Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy (background, right) takes a look at the Barbados Tourism Information Guide 2012, along with (from right)??Chief Research Officer, Ronnie Griffith, Chairman of the BTA, Adrian Elcock and Barbados Workers’ Union representative, LeVere Richards. (C.Pitt/BGIS)??

???Although considered a simple effort, the Barbados Tourism Information Guide 2012, has been described as a "significant" achievement.

This observation was made by Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy, following the launch of the guide this morning at the Accra Beach Hotel and Spa.

The event also featured a viewing of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association’s (BHTA) Tourism Awareness Tool, which will be used to increase awareness among workers in the sector.

Speaking to the audience of sector stakeholders, who had gathered for Tourism Awareness Day, Minister Sealy declared that "this morning is a testament to the fact that the tourism industry is constantly in need of a new, invigorated product…I really believe that both of these products will be of significant benefit to our workers, our visitors and the Barbadian public," he said.

Noting that ???knowledge is power’, the Tourism Minister suggested that "being informed was being empowered…"We are empowering the tourists with the Tourism Information Guide; we are empowering the workers with the Tourism Tool and indeed we are also involved in efforts at empowering the Barbadian public to be better hosts…We can then improve the experience and, in essence, become a better tourism destination," he observed.??

Mr. Sealy noted that informed tourists would also tend to be "sensitive to our realities" and be understanding of challenges the island would face, adding that access to information whilst on holiday continued to be a priority for visitors.??

While lauding the work of those who had created the guide and remarking that an electronic version of the information could also be a possibility, the Tourism Minister recognised the efforts of other entities which had provided similar content over the years.

Consultant with the BHTA, May Hinds, offered an interactive presentation of the Tourism Awareness Tool, which highlighted several areas of?? importance for the sector including: using the more welcoming term?? of ???guest’ to refer to tourists who visit the island; continuing to develop the main’ Barbados Brand’ elements, which included friendliness, cleanliness and security; and the participation of all Barbadians in contributing to improving the island’s product, by taking staycations, remembering the Brand elements, such as keeping the island litter free and providing positive guest experiences.

Tourism Awareness Day was one of the events for Tourism Week 2012, which ends on Saturday, December 15.


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