Barbados Reports Growth in 2010 Tourism Numbers

During a challenging economic period in which the travel industry has suffered, the island of Barbados has developed and implemented initiatives leading to an increase in tourism.

Addressing the island’s growth during the recent annual Caribbean Week celebration in New York June 7-11, Barbados’ Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Richard Sealy stated, “We have taken many steps to increase the accessibility and lure of our island nation, and are proud to report rising numbers of U.S. visitors this year, a market extremely important to us.”

Sealy further stated that “through strategic programs appealing to a wide variety of travelers, coupled with our increased direct airlift, we have successfully proven that we, as a destination, have so much more to share than just sun, sea, and sand, and have made it easier than ever to get to Barbados. Our island has so much to offer, and we look forward to continuing to welcome U.S. visitors to our shores and keep them returning with our warm Barbadian hospitality.”

According to the Barbados Statistical Service, from January through July, the island
reported increased visits from the U.S. market by 20.8 percent, with 14,656 more visitors as compared to the same period last year.

With more direct airlift, including American Airlines from both Miami and New York, newly-launched JetBlue from JFK, select Delta flights from Atlanta, and an increase in direct services from Charlotte on US Airways starting this fall, Barbados is now more accessible.

The island of Barbados, in 2010 alone, played host to the ICC World Twenty/20 Cricket Finals, the 11th Annual CTO Sustainable Tourism Conference, the Barbados Jazz Festival featuring Smokey Robinson, and the Sentebale Charity Polo Event with England’s Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso of Lesotho, which raised money in support of underprivileged children in Africa.

Additionally, being the culinary capital of the Caribbean and the only Caribbean island to be Zagat-rated, Barbados will host the upcoming Food & Wine and Rum festival this November, featuring culinary masters Tom Colicchio and Marcus Samuelsson, and sponsored by Food & Wine magazine.