Major events and tourism
Events are extremely critical to our tourism product. Whenever there is a major event on the island, there is a raise in the level of excitement in relation the destination. During the course of the next week, the Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival will get on the way and already the conversations have started as to what events people are planning to attend and which event they remember best from previous years. When these types of conversations start taking place at the local level, they translate into conversations at the visitor level. One should never underestimate the influence that the average Barbadian has on the visitors in the island or coming to the island.
The chefs who are coming to the island also start their own conversations; many of them have their social media following and use the social media platform to let their friends know that they are going to be in a particular destination for an event. Of course, there is a large network of foodies looking out for various food festivals and having conversations among themselves as well.
The Food & Wine and Rum Festival is not the only event within recent times that is causing the excitement.
Last week the American Women’s Club hosted their version of Dancing with the Stars, which they called Dancing with Our Stars. This event also created a lot of excitement. The idea of getting members to dance from various aspects of society was one of the first things that got the attention of many people. When any of us who are familiar with Paul Bourne hear the name, we think of race car driving. Likewise, the name Margaret Bovell causes us to think of singing; Alex Jordan causes us to think of radio and Minister of Health Donville Inniss causes us to think of politics of health. I am not sure how many Barbadians would have associated these persons with the Tango, Waltz, Cha Cha Cha or Salsa.
The fact that the competition was won by Paul Bourne and his dance partner Caroline Mayers would have come as a shock to anyone who did not attend but to the hundreds of patrons who attended, I believe that the choice of winner was not surprising. The fact that this event was put on by the American Women’s Club brought about a total different level of conversation altogether. This organisation, which is made up of mostly Americans living here in Barbados, has the ability to connect with our North American visitors unlike most other organisation in the island.
In another few weeks, the attention will shift focus to the Hennessey Artistry show, which will take place over the first weekend of December. Many Reggae superstars will arrive here on the island for this event as well.
Collectively all of these events help to enhance the visitors’ experience while there are here on the island. The fact that we are able to deliver event after event without incident, speaks to the safety of the island and all of this is attributed to our number one asset, our friendliness.
*Tourism is our business, let’s play our part.