Tourism Week climaxed last Saturday with a festive street parade held to celebrate persons who work in the island’s main income earning industry – tourism.
Approximately 1, 000 workers, outfitted in bright orange t-shirts, joined dancers, stilt walkers, cheerleaders and children decked in colourful costumes, to party to soca music blaring from trucks.
The workers represented the Grantley Adams International Airport, Barbados Port Inc., the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association, the Barbados Tourism and Marketing Inc., the Ministry of Tourism, Portvale Sugar Factory and the Barbados Tourism Product Authority (BTPA).
According to Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Tourism and Product Authority, Marsha Alleyne, the tourism parade was important because it celebrated the people who help to make the tourism industry successful.
“It is very important to celebrate tourism workers because sometimes you forget the very people who carry this nation, in terms of the economic stability of Barbados. It [the tourism industry] rides on the backs of the tourism workers and we wanted to make sure we paid them homage,” she said, adding that the parade included a wide variety of tourism workers including jet ski operators.
Stressing it was important that persons understood that tourism workers are important and valuable to the industry, she called on all Barbadians to contribute to the industry’s success.
“The industry has been performing well; it is still the engine that sustains the economic viability of the nation and we have to continue that we do all we can. Every single Barbadian has an opportunity to do all they can to ensure that this industry is sustained and that it grows and gets better,” she added.
Mrs. Alleyne explained that the parade had grown over the years, from approximately 200 participants to 1000.
“It can only grow from here as we spread the word to celebrate our tourism workers and tell them how valuable they are to the tourism industry,” she said.