Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley congratulates CEO of Foster and Ince, Martin Ince, on the reopening of the refurbished Sunbury Plantation House last Friday while Minister of Tourism, Kerrie Symmonds and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Donna Cadogan, look on. (B.Hinds/BGIS)

From next year, the marketing of Barbados’ tourism product will be driven more by public/private sector partnerships, as Government moves away from being the major sponsor of tourism marketing.

And, Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Kerrie Symmonds, has indicated that within the coming days, the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. would be going into a public/private sector partnership.

This, he said, was being done “to draw out of our private sector the best and the brightest and the most competent, and to give them all of the encouragement and impetus to bring Barbados’ tourism product along with them under their careful guidance and leadership”.

Speaking during the official reopening of the Sunbury Plantation Great House last Friday, Mr. Symmonds explained that from next year, Government would seek to withdraw from doing the things it was historically known to do for tourism and rely more on the private sector and individuals to use their initiative, capital, connections, and influence to help build out Barbados’ tourism product.

“We ask you to reflect on how best you can contribute in this partnership. It is not a partnership in the traditional sense; it is a partnership that is about Barbadians and friends of Barbados working towards making the key commercial effort in Barbados the best effort that Barbados can offer the world,” the Minister pointed out.

He added that the public/private partnerships would be characterized by initiatives similar to that of the reopening of the Sunbury Plantation Great House.

The Tourism Minister noted that there were several other players in the country who had put a lot of effort into building out their own areas of activity.

“I ask you to think about this – whether you are into manufacturing; whether you are into the commercial/retail sector; whether you are into the hard concrete construction sector; you must remember that those sectors take place in jurisdiction Barbados.

“And jurisdiction Barbados is ever relying on tourism, and tourism therefore is indirectly or directly, depending on what you do, relying on your sector of activity.  All we will be asking in a public/private partnership as we go forward is for you to reflect on how your sector can help serve to build out the destination Barbados in a better way and how destination Barbados’ tourism interest can be enhanced in some way by partnering directly or indirectly with the sector that you are interested in,” Mr. Symmonds said.

He stressed that without exception every sector of commercial activity in Barbados impacted the island’s tourism product.

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