Time to step up
Faced with a paucity of applicants to develop heritage-based tourism products, Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy, is calling for a stepped-up marketing programme of Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison.
Sealy made this observation recently while calling for an upgrade of the island’s international standards while addressing the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association.
The minister pointed out that there were opportunities under the Tourism Development Act for projects within the world heritage site that would benefit from meaningful concessions, and challenged the BHTA to take up the charge in this effort.
Sealy warned: “I challenge the BHTA to take full advantage of this very exciting opportunity because if we don’t make the most of what is a tremendous honour, UNESCO will review whether we need the inscription or not.”
He further stated: “They [UNESCO] are free to take it away if they think that we are not serious about it. So, let us continue to work with our partners and take full advantage of what is an excellent opportunity for tourism.”
Barbados fought a successful battle and received the inscription on June 25, 2011 in Paris. This designation will not only allow this country to instill national pride and showcase its culture, but Barbadian entrepreneurs are expected to create new businesses. World Heritage status will allow Barbados greater access to international support through financial aid and technical assistance for the preservation and conservation of the Property.