|Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy, poses with the students, their guardians and teachers as they prepare to enjoy their ‘tourist for a day’ experience.
Barbados offers visitors more than just attractions and infrastructure!
This was pointed out by Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy, as he addressed 16 primary and secondary school students, along with their guardians and teachers, who participated in the Ministry of Tourism’s Tourists for the Day activity at the Ministry’s office at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
"The tourism product is not, strictly speaking, only attractions and sites… the tourism product includes just about anything that impacts on the visitor experience.????
Our roads and the condition of them, the way we cater to public amenities, the sights and sounds of what you experience from the time you leave the airport…," he observed.
Mr. Sealy revealed that even beyond sun, sand and sea, other resources that were often taken for granted played a role in encouraging persons to return.
"I remember interfacing with a couple from Pennsylvania who, like so many of our tourists, come here every year…and I asked the fairly obvious question – Why do you come to Barbados? And the response I got immediately was ???because when I turn on the tap, I can drink the water’, the Minister said.??
While he emphasised the importance of the sector, the Tourism Minister made it clear that the focus of the Ministry’s programmes was to encourage understanding about the industry.
"We’re not trying to make everyone a tourism specialist or involved in the hospitality industry.??
[But even] if you are planning to be a lawyer or medical practitioner or engineer like myself, you better understand what tourism is about if you’re going to ply your trade in Barbados; because you are part of the tourism product, whether you like it or not.?? And, it is still good for young people… [to] have an appreciation and understanding for what this whole tourism creature is all about," he remarked.
Junior Minister of Tourism, Dionne Weekes, also took part in the activity and encouraged the students to make the most of the opportunity and expressed hope that they would have a greater understanding of the industry, its importance and how different elements – such as heritage and culture – contributed to the overall sector.
The Tourists for the Day activities saw the students visit the Parliamentary Museum, the Nidhe Israel Museum and the Garrison Historic area.?? Attendees, who were participants in the Ministry’s essay and poster competitions this year, were from Foundation School, Harrison College, Queen’s College, St. Michael School, Westbury Primary School, West Terrace Primary School, and St. Winifred’s School.