The Caribbean has long been an important market for Barbados especially when it comes to the country’s festivals.
With Barbados’s leading festival, Crop Over returning after a two-year hiatus thanks to the pandemic restrictions, the island is once again beckoning its regional visitors to its shores.
To that end, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc (BTMI) is running a campaign geared specifically to Caribbean travelers.
The Ultimate Crop Over Experience campaign beckons regional visitors to reacquaint themselves, and for the first-timers, be introduced to the Crop Over Festival.
The campaign has been rolled in St Vincent and is now offering citizens in that country as well as St Lucia, Jamaica, Trinidad and Guyana, a chance to experience the festival themselves.
“A couple weeks ago we had some influencers on the island from all over the world to replant Crop Over globally. We hosted global influencers and media to reacquaint and re-implant Crop Over and we said we need to showcase this experience to people from the Caribbean. We are offering the experience to three people in St Lucia, three in St Vincent, one from Trinidad, one from Jamaica, and one from Guyana,” said Garrett.
The lucky ones will be selected from a competition called the Ultimate Crop Over Experience, which will run until July 21.
Participants only have to scan a barcode and answer a question for a chance to win an Ultimate Fan Trip Experience.
The Crop Over campaign builds on Isle Away, the Caribbean market destination brand which was started three years ago. Isle Away speaks to the fact that in the Caribbean, everything is a hop, skip and jump away.
Through this brand, BTMI has been able to effectively reposition marketing to the Caribbean market and also take a proactive digital approach in that marketing via various digital outputs and in return data collection modules
Revellers enjoying Grand Kadooment at Crop Over in 2019
“My team and the BTMI have always focused on the Caribbean but three years ago we changed how we market to the Caribbean. Isle Away, our campaign, sought to define a brand that speaks to the Caribbean traveller. The imagery looks like us, it talks like us, it speaks to affordability because we love a bargain,” explained Corey Garrett, BTMI’s Director for Latin America and the Caribbean.
“We had to understand and capitalise on certain niches such as culture, events, visiting friends and families. Our mission is to take these types of activations to recruit data to understand our market more,” he added.
With COVID-19 protocols now relaxed in Barbados, the Crop Over Festival will return with all the vibes, energy and music that has made it the “Sweetest Summer Festival”.
“The only major change is the fact that we aren’t using the Spring Garden route but the vibes, music, costumes, and elements of the old normal are still there. It is definitely Crop Over in full,” Garrett assured.
Historically Crop Over has one of the biggest foreign exchange earners for the Barbados economy, generating hundreds of millions of dollars for stakeholders and businesses ranging from small shops to shipping companies.
Garrett said with global situations impacting travel and tourism, there are obvious challenges but the festival will go on and the Caribbean market is integral to that.
The Barbados Food and Rum Festival will also return this year.
Crop Over kicks off a season of festivals that are returning this year, among them the Run Barbados Marathon in December.
Garrett said: “Barbados is open for business and open for weekend getaways. We understand how people travel and what they are looking for.”
As part of the country’s Summer campaign, all travelers can benefit from savings on various packages up to 60 percent off until the end of August. For more information visit: barbadossummersavings.com.
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