The Barbados Consulate on Friday, Oct. 26, showcased exciting images of its country’s tourism package to travel agents, tour operators, hotel representatives, and the press, who Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Elizabeth Thompson, thanked for helping to rejuvenate the Barbados tourism industry.
“Thanks so much for partnering with us to attract more visitors to grow our brand, and brandish a brighter product at the regional and international levels,” said Thompson.
“I am grateful that you took the opportunity to visit Barbados at this time when we are challenged economically and financially, and the Caribbean product faces so much competition from several different islands, products, and entries into the market,” said the diplomat.
The diplomat who said she was excited about traveling to Barbados after leaving the reception, applauded tourist operators who she said were looking for different ways to publicize Barbados to keep the island’s presence elevated in the market to attract new business.
She says she hopes their efforts bears much fruit, stating Barbados looks forwarding to working with them, and quipped, “I hope you see us plying you with the best possible rum available.”
“I want to take this opportunity to thank you. This is important to us. It makes a different to the Barbadian economy. Generally, Barbados is a very welcoming environment and we have a great deal to offer.”
“This is what we want to showcase and share. There maybe special tourism packages out there, but there isn’t any quite like Barbados. I hope this is what you will convey,” said Thompson.
Tourism Marketing Director, USA, Petra Roach, in turn, praised the tourism group for playing an integral part in helping the island to reach its successes in the past. “When we have the privilege to work for our destination, it is a responsibility we take seriously because ultimately, tourism is the most important economic drive for Barbados.”
The largest flow of visitors from the USA into Barbados, totaled 175,000 in 1987, and in 2017, 189,000 vacationers flooded the island, noted Roach, adding that the country is really appreciative of the work done by media press like Caribbean Life, travel agencies, hotel representatives, and tour operators, who package the Barbados product and share the news.
“We also invited a Barbados team, because every Barbadian count and everyone’s contribution, irrespective of where they are in the food chain, is extremely important. The warmth and welcome of the Barbadian people, makes visitors become engaged and intoxicated with our island,” she said.
“That is the concept of the evening’s presentation. And you cannot have a Barbadian evening without ‘Bajan’ food and cocktail,” she remarked.
Top Chef, Creig Greenidge, served samples of fine fare, while top mixologist, Jamaal Bowen, founder, director of Top Shelf Bar, enticed guests with cocktails, Spiced Sorrel, Citrus Accents, and Mint & Mango Punch.
Roach praised the professionals, noting Barbados has amazing chefs who are not content with revolutionizing the food and the styles they cook in, but sustainable food sources
“We always believe in that deep relationship, and understanding we have with our partners, and what each other brings to the table, it’s about respect for what each other does. I am very happy that I get to represent Barbados everyday because its one place in the world that I absolutely must have in my life.”
Senior Business Development Officer, Eusi Skeete, echoed Roach’s sentiments, saying the small team wanted to bring a taste of Barbados, both from a food, music, prospective, to the people who make a difference.
“We worked with a team from Barbados and others in the US market, to give people a sense of what they can expect when they visit Barbados, which is great food, amazing drink, beautiful beaches,” said Skeete.
Skeete thanked young Barbadian violinist, Myles Gittens, a City College of NY music student for his musical rendition, adding, “We are really excited about this evening and about the people who are here, and I think the press don’t get enough credit for telling the story of Barbados, and the region in general, and how impactful travel and tourism could be. It’s not just about taking a vacation or a trip, it’s about how these quintessential experiences can change people’s lives. Thanks also to Senior Publicist, Sierra Brown.”