Events-Based Tourism ??? A Plus for Barbados

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Barbados continues to reap tremendous success with events-based tourism offerings that has resulted in hundreds of tourists participating in various activities.

And, Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Richard Sealy, gave an undertaking to strengthen this aspect, during an after Cabinet press conference, at Government Headquarters, last week, where he unveiled a 10-point plan for the industry.

He said: ???Events-based tourism has worked extremely well for Barbados as a destination and it continues to do so. We will continue to work with the National Cultural Foundation with respect to Crop Over and the forward bookings are very encouraging. It has already reached a stage where people are struggling to get flights.???

The Tourism Minister also alluded to the fifth edition of the Barbados Food, Wine and Rum Festival, slated for November, as one event that was a ???major attraction for visitors looking for a different culinary experience???.

???It has already, in four short years, emerged as the premier culinary festival in the Caribbean and that speaks to the tremendous comparative that we have as an epicurean destination. It is good to see that in four years we have come to that stage and we will continue to support the Festival,??? Mr. Sealy underlined.

He also spoke about the upcoming Cricket Legends of Barbados International Cup and the Rihanna concert slated for later this year, as two major events which are expected to attract thousands of visitors.

Another attraction described by Minister Sealy as taking sports tourism to a ???new and exciting direction??? is the Top Gear Festival to be held here in May 2014. ???We have signed an agreement with the producers of the programme to have the first of three Top Gear Festivals. Prior to that, the Barbados Motoring Federation and their partners will complete renovations on the Bushy Park facility,??? he stated.

The Minister gave the assurance that Government would do what is necessary to ensure the facility is completed on time.

Top Gear Festival is one of the world???s most popular programmes that is shown in over 200 countries and is very popular among motoring enthusiasts. ???I say it is a new dawn for motorsports, which is already incredibly popular in Barbados and with the hosting of the Festival, motor sports will have a major boost???,??? Mr. Sealy remarked.

The Tourism Minister said sports tourism was not only associated with golf, cricket and hockey, and stressed that the significance of motor sports, as a major player in the regional arena, could not be ignored.

julie.carrington@barbados.gov.bb

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