The story of rum
The rum industry has matured into a globally competitive sector, but none can dispute that the story of rum began in this island, and the Barbados Tourism Product Authority (BTPA) is keen to develop a compelling tourism experience around the intoxicating tale.
“We have decided to partner with the Bajan Association of Rum Shops (BARS), to tell the story of how rum began right here on our shores,” revealed Dr. Kerry Hall, CEO of the Authority.
“There is a vibrant culture that underpins our rum shops that our visitors are very curious to learn and, through this experience, we are educating them while entertaining them with a core element of our culture and heritage.”
The Strictly Bajan Rum Shop Tours will run from August until the last day of 2016.
Franklin Parris, founder of BARS, described the tour as a fun, history lesson where little known facts about Barbados’ rum culture are blended with unique cocktails.
“Each tour will make stops at three traditional rum shops around the island, including some attached to the homes of enterprising Bajans. The menu will include at the first stop a cutter, at the second stop a pickle, and at the third and final stop a traditional Bajan meal which could include macaroni pie, rice and stew, baked pork, or cou-cou. The air conditioned bus will ensure that you move comfortably between locati,ons in a nice party vibe,” he said.
The tours, which will start and finish at the Historic Garrison Savannah, a UNESCO World Heritage site, are ideal for new and repeat visitors, returning nationals, as well as residents.
Dr. Hall said the creation of opportunities for visitors to interact with locals was a priority for the BTPA.
“Visitors want us to spend less time creating artificial circumstances for them to experience the country and more on welcoming them to our traditional events. They want to live like a Bajan and that includes going into the rum shops and eating local food and drinking rum punch,” she said.
“This also bodes well for the rum shop owners as the days of the tours are traditionally slower business days for them.”