Dublin was treated to a Taste of Barbados when Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc brought its 2019 roadshow to the Morrison Hotel. Representatives from the Tourist Office, hotels and attractions led by Kerrie Symmonds, Barbados Minister for Tourism, were on hand to inform the trade of the latest upcoming events for 2020.
Above are Cheryl Carter, Barbados Tourism; Kerrie Symmonds, Barbados Minister for Tourism; Lennon Chandler, Barbados Tourism; and Rudy Grant, Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association.
Celtic Festival 19-24 May
This festival (www.barbadoscelticfestival.com) promotes the Celtic connections between Barbados and Ireland, Scotland and Wales which date back to the times of slavery when many slaves were taken to Barbados from Scotland and Ireland – indeed, there is a special Scottish area on the island. The festival brings together pipers, fiddlers, drummers and choirs from the Celtic regions who travel to Barbados to perform over the week-long festival that takes part across the island.
Barbados is striving to be an eco-sustainable island and has introduced a variety of initiatives to encourage a more sustainable environment, including the banning of single use plastics from April this year, the Barbados Sea Turtle initiative, Carlisle Bay becoming a designated marine protected area, and the wide range of eco activities and accommodation on the island – including eco-bikes, Eco Lifestyle Lodge, PEG Farm, and Welchman Gully.
Minister Kerrie Symmonds told ITTN of the efforts to attract the Barbados diaspora home with the ‘We Gatherin’ Barbados’ event in 2020, similar to the Irish Gathering in 2018. The idea is to attract ex-pats home from around the world. With a population of 290,000, Barbados will try to attract approximately 300,000 visitors for the gathering.
Kerrie also said that tourism is leading the way in helping the economy to recover and to remove the island from the IMF programme.
A big effort to attract more Irish visitors to Barbados is now on and the intention is to separate Irish visitor statistics from the current UK & Ireland numbers and to target the Irish market in 2020.
A prize draw took place with prizes from many of the hotels including overnight stays. The winner of the main prize, which included flights from British Airways and a three-night stay in Ocean Two Resort and Residence was freelance journalist Tadgh Peavoy.