Bajan charm for them –– and for us!
“Go into the highways and byways and spread the gospel that the Almighty decreed that you should savour a slice of paradise; and that paradise is Barbados.”
That was Prime Minister Freundel Stuart’s advice to scores of tourists whom he hosted at Ilaro Court on Wednesday night at the second of four such planned welcoming events this year aimed at showing appreciation for these visitors to the island –– who continue to return here, with some recording over 50 visits.
Stuart told his guests: “It is our way of saying thanks to you for the confidence which you continue to show in Barbados by year after year determining that Barbados is the place where you want to spend your holiday.”
Describing their repeat choice of Barbados as an “overwhelming vote of confidence in this small island”, the Prime Minister noted that Barbadians strove to be good hosts.
He said this friendliness came despite the inability of this nation to influence world events such as prices of oil, climate change, and outbreaks of conflicts along with terrorism, “that is disfiguring our civilization at this time”.
Stuart stated that, given these circumstances, Barbadians had therefore been controlling and shaping that which they had an influence over.
“We can determine who we are: polite, hardworking, disciplined, warm in our dealings with those who come here . . . . [And] you by your overwhelming testimonies say to me that your reason for coming to Barbados as often as you do has . . . very much to do with the warmth and the charm of our people.”
Stuart pointed out that the Barbadian disposition was not accidental because “in our schools, churches, families, communities we have spent a lot of time over the years trying to socialize, educate and manage our people that the end product is what you experience”.
The Prime Minister added: “It matters to us that you are comfortable when you come to Barbados, and that we will continue to use our best endeavours to ensure that not only we preserve what we have, but we build on it and make it better.”
Stuart however made clear that the ambition of excellence in interaction among people was not aimed for the benefit of foreigners alone.
“When I speak in these terms, it is not because I think we are making Barbados a congenial place just for you. We’ve determined that if we set high standards for us and we make Barbados a congenial place for ourselves, when you come here you will find our charm irresistible; and so far that has been working. So do not expect us to change it,” he said, adding: “Continue to enjoy the charm of our manner and the warmth of our hospitality.”