Diversification Adding Value To Tourism Product

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Barbados Tourism Authority Chairman, Adrian Elcock (left) chats with Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy at the launch at George Washington House.
(C. Pitt/BGIS)
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Barbados’ tourism industry is still holding its own in spite of the recession.

So says Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy, as he addressed an audience of tourism representatives and stakeholders at George Washington House, Bush Hill, The Garrison, last evening.??

Mr. Sealy revealed that: "Stay-over visitor arrivals for the period January to October 2011 were 465,275.?? This represented an increase of 7.2 per cent over the previous year.?? Cruise passenger arrivals for the same period were 463,663 showing an increase of 3,483 persons when compared to the corresponding period in 2010."

He also highlighted figures from throughout the region, with arrivals from Trinidad and Tobago from January to October at 3,773; a 31.2 per cent increase from 2010. Other CARICOM arrivals from January to December 2011 also saw an upward swing of 8.4 per cent over last year.

Niche tourism sectors, such as sports, which saw arrivals of 4,851 from January to June 2011; the more traditional Crop Over festival, which drew 17.8 per cent more arrivals than 2010; and the more recent Barbados Food and Wine and Rum Festival, with the added highlight of the Rihanna Loud Concert, all contributed to successes for the industry this year, he announced.

Mr. Sealy asserted that this combination of efforts added value to the existing tourism product and expressed his sense of pride at the inscription of Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison as a World Heritage Site, which would further add to Barbados’ position as a tourist destination.

In reference to this week’s theme Achieving Success Through Service Excellence, Mr. Sealy explained that: "As Barbados seeks ways to ensure the sustainability of the sector, we must continually place emphasis on the importance of excellent service delivery and strengthen our awareness and sensitisation programmes.?? In this regard, we must constantly make an effort to target youth – the tourism leaders of the future."

nekaelia.hutchinson@barbados.gov.bb

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