No. 47 in world


Although Barbados was ranked highest among Caribbean countries in

the 2013/2014 Global Competitiveness Report, at number 47 in

the world, its tourism product continues to show signs of struggle in the

regional market.

In his analysis of the island’s current economic performance, Governor

of the Central Bank of Barbados, Dr DeLisle Worrell, said Barbados

outperformed Caribbean and Latin American countries in terms of its

infrastructure, institutions, health, education, labour market efficiency,

financial market development and technological readiness.

“It is on par with its peers with respect to goods market efficiency,

business sophistication and innovation,” said Worrell.

“At the outset of 2013, Barbados’ tourism prices and the prices of

its other internationally traded goods and services were lower than they

were in 2008, relative to the prices of our Caribbean competitors,”

he said.

“However, although Barbados has remained competitive on price,

there has been some decline in our share of the Caribbean market.

Therefore, initiatives to promote investment, increase productivity,

improve the quality of the product, and to enrich the tourist experience,

are the focus of the tourism development strategy,” added Worrell.

However, speaking with Barbados TODAY on the issue of competitiveness,

president of the Barbados Economic Society (BES) Jeremy Stephens

said there should be clarity.

“It might be so much more substitutes around… The index doesn’t speak to

price levels. So we might have been so much ore expensive than the rest.

No matter how quickly our prices fell on average in the industry it might

not have been at the same levels as elsewhere in the industry because in the

region prices has been falling as well,” said Stephens.

Worrell said strategies for growth of tourism included improvement

in the visitor experience through sports, cultural, and

environmental activities.

Adding that Barbados already had excellent golf, polo, yachting and

motor sport facilities and arrangements, Worrell said they were being

extended and upgraded. Worrell also noted that Crop Over was a

major success for cultural tourism, as well as the development of activities

surrounding the Historic Bridgetown And Garrison World

Heritage Site. This, he said, “all increase Barbados’ potential appeal

to visitors”.

Worrell said the Barbados Central Bank was expecting economic

growth to “accelerate slowly from less than one per cent” this year

to about 1.6 per cent in 2015 and between two per cent and three per

cent thereafter.

“The Central Bank economic growth forecast is based principally on

expectations for the tourism sector and on major investment projects

planned by the private sector and by Government,” said Worrell

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