‘Tourist arrivals a new record pace’

Barbados is on pace for a second straight record year in long-stay visitor arrivals, according to Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy.

Sealy today announced that the island recorded an 8.2 per cent rise in arrivals as at the end of April, when compared to the same period last year, setting it on course to easily surpass the 610,000 visitors who came to these shores last year.

He said the performance over the first four months of the year was above the projected figure, and things are set to get even better with the annual Crop Over festival, the Caribbean Festival of Arts and several conferences still to come.

“For . . . 2017 to be trending even higher with respect to arrivals is a good thing,” the minister told reporters today on the sidelines of the 31st annual Sales Congress for the Caribbean Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors at the Hilton Barbados Resort.

Sealy did not disclose the total number of tourists who visited Barbados during the period under review, or which market performed best.

He also did not say whether the tourists have spent more money here this year than they did during the corresponding period last year.

The minister said “arrivals in of themselves don’t necessarily mean economic impact” but he said the sector was moving in the right direction.

“Investor confidence is up – we all know about the new hotel rooms under construction – so we think we can sustain this growth over an extended period and to continue to see the economy grow,” Sealy said.

“Some would like to see it happen faster but it is happening and we have to appreciate that and operate accordingly,” he added.

The Minister of Tourism said while the numbers were rising, it was up to the
various interests in the industry to find
ways of ensuring that the increased arrivals would translate into greater economic impact.

There was an increase of 2.6 per cent in visitor spend during the third quarter of last year, reaching US$182 million, up from US$177.527 million for the July to September period in 2015.

With the 2017 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals right around the corner, Sealy admitted that there were some areas in need of attention, including “making that a little smoother and easier for our investors, foreign and domestic”, improvement of the tourism product and being “more creative in surgical ways” of marketing the island.

Still, he said he was satisfied that the efforts were reaping good results in “far from ideal” circumstances.

“The point is that we still have something special that people want to be a part of,” Sealy said.

Last year’s record visitor numbers came despite a series of uncertainties, including Zika, the presidential election in the United States and the weakening of the British and Canadian currencies.

There have been concerns that last June’s Brexit vote and the continued weakening of the pound, the currency of the island’s primary source market, could negatively impact visitor arrivals this year.


19 Responses to ‘Tourist arrivals a new record pace’

  1. Ali Baba
    Ali Baba May 23, 2017 at 2:55 am


    • Rawle Spooner
      Rawle Spooner May 23, 2017 at 7:35 am

      Agree where is all the foreign exchange.

    • Beverley Headley
      Beverley Headley May 23, 2017 at 7:42 am

      Don’t you all know that he is the most deceptive, uncontiinable liar in that DLP camp. Believe nothing this shady liar say. He should not only speak of arrivals, he need to speak of the departures that the taxpayers of Bdos pays for. Can’t stand him, he is just beyond the worse person that ever head up a ministry!!

    • Peter May 23, 2017 at 11:24 am

      Politicians are known to twist and turn things around. In oter words, put a spin on things. Let me deal firstly with the reporting or lack thereof. He say he say… All is hearsay. No searching questions, no paraphrasing to corroborate any truth in what the next DLP party leader has said. I simply ask, How many of these “arrivals” are in-transit cruise passengers who are ferried via private coaches from airport to sea port to connect to their cruise ships? How many of these “arrivals” are one day stop overs from the Caribbean for visas? And How many are booked through the new “entrepreneurship” Indian owned program called Air B n B – Airlift, Bed and Breakfast which is an old lodging program established in Europe, UK, Scandinavia, Australia and New Zealand and now expanding to the Caribbean?. It’s a modified network holiday marketing where small private individuals are marketing their private homes at an extremely low price. All in the name of safety, homeliness and low cost, The registered Air B n B gets a small commission which because of volume, mounts up to US$ millions. Mr. Marlon Maddon, hope he’s not related gto my friend Mary Maddon in England, Never asked about these unregistered non tax paying boarding and Lodging premises. And Neither Has Ms Rose Ann Meyers in her capacity. Now I have checked this comment six times for errors and have mailed it on to counterparts in UK, Toronto and USA. Let’s see if BT through their Manipulative IT dept. finds errors and NOT publish it. I have written NOTHING to cause litigation .

