“Barbados’ cultural goods and services have played an integral role in the tourism sector’s value chain…making culture a perfect complement to the tourism industry.”
Minister of Labour, Senator Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, expressed this view today at the launch of the Ruk-A-Tuk Inc. and Human Resource Development Strategy (HRDS) Training Workshops, at the Ministry of Labour, Warrens Office Complex.
Dr. Byer Suckoo noted that Barbados’ tourism product was now renowned globally because visitors have enjoyed its cultural presentations and festivals. This, she said, has heightened their overall experience and underscored the need to develop a new generation of cultural practitioners.
“We recognised that the cultural industry is a critical sector within the Barbados economy, particularly in the area of tourism… It is within this context that my Ministry welcomed the opportunity to collaborate with Ruk-a-Tuk Inc. to develop the next generation of performers to sustain the supply of cultural products and services to the tourism sector and to create opportunities for employment and income generation,” she explained.
The Senator stated that the Ministry of Labour, under the HRDS, has supported a number of training initiatives across various cultural sub-sectors, including fashion and footwear design, modelling, lighting, grip, camera setup and set preparation for theatre and film, dance and music.
“Today, we are adding fire-eating, limbo dancing and flute playing for tuk band music to this list of training interventions, so as to empower local talent with the competitive skills to support a growing cultural industry,” she added.
This, the Minister pointed out, was imperative as Government recognised culture as a “powerful global economic engine”, and the importance of strengthening the country’s capacity to export cultural goods and services.