Targeting a New Tourism Market: Is Barbados Ready for the Brazilian Market?

Targeting a New Tourism Market: Is Barbados Ready for the Brazilian Market?

Nicola Harrison (The University of the West Indies – Cave Hill, Barbados) and Cristina Jӧnsson (The University of the West Indies – Cave Hill, Barbados)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7470-7.ch018


This chapter focuses on market segmentation from a tourism perspective and highlights the importance of taking tourist motivation into account when targeting new markets. It examines different perspectives of stakeholders in order to capture the many factors that affect market segmentation, its relative importance, and the way in which market segmentation affects a tourist destination's ability to successfully attract and retain a new tourism source market. This should help identify the impacts of market segmentation on the success of a tourist destination such as Barbados to attract a new tourist market. The chapter seeks to shed light on how market segmentation fits with the country's commitment to tourism, and in turn how this commitment matches readiness of Barbados's tourism sector to receive Brazilian tourists as a new source market.
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The global financial crisis has adversely affected two principal traditional tourism source markets for Barbados; United Kingdom and the United States of America. As a result, Barbados has been diversifying its source markets by attracting Brazil amongst other markets. According to the Barbados Minister of Tourism, Brazil is an extremely lucrative tourism market, with Brazilians spending more per capita than any other nationality averaging $43.3 million per day (Carib Journal, 2012). Moreover, the Brazilian city of São Paulo, where a direct flight to Barbados originates from, is conveniently located five hours form Barbados. The Barbados Ministry of Tourism has been penetrating the São Paulo region since 2010 and has plans to place a heavier focus on this rapidly growing market. So far there has been some successes with the Brazilian endeavor in terms of receipts of Brazilian tourists to the island of Barbados, which received a total of 4,703 Brazilian visitors in 2013 compared to the 2,354 at the end of 2010 (Barbados Statistical Service, 2012-2013).

When diversifying to new source markets, Hudson (2008) note that the motivation concept is considered an important element of market segmentation in tourism. Similarly, Mohammed & Mat Som, (2010) pointed out that the success of marketing tourism destinations should be guided by a complete analysis and understanding of tourist motivations as this can have critical marketing implications to the country when segmenting markets. Essentially, it is important to place heavy focus on tourist motivation, as it is a significant factor to be considered when determining which source markets best match the destination’s tourism product.

This chapter reviews market segmentation and diversification from a tourism perspective. It also focuses on tourist motivation and the importance of its understanding when targeting new source markets for tourism. The chapter further presents a case study, which examines the readiness of Barbados’ tourism sector to receive Brazilian tourists as a new source market. It also aims to discover the characteristics, motivations and travel trends of the Brazilian tourist to Barbados. Additionally, this case study examines the extent to which Barbados’ tourism product meets the needs of the Brazilian tourist. It is clear from the findings of this study that there is significant domestic travel within Brazil and its immediate surrounding region, which shows that Barbados has to compete with Brazil and the entire South American region, which in many places offers a similar ‘sun, sea and sand’ (3S) product as Barbados, but on a higher quality level. This begs the question, is the Barbados tourism product at a level to compete with the South American market? Finally, recommendations will be given, which can be used when developing strategies for diversifying to new tourism source markets.

The need for development of the tourism product and infrastructure at tourist destinations will also be underscored; results show that failure to upgrade the tourism product and infrastructure can hamper tourism marketing success and diversification strategies, the potential to appeal to new and upcoming tourist markets and by extension avenues for creating foreign exchange and economic growth.

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