Agents' Choice 2020

MASTER PLAN: Barbados tourism strategy near ready

A long-awaited Tourism Master Plan for Barbados is expected to be complete by June, as announced by Tourism and International Transport Minister Richard Sealy during a recent address to industry stakeholders. He was delivering the feature address at the first quarterly meeting of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) at the Accra Beach Resort and Spa. The Barbados’ Tourism Master Plan is expected to be the government’s blueprint for the industry and a guide for all the private sector and other players involved. It will have an emphasis on marketing and attracting new investment, with a view to growing the sector in a sustainable manner. The 10-year-plan is seen as timely as the island’s tourism industry has registered a decrease in long stay arrivals so far for 2013. That decline compounds a similar dip last year. The Plan is expected to improve the numbers with its focus on infrastructure and product development, training for employees and improved transport systems, among other things. Minister Sealy also revealed major changes to the country’s main marketing agency, the Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA). “The cabinet of Barbados has agreed to the restructuring of the BTA, the matter is now in the Chief Parliamentary Councils offices and will soon be in Parliament to become part of the laws of Barbados,”he said. The restructuring involves dividing the BTA into two institutions. One will be called the Barbados Tourism Marketing Incorporated and deal primarily with marketing. The other agency will focus on product development. Sealy explained that it “will be the product authority of professionals with the necessary creative innovative approaches that can assist Barbados in developing its product in a more strategic fashion.”He added, “We are restructuring to make the entities modern, responsive and private sector oriented and by putting the right people and the right systems in place in terms of running the organization, we should see better results.”

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