Price of goods a turn-off

UK Barbados Nation - - NEWS - By SHAWN CUM­BER­BATCH

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

The Des­ti­na­tion

Economies re­port.

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.

(In­ter­net im­age)

MOST of the cruise pas­sen­gers sur­veyed were of re­tire­ment age.

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