Prime Minister Freundel Stuart greeting Ms Dionne Holder yesterday, as her husband Dirk Ilmstadt and Mara Thompson look on. (A. Miller/BGIS)

Barbados is seeking to tap into the growing tourist market in China and is making strenuous efforts to get a foothold there.

To this end, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and his Tourism and Culture Ministers, Richard Sealy and Stephen Lashley, respectively, held talks yesterday with visiting Chinese resident, Dionne Holder, a Barbadian who resides in Beijing, and who is here with a 16-member group from China for the Crop Over Festival.

Mr. Stuart took the opportunity too to discuss cultural matters with Ms Holder, and they looked at the possibility of developing a collaborative relationship with the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) that could realise larger groups from China coming for future Crop Over Festivals.

Clockwise: Prime Minister Freundel Stuart in discussion with Ms Dionne Holder, her husband Dirk Ilmstadt,?? Mara Thompson,?? Ministers Richard Sealy and Stephen Lashley, David Rice, Mike Whitby, and Donna Hunte-Cox. (A. Miller/BGIS)??

Also attending the discussions over lunch were the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Barbados Tourism Authority, David Rice; the CEO of the NCF, Dr. Donna Hunte-Cox; and Mrs. Mara Thompson, MP for St. John, where Ms Holder resided before emigrating to China.

Meanwhile, at yesterday’s working luncheon, the Prime Minister and Tourism Minister, Richard Sealy, held talks with visiting Birmingham City Councillor, Mike Whitby, whose West Midlands borough has a large Barbadian and West Indian population, a tourism focal point among the Barbadian diaspora in the UK.

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