29th Caribbean Tourism Conference: Barbados

THE BAHAMAS–Noel Lynch, minister of tourism for Barbados, can always be counted on for straight talk and unvarnished opinions. At 29th Caribbean Tourism Conference, Lynch declared that Barbados was abandoning outmoded ideas of seasonality in travel. Instead the island would institute a program to attract travelers throughout the year. This would be spearheaded by special events programming, such as the 2006 World Golf Championships–World Cup to be held December 4–10. Lynch also noted that Barbados had entered into a contractual agreement with Carnival Cruise Lines that would see, over the next three years, 1.2 million cruise visitors from Carnival to the island. Barbados will seek to make similar agreements with other Carnival brands. Look for Barbados to make concerted efforts to reach out to non-traditional markets, including Asia, South America and Africa.

Lynch also touted the publication of Zagat 2007 Best of Barbados guide, the first and only Zagat guide to a Caribbean island. Based on the opinions and expertise of nearly 1,500 natives and frequent visitors, this new guide contains ratings and reviews for 169 top restaurants, bars, nightclubs, attractions and golf courses across the island.

Additionally, by January 2007, Barbadian hotels and restaurants will carry the American Automobile Association (AAA) diamond rating.