Following an influx of visitors during the Crop Over festival period and a record year in 2015 for arrivals from the twin island republic, efforts are once again being intensified to penetrate the Trinidad and Tobago market during their Carnival period.

Culture Minister, Stephen Lashley, made this disclosure last Friday evening at the Crop Over sponsor???s launch held at Ilaro Court.

Explaining the rationale behind this move, Mr. Lashley stated: ???We believe that visibility for Crop Over in the midst of the revelry of Carnival creates a unique opportunity for us to target thousands of potential visitors from varying markets in one space. With this focus, we are anticipating another successful season of arrivals during the month of July and the usual concentration around the final week leading up to Grand Kadooment.???

He told his audience, which included Chairman of the National Cultural Foundation (NCF), Maureen Graham; Chief Executive Officer of the NCF, Cranston Browne; various sponsors and stakeholders, that last year, arrivals from Trinidad represented approximately 75 per cent of the Caribbean traffic, while Caribbean Airlines also increased their airlift for the Crop Over period in July.

Adding that the popularity of Barbados as a preferred destination during the festival period was growing, the Minister pointed out that statistics showed that for the month of July 2015, 53,959 international visitors arrived on these shores, representing an increase of 14 per cent or 6,644 additional visitors, when compared with the recorded figures for July 2014.

Mr. Lashley also confirmed the date for Grand Kadooment 2016, and emphasised that the status quo of Kadooment Day being held on the first Monday in August remained. However, Emancipation celebrations were being planned for that same day.

He further revealed that the NCF???s lineup on the official calendar for the final weekend would include a signature event in recognition of the 50th Anniversary called Monarchs of the Mas??? which will take place on Sunday, July 31, at Kensington Oval.

???We will move right into the Emancipation celebrations and Grand Kadooment on Monday, and with the additional holiday, we will also gain an extra day for Bridgetown Market on Tuesday,??? he explained.

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