Lashley ‘over the moon’ at Crop Over success
Government is undertaking a study to determine the economic contribution of the island’s premier festival, Crop Over, to the country.
Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley told Barbados TODAY a figure of US$50 million in Crop Over revenue had been quoted in the past, however, he said, that figure was conservative at best since the event had grown phenomenally.
The minister disclosed the administration was teaming up with the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies at the Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indies to try to obtain a more accurate picture of the cultural industries’ economic contribution to the island.
“I’m anxious to see what comes out in terms of the contribution of Crop Over to the economy, which of course, needs now to be made more current,” Lashley said as he gave his assessment of the just-concluded festival.
The minister stressed that there was
robust business during the final weekend, stating that it was virtually impossible to find hired cars, there were hardly any available hotel rooms and store sales in Bridgetown were good.
“The supermarket owners would tell you that in some locations they would have had to restock after the festival. So there were some good reports coming through . . . airlines had to put on additional flights from all of our source markets because of the Crop Over festival,” he said.
Lashley said he was “over the moon” at the “phenomenal success” of the event. He credited the security forces for reassuring locals and visitors alike about their safety, saying this contributed to a largely incident-free and successful festival.
“It [security] is extremely important every year, particularly given now the international nature of Crop Over. We do get hundreds and thousands of persons coming into Barbados from overseas, seeing Barbados as the place to be,” he said.
“And even outside of the events which are executed by the National Cultural Foundation, we have seen certainly a good response from the private sector. I know that many of these fetes were highly subscribed . . . sold out early in the year, and we have seen an expansion of the various types of parties around the Crop Over period and other supporting events.
“So I want to acknowledge the significant contribution of the private promoters and of course our sponsorship. We have seen the private sector responding to the need to put in money behind the festival,” Lashley pointed out.