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Lashley: Use listing to our advantage

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Lashley: Use listing to our advantage

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TOURISM PLANNERS have been advised to capitalize on the recent UNESCO World Heritage listing of Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison as part of their marketing strategy, in light of likely competition from the upcoming London Olympics and the US presidential election.
Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley said he believes the new World Heritage site should be part of the Ministry of Tourism’s and the Barbados Tourism Authority’s “strategies to maintain visitor arrivals to Barbados” during  these two events.
He also called on Barbadians to appreciate the importance of the inscription of Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison as a World Heritage Site, announcing that government planned to launch an intensive public awareness and education programme to alert them to its value.
Barbados won the inscription last June when the island finally succeeded in its bid to have Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison listed by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee along with the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany and Japan’s Hiraizumi Temples, gardens and archaeological sites representing the Buddhist Pure Land.
Lashley said the education programme was intended to “sensitize Barbadians about their cultural identity” and “the outstanding universal value of the site and its vulnerability”.
Delivering the feature address at the official launch of the 2012 Ins And Outs Of Barbados Special Edition at the West Wing of Parliament Monday night, the Minister of Culture said public support would be solicited for protection of the site and he identified the need for an aggressive beautification programme, calling for involvement of Barbadians and visitors in keeping Bridgetown and its Garrison “clean and presentable”.
Lashley said the inscription should serve as a platform for development of the cultural industries.
He believed it would offer new job opportunities in non-traditional areas, opening avenues for business development among local entrepreneurs in a wide range of cultural goods and services.
He also hoped the inscription would intensify public-private sector collaboration so that Bridgetown’s prominence as a commercial and cultural hub could be restored. The special edition of Ins And Outs Of Barbados by Miller Publishing contains several historic photographs of  Bridgetown and celebrates the inscription. (GC)