By Brittany Brewster
Hilton Barbados Resort will be rolling out several initiatives to showcase the island’s culture and history, with the help of local artists.
As a mural was unveiled at the resort on Wednesday, newly appointed general manager Jacques Monteil said it marked the beginning of Hilton’s efforts to promote the rich heritage of Barbados.
The mural which was painted by the founders of A3 Design Studio – Alanis Forde, Anna Gibson and Akilah Watts – is located next to a careenage rum stop that will be coming to the Hilton in the next month. It is the first of 20 planned installations and showcases the essence of the people of Barbados as well as their cultural heritage and highlights the end of the sugar harvest with the Crop Over festival.
In keeping with the spirit of Crop Over and the history of sugar cane, Moneil said Hilton will pay tribute to rum and its impact across the world, in hopes of boosting tourism.
“We have 250 000 guests that stay at our hotel throughout the year. Between millennials, teens and seniors, they share a post over 25 times on social media. If you multiply 25 by a quarter million guests, we have the ability to reach over six million people in one simple activation and we have about 20 activations coming to this hotel all related to the culture of Barbados,” he said.
The general manager also revealed that the hotel will be producing the showcase of an educational collection on the protection of Barbados’ marine and shoreline species.
Additionally, more murals will be created for the first-floor landings of the resort, a pre-function beautification programme will be implemented, and the restoration of Charles Fort on the Hilton grounds at Needhams Point.
Noting that Hilton Barbados will be at the forefront of supporting tourism in Barbados, Minister of Tourism Ian Gooding-Edghill thanked the resort’s management for commissioning the artists’ work.
“It is my vision to see Barbadian culture highlighted on the world stage, to see us get our name out there, to showcase our talented artists and the natural beauty of our people and our island. We recognise the talent of these three artists who, together, have done us proud,” he said.
The minister encouraged artists to keep creating and telling important stories through their works and urged other hotels to contract local artists.
“I encourage other hotels in Barbados to collaborate even more with Barbadian artists to expose our visitors to the culture of our destination. Our goal should be to have Barbadian art prominently on display, especially in those high-traffic guest-facing areas such as your lobbies, guest rooms and of course restaurants,” he urged.