A local funding agency has pumped close to a million dollars more in tourism-related projects here this year. This represents an increase in assistance of more than quarter million dollars over the previous year.
Chairman of the Projects Committee of the Tourism Development Corporation (TDC) Mark Thompson has revealed that the entity invested $981,705 in 26 projects in 2017-2018. Most of that money was spent on sporting events that brought several hundred visitors to this island.
According to Thompson while the TDC disbursed more money this year on fewer projects, less funding – $686,808 – went to 35 ventures last year.
“There’s a little more emphasis on beautification this year and a little less on direct promotions and a little less on the historical preservation . . . and that will vary from year to year,” Thompson said.
He noted that most of the funding was between $20,000 and $50,000 with a significant portion being over $50,000. He said that last year, the $10,000 to $20,000 range was 42 per cent and this year it is 13 per cent.
Among the events which received marketing finance from the TDC this year, were Run Barbados that brought in some 800 overseas visitors; the Barbados Open Swim, 600 participants; the Barbados Federation of Island Tri-Athletes, 80 persons; Surf Pro, 250 and Rugby which is expected to attract close to 1,000 this year, up from 200 last year.
“They [rugby] are working towards the tournament in December. There are between 30 to 40 teams coming, and when you put that number together, that’s getting very close to a hundred personnel in terms of teams and accompanying persons. What they now have to work on is marketing and making sure that we get people coming to the actual events,” he said.
Thompson said the corporation also invested some $40,000 in the East Point Lighthouse Refurbishment Project which also received funding from Hinds Transport.
He also said that while money was put into upgrading the various public bathrooms next to beaches, it was equally critical to ensure they are maintained.