In an effort to assist attractions around the island, the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport will meet with owners and workers of local attractions.
Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Senator Lisa Cummins, spoke about the upcoming meetings, following a tour of the Animal Flower Cave in St. Lucy. She explained that the meetings are being held to also assist the ministry in acquiring current information about the status of the attractions, such as what infrastructural, business and financial challenges they were facing.
“The way in which business is evolving, many of the business models that many of our attractions have been using for quite some time may also be in need of some upgrade. So, we are going to be going into a full consultation with all of the attractions with a view to comprehensively reviewing what is needed, what the state of affairs is, and then of course plotting the way forward in collaboration with all of them,” she stated.
On tour of the Animal Flower Cave were ministry staff, children from the Good Shepherd Anglican Church Camp and the Fun Music Workshop, as well workers from the tourism sector. Nine-year-old Thristan Selman, from the Good Shepherd Anglican Church Camp, said: “I was shocked when I first saw it; it is the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen.”
Tonia Blades, who works at Adulo Apartments in Christ Church, described her tour of the cave as “beautiful, a little tricky coming down the steps, but otherwise than that, I really truly love it. It is my first experience and I will come back here, … and I promise to tell guests about it”.
Minister Cummins explained that every week, as part of the Barbados Uh Come From initiative, the ministry would be inviting hotel workers and ministry staff, who help market the island’s tourism product, to also tour attractions, so that they could better familiarise themselves with the attractions, which would enable them to be in a better position to help “sell what is ours to others”.
Owner of the Animal Flower Cave, Manuel Ward, welcomed the Barbados Uh Come From initiative, said: “I hope it stays like that and we have this interaction more. I think it is the way we have to go.” He stated that he had been offering specials to attract more people to the location, and on weekends would see about 90 people visiting the attraction.
Chief Product Development Officer at the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI), Marsha Alleyne, called on operators of attractions across the island to make them more affordable for locals to visit.
She added: “We are negotiating with every single attraction to ensure that the specials are affordable.… We want to channel and challenge every single attraction to have a year-long special for locals, so that locals can come out and actually be part of the experience that we have … in our product offering.”