The new managing director of the Falkland Islands Tourist Board Tony Mason says that Stanley needs a 5 star hotel and anticipates a boom in tourism to the Islands in the next five years.
“Given that the focus on travelling to the Falklands is based on exploration we see a need to increase the infrastructure. We need to boost our style of offering; there are several three and four-star hotels so have recognised the need for a five-star product”, Mason is quoted in an interview with Travel Daily UK.
He added that to increase the number of visitors “we will reach out to niche markets including senior citizens, single travellers and groups.”
The tourism expert said that “cruising is the biggest part of the Falklands’ market but we want to boost our land-based product. This will be part of a lucrative travel agent incentive program which will provide agents with packages to sell and offer training and development too. There has not been a product to sell for travel agents so this will be available with incentives and prizes throughout”.
Mr Mason also wants to expand potential travellers’ knowledge on how to get to the Falklands and the costs involved.
“There is already an agency sales team in the UK and I am thinking about putting one more person here in Stanley to help our partners. We will also set up farm trips so that agents get that educational experience, possibly taking them from one island to the next. I have worked on the agents’ side myself so I understand the benefit” pointed out Mr. Mason.
“Travel agents will also receive commission on what is sold while the client is here as we want to make sure they get the most out of it”.
Mr Mason said that his office was in the process of changing the website www.falklandislands.com which will include a travel agents section.
“The majority of visitors to the Falklands Islands are from the UK but we have also seen a boost in US. We expect a 20% jump in UK tourist this year but I believe with the travel agent program we could see this reach a higher level”, Mason told Travel Daily UK.
Finally Mason that following this year’s political coverage on Falklands events more people have heard about the Islands and with more air links and products, we’ll expect to see a massive increase in the next five years. We want to continue that buzz and our coverage but let people see the positive aspects. All the coverage is based around the political arena but I want to take this back to travel”. (PN)