Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Richard Sealy, says Barbados is the ideal spiritual getaway for gospel lovers.

He made this observation while addressing the official launch of Gospelfest 2014 at Divi Southwinds, St. Lawrence Main Road, Christ Church, recently.

Minister Sealy told his audience that the ministry of gospel music had a ???long history of touching people???s lives everywhere??? and it also played an important role in providing hope and comfort in trying times.

He described Barbados as a destination with a deep spiritual foundation and a perfect escape for travellers seeking spiritual solace. ???We have much to offer such travellers ??? historic churches, meeting places for conventions, and, of course, the best place to have a baptism. So, I want to extend a warm welcome to the artistes coming this year from the United States, Canada, Trinidad and Jamaica and we look forward to the usual stirring performances during the May 17 to 25 festival.”

Mr. Sealy said patrons can look forward to performances from award-winning artiste, Hezikiah Walker, and to hear from repeat performer, Ty Tribet. ???Just walking and seeing so much spiritual upliftment and families and people enjoying them???[is encouraging] This event has to be supported???and has to continue.???

He further stated: ???It has done so much more than bringing visitors to Barbados, but it is something that we need here and I want to encourage all of you to come out and to enjoy that awesome day.???

The Tourism Minister alluded to the staging of an international choir competition as part of next year???s festival ??? an initiative which he described as ???bringing a refreshing new dimension to Gospelfest???.??Mr. Sealy also commended the organiser, Adrian Agard for staging the festival on a ???shoestring budget???.

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