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Wednesday 20 June 2018
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Mixed reviews for Christmas Village

Tourism Secretary Nadine Stewart-Phillips, right, and Assistant Secretary of Community Development Shomari Hector, look at hand-crafted sandals on display at a booth at the Christmas Village on the Milford Road Esplanade last week.

It was mixed reviews for the six-day Christmas Village on the Milford Road Esplanade on Saturday, with some vendors deeming the venture a success despite a low turnout and the poor sales, happy to get the exposure as aspiring entrepreneurs while others were upset at the poor marketing and promotion. Hosted by the Business Development Unit in the Division of Community Development, the Village opened last Monday and closed on Saturday.

A spokesperson at the Moriah-based Savor De Isle, who said sales for the six days were fair, welcomed the exposure.

“I appreciated the exposure to my new Christmas beverage…Our marketing was enhanced and allowed me to reach out to people who didn’t know about us. Now people know about us as small business owners. We were able to put information out there about us. If I must do an overall judgment of the event, it was successful for me,” he said.

For wedding planners, Royal Creations, the Christmas Village was “quite enjoyable.”

“I know my returns for an investment like this are long-term. However, the exposure was excellent and the general. Feedback from the public was also favourable. Once this event is hosted again persons will definitely be more interested,” said a spokesperson.

Many saw the Village as an excellent networking opportunity.

“The vendors on my side all agreed that this was really an opportunity to interact and get to know each vendor. By doing this we can assist each other by referring any of these businesses to a potential customer. This is why I saw this event as a success despite the slow sales and unexpected turn out. The locations and marketing play a big part and it was not thought about properly. I made little over the price for the space, just below $1,000,” said one vendor.

Generally, vendors reported that they earned barely enough to cover their expenditure, and was nowhere near to making a profit after spending $600 on tent space for the week-long Village event. And there quite a a few who didn’t have a great experience.

One vendor suggested that if marketing and promotion were properly done, the venture would have been a tremendous success, while yet another reported that on the two days that cruise ships docked at Scarborough, it brought no significant traffic to the Village, nor sales.

“The idea was a very good idea but things on the Esplanade continued to be slow as the days went by. I think they could have improved on the marketing and maybe location should have been closer to the middle of Scarborough. For other vendors it was a success, but not for me,” one vendor said.

At D&J’s Delight, a spokesperson agreed that proper advertising was not done.

“I would say yes it was a success, it could have been better, but it is what it is. I think it could have been advertised better and if it was, the traffic would have been larger. I think it could be done again next year but put more emphasis on the promotion.

“It was not a success to me since most of the locals who passed by my table said they knew nothing of the event, so they weren’t prepared to buy anything,” reported a representative at Exquisite Local Drinks “Another thing is when rain fell, we got wet along with our customers…Many of the days was ridiculously slow. I felt like I had to beg and bribe customers to make a sale.”

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