Bringing tourism to communities

An initiative to get more local communities involved in tourism and to create a more authentic Barbadian experience for visitors was launched yesterday.

Park Road, Bush Hall was the site of Community Tourism Contact Day, which featured cultural presentations and entertainment.


Members of the Nuwaubian nation sing the Ethiopian national anthem.

The Parliamentary  Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner, sounded her full support for the event, saying it would bring communities to life for visitors and lead to greater returns for the bread and butter industry.

Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner, parliamentary secretary, Ministry of Tourism

“Research has shown that typically the new traveller in a quest for authentic experiences embraces more and more opportunities to become emerged in the culture of a destination. Community tourism provides these experiences and rebounds to the benefit of the community and by extension the country.

“So . . . then, visitors to Barbados, notwithstanding the climate and the natural beauty of our island, are particularly interested in experiencing what is uniquely Barbadian,” the tourism official said.

Citing the popularity of local hotspots – Oistins Fish Fry and Lemon Arbor – the Senator stressed that the ultimate travel experience involved tourists interacting with locals in their own environments, participating in local events and by eating and cooking local delicacies.

The initiative also got a nod of approval from Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development Steve Blackett.

He told the launch that allowing tourists into the “real Barbados” would enable guests to experience the island’s best, noting, “when we ourselves become tourists, we look forward to visiting the intimate places of the countries that we go to and engage with the people on the ground, to see how they live and enjoy what is truly culture in a down to earth manner”


Young dancers from primary schools in Bush Hall and surrounding areas.
Local artiste Full Moon addressing the crowd.

Minister Blackett added that bringing the tourists out of their hotels and into the community to interact with locals would create a distinctive travel experience.

“In Barbados, we want to give the tourist another unique experience. That is why, there is a deliberate attempt to develop the community product which will bring tourists in direct contact with the people that they would not ordinarily meet if they remain behind the walls of their hotels,” said the Minister of Community Development.


9 Responses to Bringing tourism to communities

  1. Ras Unjay
    Ras Unjay May 1, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    one step forward two steps backward.[ when things was sweet wunna keep them from de communities wid de all inclusive shyte,now wid all de violence,robberies,wunna want them in de communities now,or i missing de point,

  2. Lilian Lloyd
    Lilian Lloyd May 1, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    you Again Steve

  3. Beverley Headley
    Beverley Headley May 1, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Mia got all o DEM busy all o sudden, or elections in the air, and DEM trying to come to people wid they crap again? Stuppsseeeeee-look go clean out wunna offices for crying out loud-smh.

  4. Lilian Lloyd
    Lilian Lloyd May 1, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    Beverley Headley You Got That Right

  5. Steve Thomas
    Steve Thomas May 1, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    Regular visitor to Bim. I’d Love to stay in community with real people.

  6. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce May 1, 2016 at 4:37 pm
  7. Sue Donym May 2, 2016 at 12:42 am

    How can one explain the usually well-spoken Ms Sandiford-Garner being reported as talking about tourists becoming ’emerged’ rather than immersed in the destination’s culture? Could it be that reporters are just recording and not truly developing the stories, only to post what they thought they heard on playback?

    Oh, well, we still don’t know if tourists were actually there or if it was open to travel agents or tour operators or hotel activity coordinators or what is the plan to develop and promote the initiative!

  8. Les Carr
    Les Carr May 2, 2016 at 6:28 am

    Looks like a cummunity concert in the heart community for the community at heart , with the heart and bodies of the tourist in the hotels.

  9. Harry Bishop May 2, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    Have been trying to get this type of development for years in Deacons farm community. Governance have never sort to make it possible. Now you mr.minister is on the right path.but it needs very careful planning. The poor communities have great talents hat could enhance the industry of tourism. Blessings


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