Sports tourism has done wonders for Barbados, and it’s time to explore the possibilities for entertainment tourism. That’s the view of Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy, who believes that niche has the“greatest potential”.
“There is clear evidence that entertainment tourism can be taken to another level,” he told Barbados TODAY at the end of the inaugural My Barbados Weekend.
“We have so many very talented promoters and event coordinators that Barbados is throwing up! For example, through the Crop Over Festival, there are so many of them, and even beyond that! My Barbados Weekend, close to 100 people came into Barbados to attend.”
Among the events as part of the My Barbados Weekend was a Beach Ball on Saturday, featuring some of the island’s top DJs, as well as other top international names like DJ Sasha and DJ Private Ryan, in addition to the delegates of Miss Barbados World 2014, who competed for the coveted Beach Beauty Bikini title.
There was also a special guest performance by Machel Montano HD; and the curtain came down on April 20, with the J’ouvert Colour 3K, a charity event in aid of the Variety Club Children’s Charity.
Sealy noted that Barbados was an already popular weekend destination for many other Caribbean nationals and [it] was something that should be capitalized on.
“So to enhance the whole thing makes absolute sense. It [My Barbados Weekend] is the kind of initiative that we are trying to push more, from a tourism point of view. Last year, during a Press conference I had with the Minister of Finance [Chris Sinckler], one of the areas that I spoke about was event-based tourism, and I think that we can work with the private promoters,” he said. “It doesn’t mean that the Barbados Tourism Authority has to become an event producer, but [we will] work with the existing producers out there and have our own host of events.
“We work with Mr [Jonathan] Kidd and the Holders Festival . . . . FAS Entertainment and the Reggae Festival. We work with everyone who has a legitimate product, of a high quality, that people will travel to come to experience; and it is clear to me that the My Barbados Weekend is definitely headed in that direction.”