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Push for artistes


rhondathompson, [email protected]

Push for artistes

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BARBADIAN ENTERTAINERS have a key role to play in Government’s plans to strengthen the cruise tourism sector, says Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy.
Speaking at yesterday’s record day of over 16 000 arrivals on seven cruise ships for the year, all serenaded by top local band krosfyah, Sealy said the entertainment sector fitted into Government’s plans significantly.
“I’ve even been criticized with respect to the Rihanna arrangement but it doesn’t only stop with her. I would like to see everyone also start to have a more meaningful role in tourism, not just as a hotel band, and even in this [cruise] sector since Dancin’ Africa performs on board some of the home cruisers when they’re here overnight. We have to continue to push that,” he told the SATURDAY?SUN.
Sealy, speaking at the Bridgetown Port, said that all of the island’s festivals, including the Holetown Festival being launched tomorrow, were strong points in Government’s tourism marketing thrust.
“You’d be surprised how many people, repeat visitors for example, who plan their vacations around being here for the Holetown Festival, so it’s important that we work with Holetown and with the committee in Oistins in terms of what they do around Easter and so on,” he added.
Expressing concern about tourism spend, however, he said it was a symptom of the global recession. “The spend concern is still there, but walking around here I’m happy with the level of activity I’m seeing not only in the duty-free stores but in the gondolas and kiosks. People are travelling on a budget and it’s a sign of the times.
That’s the reality so we have to just keep at it and keep hoping that people are going on board with more bags than they come off with,” said the minister.
Sealy also said yesterday’s seven calls, featuring ships from Germany, Finland and Japan, among others,  showed that the local tourism marketing thrust was going beyond the traditional British, American and Canadian markets and making strong inroads into Europe and Asia.
He also noted that home-porting – ships spending more than a day in Barbados – was important from an economic standpoint, with passengers taking in some of the weekend activity whether it be Holetown, Oistins or various restaurants.
Yesterday’s record day also saw visitors being treated to a fun mixology session by Mount Gay Rum. (RJ)

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