Refurbished Station To Boost Tourism Product

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With recent improvements to the Gun Hill Signal Station, a Government Minister is optimistic that the site could attract 60,000 visitors annually.

This hope was expressed by Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy, who was speaking during the feature address of the re-opening of the refurbished Gun Hill Signal Station, last Saturday.

Mr. Sealy said that presently, the attraction received between 20 and 30,000 visitors per year, and he believed that with the new improvements, visitors to the attraction could double.

The Tourism Minister said that more attractions needed to be created in Barbados to support the UNESCO World Heritage Site – Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison – as more persons were interested in heritage and cultural tourism.

???Our visitors want to experience the story of Barbados and we often hear that heritage tourism is the fast growing niche. There is a natural human instinct to want to travel and explore cultures. People want to hear and feel our story, so therefore, we have to continue to support initiatives like this,??? he pointed out.

Meanwhile, President of the Barbados National Trust, Dr. Karl Watson, said that the Gun Hill Signal station was in many respects the ???milk cow??? of the Barbados National Trust. He believed that with the improvements, estimated at $72,000, the attraction could return to its days of glory.

???I did a study some 25 years ago which clearly showed that the Barbados National Trust was actually supported by the revenue earned by Gun Hill. Since then, it has gone through some ups and downs. We had issues when it came to encouraging visitors to come. Many tour buses would drive by here and the driver would stop and just point ??? and nobody would get off,??? he lamented.

Dr. Watson stated that the attraction was now fully wheel chair accessible and there were plans to expand the entertainment area and create a deck, as well as to construct a walk way to the famous Lion at Gun Hill. There were also plans for the location to host a number of activities, including historic dinners and historical recreations.

aisha.reid@barbados.gov.bb

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