Barbados ???is coming??? to Atlanta in the New Year!

It???s a tale of two cities, which began in 2003, when, as part of activities to commemorate the 375th Anniversary of the City of Bridgetown, Government pledged to continue nurturing a friendly and mutually beneficial relationship between our capital and Atlanta.

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 several areas which should be beneficial to both places.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, the ???Barbados Comes To??? event is an outreach programme designed to showcase Barbadian culture and products.

???It presents an opportunity to???market our tourism product; provide business opportunities for persons and agencies in Barbados with their counterparts in the USA, reconnect the diaspora with Barbadian business persons, agencies or network with each other on a personal or professional level; find opportunities for graduates and entrepreneurs; and assist with the promotion of the DELTA service to Barbados from Atlanta which recommenced its service on December 14, 2014,??? the statement outlined.

A number of activities are scheduled during the visit. On Thursday, May 26, there will be educational presentations for children aged seven to 11 about Barbados??? History and Culture. The following day, Friday, May 27, there will be a number of business forums, a tourism and travel agents??? seminar, and a cocktail reception for networking.

There will be a ???Bridgetown Market type event??? which has been billed as ???a major element??? of the visit. This will be held on Saturday, May 28, at Sweet Auburn Street. This area has traditionally been used by the Caribbean diaspora in Atlanta to stage Carnival celebrations and other festivals.

Sunday, May 29, has been set aside for a morning church service of thanksgiving, after which, there will be a town hall meeting, and later in the evening, a formal Gala and Awards Ceremony.

The trip is being coordinated by three teams which are located in Miami, Barbados and Atlanta. The Miami team 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., Barbados Investment and Development Corporation, Cultural Industries Development Authority, Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Barbados Manufacturer???s Association and Invest Barbados.

An official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade pointed out that Atlanta was chosen for the ???Barbados Comes To??? partly due to the fact that it is a centre for business and the headquarters of a number of Fortune 500 companies, as well as being a centre for human rights, technology and philanthropy.

Atlanta is also renowned for developments in key areas in which Barbados has similar interests. These are: energy, including solar energy; education and technology, including STEM Education; health services and health information technology, including Centres for Disease Control and Prevention; cruise and air transportation services; movie production; art and music; tourism and other cultural exchanges; international banking; and agriculture.

The ???Barbados Comes To??? event is held biennially.

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