With 2013 almost gone I am wondering what measures others are putting in place to deal with the coming year. What big celebrations will take place in 2014 that we can capitalise on?
I have long been of the view that we need to be taking more than one approach at the same time to deal with our situation. I have written profusely about the importance of the Barbados Family and Friends, Events Tourism, and Sports Tourism as avenues which we can and must explore in order to change our fortunes.
Although the three mentioned tourism niches are often viewed independently there are times when they can be view as an all encompassing element. Next year, the Combermere School Old Scholars Association will celebrate their centennial in October and I believe that this celebration should, and can become one of the biggest tourism attractions for 2014.
Combermerians love to celebrate and the achievement of 100 years as an association should be even more reason for the celebration to intensify. Of all the secondary schools, Combermere has perhaps the most active alumni and they are scattered throughout our major source markets.
Of course, in order to make this a tourism success story it will require the assistance of not only the Combermerians, but all of us in tourism as well. Information of a celebration of this nature should be sent to all of the tourism offices everywhere and sooner rather than later. I believe that this has the potential to spark our tourism arrivals and help our mainstream and community tourism efforts at the same time.
I am aware that there is already a group out of the US which is planning to be here for a series of hockey games, but there is a lot more to Combermere than hockey. From a sports tourism point of view a celebration of this nature could touch every sport in a major way.
From an events point of view there is hardly any need to mention the impact from this aspect of Combermere. I am not aware of the plans for the celebrations, but given the school’s rich musical history I would not be surprised if a major concert is one of the things which will be on offer.
October has traditionally been one of the months of the year when there is a void in our tourism numbers, the CSOSA centennial celebration is just one example of a major event which can be used as a catalyst for enhancing our performance as a country.
I have no doubt that the Combermerians will be in attendance in their numbers and the celebrations will be memorable after all, they consider the university at Waterford the greatest institution in Barbados.
* Tourism is our business, let us play our part.