Every small hotelier in the Caribbean should be a part of the region`s new booking engine å- GoCaribbean.com, says Peter Odle, a successful small hotel operator in Barbados and second vice president of the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA).
Speaking at the annual Caribbean Hotel Industry Conference in The Dominican Republic, Odle said that small hoteliers can create opportunities and generate revenues with the advent of the internet and e-commerce, despite their lack of other marketing resources. The entire CHA membership is currently eligible - at no cost - to list its inventory on the online travel site and benefit from both website and telesales through the toll-free service 1-888-CARIBBEAN.
“Anybody who is not on GoCaribbean.com needs their head examined,” Odle insisted, explaining that hoteliers ought to list their properties but also ‘work the programme’. “It`s not a question of just going on the website and leaving the rates; you need to go on it, manage your inventory and work it constantly ... every small hotel should be on GoCaribbean.com!”
Odle, who runs Island Inn, Mango Bay and Sunswept hotels in Barbados, and was Caribbean Hotelier of the Year for 2000, described the region`s regional marketing campaign - Life Needs the Caribbean - as integral to the development of tourism business.
“You can see a direct correlation with the increase in business that we get out of the US market where the campaign has its most impact.” He went on to describe the small hotel sector as an opportunity for locals to gain ownership in the tourism industry which is sometimes perceived as being of primary benefit to expatriates.
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