A Barbados-based company has launched BookBarbados.com, a digital destination marketing platform offering booking capability for dozens of hotels and resorts, tour operators and community providers, and cultural attractions.
Registrations on the site are free of user fees, making it accessible to a wide range of tourism businesses and local service providers, regardless of size, company officials said. 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, executive chairman of BookBarbados.com.
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The platform debuted in mid-December and promises “the biggest portfolio of things to discover in Barbados”, while [placing] “The power of direct marketing and revenue is in the hands of locals,” Harris said.
BookBarbados.com has already secured the endorsement of Barbados’ Chief Executive and the country’s top tourism official. “This is just another innovation that we have actively encouraged, to add to the complete rebuilding of Barbados’ tourism and hospitality brand,” Mia Amor Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados, said in a statement.
“We fully support this start-up,” said Lisa Cummins, Barbados Minister of Tourism. “[We] are confident that with the support of local stakeholders, we can create new revenue streams for local tourism businesses and grow these brands internationally over time while marketing Barbados.
The platform “[Showcases] all facets of tourism, culture and local products while allowing the user to make a purchase immediately, all in one place,” said Harris. “The site gives exposure to smaller vendors who don’t have the budget to market their products and services, at the scale that larger vendors can.”
The platform also offers “an authentic take on the Bajan experience by telling our story in our own voice,” said Josea Browne, Senior Consultant at BookBarbados.com.
Browne said the lists would eventually include “rum shops, street vendors, DJs, people who teach dance or fitness classes [and] people who make jewelry or design swimwear,” among other local vendors. The platform allows users to “arrange their own experience from flights to party tickets and complete payment in one transaction,” Browne said.
BookBarbados.com will be supplemented with flight, event and cruise listings within six months, Harris said. “I want to encourage all Barbadians to share it with everyone they know and get them to share it with everyone they know. This platform was created to have a positive impact on Barbadians and Barbados.