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Not for Bim

Barbados not pursuing gay tourists

Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy doesn’t expect to see any “radical changes” to Barbados’s approach to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) tourism.

Speaking to Barbados TODAY in an interview this afternoon, Sealy, who is also Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), admitted that while some destinations had taken a different approach in trying to tap into the lucrative market, he did not expect a similar position from Barbados.

Only yesterday, Evangelical churches made it clear they would staunchly oppose any attempt to legalize same-sex marriage here.

Their statement followed similar sentiments expressed by the Anglican clergy and the Pentecostal Assemblies of the West Indies (PAWI).

Curacao is a leading destination for LGBT travellers. The country has aggressively pursued this market, which is worth over BDS$400 billion a year, according to Out Now Global, a consulting company that specializes in understanding the LGBT market.

According to the Curaçao Tourism Board, the country’s immediate goal is to double the 40,000 North American visitors to 80,000 a year, by tapping into niche markets such as Jewish heritage and gay travel.

CTO Chairman and Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy

CTO Chairman and Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy

“I don’t expect anything rash to be happening in Barbados anytime soon at all,” Sealy said.

“In Barbados we are pretty much iron clad on how we feel about those issues, but some of our neighbours are taking different views and different approaches. It is interesting to observe, and clearly if tourism is indeed for the country, then obviously we have to define and decide what type of society we want before we just necessarily make any decisions to suit the tourist.

“We are doing well and people like what we have. . .” he added.

However, Sealy insisted the CTO was neither afraid, nor reluctant, to address controversial issues.

He said topics involving the gay community, the legalization of marijuana, as well as casino gambling, would all be addressed by members of the organization.

“As chairman of the CTO, there are 30 members, and there are different views on this issue, [and] some are more aggressive in how they go after those segments.

“The CTO is not afraid to address those issues. The question of the LGBT market, the question of the legalization of marijuana, the question of casinos, and not simply gaming, will all be addressed,” Sealy assured.

The LGBT market is one of the subjects to be discussed at the next CTO conference in Curacao in October. 

7 Responses to Not for Bim

  1. Winston Crichlow
    Winston Crichlow July 18, 2015 at 6:47 am

    Does that mean you are ‘heterophobic’.

  2. VOICE OF WISDOM July 18, 2015 at 6:57 am

    Only fools rush in where angels fail to thread. Do not lose your soul for the sake of money. We must be leaders and not followers. Therefore regardless of what abomination other countries are entertaining and encouraging, we (Bajans) must remain resolute and unmovable in our stand against giving way to homosexuality. God is not mock. Those who have ears, let them hear.

  3. Winston Crichlow
    Winston Crichlow July 18, 2015 at 6:58 am

    I am not.

  4. Alex Alleyne July 18, 2015 at 8:38 am

    The” first world” countries will put pressure on “small Island states” like Barbados to accept this change or suffer …. Money is power.(Time and history shall tell.)

  5. Cecil P July 18, 2015 at 10:54 am

    excuse me .these countries don’t care who u are they may not like the program but there all in it for the mighty dollar and y’all know what the mighty dollar can do for ya it can make the your country very wealthy and it can also Screw the country up .let BIM stay the way it is thank u. I know I know u will say I don’t like Gays and Lesbian but I do love every one its just something’s I will draw a fine line on

  6. Mike July 18, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    BIM, like Barry White sang, ” I love you just the way you are. Shall we lose our soul for 12 pieces of Silver? I say no.

  7. villager. July 18, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    Well said voice of wisdom i say no more except we shall hope any government hold fast.


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