Tourism Week 2010 is off to a good start. This was the sentiment shared by Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy, during its launch the Fairmont Royal Pavilion this morning, under the theme Achieving Success Through Service Excellence.??????????????????

The week is being observed from Sunday, December 5 to Saturday, December 11.??

Mr.Sealy said he was quite happy with this year’s programme, emphasizing the importance of variety in the tourism product and the inclusion of the community for the development of the sector.?? He added that it was crucial to acknowledge the contributions of those within the industry and how fortunate Barbados was even during these difficult times.

"This nation state has really been blessed and we need to give thanks…it is not easy for small island states in these harsh times and Barbados has had it a lot better than you may realise.?? We’ve actually done quite well under the circumstances," Mr. Sealy noted, adding that he was pleased that the activities would start with an expression of thanksgiving.

The week’s events will begin at the St. Cyprian Anglican Church, Belleville, St. Michael, on Sunday, December 5, with an 8:00 a.m. service.?? On Monday, December 6, secondary school debaters go head to head to discuss the Airline Passenger Duty (APD) tax at the Speak-Off Competition Finals.?? It will be held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre (LESC) and students will thrash out some of the industry’s most topical issues.

??Activities take to Dover Playing Field on Tuesday, December 7, for the Cricket Legends of Barbados 11 vs. Minister of Tourism 11 match at 7:00 p.m.?? The Minister’s 11 will compete against the Legends 11, which features cricketing great Ian Bradshaw as captain of latter team.??

Celebrations move to the City on Wednesday, December 8, with Christmas in the Square.?? This event will see National Heroes Square hosting live entertainment, including the Royal Barbados Police Force Band, St. Paul’s Choir and Dancin’ Africa.?? Then, on Thursday, December 9, the industry’s best will have their turn to be feted at the Tourism Workers’ Gala at (LESC).?? Friday, December 10, will see the press launch of Barbados’ newest heritage tour Freedom Footprints Tour: The Barbados Story, at the LESC at 10:00 a.m.?? It highlights the rich history of Barbados that heralds back to the slave and plantation eras.

Activities return to Bridgetown for the culmination of the week on Saturday, December 11 for the Bajan Pride Expo in Jubilee Gardens.?? It begins at 10:00 a.m., and will feature local arts and crafts from various communities, along with music, food and fun.

For more information on Tourism Week 2010, contact the Ministry of Tourism at 430-7500.??

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