Barbados is ready to take tourism into the virtual space.
And with this year’s online Spirit of Barbados MegaFAM attracting over 700 tourism agents from the United States and Canada, Minister of Tourism and International Transport Senator Lisa Cummins is excited for the future of tourism on the island.
“We are excited about what the future of tourism and travel has to offer,” Cummins said during Tuesday’s Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) MegaFAM presentation.
“We are excited and grateful for all of our partners and we want to thank you for continuing to market Barbados, continuing to share the beauty of Barbados with your clients and your guests and we want to encourage you to stay close, stay in touch with us, be our family.
“We are the Barbados family and we are always going to be in this – anything that comes our way – together,” she added.
Led by BTMI’s Director of the United States Eusi Skeete and Director of Canada Peter Mayers, this year’s Spirit of Barbados MegaFAM marked the first time the event had moved to a virtual space since its inception three years ago.
Traditionally, agents would travel to Barbados for the experience, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the BTMI chose to pivot and not only go online but also enhance the offerings. MegaFAM became a historic one, marking a record for attendance as well as welcoming the addition of the Canadian market.
Minister Cummins’ speech was well received by those who attended online, and was supplemented by a host of presentations, including interviews with interim Chief Executive Officer Petra Roach and Chief Product Development Officer Marsha Alleyne.
Meanwhile, the very best of Barbados was on display as attendees got to virtually experience the signature sounds of the tuk-band, attend a rum cocktail how-to, get a cooking demonstration in Bajan cuisine by a local chef, and visit iconic sites and locations all through the Internet.
There was even room for a virtual marketplace, with over 40 accommodation and activities providers showcasing their offerings to the hundreds of attendees.
Noting the scale and scope of the event, Minister Cummins made a point to thank those attending, as Barbados looked to chart the way forward for the tourism industry.
“We here in Barbados are so pleased to have partners in the international industry who are collectively working with us here in Barbados at home, your home away from home, to ensure we are able to offer a safe destination for safe travellers and to make sure you have nothing but a safe vacation and are able to go back home to your families and say ‘what an amazing time I had in Barbados’,” she added.