Barbados would welcome assistance from Spain on how to improve the marketing and packaging of its UNESCO World Heritage Site Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison.

Acting Prime Minister Richard Sealy, who has responsibility for the Ministry of Tourism, identified heritage tourism cooperation as a key area, when Spain’s Ambassador, Jos?? Maria Fernandez Lopez de Turiso, paid him a courtesy call at Parliament Buildings on Tuesday.

Mr. Sealy acknowledged that many tourists visited Spain yearly to see the 44 cultural and natural sites which have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. He continued: ???We have this tremendous asset ??? Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison ??? and the question is, how do we get more people to come and see it? The Spaniards and Italians understand that well because they have several sites on the list.???

He further stated that Barbados had been unable to attract a lot of tourists from Spain and expressed optimism that travel from there to this island would improve with the new air transportation developments which were expected to come on stream. ???We can learn from Spain and we are hoping we can get on its radar; there is tremendous potential there,??? he opined.

Ambassador Fernandez Lopez de Turiso pointed out that close to 60 million tourists visit his country yearly and said the tourism industry was a major contributor to Spain’s GDP. He added that the tourism industry helped the country through its recent economic crisis.

He noted that Spain has had a solid relationship with Barbados and said it was now necessary to have a dialogue on matters of mutual interest, where priority areas could be identified and discussed. He listed tourism and trade and investment as some of those important areas.??The envoy, who is based in Port-of-Spain, leaves Barbados this Friday.

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