Although Barbados was ranked highest among Caribbean countries in
the 2013/2014 Global Competitiveness Report, at number 47 in
the world, its tourism product continues to show signs of struggle in the
In his analysis of the island’s current economic performance, Governor
of the Central Bank of Barbados, Dr DeLisle Worrell, said Barbados
outperformed Caribbean and Latin American countries in terms of its
infrastructure, institutions, health, education, labour market efficiency,
financial market development and technological readiness.
“It is on par with its peers with respect to goods market efficiency,
business sophistication and innovation,” said Worrell.
“At the outset of 2013, Barbados’ tourism prices and the prices of
its other internationally traded goods and services were lower than they
were in 2008, relative to the prices of our Caribbean competitors,”
“However, although Barbados has remained competitive on price,
there has been some decline in our share of the Caribbean market.
Therefore, initiatives to promote investment, increase productivity,
improve the quality of the product, and to enrich the tourist experience,
are the focus of the tourism development strategy,” added Worrell.
However, speaking with Barbados TODAY on the issue of competitiveness,
president of the Barbados Economic Society (BES) Jeremy Stephens
said there should be clarity.
“It might be so much more substitutes around… The index doesn’t speak to
price levels. So we might have been so much ore expensive than the rest.
No matter how quickly our prices fell on average in the industry it might
not have been at the same levels as elsewhere in the industry because in the
region prices has been falling as well,” said Stephens.
Worrell said strategies for growth of tourism included improvement
in the visitor experience through sports, cultural, and
Adding that Barbados already had excellent golf, polo, yachting and
motor sport facilities and arrangements, Worrell said they were being
extended and upgraded. Worrell also noted that Crop Over was a
major success for cultural tourism, as well as the development of activities
surrounding the Historic Bridgetown And Garrison World
Heritage Site. This, he said, “all increase Barbados’ potential appeal
Worrell said the Barbados Central Bank was expecting economic
growth to “accelerate slowly from less than one per cent” this year
to about 1.6 per cent in 2015 and between two per cent and three per
“The Central Bank economic growth forecast is based principally on
expectations for the tourism sector and on major investment projects
planned by the private sector and by Government,” said Worrell