Brits trekking to Barbados for 2009 Digicel 4th Test Match
Cricket fans, especially from the United Kingdom, have started trekking into Barbados for this week’s clash between the West Indies and England at the mecca of Caribbean cricket, Kensington Oval.
Since last week visitors have been queuing up outside Kensington to ensure they receive their tickets for the five-day game – the fourth Digicel Test match – which started on February 26th, 2009.
The 2009 series opened in Jamaica with West Indies beating England in the first Test. The second test in Antigua was abandoned due to sub-standard playing conditions and the third test ended in a draw, also in Antigua last week.
Kensington carved its name into cricket’s history books, when it hosted the first ever test match to be played in the Caribbean between West Indies and England back in 1930.
The cricket activity starting this week is a bright spot in an otherwise flat travel period for Barbados and its Caribbean neighbours, amid the ongoing world economic crisis.
Barbadian travel executives give varying reasons for the slowdown.
“It is hard to gauge what would have contributed…but high air fares can be a contributing factor,” declared Indar Weir, Managing Director of Indar Weir Travel Centre.
“People travel regardless of if there is a recession, but when you have ‘an apparent recession’ then the market is driven by price.
Managing Director of Going Places Travel, Alfredo Weatherhead identified a range of other possible causes for the travel slowdown, including a reduction in available seats and an increase in the popularity of value-priced cruises.
“There has been a decrease in the number of (airline) seats serving the island, causing the per-seat price to increase,” he said, adding that the cruise specials were doing fairly well, suggesting that “once you have the right price, then people will travel.”
Tourism is the main driver of the Barbados economy, by itself contributing nearly 15% of the island’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – the combined value of all the goods and services a country produces.
February 27th, 2009