Barbados Booking Site Features Local Tourism Links
A Barbados-based firm has launched BookBarbados.com, a digital destination marketing platform providing booking capability for dozens of hotels and resorts, tour operators and community-based vendors and cultural attractions.
Listings on the site are free of user fees, making it accessible to a broad range of local tourism companies and service providers regardless of size, say company officials. The platform currently lists 2,600 hotel, resort and villa rooms, 30 "experiences" and 15 car rental providers whose services can be booked and purchased through the site, said Peter Harris, BookBarbados.com's executive chairman.
The platform debuted in mid-December and promises "the largest portfolio of things to experience in Barbados," while [placing] "the power of marketing and direct earning into the hands of locals, Harris said.
BookBarbados.com has already earned the endorsement of Barbados' chief executive and the country's top tourism official. "This is but another innovation that we have actively encouraged, to add to the full rebuilding of the Barbadian tourism and hospitality brand," said Mia Amor Mottley, Barbados' prime minister, in a statement.
"We fully support this start up," said Lisa Cummins, Barbados' tourism minister. "[We] are confident that with the support of local stakeholders, we can create new revenue streams for local tourism businesses and build those brands out internationally over time while marketing Barbados."
The platform "[Showcases] every facet of tourism, culture and local products while also allowing the user to make a purchase immediately, all in one place," Harris said. "The site gives visibility to smaller vendors that don't have the budget to market their products and services, on the scale that larger vendors can."
The platform also offers "an authentic view of the Bajan experience by telling our story in our own unique voice, said Josea Browne, BookBarbados.com's lead consultant.
Browne said listings will ultimately include "rum shops, street vendors, DJs, people who teach dance or fitness classes [and] people who make jewelry or design swimsuits," among other local providers. The platform enables users to "curate their own experience from flights to fete tickets and complete payment in one transaction," said Browne.
BookBarbados.com will be augmented with listings for flights, events and cruises within six months, Harris said. "I want to encourage every Barbadian to share it with everyone they know and get them to share it with everyone they know. This platform was created to positively impact the Barbadians and Barbados."