A Government Minister has challenged the hospitality sector to “tailor” its entertainment programmes to include more local artistes.

Minister of Community Development and Culture, Steven Blackett, made this appeal while addressing the official opening of The Richard Stoute Teen Talent Contest at the Sugar Cane Mall, Roebuck Street, the City, last Sunday.

He lamented the under-utilisation of the island’s entertainers, and recalled a more exciting era, when locals and visitors were exposed on a regular basis to Bajan culture in night clubs and hotels across the island.

“I want to put a question to our local hoteliers and restaurateurs.  How is it, that with all the talent there is in Barbados, more of you are not featuring, on a regular basis, activities that showcase our local artistes?” he asked.

The Culture Minister also observed that: “Visitors come here to experience Barbadian culture and my challenge to hoteliers and restaurateurs, therefore, is to take steps as soon as possible to implement a policy of regular entertainment by local artistes.”

In addition, he noted that the island’s unique tourism product, complemented by the warm Bajan hospitality, could be further enhanced by offering visitors entertainment of a higher standard.

“The potential benefits to our young artistes are considerable. They [entertainers] would find new avenues for highlighting their talents and for earning a living.  But, more importantly, they would be given the tools to develop themselves,” he declared.

The Minister also pledged to assist Richard Stoute in his efforts to further develop the talents of the island’s youth.

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