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More attractions needed, says tourism official

Barbados is losing ground with young tourists, registering a 25 per cent decline in the 36 to 45 age group over the past six years.

At the same time, figures from the Ministry of Tourism indicate there was a 26 per cent increase in visitors who are 55 years and older.

It’s a situation that is worrying Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner, the parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Tourism.

Speaking in Senate today where she disclosed the figures, she said the private sector needs to step up to help take control of the situation.

“This tells us there’s a need for innovation in the type of product which we offer the visitors to this country because when we think about it objectively, when [visitors in] the 55 and over age group stop coming to Barbados, and if we’re losing the younger visitors to this country, what on earth do we do with the tourism product that we have to sell?” she said during debate on the resolution to acquire Sam Lord’s Castle.

“I really do believe that we need as a country, and the private sector particularly to look at visitor attractions. That is not an area that I would wish our Government to get into. I do believe that there is enough capital in this country and enough entrepreneurs and people with creativity to devise, create and market attractions for that age group because we are seeing a steady decrease in that demographic.”

On the issue of accommodation, the tourism official disclosed that the villa market was the fastest growing in the country with the number of visitors increasing by more than 75 per cent between 2007 and 2013. It was the only segment of growth in the area of accommodation in Barbados.

In fact, the destination recorded only one per cent growth in accommodation between 1980 and 2014, well below other regional states, she said.

“We have fallen way below our counterparts when it comes to hotel accommodation and we have not made any effort to increase our room stock while all the others have increased theirs by 200 per cent,” the senator argued.

24 Responses to More attractions needed, says tourism official

  1. Amanda x SOLER
    Amanda x SOLER August 13, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    Easy to find out why…

  2. Dre Forde
    Dre Forde August 13, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    U now think so wow u late

  3. Ms.R.L.B August 13, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    as a senior who travels not only to Barbados, what you and many Carri bean Islands don’t have is ALL-INCLUSIVE SITES. these are the biggest money makers world-wide the 30-50 years old are too web informed and they go where the fun and packages are!@!!have to be affordable and have great party impact on the site. you cannot leave your inclusive spot there fore LESS trouble, drunks no problem but the sites have gaming and 6-10 bars and clubs inside, that’s you need to come to the world of 2014 and beyond

  4. Maria Leclair Rose Dasilva
    Maria Leclair Rose Dasilva August 13, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    Many young people have young children and are not intetested in vacationing in a place such as Barbados. They much perfer to vacation in their own country where there are many family attractions or go the places such as Disneyland, Sea World etc. The young singles are more interested in places like Mexico where it is less expensive. Barbados is also more expensive to travel to than many other destinations which are just as beautiful.

  5. Tito Browne
    Tito Browne August 13, 2014 at 11:43 pm

    Your right they need to bring casino’s and other things of interest to bim the sun and sand ain’t enough anymore

    • Maria Leclair Rose Dasilva
      Maria Leclair Rose Dasilva August 14, 2014 at 12:05 am

      Casino’s won’t.cut it, they would need cheaper holiday.packages to attract young people.

    • Drew Campbell
      Drew Campbell August 14, 2014 at 12:23 am

      Casino? Atlantic City is closing a $2 billion casino that has been open for only 2 years. They are also closing down other casinos too. Casinos do not always equal saving tourism.

    • Lo Turner
      Lo Turner August 14, 2014 at 1:31 am

      Casinos not the way to go in Barbados.

  6. Nicksie No Regrets Clarke
    Nicksie No Regrets Clarke August 13, 2014 at 11:57 pm

    Where the $$ going to come from to build these attractions? When gov had the $$$ they shud have used it for this..

  7. Drew Campbell
    Drew Campbell August 14, 2014 at 12:00 am

    Hotels in Barbados are very expensive compared to a lot of other tropical destinations. As a Canadian I know lots of Canadians who would like to visit Barbados but they say they can go to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico, Cuba, or Dominican Republic for a fraction of the cost of a Bajan resort. The article even stated there has been a huge rise in people booking villas for vacation. I wonder why. Smh.

    • Lo Turner
      Lo Turner August 14, 2014 at 1:27 am

      You are right. The price I pay in Barbados for a Room Only basis is high. I went to Cuba for £400 less and that was an All Inclusive basis too.

  8. Andrianna Headley
    Andrianna Headley August 14, 2014 at 12:03 am

    Ain’t a liar!

  9. Dwayne Phillips
    Dwayne Phillips August 14, 2014 at 12:36 am

    Omg…. Who woke up the human that said this ??? Is about #gatdam time

  10. Artemis Allyce IronHyde-Jwb
    Artemis Allyce IronHyde-Jwb August 14, 2014 at 12:49 am

    oh, it only took you… 25 years to catch on? STUPSE. v

  11. Tasha Kimmy
    Tasha Kimmy August 14, 2014 at 12:56 am

    Its true not only does Barbados need more attractions but attractions that are affordable. In Canada when the kids are on holiday some are given passes to attractions. I am thinking the same can happen here…offer packages two for the price of one. We would do great with a water park….with an amusement park….park with rides….offer more not only to the visitors but to bajans like myself….no more Boredbados!!!!

