Representatives from Barbados Tourism Marketing welcomed a select group of Vancouver-area travel agents to a dinner presentation at the Sandman Signature Langley Hotel on May 31 to share why Barbados is one of the most visited destinations in the Caribbean.
“It’s an immersive destination, more than the beach experience, so it’s not your typical resort-type destination,” said Tia Broomes, business development officer - cruise, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. “You can get out into the island, we’ve got lots of history and heritage to learn about. And lots of interactive, exciting experiences, from beach experiences to hiking; and it’s a destination big on epicurean experiences, from street food up to premium dining. Barbados pretty much has everything for every type of traveller.”
“Barbados is the most visited destination in the southern Caribbean,” noted Joy-Anne Crichlow, business development officer, Canada, for the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. “All the islands have their unique flair, but Barbados stands out because there is so much more to do, there is so much more to see.”
And it’s easy to get to. Air Canada operates one daily flight in both the winter and off seasons from Toronto, plus four weekly flights from Montreal in the winter season. WestJet flies four weekly flights out of Toronto.
Fourteen cruise lines (and counting) visit Barbados including Carnival, Celebrity, Crystal, Disney, Holland America, MSC, Norwegian, Oceania, Princess, Regent Seven Sea, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Star Clipper, Silver Sea, Windstar and Viking.
Renovated properties include Elegant Hotels’ The House, which re-opened in October 2017 and Treasure Beach which re-opened in November 2017; Fairmont Royal Pavilion also re-opened in November 2017; and Sea Breeze Beach Hotel which re-opened in December of last year.
New properties include the Sandals Royal Barbados that opened in December 2017; the Abidah by Accra which began welcoming guests in April of this year; and Sam Lord’s Castle Barbados, A Wyndham Grand Resort, scheduled to open in 2020.
What to See & Do
2018 has been dubbed the year of Culinary Experiences celebrating the island’s unique blend of African, Caribbean, West Indian and European influences.
Barbados’ rum culture is also something to explore from rum shacks to distillery tours. Recognized as the true birthplace of rum, Mount Gay Rum began distilling the oldest brand of rum in existence in 1703.
Special places and attractions include the revitalized Speightstown; hiking in Coco Hill Forest; the biodynamic farm at Peg Farm & Nature Reserve; Nidhe Israel Synagogue and Museum, the oldest Jewish synagogue in the Western Hemisphere, dating to 1654; Rihanna Drive; Nikki Beach luxury beach club; St. Nicholas Abbey Heritage Railway, opening at the end of this year; Harrisons Cave; Welchman Hall Gully; Hunte’s Gardens; and Island Safari tours.
One unique way to see the sights is via a taxi tour out of Bridgetown. Knowledgeable drivers offer two-hour tours that make stops at attractions, rum shops and food vendors allowing clients to meet the locals.
Become an expert
The Barbados Elite Club offers on-island VIP service for Elite Club members, preferred agent listing on the official BTMI website, joint marketing support, customer referrals, VIP fam trips and a booking incentive/rewards program. Visit www.barbadoseliteclub.com for more information.