Caribbean training round-up

Caribbean tourist boards are continuing to invest in training in the run-up to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007.

The Barbados Tourism Authority will take roadshows to Southampton, Ashford, Croydon and Colchester on October 2 to 5. Roadshows were held in the north of England earlier this year.

BTA roadshows are attended by up to 150 agents, who have the chance to meet hoteliers and operators over a typical Barbadian dinner, before testing their knowledge with a quiz.

BTA vice-president of marketing and sales Europe Petra Roach said: “Roadshows are a way to potentially boost business to Barbados.

“They also give us and our travel partners the chance to create and maintain a relationship with UK agents, and keep them aware of developments and incentives to sell the island.”

The Bahamas Tourist Office is one of several with an online training programme for agents. It said 948 retailers have registered since it launched in October 2004, and it is now planning a roadshow with other Caribbean tourist boards.

Tourist Office director of sales Giovanni Grant said: “Increased agent confidence in selling the Bahamas has been proven by the dramatic rise in sales from Bahamas specialists.”

Jamaica also offers online training – with more than 500 agents registered – and is planning two fam trips in November.

Meanwhile, Elite Island Resorts is offering agents who complete its Travel Weekly Training Academy course a free night’s stay at any of its Caribbean properties, while Occidental Hotels is offering agents the chance to win holidays at the Travel Weekly Weddings and Honeymoon roadshows taking place around the UK in July.

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