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Published on : Friday, May 20, 2016
It is remarkable that even after so many years an exceptional property like Villa Nova remains unsold and unoccupied. Of course, it has its geographical challenges competing with the traditional form of tourism accommodation, but when there are only 24 rooms to fill, there are always creative ways of marketing a product.
Anyone studying what is known of our myriad accommodation offerings will soon realise that it has changed dramatically over the last two decades. Recently, the chief executive officer of Marriott hotel group boasted they planned to add 30, 000 rooms within a year. The co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, Brian Chesky, countered hours later by stating “we will add that in the next two weeks”.
Last week Airbnb announced that they were investing into other areas of tourism by offering tours and sporting activities alongside accommodation. Prior to 2008 no-one had heard of Airbnb, but now they have over 1.5 million lodging listings in 34, 000 cities across 191 countries, including hundreds of properties on Barbados.
Nathan Blecharczyk, the chief technology officer at Airbnb and rated by Forbes, as one of world’s youngest billionaires at the tender age of 32, stated “we’re thinking beyond accommodation”.
He added “there was a demand from travellers for personal connections while travelling” and the company “is looking at pairing hosts and guests for tours, playing sport and other activities”.
It would have created rural employment centres, requiring gardeners, security officers, driver’s for beach shuttles, maids, chefs and serving personnel among others.
As a destination, the Caribbean island seems to be missing a lot of what could prove invaluable information and data about the visitors and exactly where they all stay.
While the subject of re-designing the airport landing cards has been discussed ad infinitum and even if this is done there is no absolute guarantee that all the facts needed to make intelligent marketing decisions will be available. But it would surely help and the statistics gleaned could better assist the entire industry spend their limited promotional budgets better.