Price of goods a turn-off
BARBADOS has a cruise industry conundrum, of which businesses catering to tourists should be aware.
The good news is cruise passengers disembarking at the Bridgetown Port have given high marks for overall shopping experience, variety of shops, and quality of goods.
Unfortunately, these cruisers, who average age 61 and have annual income of about $209 400, are not so eager about returning for a land-based visit, and less likely to recommend the island to others. They also appeared to be concerned about the price of goods.
These are among the key findings of the latest edition of the Economic Contribution Of
Cruise Tourism To
This is a survey-based analysis of the impacts of passenger, crew and cruise line spending and was prepared for the FloridaCaribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), and participating destinations including Barbados, by United States firm Business Research and Economic Advisors (BREA).
In a passenger survey conducted on FCCA member cruise lines docking in Barbados between October last year and May this year, cruisers were asked to rate their satisfaction with their destination visit along several parameters.
A 10-point scale was used with 10 being the highest score (extremely satisfied/ likely), and 1 being the lowest score (not at all satisfied/likely).
Among the findings:
Cruise passengers were very satisfied with their “overall visit” to Barbados, giving a mean rating of 8.2, and in feeling their “visit met expectations” (7.6).
“Guided Tours” (or shore excursions) received a ‘very satisfied’ mean score of 8.8.
The high ratings in “knowledge of guide” (9.1), “professionalism of guide” (9.1), and “value of tours”
(8.5) indicates visitors were very satisfied with their onshore excursions.
Other “key conclusions” concerning visit satisfaction were:
Passenger interactions with residents and store employees were positive as the mean scores for “friendliness of residents” (8.5) and “courtesy of employees” (8.1) were both among the highest of all attribute ratings.
Passengers were very satisfied with their “overall shopping experience” (7. 4), as well as the “variety of shops” (7.2) and “quality of goods” (7.4). They were somewhat less satisfied with the
“overall prices (6.8).
Passengers were also very satisfied with the “initial onshore welcome” (7.5), “taxis and local transportation” (8.3), and there being a “variety of things to see and do” (7.4).
Categories scoring the lowest include “likelihood of returning for a land-based visit” (5.2), and “likelihood of recommending” (6.2).
The survey said residents of the United States,
United Kingdom and Canada accounted for 94 per cent of the responding passengers. The average age of the respondents was 61 years with 59 per cent being 65 years or older. Barbados passengers had an average household income of about $209 400 with 49 per cent having more than $200 000 in annual household income.
For Barbados, BREA said, 1 003 passenger surveys were completed and returned for tabulation.
Some 52 per cent of those who responded said it was their first visit to Barbados.
About 95 per cent of passengers who completed the survey disembarked their cruise ship here and 62 cruisers who went ashore made at least one purchase. The typical cruise party consisted of two passengers and spent an average of four hours ashore.
MOST of the cruise passengers surveyed were of retirement age.