Barbados to host major tourism summit

Barbados is preparing to make history when it becomes the first English-speaking Caribbean country in 25 years to host a major tourism summit next month.

The 22nd Organisation of American States’ Inter-American Congress of Ministers and High Level Authorities of Tourism will be held from September 3 to 4, at the Hilton Barbados Resort, where over 200 delegates from 34 Latin American countries will gather to focus on tourism competitiveness.

Speaking during a press conference to announce the hosting of the congress, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner, said Barbados welcomed the upcoming event which had the immediate benefit of foreign exchange.

From left, Public Relations Consultant in the Ministry of Tourism Hugh Foster, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism Shelley Carrington, Parliamentary Secretary Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner, interim Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Tourism Authority Petra Roach and OAS Representative to Barbados Francis McBarnett                    during the press conference at the Hilton.
From left, Public Relations Consultant in the Ministry of Tourism Hugh Foster, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism Shelley Carrington, Parliamentary Secretary Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner, interim Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Tourism Authority Petra Roach and OAS Representative to Barbados Francis McBarnett during the press conference at the Hilton.

“I am talking about not only high level ministers but authorities as well and observers who will come to gain information from this conference. The long term benefits, of course, will be the sharing of ideas; ideas which we probably would have to travel to go to research or ideas we may never even have heard,” she said.

The Permanent Secretary also noted that the event would be timely for the continued improvement of the island’s tourism sector as the country needed all the help and expertise being offered.

“At this conference, we are looking to agree on the adoption of a Tourism Service Excellence Strategy which is underpinned by the development, the adoption and the implementation of standards throughout the region,” Sandiford-Garner said.

“And research has shown that our particular industry, at 60 years old, is a mature one. Barbados’ tourism product life cycle is now at a mature stage so this is timely for us, in that this type of information is vitally needed if we want to continue to be a dynamic destination.”

Country Representative of the OAS, Francis McBarnette, said the Congress is expected to address issues such as transportation, sustainability, the heritage product and crime.

He added that renewed efforts would be placed on tourism as a top priority in the hemisphere, since “the industry is one of those issues that is cross cutting”.

“Tourism is not about hotels alone, it is about cultural heritage, patrimony, built heritage, and I think the Congress allows all these issues to come to the fore,” he said.

The Congress has as its theme: Tourism Competitiveness: An Essential Element of Sustainability, and will discuss the following sub-themes during the plenaries: Measuring Competitiveness: Price versus Non-Price Factors in Tourism; Importance of Tourism InfrastructureTourism and Inter-Sectoral LinkagesSustainable Destination Management.

The Congress serves as a platform for the exchange of experiences and best practices to strengthen communication between government agencies and the private sector and to consider technical cooperation proposals to support member states in their effort to develop the tourism sector.

 

6 Responses to Barbados to host major tourism summit

  1. Susan Nedd Keller
    Susan Nedd Keller August 23, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    You all really holding a tourism summit with all that garbage on the road pileing up ?
    Please mr or mrs minster of tourism please help do something to make bim nicer .

    Reply
  2. Martine Boyer
    Martine Boyer August 23, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    It’s not the best time of the year either for a summit. Let’s hope it doesn’t rain too much.

    Reply
  3. Sarah Taylor
    Sarah Taylor August 23, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    This is what we need. Every Bajan to be a part; but it needs to start from primary school. Hospitality and Civics.

    Reply
  4. Marcy Jones
    Marcy Jones August 23, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    Send me 4-6 tickets and i’ll be right down. Ill help clean up the garbage and what ever else.

    Reply
  5. Verne Leconte August 23, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    That is great and an opportunity for the officials of the Tourism Board in Barbados and abroad, to effectively seek solutions to the lagging tourism industry in Barbados. I was appalled to see the collection of garbage in the prime tourism district (St. Lawrence Gap) piles of garbage all over the place. Pls dont just look at the dollars but at the cleanliness of our paradise island.

    Reply
  6. Brimstone August 23, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    Barbados seem to excel in ratings (non financial) internationally, and I have a few questions for this congress……
    1: Will we be allowed a nude facility, maybe at River Bay, North Point or Atlantic Shores ???
    2: Casino and Island Hopping in an all-inclusive package???? Of course, these would be in a controlled environment……
    3: Can someone tell the government and private sector that we need a futuristic upgrade on hotels and room stock….. The dowdy dumps we have are antiquated to the tourist eye.
    4: Do we have any money to spend ????? or borrow ?????
    5: An official recently said we need more young people in tourism and I want to know where? I have a little lady at 24 with a degree in hospitality which the UWI and government assured all graduates would have jobs. She barely manages as a receptionist at a hotel that is more closed than open…. Will these issues be raised at the congress. She couldn’t do worse if she was here in the USA.
    6: We have serious issues with cost (airline), but has anyone, even government and the social partners given thought to leasing an under performing UK airline and opening a route to Pearson (Canada) and JFK (USA) along with servicing Heathrow. A simple joint venture would facilitate the control of fares to Barbados, which would be all inclusive and therefore cheaper than American or British Airways. Jet Blue started with three planes and now have a commercial fleet. Oh, the shareholding should be Bdos 65%, Partner 35%, however, the management structure should be ALL professional, no government workers involved.

    I do hope the congress is sucessful and at some time in the future there is action to implement policies and projects.

    Reply

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