There is always something different to do in Barbados, no matter how many times you vacation here.
That’s according to Martin and Jennifer Lynch, who visited this country over 40 times, since first honeymooning here in 1994. The retired couple from West London credits their unique experiences on island to primarily interacting with Bajans.
“It’s the people who really make the difference here, and we travel all around the world, but it is always Barbados that we keep coming back to because of the friendliness of the people,” Martin said.
Martin and Jennifer were among a group of repeat visitors recognized by the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) during its first Loyal Visitors Reception for 2020, held at Fustic House, St. Lucy, recently.
“People ask how you can keep coming back to the same destination year after year. We don’t look upon it as a holiday; we look upon it as coming home. Believe me, you can come here and do different things every time you come. The last time we both said that was the best time we ever had in Barbados. People wonder how can you say that after 40 times, but it’s true,” Martin expressed.
Barbadian food also ranks high on their list of attractions as the couple loves to dine around the island at rum shops and fancy restaurants. “Local street food is just excellent; I don’t think we ever had a bad meal here,” Martin declared.
Jennifer said: “We love going to Lemon Arbour; we love pickle conch and pickle sea cat. We had the privilege of going on beaches where fishermen caught fish and lobsters from the sea; cooked them on the beach and serve them to us. Just lovely, it’s just a real treat.” For delicious local food, she gleefully recommended Oistins any day of the week and emphasized Friday was best for partying and meeting Bajans.
The husband and wife strongly suggested that visitors to the island should leave their hotel rooms and explore. “There are lots of tourist places to go, but what I would recommend is to hire a car; put the Waves app in your phone; just drive around the island and see what it has to offer. It’s not just the scenery; it’s the people and the sunshine, but there are so many little places you can visit.
“Don’t be afraid to walk into a little rum shop and talk to people. The taxi service is great too and the safety of the island has never been in question. Yes, the island is small. We’ve been over 40 times that shows how much we love the place,” Martin stated.
Also recognized by the BTMI for repeatedly visiting Barbados was Cheryl Mclachlan. The retired financial planner has been to the island about 30 times.
“The first time I came was with my parents 50 years ago when I was six years old. They brought me back many times and then when I got children I brought my children back. And for the last 15 years, I came every year,” Cheryl shared, adding they stay at the Rostrevor Hotel in St. Lawrence Gap.
Barbados is the ideal getaway for Cheryl. “We live in Montreal, Canada. We have snowy winters and coming to Barbados in February is beautiful because the weather is perfect here. I really feel safe bringing my children here, and now some of them are teens and they go off on their own. They have a lot of fun and enjoy their experience here,” she said.
Disclosing that her daughter would be getting married this year, Cheryl said the newlyweds and both families would be vacationing in Barbados this December.
When asked what could be done to make the island better, she stressed there was very little she could complain about, but suggested improvements to the sidewalks and roads would be welcomed, especially for pedestrians.
Apart from that, Cheryl sees Barbados as just beautiful. “My favourite repeated memory is watching the sunset. We always gather at six ’o clock to watch the sunset before we go to our dinner or have our drinks, and that is something very magical that we love about Barbados.”
Awards were also presented to Edward McBridge for his 37 visits to Barbados; Jim and Kathy Stevenson for their 35 visits, and Allan and Judith Larter for coming to the island 30 times.
Persons interested in joining the Loyal Visitors Club should contact the BTMI at 535-3700, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.