Amid pomp and performances by some of Barbados’ finest artistes, the Ministry of Tourism last night launched Barbados Together, a programme aimed at making each Barbadian a manager of the tourism product.
The National Tourism Host Programme (NTHP) that kicked off at Queen’s Park with a tattoo performance by the Royal Barbados Police Force Band, is aimed at enhancing the experience of visitors to the island by focusing on the relationship between residents and customers in the nation’s primary industry.
“The future development of this industry must not be left to chance, and happenstance, but there must be a concerted and coordinated effort of Government and other stakeholders in order to provide strategic direction,” Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy told the large crowd that included National Hero Sir Garfield Sobers and another West Indies cricket great, Sir Wes Hall.
“For many years we’ve invested significant financial resources in marketing Barbados as a destination internationally, whilst not concomitantly giving the product the high level of attention that it requires.
“We have now reached a very critical stage where we’ve spent over 60 years in the tourism business. And as with any business we now have to see how best we can rejuvenate our product.”
Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism Irene Sandiford-Garner said the NTHP is a critical component of the product development, “aimed at improving the relationship between our guests and the Barbadian public”.
“It would surely succeed if it is embraced by each and every Barbadian,” she said. “The Government’s principal objective . . . is the attainment of sustainable growth for this sector. We therefore propose to optimize the use of our human resources and our services and to do everything in our power to conserve and efficiently manage our culture . . . and our natural heritage.”