Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Senator Lisa Cummins, presenting a gift to Head of Global Leisure Sales for Aer Lingus, Jenny Rafter. (S. Forde-Craigg/BGIS)

Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Senator Lisa Cummins, believes Barbados’ tourism product is unique because of its people, cuisine and attractions.

Senator Cummins shared this view about the island’s tourism product with personnel from the Aer Lingus Team, as well as members from the Aer Lingus media familiarisation trip group, during a question and answer session last evening at the On The Wall Art Gallery, located in Champers Restaurant.

“The special thing about Barbados, is how warm and welcoming people are to our visitors. Barbados is just that familiar place where we’re friendly people and Barbadians will embrace you, and that’s what keeps people coming back for more all the time,” Minister Cummins stated.

In addition, she said: “Barbados has that mix of Caribbean quaintness and international sophistication…. Here in Barbados, the culinary capital of the region, the range of restaurants that you will find here are at the highest quality across the world; from a rum shop and a bar with great food to a restaurant where you can have a combination of international cuisine with Bajan or Bajan food with an international twist.

“You also have the uniqueness of the attractions that you will go to; you can have an eco-tourism or heritage tourism experience. You could go to Kensington Oval and see the Three W’s for cricket.  So, for every demographic within the market, and every segment, there’s something unique for you in Barbados and it makes it feel as if it’s just for you.  So, you’re not just a number… everyone feels as though they have had a personal experience with us and that’s what makes us different.”

Questioned about the cruise winter outlook, the Minister revealed that the island is expecting an estimated 337 calls during the period, and that Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited (RCCL) will commence its homeporting operations in Barbados with weekly sailings.  This will be the first time that RCCL will be homeporting from a Southern Caribbean port.

Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Senator Lisa Cummins (centre), with some of the members from the Aer Lingus Media Familiarisation Group. (S. Forde-Craigg/BGIS)

The Minister also discussed upcoming protocol changes; the impact of COVID-19; upgrading existing attractions and developing new ones; bubble tours; service standards and Barbados’ change to a republic.

Speaking on the tendering process for air services from Aer Lingus, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.’s (BTMI) Interim Head of Global Markets, Cheryl Carter, stated: “When we first began the tendering process, we were in the height of the global pandemic and there was indeed a great deal of uncertainty in the travel sector globally. But, we were excited and we knew that the opportunity would be fantastic for Barbados out of the UK market….  I want to thank everyone for making this project a success and this is the beginning of something fantastic.”

Head of Global Leisure Sales for Aer Lingus, Jenny Rafter, spoke about the new air service to Barbados and what it means for the airline.    

She said: “We’re extremely proud to be flying our first Caribbean destination out of the UK, Manchester …. We’re super excited to be flying to the beautiful island of Barbados and we really really do hope it’s going to be a huge success.”

The Aer Lingus media familiarisation trip group included journalists from the United Kingdom and Ireland.

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