Cultural and Heritage Tourism will play an important role in the economic development of Barbados.

This was underlined by Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy, as he addressed the 53rd Annual General Meeting of the Barbados National Trust, on Wednesday at Wildey House.??

Minister Sealy stated that new trends suggested that more emphasis was being placed on heritage and culture instead of leisure tourism.??

He said: “The heritage component is no longer seen as something nifty or a niche, it is seen as a legitimate segment of tourism and as a matter of fact it is the fastest growing segment in the tourism industry.?? So, in keeping with these trends, the Ministry of Tourism has committed itself in keeping sustainable tourism through the contribution and managing use of our socio-cultural bill and natural resources so that we can have a quality product”.??

The Tourism Minister pointed out that his ministry was currently engaged in a number of cultural and heritage programmes, including the continued promotion of Barbados in North and South Carolina in the United States.?? He further stated that plans are in place to establish of a new excursion called the Freedom Foot Prints Tour which will trace Barbados’ slave route.?? It is hoped that the tour will attract visitors from the African diaspora and others interested in heritage.??

Minister Sealy said that Barbados had to also capitalise on its UNESCO World Heritage inscription of Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison, and he believed that Barbadians should see it as a benefit to the entire country and not just to Bridgetown.??

The Tourism Minister also lauded the Barbados National Trust for its work over the years.???? He said that the organisation should be proud of trying to preserve the heritage of Barbados as well as maintaining a link and relationship with overseas partners like the British National Trust. ??He added that it was important to strengthen the relationship between the Barbados National Trust and the Ministry of Tourism.??

“The Barbados National Trust should deepen it’s partnership with the Ministry of Tourism and its agencies in the management of our UNESCO project, historic Bridgetown and its Garrison and the heritage of Barbados in general. Barbados

possesses a rich and unique history and culture that can set us apart from the rest of the region; we have a compelling story to tell.?? There is an urgent need however, to fully research and tell our story which is first and foremost to benefit future generations of Barbadians and, of course, a story that will also benefit the outside world,” he said.??

Author: Shamkoe Pil??

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