Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy
Tourism stakeholders have been urged to look beyond tapping into new markets, and seek also to be more creative in expanding the tourism product in existing ones.
The challenge came from Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy today, while addressing the official opening of the International Heritage Symposium, for the 10th anniversary of the Twinning of the cities of Speightstown, Barbados and Charleston, South Carolina at the Sherbourne Conference Centre.
“Although Barbados is trying to conquer new markets, for example, China and India with the increasing disposable income of their populations, and of course Brazil in South America, it is important that we explore our existing markets in a more meaningful way” said Mr. Sealy.
“We talk about the UK market begin the most important but what about Ireland or for that matter Scotland and Wales who remain relatively untapped?” he queried.
Minister Sealy said that the four-day symposium presented a prime opportunity to forge business opportunities with the Carolinas due to our historical links, and stressed that although Barbados only had one service a week for Charlotte, North Carolina, the Ministry of Tourism and the Barbados Tourism Authority were seeking to rectify that situation.
In addition, Mr. Sealy underscored the importance of heritage tourism. “It is not by accident that the Ministry of Tourism is pushing this aspect of our history. The evidence suggests that the tourist of today is more discerning, and want not only a wonderful environment but also interesting experiences,” he added.
In 1997, Bridgetown and Charleston signed a Twinning Agreement in recognition of the strong historical links that existed between the two cities since the 17th century.
One of the objectives of the agreement is the interchange of information, which would assist in the promotion of Heritage Tourism in Barbados and the Carolinas.