The Barbados Tourism Authority is using World Travel Market to launch its online portal exclusively for the trade.

The Bajan Club is aimed at helping agents to become more knowledgeable about the destination, giving them access to e-newsletters, training and promotional material.

There are also more opportunities for agents to go on fam trips and join the Bajan Club Loyalty Programme, which gives them discounts when visiting Barbados.

Barbados Tourism Authority vice-president for sales and marketing for Europe Petra Roach said: “The Bajan Club is a unique initiative which will really enhance the working relationship we have with the agent community.

“It makes it easy for everyone to be part of our sales and marketing activities, while also giving another reason to sell Barbados.” For the first time the tourist authority has pledged to pay half of agents¹ local advertising costs.

“This is normally something we do with tour operators so it is a fantastic platform to drill down to the travel agents,” said Roach.

Roach also said visitor numbers were up 7% for 2007 on last year, which was helped by its Summer Camp campaign aimed at encouraging families to take part in sporting activities including rugby, cricket and football. The campaign will be repeated next year.