The Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA), the island's main marketing agency, has been allocated a record amount of funds to promote the country of Barbados over the next financial year, according to Totally Barbados.
The BTA will receive $101.7 million dollars, according to the government's Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for 2013-2014, a copy of which has been obtained by Totally Barbados. It is the first time resources of this magnitude have been allocated to the tourism industry, which is the country's main money-maker and foreign exchange earner.
The funds are expected to boost marketing efforts, particularly in key source markets, which did not perform as well as expected last year. In 2012 there was a fall-off in long stay visitor arrivals to the island from major markets like the U.S., U.K., and the Caribbean, with the exception of Trinidad and Tobago.
Since tourism is the country's main economic pillar, the government is banking on a recovery in that industry to spur overall growth.
the estimates also revealed that $10 million will be injected into the Barbados Tourism Investment Incorporated (BTII).
This is also expected to benefit the Barbados tourism industry, since the government agency will be undertaking projects, mainly around Bridgetown, that are designed for beautifying the capital city and bring more traffic back into town. The $10 million injection into the BTII comes as there continues to be heightened activity around Bridgetown where the country is building capacity.
To date millions of dollars have been spent on improving the city, as part of a Bridgetown Alive project initiated by the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry in association with some private companies and a few government agencies.
The Estimates also mentions a Tourism Master Plan, which will fully incorporate policies intended to take the industry forward.
The plan outlines policies relating to marketing, especially in key markets; testing new and non traditional markets; identifying market niches and developing new products.