One of the most difficult and painful decisions I have ever made was to cancel our last re-DISCOVER the Caribbean Show some years ago, which had become a highly successful annual event spanning over seven years.
As well as highlighting and driving new interest in Intra regional travel it was also used as a catalyst to build trade between the islands. It also brought almost around $1 million of foreign exchange into Barbados, filled scores of hotel rooms, generated significant car rental business and helped keep our multitude of restaurants busy, during a traditionally quieter off-season period.
If you were among the thousands of people who visited the show over the two days it took place each year, you would have met representatives from up to 22 participating territories, from Surinam in the south to Jamaica in the north and almost everywhere in between.
What finally prompted the final resolve to stop co-ordinating the show was the reduced funding by the then Barbados Tourism Authority, which even at its peak, represented less than 10 per cent of the actual cost…
Plus the sad realisation, that they could not find two or more of their staff to ‘man’ a stand for the duration, out of what were then over one hundred employees. Continue reading