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Tourism and the arts

Last week I attended a press briefing hosted by the Barbados Association of Drama Educators who launched the 2013 Caribbean Secondary Schools Drama Festival scheduled for December 8 to 15, 2013 in Barbados.

Whereas the focus of this festival will be on the arts, I am attracted to it because of its tourism implications. A festival like this comes at the correct time of the year; the middle of December has throughout the history of Barbados’ tourism, been a hard sell. Schools are not yet over and Christmas preparations seem to take precedence over travel.

The second reason I am attracted to this festival is because it involves several Caribbean islands. The Caribbean is a very important source market to Barbados and whenever there is an event that brings our Caribbean neighbours to the island, they show up in their numbers.

The third reason that I am attracted to this festival is because of the appeal I believe it can have to visitors to the island. I believe that the Caribbean, with several flavours and rhythms in music, drama and speech, is unique to have all of these elements together with a series of performances that will present great opportunities for visitors to enjoy a taste of the Caribbean without having to leave Barbados.

The festival offers drama performances by approximately ten different Caribbean islands. While these students are on the island, they will get involved in a tuk band workshop and on the final night of the festival, plans are afoot to have a display of dramatic talent from each of the participating countries. This is married with a test of the foods from those same islands and all coming together centre stage in a Tuk Band Finale.

Visitors have a huge interest is things cultural and having it all together here in Barbados at a time when we normally have a quiet spot, will to my mind, add value to the experience of visitors to the island. This event may even act as a catalyst to influence those who are planning to visit a tropical location but can’t decide which one.

I believe that this drama festival will be very interesting and should be added to the tourism calendar for 2013. This festival is spearheaded by Cecily Spencer-Cross, who is extremely well known for her involvement in drama here in Barbados, the US and across the Caribbean. I believe that someone of her excellence is a clear indication of what type of performances we can expect.

* Tourism is our business, let us play our part.

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