Barbadians will get the opportunity to be ???wholesale vendors??? of the island???s billion dollar tourism industry, when the Barbados National Host Tourism Programme (BNTP) is rolled out.

Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Senator Sandiford-Garner, made this disclosure recently, during a press conference to give details about the programme and its benefits at Hilton Barbados.

The programme with its twin components – Barbados Together and Hosting Bajan Style – will seek to incorporate the renowned qualities of Barbadians – warmth, friendliness and a welcoming disposition.

???We needed to have a more concerted effort placed on developing the product and making it more competitive because the people element ???of the tourism product has been only addressed at the expertise level of the tourism industry. But having a nationwide approach to educating, and in a very informal way training Barbadians about the product that they are selling has never been done,??? Senator Sandiford-Garner stated.

She said the industry was the major foreign exchange earner, tallying about $2 billion annually, and it accounted for 12.5 per cent of the gross domestic product, and employed 13 000 people directly and indirectly.

Senator. Sandiford-Garner said the facilitation of the event was two years in the making, and would fall into the product development section of the newly restructured Barbados Tourism Authority.

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