Barbados has added another attraction to its tourism product with the reopening of the historic Sunbury Plantation.
Speaking at the reopening of the 17th century plantation, which until recently was in danger of being auctioned as private dwelling, Minister of Tourism Kerrie Symmonds noted that the re-introduction of the St Philip-based heritage site greatly enhanced the tourism product.
He said the property was comparable to many of the best heritage site in the world and was emblematic of Barbados’ history of rum.
“There are not many places on planet Earth that people are going to come and see a tourism product that is 358 years old. Barbados has a treasure standing behind us and it is a treasure that appeals in a significant way to the market in Europe where people spend large amounts of money to experience the heritage trails and museums. Here in Barbados, we have a product that can stand as an equal that they have over there,” said Symmonds.
The Minister further explained that the property, which was refurbished by hospitality investors, Foster & Ince, would play a major part in telling Barbados’ story of rum, which the Government intends to heavily market going forward.
“Behind me also stands an opportunity to have a discussion about the story of rum with our tourist and visitors. This evening should serve as an opportunity to let you know that as we go into 2019, the tourism product is going to be increasingly more characterised by the ownership and telling the story of the rum industry. In the same way you can’t go to Florida and not hear about Mickey Mouse, you cant come to Barbados and not hear about rum,” stressed Symmonds.
Sunbury Plantation House was built around 1660 by Matthew Chapman, an Irish/English planter, one of the first settlers on the island. He was related to the Earl of Carlisle and through this association, was granted lands in Barbados. Sunbury Plantation House features mahogany antiques, old prints and a unique collection of horse-drawn carriages.