More tourists coming to eat and drink
The conversation was all about food and drink when Tourism Minister Richard Sealy caught up with US Ambassador Larry Palmer and his wife last night at the reception for the Food & Wine & Rum Festival.
A sure sign the Food and Wine and Rum Festival is growing for Barbados, is that more people are spending money to come here for the event.
This from Tourism Minister Richard Sealy, who declared last night, “the partnership is working … we have data from the American Express cardholders to suggest significant increases in expenses around this time [on travels to Barbados], showing that the American Express relationship is having an impact”.
American Express has partnered with Barbados in hosting this year’s festival, now in its fourth year.
“And in fact, apart from the Food and Wine and Rum Festival, we are seeing increases in the American Express membership coming to Barbados on vacation,” Sealy said to scores of foodies and local and international chefs at a special reception in the Hilton.
He added: “So the relationship is bearing fruit, and the word is getting out there that Barbados is some place where you can have a genuine culinary experience that is different.”
The experience began Thursday night at Oistins, and continues today, tomorrow and Monday. It features various food and drink preparations and wine seminars at the Hilton, Lion Castle Polo Estate and the Cliff. There is also a Rum Tour at Mount Gay, Brandon, and a Sizzle session at Queens Park.
Noting a weekend forecast or single-digit temperature with wind chill in New York, President and CEO of American Express Publishing, Ed Kelly, said, “So I could not be happier to be with all of you back in Barbados to celebrate the fine weather, the finest food, wine and rum and just the incredible culture of people.”
“It’s all about appreciating and experiencing the good life. That’s what we’re here to do,” he said.
Food and Wine Magazine Publisher Christina Grdovic gave a big thumbs up to opening night activities at Oistins.
“It’s very much about the food for many of us. So last night we had an amazing kick-off at Oistins with some incredible fried chicken, and spectacular entertainment.”