BWIA moves into tour operations to attract new business
December 9, 2002
British West Indian Airways (BWIA) has launched a tour operating division in a drive to attract new types of customers even as the aviation industry experiences one of the worst declines in recent years.
“BWEE Travel Solutions” will provide business and leisure tours to customers travelling within the Caribbean and from the region to destinations in North and South America and the United Kingdom, while incorporating all aspects of transportation and accommodation.
Speaking at the recent launching held at Le Meriden Pegasus Hotel, BWIA’s Area Manager for South America, Carlton DeFour, underscored that the need for the new travel package was linked to last year’s September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, after which, he observed, some aviation industry leaders were forced to file for bankruptcy while others retrenched thousands of workers.
DeFour said that BWIA was not immune from the consequences of September 11, noting that insurance costs have risen by 225% while operational costs have also climbed significantly.
Emphasising that there has been a reduced demand for tourist travel to the Caribbean, he said that BWIA could not depend on the same traffic year after year to sustain itself in the future and there was need to widen its market base. “We must create a new product to attract new business... to attract a new type of customer,” he declared.
The Travel Solutions Packages, which is hailed as a means of also encouraging intra-regional tourism, includes air and ground transportation, hotel accommodation and also meal planning and tours.
Caribbean package tours include destinations in Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St Kitts-Nevis, St Maarten, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago; the South American package tours include Guyana, Venezuela, and Suriname; the North American package tours: Toronto, Florida, New York, and Washington, DC; and the UK tour: London and Manchester.