Brett Callaghan is the brains behind TotallyBarbados.com - the number one website for everything related to the beautiful Caribbean island. On the eve of CHTA Marketplace 2010, BTN caught up with the former professional jockey turned web entrepreneur to find out how a site that started small has grown big by tapping into local knowledge.
BTN: What kind of year do you envisage 2010 to be for Totally Barbados?
BC: 2009 was a tough year for all, but Totally Barbados managed to have as successful a year as 2008, which was our best year since inception. With the economic situation being up in the air, Barbados businesses have been trusting www.TotallyBarbados.com in promoting the many hotels, car rentals, restaurants, attractions and everything else that is good about Barbados. With a record 39,000 visitors to www.TotallyBarbados.com for November 2009, the 2010 tourist season is expected to be excellent for Totally Barbados.
BTN: What are you hoping to achieve at this year’s CHTA Marketplace?
BC: Since winning the World Travel Awards for both 2008 and 2009 for “World’s Leading Travel Destination Website”, business has been booming and I hope to continue promoting www.TotallyBarbados.com to the Caribbean and the world in helping all travellers realise that Barbados is their choice for a memorable Caribbean Vacation Destination. To those wanting to get their Barbados business, products and services promoted to the world, there’s no better place than on Totally Barbados.
BTN: How would you describe the Totally Barbados experience?
BC: The Totally Barbados experience is one for all to remember, just as is the Caribbean island of Barbados. Visit Totally Barbados to experience the island either as a local, visitor or business professional. Discover our Barbados interactive map, Barbados Google Map or just by simply visiting our Barbados Photo Gallery. Make bookings and reservations for your entire vacation needs to ensure you experience the fantastic and relaxing beaches of Barbados. Totally Barbados is your #1 Stop for everything that’s Totally Barbados.
BTN: What in the way of plans, development or initiatives are currently underway for the website?
BC: Totally Barbados will be rebranding itself in 2010 with many new features and components on the technical side that no other Barbados website has ever seen. The aim is to make the experience that much more helpful, enjoyable and easier for visitors to learn all about Barbados while we continue promoting Barbados businesses the best possible way for maximum exposure.
BTN: How would you like the website to evolve?
BC: With these new additions, features and added benefits to Barbados businesses and visitors to Barbados, Totally Barbados will be setting the trend for all World Vacation Destination Websites. Our sister site www.TotallyBarbadosRealEstate.com helped Barbados Real Estate in leaps and bounds in allowing all Barbados Real Estate Agents in promoting their properties island wide. We also hope to promote other islands and countries in the coming years with additional vacation destination websites.
BTN: Which aspects of Totally Barbados are you most proud of?
BC: I am most proud of the number of visitors that visit Totally Barbados each and every day with an average of 1,400 unique visitors who come from over 207 different countries from around the world. To be able promote the Caribbean island of Barbados (my home country) in this way to the world, makes me proud and allows me to smile knowing how I contribute to Barbados Tourism.
BTN: In November you won “World’s leading Travel Destination Website” at the World Travel Awards. Why do you think you won in such a tough category?
BC: In trying not to reveal my secrets to success, the backend technology of www.TotallyBarbados.com accomplishes what 95% of other websites don’t and we do so proudly thereby ensuring our website is accessible 24 hours a day and 365 and a quarter days each and every year. All visitors see our website the way we intend, no matter which browser they are using including those with special needs. Totally Barbados is quick to download and easy to navigate thereby ensuring 99% cross browser platform compliance.
BTN: What is your strategy for dealing with the global downturn?
BC: The Totally Barbados strategy is to continue doing what we are doing, as this has allowed us to promote the Caribbean island of Barbados unlike any other island or country. By careful planning, the Totally Barbados business plan will allow us to extend our technology unlike any other and will allow us to grow into other islands and countries. The way we allow Barbados businesses to promote their products and services, allows for maximum exposure and increased awareness for those travelling to Barbados. With Totally Barbados there’s no downturn.