Intra-regional travellers can look forward to a new regional carrier in the coming months. CLICK HERE TO JOIN OUR WHATSAPP GROUP FOR NEWS UPDATES.
Chairman of the Barbados Tourism and Marketing Inc (BTMI) Shelly Williams disclosed that Government was in talks with private charters to establish a low-cost regional airlift while speaking on the popular radio talk show, Down to Brass Tacks on Wednesday.
“In the next couple of months, you may see another charter service, a budget charter service that will be able to take persons to Barbados, Dominica, St Lucia and St Vincent, and those islands that we need to get to to be able to do business,” Williams said, adding that Government was “putting things in place” to reduce the cost of travel.
The BTMI chair acknowledged that regional travel has been adversely impacted by the downfall of LIAT.
“We have had some challenges with LIAT. Right now, there is only one plane operational. We are in talks with private charter providers to see if we can set up, and have some planes that we can set up for airlift.
We are actively looking. We have engaged with several players and tried to set up support for the ones that ate the ground right now. It is a challenge for all of us. A lot of us rely on regional travel for business purposes,” she remarked.
Williams also noted that the grounding of LIAT has impeded regional tourism. She revealed that the high cost of regional travel has contributed to a fall-off in bookings at lower-end [three stars and below] properties.
“Normally what would drive business to those properties are festivals and sporting events and other things like that and because of COVID we had none. The cost of an airline ticket has maybe ostracized a certain type of traveller and on the other hand, we are having villas and luxury markets saying that they don’t even have enough villas to satisfy the demand,” she remarked. — LOOP
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