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Barbados Today – Over the past 18 months, the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport and the agencies under its portfolio have been working diligently to prepare for the reopening of its source markets for leisure and business travel.
Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Senator Lisa Cummins, spoke about some of that work Friday morning during the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.’s (BTMI) launch of the new Brand Barbados promotional campaign entitled “Little Island Big Barbados”.
“Managing these times is challenging…. It has been planning for the worst, but preparing for the best. It has been about risk mitigation and adaptation. It has been about reasoned analysis and unchecked rhetoric masquerading as commentary. It has been about encouraging and supporting while setting standards and enforcing them….
“But we stood our ground and showed our resilience for destination Barbados … and we are investing in a rebranding of our destination after COVID-19 and volcanic ash in the international arena,” Minister Cummins stated.
She noted that the Ministry had also been advocating and agitating for inclusion on lists of countries approved for travel, while at the same time fighting to be taken off lists she believes the country had no right to be on. And she shared the news that, from yesterday, Barbados moved from Level 4 to Level 3 on the USA’s CDC ranking.
The Tourism Minister also shared that the Ministry had been meeting with all stakeholders at every level in the industry in order to devise plans and strategies to enhance the sector upon re-opening, as well as hosting workshops to sensitise various industry personnel on Barbados’ entry and safety protocols.
Senator Cummins disclosed that Barbados was participating in global safety travel initiatives, such as the IATA travel pass, and that there would be a gradual return of the cruise industry, beginning at the end of June into early July, with Barbados’ very first ship christening to take place this October.
Senator Cummins maintained that with all the work the Ministry had been doing to rebuild, enhance and inspire confidence in the destination, there must first be a level of confidence in the sector among the local population and insisted in the midst of a re-opening of the market, safety for locals is and will remain a primary concern for Government.
She made a call for persons to get vaccinated so that locals and travellers could feel protected against the spread of COVID-19 with the re-opening of the sector.
“We want our businesses reopened and our workers back to work. We want to feel safe …. So far, we have vaccinated over 75,000 persons and our Government’s goal is to immunise 80 to 90 per cent of adults in order to reach herd immunity. We still have a distance to go, but I am confident that by working together, this can be achieved,” Minister Cummins asserted.
The Minister declared that she is confident in the Ministry’s team and its ability to build and maintain Brand Barbados, emphasising that the country’s national anthem spoke to the resiliency of the people and its ability to develop a bigger, better tourism sector for all.