Barbados Tourism Minister Is Featured Speaker At International Conference
Tourism Minister Noel Lynch will be speaking at the Emerging Island Destinations session at the Arab Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) in Dubai between April 29 and May 1, 2006. He will take to the stage to debate issues of island marketing along with Ministers Samia Hassan from Zanzibar and Dr Mahmood Shaugee from the Maldives.
Minister Lynch will also be seeking investors for our tourist-based economy, and we wish the Minister and his team good luck in every facet of this important international conference.
Do a good job Minister, and we won't even mention the
European Vacation "Tourism Study" that you are going to tack onto the end of the conference. (Of course we heard about that, Sir!)
Just go easy on the
European Vacation "Tourism Study" expenses, and we will consider it fair compensation for the last month you have spent preparing for the conference. Deal?
Why Is Barbados A Better Tourist Destination Than Other Carib Islands?
One of the conference discussions of great importance to Barbados will be about how to distinguish our "Barbados Brand" and product from so many other small Caribbean islands. Think about it… to the tourists, all the islands and all the beaches generally look the same. What can Barbados offer that others cannot?
Minister Lynch will have an increasingly difficult job as oil prices cause airfares to rise. Don't forget, Barbados is one of the farthest "Caribbean" destinations from North America, and there are many beautiful islands between Florida and Barbados. From Europe, the difference is not as great, but again, there are cheaper destinations.
So what would cause a tourist to pay the higher Barbados ticket price if a similar island is closer and cheaper?
A number of Barbados differences came to mind last night as the BFP writers got together for a meal, but the two that stood out most were Tourist Safety – Security and what we will call Visible Pollution.
Tourist Safety – Security
Think "Tourist Safety – Security" and then compare Jamaica with Barbados. No contest. Barbados is a very safe country. Even our few "bad" areas aren't really so bad. Jamaica has some of the most beautiful natural sights in the world – in truth, even prettier than Barbados – but many tourists won't set foot on the island because, as they see it, Jamaica is just not worth the risk.
We in Barbados shouldn't forget about that when the issue of policing comes up. The Royal Barbados Police Force should be the highest paid, best trained and best equipped policing organization in the Caribbean. The police are the true guardians and promoters of the most important segment of our economy. If the tourists don't feel safe in Barbados, you can kiss goodbye to about 80% of our gross national revenue.
The peaceful nature of Barbados and our reputation and record of providing a safe and secure vacation destination is probably our greatest asset in setting our island above other Caribbean, and Central and South American vacation market competitors. Let's work hard and pay whatever price is necessary to maintain our reputation.
Here, Barbados could use some improvement. True, anyone who has been to Trinidad & Tobago, Mexico or seen Havana Bay up close might rate Barbados well in comparison, but that is hardly something to brag about.
We at the Barbados Free Press believe that there is a direct and inverse link between tourist dollars and visible pollution. The more visible pollution – the fewer tourists and tourist dollars.
Barbados as a country and individual Bajans simply must pay more attention to environmental, waste and pollution issues or the tourists will start to notice our problems – if they haven't already.
Minister Lynch needs to recognize that Minister of the Environment Elizabeth Thompson can be his greatest ally – or enemy – depending upon the performance of her ministry.
Article Source Link
Khaleej Times – United Arab Emirates