In order for Barbados to evolve as a tourist destination, key players in the industry must continue to take bold, innovative steps to revitalise, reposition and differentiate the tourism product.
This advice came from Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Richard Sealy, during his message to mark World Tourism Day, which was celebrated on Sunday, September 27.
According to the Minister, such action is critical if this country is to successfully compete with other destinations now and in the future.
???The global tourism industry, due to changing customer demands, has entered an evolutionary phase, with new and emerging destinations successfully competing with established destinations offering similar products often at a lower price.
???Moreover, the competition continues to increase as many developed countries, such as the United States of America, the United Kingdom and China, have shifted their focus to formally establish and develop tourism industries???Additionally, the new traveller, characterised by a quest for authenticity, continues to seek out the types of experiences which represent value for money and are infused with lasting memories,??? he cautioned.
Mr. Sealy added that Government had taken a number of steps to ensure that tourism remained sustainable. He explained that this included the disbanding of the Barbados Tourism Authority, which was replaced by the Barbados Tourism Product Authority (BTPA) and the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI).
???The BTMI will continue the mandate of the former BTA as it relates to the marketing and promotion of Barbados as a destination??? [and] the BTPA???s primary aim is to highlight the symbiotic relationship between product development and marketing.
“With departments such as Innovation and Strategy, Research and Product Integration, and Product Quality, it will ensure that all new product developments or enhancements meet the highest international standard of authenticity, quality and service excellence, supported by sound market intelligence,??? the Tourism Minister explained.
Barbadians were also encouraged to grasp the opportunity provided by the tourist industry to showcase their culture and to maintain the reputation for being a warm, friendly and hospitable people.