Senator Lisa Cummins, Minister of Tourism and International Transport is not afraid to hold one of the many reptiles at the Marizayra’s Sanctuary. (Photo courtesy of Remy Rock)

Barbados is seeking to market itself as a tourist destination offering more than just sun, sea and sand.

This was highlighted by Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Senator Lisa Cummins, recently, while on tour of the community tourist attraction, Marizayra’s Sanctuary, located at Harrismith Road, St. Philip.

Senator Cummins noted that the marketing of popular local spots not listed as ‘large’ attractions is one of the areas the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) was seeking to add to Barbados’ marketability, as well as agro-tourism, eco-tourism and heritage-tourism.

“We want to be able to give persons who are entrepreneurial, who are innovative and forthcoming with fresh new ideas to the market, an opportunity to work along with the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. and with the Ministry of Tourism, so that we can add to our existing product,” she said.

BTMI’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, Robert Chase, stated: “We’re moving the destination so much beyond just sun, sea and sand, and seeking to engage visitors with the community.  We all know that the primary reason why visitors have come to Barbados for decades is because of the engagement of people.

“They love to interact with Barbadians and to experience our culture.  So, the more we can drive products into the community, would allow them to go deeper beyond just the sun, sea and sand.”

The Barbados Uh Come From initiative, though geared at encouraging locals to visit community attractions, will also be marketed to visitors to the island. 

Mr. Chase pointed out that the initiative is part of “our effort to continue to grow community tourism, and to drive this whole ethos of tourism being sustainable, and sustainability for tourism means it depends upon us being able to engage our populace in the fullest manner”. Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Donna Cadogan, added that there was a lot more to Barbados than water.  “Barbados is home to a number of different species of flora and fauna, which we think need to be highlighted ….  We have the aloe, it is indigenous to Barbados, the aloe barbadensis, and we have the smallest snake in the world, the thread snake.  So therefore, there are things that we have that no one else has that can be highlighted.”

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