  2. Ingrid Bullen
    Ingrid Bullen May 23, 2017 at 5:24 am


  3. Kay Critchlow
    Kay Critchlow May 23, 2017 at 6:59 am

    Arrivals to the all inclusive resorts they already paid their money out .

  4. Tony Webster May 23, 2017 at 7:09 am

    “If they have no bread (or dollars)…let then eat (earn) yuans” (wid deepest apologies to Empress Josephine, et al). I can’t remember the other quote of more recent vintage, with similar prescience impact, who tossed-up “Where’s the beef?”

    Our doughty chief batsman/ chef (sorry, batter/chef), supported by able professionals of his team(s)….is indeed flaying each ball delivered, but de outfield is so overgrown, cracked, and wid crab-holes evahwhere, dat a lotta well-struck “balls” evidently not making it to de bank (sorry, boundary).

    When in short pants, one rule of home cricket we had was that “effin you hit de ball into a crab-hole….you is out”. What a simple, sanguine life-lesson: There are consequences, for doing things…and also for failing to do things. In business, as in life, you don’t reap success by ticking “some” of the boxes: you gotta tick ALL the boxes.

  5. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner May 23, 2017 at 7:37 am

    Something about his figures ain’t adding up where is all de foreign exchange to show for all these arrivals looks like some shady counting of arrivals can’t trust any politician.

  6. Peter May 23, 2017 at 7:57 am

    I posted a comment and triple checked to ensure that everything was OPK. BT discarded it stating an error has occurred. I know of this rejection and dump method. It ‘s in their programming format. besides I’m too knowledgable on this issue.

  7. Mark Rudder
    Mark Rudder May 23, 2017 at 8:02 am

    Arrivals up and spending down.

  8. Cornelius Drogo
    Cornelius Drogo May 23, 2017 at 8:09 am

    Arrivals may not be directly proportionate to money spent….

  9. Dave Person
    Dave Person May 23, 2017 at 8:27 am

    So tourism up and everybody still breck….. tourism is not playing it’s part then.

  10. Vernon Harris
    Vernon Harris May 23, 2017 at 8:36 am

    Is this a case of counting the passengers who comes in at Grantley Adams Airport and go direct to the port? Something smell fishy with these figures. If we are seeing such increases in tourist arrivals why isn’t we seeing a reflection in our foreign exchange earnings? Either you are counting the airport to sea port arrivals or the tourist paying for everything overseas and no foreign exchange is coming to Barbados.

  11. Antonio Cozier
    Antonio Cozier May 23, 2017 at 9:31 am


  12. Donild Trimp May 23, 2017 at 9:40 am

    Get real Mr. Minister.

    Tell me something about “spend” as it relates to “arrivals”.

    I am sure you are aware by now that every Barbadian knows there is no correlation between “arrivals” and “spend”.

    The money being injected into the economy as a result of “tourist arrivals” is a pittance or in plainer language, peanuts.

  13. Ossie Moore May 23, 2017 at 10:06 am

    That’s just another way ( which has been used for many years ) in which to distract bajans from the more serious problems that the island is facing.

    If you keep on telling bajans among some of the other stupid things that they love to hear is that:

    (a) More tourists are expected this year
    () Crop over is going to be bigger and better this year

    . . . . then they ( the bajans) will believe that the piece of 2 x 4 little rock is the ” sweetest place in the world ” .

    Then everyone on the island will go around saying that ” buhbaydus sweet fuh so”.

  14. Robert May 23, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    I would assume that all these new hotels are being built because the current hotels are at close to 100% capacity! The question is, are they going to increase the market or just cannibalize the current market for the most part. Is this GEMS of Barbados part 2?

  15. Milli Watt May 23, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    what is new record pace………ssttuuuppsseeeeeeeeeee smok and mirrors. Minister David Copperfield

  16. Johnathan May 24, 2017 at 7:08 am

    What the Minister isn’t saying is that these are Sandals all inclusive guests. He needs to get the so called new BTMI to come up with a new global marketing strategy. Thought this so called guru who heads it was going to work a miracle according to the minister..just another election gimmick..Despite Fundel sleeping Barbados is wake so come with something new..


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