Barbados holidays to launch new tourism intiatives
After reporting a 3% growth in the tourism sector during the first 6 months of 2010, Barbados is eager to emerge from the recession and launch new incentives to keep visitors interested in this Caribbean holiday destination with new programmed tours.
Looking after the future of the Barbados holidays market, the Barbadian government is embarking on a number of creative ways to develop the tourism sector to meet market demands and the new more discerning tourist. Such an announcement was made yesterday by Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy, as he delivered a speech to officially open the 25th Anniversary Week of Activities of the Hotel and Restaurant Workers' at Solidarity House, St. Michael.
"Some of the initiatives that we have in train, [include] the restructuring of the Barbados Tourism Authority into two separate entities to place greater emphasis on product development and tourism marketing....We‘ve been doing this full consultation with the Barbados Workers Union... that is one initiative. We also are developing standards for attractions that are entertainment facilities as a quality assurance tool; and standards for the transportation sector and this is being done in conjunction with the Ministry of Transport, and the aim is to ensure a positive experience by using providers such as transport services." - he explained.
Mr. Sealy also stated that the government was also looking at developing community tourism programmes and strengthening sports tourism to include a greater variety of sporting activities to bring more travellers to Barbados holidays and ensure that visitors had a good experience and that they kept returning after their a satisfactory experience during their holidays in Barbados.
Highlighting some positive signs on the horizon, the Tourism Minister mentioned that the airlift from Brazil, was doing even better than was expected and that negotiations were under way to have a direct flight from Panama City. He also indicated a flight from Dallas, Texas, was scheduled to start on 16th December 2010.
On a optimistic note Mr. Sealy also revealed that, "there is a very real possibility, in the not too distant future, that we would have some tourists from China; we have started that process and it is quite optimistic."
Assessing the performance of the Barbados holidays sector as whole, he added," I am actually quite pleased to report for the first six months of 2010, that we welcomed 271,840 stay-over visitors, as compared to 263,849 for the same period last year; that represents an increase of 3 %... while we are still not back to the 2008 levels, the mere fact that we can report an improvement, in my view says a lot about the sector and the workers and what we have been able to do as a team to get our numbers back up.
Mr. Sealy stressed that the global economic recession from which the world was now trying to recover had resulted in testing times for the country's economy as a whole, and for the tourism industry of Barbados holidays, in particular.
"Remember that it is the tough times that show your true mettle, not the smooth times; when the chips are down, you will see what one's true character is", the Tourism Minister underlined.
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