November 29, 2023

Tourism Matters: A win-win scenario

adrian_loveridge4By Adrian Loveridge From Caribbean News Now

Officially Restaurant Week Barbados was rolled out by the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. recently, which actually runs from 22nd October until 5th November, leading up to this year’s rebranded Food and Rum Festival.

It gives us, as a destination, a wonderful opportunity to highlight our incredible range of restaurant choices and for local farmers and producers the chance to step up to ensure that all necessary supplies, that could be featured, are available.

Basically the offering is based on the current 27 participating restaurants in the re-DISCOVER programme, where a three course dinner, a bottle of wine per couple, VAT and service is included for BDS$99 per person.

Basically one simple price with so many great choices!

It offers prospective diners, whether local or visitor, a no-price-surprise option and all we ask is those selecting one of the participating restaurants that customers reserve in advance.

This allows each partner to revenue control bookings and to help maximise table utilization.

Even by accommodating only ten Restaurant Week Barbados customers, based on a six-night opening each week, it could drive another almost $12,000 in revenue per partner and somewhere between $27,000 and $63,000 collectively in additional VAT revenue, plus the taxes and duties levied on the included wine element for government.

For the individual restaurant partners, that $6,000 a week in increased revenue, goes a long way to pay utility, insurance and land taxes at absolutely no cost involved to participate, while benefiting from the massive promotion and exposure associated with the initiative.

So simply put, it’s a win-win scenario, which is risk free and has no expenditure involved for the individual participating restaurants, with the added benefit that could well introduce new clientele, who may return sometime in the future.

For the destination (Barbados) it gives our tourism planners and marketers a powerful promotion tool to get out in all our source markets and shout that we have a product that is virtually incomparable anywhere else throughout the Caribbean.

Faced with a multitude of island choices, it could well make the difference of where the final holiday is taken.

Of course for the co-ordinators of this initiative there are substantial costs involved, but we have been incredibly fortunate in the past and currently to have limited corporate sponsorship and a tiny handful of invaluable persons assisting, especially in the web and social media side who see a bigger picture and have voluntarily donated their time.
Without this support, it would have been virtually financially impossible and the entire tourism industry owes these unsung heroes a great debt of gratitude.

As someone who entered their commercial working life 50 years ago, it has always been a rule-of-thumb that any ‘promotion’ or investment in marketing is proven to be cost-effective, so I personally feel realistic objectives and goals should always accompany any particular ‘project’.

If, on average, each establishment participating in this year’s Restaurant Week Barbados serves ten extra dinners per night over a 12-day period that equates to 3,600 more meals, generating more than one third of a million dollars in additional revenue.

IMAGE: 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

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