The opportunity for forty-five students to play tourist for a day has been hailed by this country???s Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Richard Sealy, as one of the highlights of the Tourism Week.
He made this observation today, as the students, who participated in the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association???s essay and poster competitions and the Ministry???s Speech competition, boarded two tour buses at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, to explore some of the island???s tourist attractions.
Minister Sealy said: ???It [the heritage tour] not only allows our young people to see a number of our national treasures but to have the whole experience that our visitors have. This would allow them to better identify with an important aspect of the vacation experience that make up tourism.???
The Tourism Minister described the heritage tour as an important effort and credited his staff for conceptualising the tour and the private sector partners who made the event a success.
Mr. Sealy said the heritage tour presented a chance for students to see other attractions other than the more familiar ones such as Harrison???s Cave or a dive on the Atlantis Submarine.
??????It is amazing how many people have not been to Gun Hill, for example, and it is not an inaccessible location and is actually quite nice and replete with history.??So, I think it is a good effort and it is not by chance either that these attractions are very much a part of the heritage tourism niche.
“We are currently pushing that given that our UNESCO World Heritage Inscription in 2011 for Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison is always seen as a fillip for the heritage tourism niche nationally. It is not only about Bridgetown and its Garrison, but heritage tourism in Barbados generally.???
The Tourism Minister pointed out that once people were attracted to Barbados by the UNESCO inscription, they were ???going to want to see other aspects of our heritage as well, and that is where attractions like Speightstown, Arlington House, Sunbury and Gun Hill will come in and feature prominently???.
During the five and-a-half hour tour, the group visited attractions such as Welchman Hall Gully, Bathsheba, Gun Hill, St. John???s Parish Church and Sunbury.