Saturday, April 20, 2024

Sealy: Market country at home

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BARBADOS CAN ONLY remain competitive in the tourism industry if the island effectively manages what it has, says Minister of Tourism and International Transport Richard Sealy.

Delivering feature remarks in the absence of Prime Minister Freundel Stuart who is recovering from a bout of influenza, Sealy said this was the main reason behind the establishment of the National Tourism Host Programme (NTHP) –   to manage Barbados as a destination. He was speaking during the launch of the initiative in Queen’s Park on Saturday night.

He revealed that the NTHP would be used to enhance the knowledge base and raise the level of awareness of the various facets of the country’s product.

“Visitors to our country, from the time they arrive at a port of entry until they leave, are influenced by the many services we offer, which combined, determine the quality of their experience,” he told the hundreds who flocked to Queen’s Park.

“In order to remain viable within a growing competitive sector, as hosts we must ensure that the interactions of our guests within both the private and public sectors are of the highest quality. We can effectively retain a competitive advantage if we effectively manage what we have at home.”

Sealy said for many years the island had been investing significant financial resources into marketing Barbados as a destination regionally and internationally. However, he noted, not enough attention had been paid to marketing the product at home.

“We have now reached a very critical stage where we have spent over 60 years in the business of tourism and as with any business, we need now to see how best we can rejuvenate our product,” said Sealy, who is also acting as Prime Minister.

“In managing our destination we must consistently seek to deliver positive, memorable experiences and excellent value for money for our visitors.”

Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner, parliamentary secretary in the Minister of Tourism, disclosed the Government’s principal objective with regard to the tourism sector was the attainment of sustainable growth.

She said they were working to optimise the use of Barbados’ human resources and services.

After the speeches, the gathering was treated to live performances from Red Plastic Bag, Sammy G, Raanan, the St Leonard’s Boys’ Choir, the Mighty Gabby and others.

(RB)

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