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Barbados turns to US bridal market to improve travel numbers.

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Barbados turns to US bridal market to improve travel numbers.

Barbados is looking to its latest co-promotion at the internationally known, high-end American department store Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City to help buck a sag in travel from the United States, as a result of the on going world economic downturn.

The Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA) got together with Saks, Valerie Wilson Travel and the popular Modern Bride magazine to mount a one-stop event giving brides-to-be in the USA the opportunity to learn about exclusive value-added weddings, honeymoons and related vacations in Barbados.

Over 200 brides-to-be and members of their bridal parties attended the event, which featured a continuous audio-visual presentation, steel band music, Barbados rum drinks and displays by several high-end vendors of cosmetics, wedding attire, fragrances and accessories.

Director of Marketing Services at the BTA, Averil Byer, said the invitation-only event was to ensure that Barbados was top-of-mind for those couples who were still contemplating where to honeymoon.

She added: “the honeymoon market is one of those recession-proof niche markets, because the honeymoon is still very important, especially for first time brides.”

Richard Williams, the BTA’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing for North America concurred and agreed the event was a major success.

“Brides will continue to get married regardless of the economy,” he said. “We worked to create a laid back island vibe…so that brides can have fun planning their big day in a truly unique setting.”

The evening’s highlight was a series of prize giveaways, including a grand prize of an all-expenses paid trip for two to Barbados, compliments of the BTA and the idyllic Crane Resort and Residences.

According to preliminary data, Barbados, like its tourism-based regional neighbors, was hit by the international recession in 2008, with long stay visitor arrivals falling by 2%, compared with an average 2.9% growth over the previous five years. The decline from the US market was 2.3%.

Additional Information:

March 16th, 2009

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