Even though tourism has proved to be this country???s main revenue earner, Government will not focus on that industry to the exclusion of others.

This assurance came from Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Richard Sealy, while speaking recently at Connect Barbados 50, an event for top tour operators worldwide at the National Heroes Gallery and Museum of Parliament in Bridgetown.

According to the Minister, in other countries, the success of the tourism sector often ???confounded??? and ???bedeviled??? them to the point where environmental and people-centred issues became secondary, in an effort to attract visitors and increase the money spent in the destination.

???We understand that we have to balance and, as a matter of fact, this Government has committed itself to social and environmental balance as being key in our effort at striving for the progress of our people, and so I can assure you that as tremendous as growth is, we understand that it???s important to still keep those fundamental issues of a destination???. We will do that because if we become a great place to live, we will be a great place to visit,??? he said.

Mr. Sealy also outlined some of the strategies to be employed by the Ministry of Tourism to enhance its tourism product, one of them being the promotion of heritage tourism.

???This is the site of the third oldest parliament in the Commonwealth and here we offer the museum experience??? It is our determination that the UNESCO inscription that we have seen for Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison is appropriately harnessed from a tourism perspective, so we are determined to go after the heritage niche,??? the Minister stressed.

He also mentioned the revitalisation of Speightstown to place it on par with the Oistins experience, as well as working with various communities across the island to develop community tourism.

Tour operators from the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Italy, Brazil, the Caribbean and Latin America attended the event.


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