Barbados’ appeal as a quality tourism destination could be further enhanced, if the island’s bid to be inscribed in the prestigious World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), is successful.

Chief Tourism Development Officer in the Ministry of Tourism, Nicole Alleyne, intimated this today while addressing a stakeholders’ breakfast meeting at Hilton Barbados.

During her presentation on the topic: Promoting Sustainable Tourism with the Nominated Site, she outlined the benefits that would accrue in attaining such a designation.?? "Barbados is one of those destinations in which most tourists aspire to visit, and achieving a World Heritage status would increase the island’s popularity.?? Additionally, Barbados’ marketing worth would be enhanced, which would ultimately lead to increased revenue," Mrs. Alleyne surmised.??????

The Chief Tourism Development Officer further stated that the development of the Tourism Master Plan 2012-2021, ongoing cultural tourism projects such as the Barbados-Carolina Connection and the UNESCO nomination were crucial elements in the sustainable development and management of the island’s tourism product.

In light of this, she urged stakeholders to get involved in the planning and action activities leading up to and during the nomination process.

"Involving stakeholders in the planning and action activities is a demonstration of garnering support for the project.?? It also represents a sustainable means of financing for site restoration, maintenance and the provision of fiscal incentives for cultural tourism initiatives."

Mrs. Alleyne suggested that stakeholders should grasp the opportunities available under the Economic Partnership Agreement, for training in the management of world heritage sites.

Meanwhile, Chief Town Planner, Mark Cummins, in his presentation entitled: Planning Regulations and Legislation and the role of Stakeholders in the Management Plan, pointed out that once a building had been nominated for its heritage significance there was no need for it to undergo a major transformation.

He implored architects to keep some aspects of the original building design in tact when drawing their plans. "We are not asking architects to design old buildings … what we are saying … is that we need you to design nice buildings by borrowing from the existing design and using your skills to add the contemporary flair," Mr. Cummins added.

He also disclosed that the Town Planning Department would be working with the Ministry of Transport to conceptualise a traffic plan for the area which would be contained in the management plan document.??

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