In a press conference at the Ministry’s office on Saturday, the Hon. Ian Gooding-Edghill, Minister of Tourism, says this did not happen in isolation.
Besides Tourism Minister Gooding-Edghill, the top leaders in its travel and tourism sector include:
Francine Blackman, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport;
Shelly Williams, Chair of the Board of Directors for the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) and the Barbados Tourism Product Authority (BTPA);
Dr. Jens Thraenhart, CEO of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.
David Jean Marie and CEO of the Barbados Port Inc.
Lamanuel Padmore, CEO of the Caribbean Aircraft and Handling,
They all came together and shared the growth and initiatives of Barbados’ leading income earners.
Dr. Jens Thraenhart, the German/Canadian CEO of Barbados Tourism Marketing posted his thoughts on his Linkedin today. Thraenhart is known around the world as a global thinker. He had been extensively involved in sustainable tourism and is the author of Mekong Tourism. After he joined Barbados Tourism at the same time this Island nation converted into a republic, Barbados became a new trendsetter on many fronts not only in the Caribbean Tourism world.
Dr. Jens Thraenhart stated: Personally, I think it’s important to understand the current situation.
We are not in a pre-COVID environment anymore.
Lots of things have changed from the lack of planes and pilots to changing consumer behavior.
Governments all over the world borrowed lots of money during the Covid pandemic and need to repay the debt.
That can only be achieved by generating tax revenues which requires arrival volumes.
That’s the reality we see all over the world, not just in Barbados.
Growth is therefore the current key focus.
But it’s not just the public sector:
The private sector is also pushing governments to fill their hotels, restaurants, and attractions due to a lack of revenues over the past two years.
But we cannot allow sustainable and balanced tourism to take a back seat, so we don’t see the term “Overtourism” with all the negative effects.
Tourism boards need to make inclusiveness and responsible practices a key focus of destination management and prioritize local authentic experiences and storytelling.