Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Senator Lisa Cummins (left); Permanent Secretary, Donna Cadogan and officials listen attentively to Curator of the Andromeda Botanic Gardens, Sharon Cooke, during a tour of the attraction yesterday. (S.Forde-Craigg/BGIS)

The Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) has developed the Barbados Uh Come From initiative, in its effort to emerge with a “re-energised and reimagined 21st century” Barbados tourism product.

Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Senator Lisa Cummins, launched the Barbados Uh Come From domestic tourism initiative, when she toured the Andromeda Botanic Gardens, in Bathsheba, St. Joseph, on Tuesday.

Minister Cummins pointed out that as part of the initiative, staff of the Ministry would be visiting key stakeholders, especially local attractions around the island, to ascertain their current status and what supporting technical measures the Ministry could assist with, to help them become fully functional for when tourist arrivals start to increase. 

“We want to make sure that we’re able to keep these businesses afloat, to keep Barbadians employed in these companies, and so the next few months will see us (Ministry staff) on the road every week,” Senator Cummins said.

She added that this was the perfect time to engage industry stakeholders, who, as a result of COVID-19, could use the ‘downtime’ in tourist arrivals to upgrade their product and service. 

And this engagement would also include discussions with other line ministries to see how they could assist with the “sustainability, continuity, development and future growth”, of businesses in the tourism industry.

The Barbados Uh Come From initiative will also include visiting small businesses around the island. 

This, Senator Cummins noted, was an effort to “familiarise the Ministry’s staff with those small businesses not listed in Barbados In A Nutshell, or the key advertising platforms, but could add value to the tourism product and be incorporated into road tours, so Barbadians and locals alike can experience the beauty of our authenticity”.

The Sea View Bar was one of the small businesses visited during the tour. Proprietor Sandra ‘Lee Lee’ Nurse said that “since the COVID took over things are a little bit on the slow side … but she is keeping her head above water”.  The Minister promised to assist Ms. Nurse in acquiring some business cards, as part of her marketing efforts.

Also on the tour was BTMI’s Chief Product Development Officer, Marsha Alleyne, who stated that the domestic tourism initiative “would reintroduce the average Barbadian public to the wonderful attractions that we have here on island”. 

This effort, she stated, was to encourage locals to support not only the attractions, but to become brand ambassadors for Barbados, and to help sell its tourism product, which had been severely impacted by the advent of COVID-19. 

Both proprietors of the businesses visited stated that they welcomed the initiative, and looked forward to the possible increase in business.

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