An 11-member contingent from Trinidad and Tobago is on a fact-finding mission to learn more about the Oistins Bay Garden.
The Oistins model is one of the community-based programmes that the visiting local government councillors hope to replicate in their country.
The delegation, led by Chairman of the Couva-Tabaquite-Talparo Regional Corporation Ryan Rampersad, toured Oistins on Friday morning with Parliamentarian Trevor Prescod and other stakeholders.
Rampersad told Barbados TODAY the visit to Oistins was an important step.
“We have some things going for us naturally in terms of a waterfront [and] fisherfolks, but we do not have the economic activity coming out of these guys as a downstream industry. The Oistins facility has proven to be a world-class facility with an international appeal. We thought, ‘Where else to go than to our neighbouring community?’ We are not too proud to come from a country with natural resources, yet economic activity is not as it should be,” he said.
Rampersad also mentioned that Barbados’ low crime rate was seen as advantageous, especially in light of Trinidad and Tobago’s current circumstances.
“Definitely that negatively impacts all the industries. [In] tourism, for example, you would have international advisories being sent out from various countries and that affects our arrivals in the country. That is not the same in Barbados; [in] Barbados you feel a different sense of security. We have been here a couple days and we feel safe and secure anywhere we walk. So we know definitely that is a natural factor that goes hand in hand with your tourism and your local economic activity,” he noted.
Prescod expressed gratitude to the group for their visit, noting the value of economic cooperation among Caribbean nations. He said cross-sector cooperation is also viable.
“I think that the discussions that we would have had in the last three days [have] been very fluid. Although we had a number one priority, which is Oistins and this model of development, as a result of the discussions we became a little bit more expansive in the objectives because we began to talk about sports that emerge out of the community, and we began to talk about the relationship between local government and the relationship with the Hamilton Lashley Foundation.
“We are going to look at the development of sporting activities [and] we are going to look at culture,” Prescod said.