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BTA reaches out to Rihanna

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BTA reaches out to Rihanna

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THE BARBADOS TOURISM AUTHORITY (BTA) has started discussions with singing superstar Rihanna in a bid to get her to assist with the marketing of the holiday destination internationally.
Making the disclosure yesterday, BTA chairman Adrian Elcock said the Grammy award-winning Barbadian singer-songwriter “has tremendous brand value for Barbados”.
He stated his intention to “exploit” that feature as part of the BTA’s international marketing efforts. Elcock said he wanted to work with Rihanna because “she is one of us”.
tHe told a media briefing at Dover Beach Hotel in Christ Church that BTA president David Rice, “despatched” to Los Angeles two weeks ago, had met with Rihanna’s management team. As a result of that meeting,  Elcock said: “We are close, guys. We are going to bring it home and we are going to have Rihanna selling Barbados. She wants to participate.”
But he said care had to be taken that the relationship between the BTA and Rihanna was “respectful”.
“We just want to make sure that we do it the right way,” he commented. “We don’t want a relationship that is not respectful to her or not respectful to Barbados and we are going to continue to invest in building that relationship.”
He observed: “She is committed but she is a businesswoman and she has to put the business forward. It is not just about charity.” 
In her relatively short singing career, Rihanna has picked up at least four Grammy Awards. She has close to 100 major awards, including American Music Awards, Billboard awards and BET awards. Her awards are in pop, rhythm and blues, soul, rock and rap categories.
Elcock spoke of the board’s intention to have a “signed” relationship with Barbadian world champion hurdler Ryan Brathwaite.
“Ryan needs help in terms of the mental support that he needs to perform at the highest level,” Elcock said.
He urged Barbadians to continue to give the young athlete their support. In turn, he indicated the BTA’s intention to put “whatever financial resources it can” behind the Barbadian.
Elcock is determined that high-profile Barbadians who shine on the international stage should play a role in Barbados’ international tourism marketing effort. (GC)