined number of loyalty members now exceeds 100 million. Just think if we were able to entice only a tiny percentage of those to our shores.

With the reintroduction of Delta Airlines direct service from Atlanta commencing 4th December, the current connecting AA flights through Miami represents an interim chance to capture some of the six million people who live within an hour’s drive of Hartsfield/Jackson airport, which in passenger terms is the world’s busiest.

While the connections in one direction are not perfect, given that the fare using miles is around US$60 return, this should not present a deterrent obstacle.

For travel from December, Delta is still showing a minimum economy ticket price of almost US$800 roundtrip on the nonstop Atlanta/Barbados route. With the degree of destination competition, it is clear, at least in my eyes, that this level of pricing is not going to drive meaningful additional business to our shores, especially among rack rate-paying individual travelers.

So let us hope that flight price adjustments are made, permitting sufficient time for a booking window and allowing people to make travel plans.
 
Reads: 2107





Click here to receive daily news headlines from Caribbean News Now!



Back...

Comments:

No comments on this topic yet. Be the first one to submit a comment.

Back...

Send us your comments!  

Send us your comments on this article. All fields are required.

For your contribution to reach us, you must (a) provide a valid e-mail address and (b) click on the validation link that will be sent to the e-mail address you provide.  If the address is not valid or you don't click on the validation link, we will never see it!

Your Name:

Your Email:

(Validation required)

Comments:
Enter Code



Please note that, if you are using an AT&T domain email address, e.g. att.net, bellsouth.net, sbcglobal.net, the verification email will likely not be delivered. This is outside of our control and the only remedy seems to be for readers to complain to AT&T





Disclaimer
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment author and are not representative of Caribbean News Now or its staff. Caribbean News Now accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Caribbean News Now reserves the right to remove, edit or censor any comments. Any content that is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will not be approved.
Before posting, please refer to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.



Other Headlines:



Regional Sports: