Plans are moving swiftly ahead for the Barbados Comes to Atlanta (BCTA) event, which is scheduled to come off next month.

From Thursday, May 26, to Sunday, May 29, a team, including representatives from the tourism, cultural, business and investment sectors in Barbados, will be in Atlanta showing off various aspects of this country and making crucial connections in areas which should be beneficial to both countries.

In a statement from the Office of the Consulate General of Barbados in Miami, Florida, which is part of the organising team, this year???s BCTA was ???designed to expose Barbados to a relatively new market to rally in the North American Barbadian Diaspora and to kick off the celebration of our 50th Anniversary of Independence???.

It added that while the event had historically focused on marketing Barbados??? tourism assets, arts, culture and heritage, the itinerary had been ???tweaked to take advantage of Atlanta???s burgeoning status as a global city and center of excellence in International Business, Education, Science & Technology and healthcare services, among others.

???In this regard, we have redesigned the Thursday agenda by inviting Atlanta Colleges and Universities to look at the Barbados model in the above sectors and to present formal papers which would examine our current strategy and offer some suggestions and ideas which could better prepare us for the challenges of the 21st Century,??? the statement said.

The programme for Friday, May 27, will feature marketing presentations by the visiting team from Barbados, which is expected to inform the Atlanta business community and the Diaspora about investment and partnership opportunities across all sectors here.

On Saturday, May 28, there will be a ???Bridgetown Market-type event???, which will be held on Sweet Auburn Street. This event will coincide with Atlanta???s annual Caribbean Carnival and Jazz festival.

Sunday, May 29, has been set aside for a morning church service of thanksgiving, after which there will be a town hall meeting. Later in the evening, a formal Gala and Awards Ceremony will take place, at which a 50th anniversary coffee table magazine will be distributed.

BCTA is being coordinated by three teams located in Miami, Barbados and Atlanta. The team in Miami is headed by Consul General, Colin Mayers, who spearheaded the effort to put on the ???Barbados Comes To??? event, while Team Atlanta is headed by Dr. Edward Layne, who is the Honorary Consul there.

Local team members include representatives from the Barbados Marketing Tourism Inc., the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation, the Cultural Industries Development Authority, the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Barbados Manufacturers??? Association and Invest Barbados.

Local businesses interested in sending a representative on the BCTA trip are asked to contact Foreign Service Officer, Kendra Holdip, at 431-2200.

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