Another big one
The fusion?between yachting and sports tourism in Barbados is starting to pay dividends.
So much so, that next year Barbados will be hosting the 505 World Championships, and Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy is urging Barbadians to take greater advantage of these opportunities.
He was speaking at a Press conference at The Beach House, Holetown, St James, called to announce some exciting developments in the sailing niche of the sports tourism sub-sector.
Sealy revealed that after successfully hosting the Fireball International World Championships in 2010, widely regarded as one of the best tournaments to date, Barbados had shown that it had the potential to manage quality events.
This meant that the island was set to reap huge benefits from hosting such prestigious and highly publicized competitions, he added.
“Hosting events such as these will encourage yachties and people in general to come to Barbados.
“The whole idea is that once you come here in a vessel or you come here to sail, you will need to be accommodated, so there are bed nights, and you still need to eat, so the restaurants will get business. You are still going to want to see the sights and attractions, and you are still going to want to hire a car.
“These are always good for tourism,” Sealy noted.
The minister highlighted that since taking up office in 2008, the [Democratic Labour Party] Government had sought to rescue sailing from the doldrums, and it was putting renewed energy into ensuring that the sport was properly developed.
Sealy maintained, however, that not enough Barbadians were taking advantage of the many opportunities which the sport brought to these shores.
“It is a good thing, of course, to learn how to sail, but unfortunately it is a craft which has fallen through the cracks in Barbados somewhat,” he said.
“We need to take better advantage of the wonderful area that surrounds us. In fact, if you look at it geographically . . . we actually have more sea space than land space as a country, and we need to take better advantage of it.”
He also revealed that in December, Barbados would benefit from the Classic Transatlantic race which will set sail from Portugal on December 2 and finish on the island.
This famous race would attract extreme interest from all around the world as persons would flock here to get a glimpse of these luxurious and unique yachts, he said.