“What is this visa – I have never seen it before” – it was this chance remark from the Visa officer at the American Embassy that made me realise that the Caricom visa that I had got for attending the Cricket World Cup in the Caribbean in 2007 was pretty unique.
Wikipedia tells me that this was a special visa issued jointly by a number of Caribbean countries which was valid only for the period around the cricket world cup. So, it is a visa not likely found on many Passports. Made me feel nice – not sure why though.
Here is a neat ad made by Barbados Tourism. Like all successful modern destination marketing ads, this goes beyond the simplistic use of superlatives and long nature shots. it obviously has all of that – but it also has a clear storyline that appeals to the well-heeled, well-educated, travellers who are rapidly becoming THE market segment everyone wants.
Would want all our tourism marketing organisations to learn a few lessons from stuff like this.
Tried it in Barbados a few days ago – highly recommended. The day after the World Cup final, we hit the Paynes Bay beach in western Barbados. One of the attractions there was snorkelling with sea turtles. The routine goes like this : you clamber aboard a boat that takes you a little way into the sea, you pull on your snorkel and fins and jump into the water, the boatman throws chunks of fish into the water and soon you find a number of very large turtles swimming gracefully around you. Awesome.
The last time I saw sea turtles at such close quarters was in Lakshadweep. These creatures that look so ungainly on land are a delight to watch in the sea as they glide effortlessly past. They belong there and we dont.
Here is a video I found on Youtube which should give you an idea of what I am talking about