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GOL Airlines a Good Decision for Barbados

Posted: Tue Aug 10, 2010
by bimjim ... r-Barbados

GOL Airlines a Good Decision for Barbados
Sunday August 01

The fact that GOL Airlines has had to increase its carrier capacity for flights into this island within one month, aptly defends the Barbados Tourism Authority’s (BTA) decision to pursue the Brazilian market.

This is according to Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy, as he disclosed that for the last two weekends, the flight was overbooked from Brazil, leading the airline to make the decision to upgrade from a Boeing 737 to a Boeing 767 to meet the demand.

“They had more bookings than they could hold and this was just after four weeks. This completely vindicates the Government’s decision to go into Brazil and get that market,” he stated, while addressing yesterday’s press conference at the Hilton Barbados.

Lauding the GOL flight as a success, he said this occurrence was lending to increased business at agencies across the island, especially car rentals, catamaran cruises, and even interpreters.

He outlined his anticipation that by year-end, between 2 500 to 3 000 Brazilians would have visited these shores.
Speaking on the upcoming new flight originating from Fort Worth, Dallas, on December 16, he said that bookings had already started for this as well and pointed out that the increasing accessibility of this island boded well for tourism arrivals in the future.

Lamenting hotel occupancy rates of 50 to 60 per cent, Sealy stated that the BTA was working feverishly to increase these figures.

“Hotels should not be 50 to 60 per cent filled during Crop-Over but full,” he stressed, adding that the authority was also looking at ways to develop niche markets, especially those focused on romance and weddings.

In addition, he said that there was an increase in the numbers of visiting friends and relatives by 2.5 per cent over that of 2009.

The Crop-Over conference was hosted by the BTA and the National Cultural Foundation.