  12. Lo Turner
    Lo Turner August 14, 2014 at 1:23 am

    It was such a shame that Barbados lost The Ocean Park after such a short existence. I heard about it and made a point of planning to go and see this amazing attraction only to find the following Year when I came to Barbados it was closed.

  13. Lo Turner
    Lo Turner August 14, 2014 at 1:29 am

    Tasha Barbados had The Ocean Park.

  14. Darren D
    Darren D'Aguiar August 14, 2014 at 1:50 am

    In addition to theme parks’ massive start up costs and yearly up keep, they are the furthest thing from sustainable innovation. The younger demographic has more partying needs. To meet these, legalise, regulate and tax weed and grow the overall local party scene. Be the First Caribbean island to do so and use Rihanna to promote the chilled party lifestyle. In no time, a massive influx of younger tourist arrivals seeking the true Caribbean experience of a joint and drink at a beach party will occur. Restaurants will fill up from the munchies, hotels and clubs will fill up from the younger crowds who often travel in larger social groups than families. We are already the birthplace of rum, why not take it to the next level? Simple. Natural. Right at your finger tips. There is little investment expense and a significant growth to the economy through the tourism, agricultural, hospitality and restaurant sectors, in addition to an increased and redirected tax revenue, will result. Clocks ticking…

  15. Gregory Drakes
    Gregory Drakes August 14, 2014 at 2:27 am

    Miss Ram has already started by introducing the family amusement centre at Casa Grande hotel in St. Philip with bumper cars, amusement rides, a video game arcade, a bowling alley, even a go-kart course. I think someone should explore the possibly of building a water park either in the north or the southeastern part of the island with the water drawn from the sea, desalinated and recycled throughout the park. An amusement park similar to Busch Gardens or Six Flags would be nice too. In fact, there was one at Heritage Park at Foursquare Rum Distillery called Papa’s Playground back in the late ’90s, but it’s probably been abandoned since. I wonder if Papa’s Playground could be revived, renovated and rebuilt into a splendid amusement park akin to that of Coney Island or even Busch Gardens. It could have a new name like “Foursquare Fun City” or “Sugar Cane Funland”, or it could retain the original name and be called “the all-new Papa’s Playground”. It could even be operated as a franchise by an internationally recognised theme park like Six Flags or Busch Gardens. It would also be great if we could have another aquarium in Barbados again, similar to the now defunct Ocean Park (2005-2009) or a SeaWorld-like attraction not only with aquariums but also with a water park featuring water-slides, a “lazy river”, pools and many other water attractions. There are so many ideas Barbados can use to cater to younger tourists. It will take a lot of investment, hard work and time, but together we can do it.

    • Jason Bowen
      Jason Bowen August 14, 2014 at 7:25 am

      That place is rubbish and could not be marketed even her to locals.

  16. Simon Gooding
    Simon Gooding August 14, 2014 at 2:40 am

    ..Ha….fuh yrs i have said this…..Buhbaydus tourism is set up wrong from the top down… many greedy investors who do nt gave a rat ‘s ass about Buhbaydus and have no interest in tourism. just their money…….as long as you all continue to promote Buhbaydus as a high end destintation …this will always be the end result… all gine be in de sea an want a bath…

  17. Halsey Clarke
    Halsey Clarke August 14, 2014 at 4:37 am

    I agree with all comments ,but one important thing Barbados daily salaries are to high along with airfares and hotel accommodations,so I see a no go until there is some change in all 3.

  18. Karen Hanlon
    Karen Hanlon August 14, 2014 at 6:02 am

    We came to barbados from the uk this year. The airfare and hotel price as horrendous, but my god, the hotel (waves) was worth every penny. My son and his mate partied at oistens, and the idland had everything we wanted. Just wished island hopping was cheaper. $400 each to st lucia for the day, just isn’t affordable. It was the best holiday we’d ever had, and we’re def comming back. In total ot cost about £8,000 for 10 days. ($24,000 bajan dollars!!!! A lot of money!)

  19. Ms. Solid Thinker October 16, 2015 at 11:03 am

    I remember going to Coney Island on Spring Garden Highway and Circuses in Barbados. those were fun times for me and my family as a child and even young adult. I don’t understand why the government hasn’t allowed or brought these attractions to our shores in so many years. if they were to reinvent the idea of fun in the sun and bring back the coney island attractions and circues and parks then the young tourists would want to come no matter the price I believe it will be beneficially and a sound financial investment


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