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Prime Minister Freundel Stuart chatting with a guest at the reception. (A. Miller/BGIS)??

Repeat visitors to Barbados have been praised for coming to the island on a regular basis. The comments were made by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart as he hosted the final in a series of receptions for longstanding visitors for the 2011-2012 tourism winter season at Ilaro Court yesterday.

In addressing the invitees, Mr. Stuart said that with the reception taking place during Holy Week, some similarities could be drawn between those biblical times and present day.??

"The world is going through a very difficult period…It is as if it were one long protracted Good Friday, which we hope that, at some stage, will give birth to an Easter…We continue to live in hope that sometime in the not too distant future, economic pressure, which countries of the world have been experiencing, will come to an end.

"It is within that context that I want to say thanks to those of you who, in spite of these difficulties, have determined that nothing, not even the economic crisis, will stop you from coming to Barbados…" the Prime Minister said.??

He also thanked the St. Paul’s Primary School choir, and the Mighty Gabby, for their musical renditions, which, he said highlighted the talent and culture of Barbados.?? It was this cultural element, Mr. Stuart emphasised, that visitors returned to savour, year after year.

In his address, the Prime Minister said he was looking forward to the "…strengthening of the relationship which exists between you and our country. I look forward to you going to your several climes and spreading the good word about this piece of paradise…where you can feel as though you are at home away from your home," adding that for many of those present, there was no longer a distinction between ???home’ and ???Barbados’.

Four receptions are hosted per year, from January to April, in recognition of visitors who continue to return to the island.

nekaelia.hutchinson@barbados.gov.bb

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