At least 10 of the island’s monuments are in line for a major sprucing up over the coming weeks, thanks to the Tourism Development Corporation (TDC).
Making the announcement recently, chairman of the product assessment committee of the TDC Mark Thompson also said that once the monuments identified were given a facelift, the TDC would be seeking partners to maintain them.
“In some cases it might be government, but we would like as much as possible that the private sector will help maintain those monuments,” he said.
Thompson, who was addressing the corporation’s recent annual general meeting at the Accra Beach Hotel, also disclosed that the TDC was in discussions with officials of the Barbados National Trust to develop a strategic marketing plan, to ensure the Trust was making the best use of its assets across the island.
Chairman of the TDC Martin Ince explained that the sprucing up of the monuments would go beyond mere refurbishment and maintenance.
“More importantly, it is to actually tell the story as to the reason why there are monuments there. And there are many instances when we drive by monuments every day and we know it as X or Y, but we want to actually put up signage to showcase the reason why, not only for us today but for the future generation,” he explained.
“We are working very closely in collaboration with the Barbados Museum; we are working in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture. [In] our involvement so far, we have highlighted about a total of ten or 12 [monuments]. We funded the study that has been done and we have done an analysis. We have done a full, in-depth analysis of what needs to be done on a monument by monument basis.”
Ince said the Independence Arch in Bridgetown was at the top of the list of monuments to be refurbished.
He indicated that once the project was successful, the TDC would seek to spruce up some more.
The intention, Ince said, had been to have the refurbishments completed by the end of November to coincide with the island’s 50th Anniversary of independence. However, given the process required, it will take longer than initially anticipated.
The TDC chairman could not immediately say how much the organization had spent to date on the research or how much it expects to spend in total on that project.
But the corporation spends approximately $1 million each year in marketing and improvement projects.
The 29-year-old TDC, which currently has just over 40 members, gets its funding from members’ contributions.