Issues relating to tourism and cultural activities were among the areas discussed when Austrian Ambassador Gerhard Mayer paid a courtesy call on Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator Maxine McClean.
During the meeting at the ministry on Culloden Road, on Tuesday, McClean spoke of the importance of the Cultural Industries Development Bill, which was being debated in Parliament, and the opportunities that exist under the Economic Partnership Agreement.
“That piece of legislation is quite interesting because one of the issues is: ‘How do we take advantage of the Economic Partnership Agreement with Europe in relation to our cultural industries?’ For many of our young people, there are many opportunities in exploring music and visual arts, and they see Europe as a natural marketplace.”
McClean and Mayer also shared their experiences about the importance of festivals and how they help in attracting tourists to each country.
“Like Austria, tourism is a major industry and we are now looking to attract a younger demographic because what we have is a significant number of repeat visitors and, of course, we are also looking to diversify the economy, given our narrow resource base. When we look at it, cultural expressions come in a variety of forms [such as] literature, and we are currently examining how technology can be used to facilitate persons such as writers, film-makers and musicians,” McClean said.
Austria and Barbados established diplomatic ties in 1967. (BGIS)