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Top Gear tour likely

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

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A BBC Top Gear Festival is being planned for Barbados.
The popular motorsport show aired on British television and viewed by a massive international audience, is being considered as a boost to Barbados’ sports tourism, which Minister of Tourism and International Transport Richard Sealy says has “plateaued”.
“Sports tourism has worked very well for us, but clearly there is a need for us to do a few things to also give that niche a significant shot in the arm,” Sealy told a media briefing at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Conference Centre on Wednesday.
He said while sports and events like cricket, golf, the Hockey Festival and Run Barbados had all “worked well” for the country, the time had come to breathe new life into this area of tourism promotion.
He said he recognized that internationally, motorsport had a significant margin over other sports as this had become the big player in sports tourism.
Government last year leased the Bushy Park facility to the Barbados Motoring Federation, a move which Sealy regarded as “a glorious opportunity” to put Barbados on the international motorsport stage.
The minister disclosed he had been meeting with the producers of Top Gear who were looking for a place in the Caribbean to stage a series, after successful festivals in Australia and South Africa.
Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson is a frequent visitor to Barbados, and Sealy anticipated the festival would attract much regional and extra-regional business.
“Having the Top Gear Festival in Barbados around April, May, June, next year will bring major numbers to Barbados,” he said. (GC)