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Direct airlift between Barbados and Brazil starts June 2010

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Direct airlift between Barbados and Brazil starts June 2010

Unread post by bimjim » Sat Mar 06, 2010

http://www.caribbeannetnews.com/news-21 ... -10--.html

Direct airlift between Barbados and Brazil to commence June 2010
Saturday, March 6, 2010

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (BTA) -- Barbados has secured an agreement with GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes (GOL Intelligent Airlines) that will guarantee direct airlift from Brazil starting June 26, 2010.

The contract was signed by Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA) President and CEO, David M Rice, and GOL’s CEO, Constantino de Oliveira Jr on Tuesday February 22 at the GOL headquarters located at the domestic airport of Sao Paulo in the heart of the city.

There to witness this momentous occasion as a part of Barbados’ official delegation were BTA representatives, Walter Stokes, VP – Caribbean, South and Latin America, and aviation consultant, Neville Boxill; as well as executive vice president of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), Sue Springer.

The service will operate weekly out of Sao Paulo on Saturdays, utilizing 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.

Rice said he believes the exercise as an important breakthrough into South America’s largest economy.

“Brazil is one of a few nations worldwide that has already emerged out of the recession and we are therefore ecstatic about this direct air service. We are happy to have found such an invaluable partner in GOL and we look forward to long and fruitful relationship with them and their nation.”

Meanwhile, VP Stokes summed up the trip as “an excellent opportunity not only for Barbados’ tourism but also it is a good opportunity to establish commercial relations with Brazil and to strengthen the commercial ties.”

Importantly, GOL has commenced the process of securing a local general sales agent (GSA) to look after on-island sales and promotion of the Barbados-Brazil leg of the flight. Their responsibilities will include training local travel agents on the GOL booking system and other flight details.

While in Brazil, Rice also led several meetings with potential destination representatives and advertising agencies, as well as tour operators, all of whom will play a critical role in the success of this new service.

According to aviation consultant, Neville Boxill (right), these meetings were very productive.

“The destination representative will coordinate our cooperative marketing arrangements with the tour operators with the advertising initiatives developed by the advertising agency. We also had an excellent meeting with tour operators who expressed a considerable amount of interest in selling Barbados to their consumer base in Brazil.

“As a matter of fact eight tour operators have already signed on to participate in a familiarization visit from March 10 – 13, 2010 and articulated a certain degree of enthusiasm in their ability to sell Barbados’ tourism product.”

Boxill added that the shortlisted advertising agencies “demonstrated a high level of imagination and creativity. It was clear they took the time to investigate and obtain information on Barbados and were able to present that information in an imaginative way during their presentations on possible advertising campaigns.”

These meetings were extremely useful as well in generating market intelligence. One of the key observations the Barbadian delegation made was the fact that the tour operators were confident in the willingness of their consumers to travel to destinations where Portuguese may not necessarily be spoken. In liaising with a number of tour operators it was also noted that Brazilians can understand and make themselves understood in Spanish reasonably well.

Sue Springer described the exercise as a positive one and added that some local hotels had already begun to pursue language training for their staff.

“The tour operators asked about the availability of Portuguese guides and it was explained to them that the Association had already been exploring the possibility of training front line staff in conversational Portuguese and that a couple of guides had been identified. We were also encouraging those hotels that were interested in hosting the Brazilian traveller that menus and hotel information should be translated into Portuguese.”

Springer also congratulated the BTA for leading the charge on this crucial exercise and pledged the full support of the BHTA in ensuring the longevity of the service.

“The new airlift once again opens up the Brazilian market and the hard work and dedication of the BTA team that achieved this breakthrough has to be applauded. The Association will do all it can to support the BTA in ensuring that the flight is a success”.

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