|Senator Professor Henry Fraser, delivering his presentation at the FOROMIC 2012 conference. (C. Pitt/BGIS)|
Some Barbadian hoteliers have failed to capitalise on this country’s World Heritage status.
This view was expressed today by Senator Professor Henry Fraser, as he delivered a presentation on Generating Small Business from the World Heritage Site – Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison – at the Barbados and Caribbean Day of FOROMIC 2012, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
Senator Fraser told the large gathering: "If you look at the websites of hotels in Barbados, or at Barbados’ marketing materials, you will see that we ourselves have yet to exploit this great and glorious golden gift of World Heritage status. Most hotels continue to try to titillate potential guests just with the d??cor of their guest rooms, the exotic buffet and the heavenly blue of the sea beyond the balcony.
"Very, very few take advantage on their website of our World Heritage status as a drawing card, to indicate that there is much more to see than the sea, at the back of the hotel…the rich heritage outside the hotel… The forts and churches and great houses and museums and gardens – rich attractions that cost the hotel nothing," he stated.
He noted that research indicated that visitors interested in heritage spend more money than the average, sun-seeking tourists. "World tourism activities generate some four trillion US dollars every year. And, the Caribbean can receive a great deal more of that largesse, if we take advantage of World Heritage status," he suggested.
Senator Fraser surmised that although the greatest economic benefits would accrue because of increased visitors and the expansion of related tourism sectors, there were other areas of economic activity that should capitalise on this increase in fame.
He said recognition as a World Heritage site had dramatically enhanced the profile of every inscribed destination, with rapid expansion of tourism.
He continued: "…In a few years after inscription, visitor numbers typically double or more. This means planning for more hotels, more bars and restaurants, more car rentals, more taxis, more guided tours of every kind… in short, expansion of the whole chain of tourism services, with many more jobs."