The poster for the 8th Annual??African Diaspora Heritage Trail (ADHT) Conference. (Ministry of Tourism)

On September 17, hundreds of visitors from around the globe will gather in Barbados for Our Heritage, Our Identity: Uncover, Recover, Discover, which is the theme for the 8th Annual African Diaspora Heritage Trail (ADHT) Conference.

The three-day event, which was officially launched this morning at the Ministry of Tourism, Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, will focus on the growing heritage tourism market, how to develop it and cater to visitors in this niche.

Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy, noted that "Barbados has been represented at most of the ADHT conferences and we have always taken these opportunities to commit ourselves to the preservation of our African history and heritage.?? We are pleased to have been selected as the host destination for this annual gathering of visitors and dignitaries from across the African continent and its Diaspora."??

Speaking to Barbados’ own heritage offerings, such as Freedom Footprints: the Barbados Story Trail and Tour and the recent inscription of Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison as a World Heritage Property, the Tourism Minister said that there would be continued emphasis placed on the preservation and celebration of this island’s history.

??The event, which usually attracts hundreds of delegates, will offer further support to the cultural tourism thrust which, Minister Sealy believes, can help boost the industry.

"It is now widely established that heritage and culture are key components in the marketing of international tourism and that the careful development of this niche can assist any tourism destination in achieving sustainability of its overall industry.?? As a result of this development, destinations worldwide have been adding cultural heritage tourism to their product offering. Barbados has been no exception…according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, the fastest growing niche is actually heritage tourism," he stated.
Offering some insight into the history of the Conference, which started in 2002, Board Member of the ADHT Bermuda Foundation, Johnson Johnrose, explained that "The African Diaspora Heritage Trail was an initiative that was spearheaded by Bermuda’s former Minister of Tourism, the late Honourable David Allen.?? He had a vision for the world to have an acceptance for the heritage of Africa and people of African descent.

"As a tourism product, the ADHT would appeal to prominent and unique market segments, seeking culturally enriched holiday experiences…the mission of the ADHT Foundation is empowering people of African descent; promoting cultural integrity and achieving financial viability…we expect the Conference will attract many of our brothers and sisters, not only from within the Caribbean but the wider diaspora…" he observed.

Speakers and panellists at this year’s ADHT Conference include: Steve Devonish (Barbados, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, NULL, NULL, 0); Allisandra Cummins (Barbados, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, NULL, NULL, 0); Dr. Eva Hodgson (Bermuda, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, NULL, NULL, 0); Sibongile van Damme (South Africa, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, NULL, NULL, 0); and Doudou Diene (Senegal).

For additional information on the ADHT Conference, including registration, persons may visit the website www.adhtbarbados.com/ or contact the Ministry of Tourism at 430-7500.


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