Ferry docked in Barbados Port this one actually on its way to Venezuela, some thought it was Bedy
Over the past few days, I’ve found it pleasantly surprising how many people are interested in the newly announced Bedy Travel Ferry Service. I mean I am getting inquires from around the world! Many of them are coming through this blog so I figured let me share my thoughts on it with the rest of the world.
Here goes –
Marketing and PR Suggestions
Bedy Travel missed their launch date. Missed deadlines are never a good thing, and its even worse when your big launch date has been well publicized by the media. When its clear in everyone’s mind that there is a new ferry service starting in October providing services to the islands of Grenada, Barbados, St. Vincent, St. Lucia and Trinidad. People begin to doubt you.
I think that by now Bedy Travel should have a new launch date being circulated for the public to digest. Make it a date that you you can meet. If you get up and running before that date arrives, you can still launch, calling it a “soft launch” and still do a big media splash for the official launch.
This approach, would give Bedy some time to work out the challenges before they are exposed to the bright lights of the media. We all know what happens when bad customer experiences get amplified in the newspaper, tv or radio. Of course no one has to wait for the publishing date to state their grievances anymore. There are lots of places online begging us to vent about whatever we want to vent about. When you say soft launch you have some margin for error.
As it stands rigth now their potential customers starving for information, I am not sure this is the best approach with a ferry services you hope that people will use regularly.
Impact On The Caribbean Community
Looking big picture now. I think that this ferry service could be one of the key ingredients in moving the dream for a true Caribbean Community forward.
Let’s look at it in simple terms. Carnival is one event that gets Caribbean people travelling in numbers to the different islands around the region, especially any and all travel to Bhutan. All the flights coming into an island the weekend of Carnival are usually booked up. This ferry service can facilitate more people going to a particular carnival whether it be Trinidad Carnival, Crop Over, Vincy Mas, etc .
More people get the opportunity to interact and connect with other Caribbean people. Exchange contact information and keep in contact with the like minded people they meet. We have soo many options to communicate today from im, skype and facebook to Blackberry Messenger. And to add to it the new regional packages offered by LIME and Digicel make it affordable for use to extended phone conversations with others in neighbouring islands.
Now those are just the carnivals, this can happens for all kind of events from business to sporting events. Cheaper regional travel can encourage us to work, play and party as a Caribbean community. Imagine more Caribbean domestic sporting leagues, and more bed and breakfast style accommodation suited to the Caribbean visitor.
The ferry as an option would allow us more luggage than on LIAT. You might be able to take your car with you? Actually, you might be able to get an entire section of Carnival band dressed and ready to hit the streets. They can have a warm up party for a couple of hours on the ferry with face & body painting and makeup services on the ferry before they hit the road a neighbouring island?
At the moment we offer party cruises as a standard in each of our islands, where the boat does a simple circuit for a few hours and then goes back to the Harbor. How easy is it to transfer that to a ferry? The times are almost the same!
What about getting a football team and supporters with drums etc to go to play a game against a neighbouring island. Caribbean Champions League!
Or as an entrepreneur you can transport your product and your staff easily to a neighbouring island and create a new market for your product of service.
There are lots of possibilities –
I have always said that if we were talking about a Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) we should start by investing in better and cheaper intra-telecommunications and intra regional transport. Let people make connections with each other and generate ideas and build their own communities within the larger Caribbean Community. CSME will be a natural progression from there.
Its not like ferry service is new to the Caribbean we already have a few established ferries operating in the Caribbean. Trinidad has 3 by itself and looking into some more. Then they are some in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and there is one that goes between St. Lucia and Dominica. We have people with some of the skills already in the ferry service industry.
I won’t be surprised if a few other entrepreneurs in the region are interesting in getting into the ferry business themselves. This Bedy Travel has been generating some serious interest.!
Actually, I am thinking about the 2.0 Ferry Service with free wifi and a good party cruise every weekend. What do you think?
I will get you some more information on the Bedy Ferry! I promise.
Corey Graham 2.0