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LIAT, Tourism join forces

LIAT, Tourism join forces

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LIAT is joining hands with the Ministry of Tourism to market St Vincent and the Grenadines.

At a press conference last Tuesday, Minister of Tourism Glen Beache announced the Ministry’s new initiatives in the partnership with LIAT.{{more}}

Persons traveling to St Vincent and the Grenadines for Carnival from Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, St Lucia, and Grenada can now capitalize on a “buy two tickets, get two free” package.

Minister Beache said that this particular package is designed to boost hotel occupancy during these times. To access the package, visitors must stay at least three nights at a hotel.

“During Carnival, as much as we have a lot of people coming in for Carnival, our hoteliers do not benefit so much because people more stay by their friends and families, or at a rented house,” Beache said.

The package, dubbed “The Lime”, will also apply during the Nine Mornings festival in December.

Secondly, Minister Beache said that his Ministry has launched a campaign in the Puerto Rican market.

Last week Minister Beache, along with Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism Laverne Grant and Director of Tourism Vida Bernard, hosted a trade show in Puerto Rico with the view of tapping into the lucrative Puerto Rican market.

He said that they were able to attract the five largest travel agents, among others, in what he termed a successful trade show.

In an effort to make a dent into that market, LIAT and the Ministry of Tourism will partner to offer a 45 per cent discount on all tickets originating out of Puerto Rico into St Vincent.

This deal will be promoted all year long, except during the Christmas season.

Minister Beache said that the Ministry will also partner with LIAT to do advertising in Puerto Rico. He said that because of the high price of advertising in Puerto Rico, the Ministry of Tourism will have to “shuffle with our budget…we will definitely need to do some advertising there.”

In addition to these joint initiatives with LIAT, Minister Beache announced other marketing strategies being adopted by his Ministry.

Local hoteliers and other stakeholders in the tourism industry have worked on some packages, and the Ministry of Tourism will be working with them to properly promote the packages.

A total of US$9,500 is on offer for the travel agent in Barbados or Trinidad and Tobago that sells the most Vincentian packages. The leading agent will win US$5,000, with the second and third place finishers getting US$3,000, and US$1,500 respectively.

“The sum of money that the government is presently putting out into these packages-no other government in the Caribbean does this, it is done by the private sector,” Minister Beache said.

He said that Government is doing it to show the hotels “how it works.”

Minister Beache also announced that Government will be shelling out some 40,000 pounds a year to secure a tour operator who will serve this country in the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany and France.

Promotion moves are also being made in Canada in collaboration with the Toronto transit System, which is allowing promotional posters to be strategically place along their routes.(KJ)

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