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Oistins all-exclusive experience

SHERRYLYN CLARKE, [email protected]

Oistins all-exclusive experience

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Barbados tourism officials are banking on a boost in arrivals coming out of the latest edition of Connect Barbados.

This incentive programme saw about 100 tour operations from major tourism source markets descending on Barbados last week.

“We want to create a buzz amongst the tour operators, despite the current economic difficulties, that Barbados is open for business and it’s open for business in a very aggressive way. We are not going to sit back and let anybody take market share from us,” Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. interim president and chief executive officer Petra Roach said last week as she welcomed the agents.

Part of Connect Barbados was an entertaining night at the Sea Breeze Hotel, staged by the Ocean Hotels group and local tourism partners, and included A Taste Of Oistins.

Incorporated in the Oistins experience for the visiting agents was a variety of local entertainment – including performances from the tuk band and Mother Sally, green monkey characters, stilt-men, Crop Over costumed dancers, as well as ballroom and line dancers.

Representing the major travel-driving companies from the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, wider Europe, Brazil, Latin American and the Caribbean, the tour operators enjoyed a range of activities as the Oistins experience, including a rum shop and several Barbadian delicacies, was recreated for their enjoyment.

“Tour operators are very important partners in the marketplace and most of them have a connection to Barbados as they sell the island. We wanted to welcome them with a real Bajan experience and so we recreated Oistins, which is an amazing community-tourism experience and they really enjoyed it,” said Patricia Affonso-Dass, group general manager of Ocean Hotels, of which Sea Breeze is a member.

Among the leading tour operators represented were Expedia, Air Canada Vacations, Delta Vacations, Eden Diaggi of Italy, BA Holidays,, Time Brazil and Karibik Tours of Germany.

Senior director of support services at Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, Neville Boxill, thanked the tour operators for continuing to sell the destination and said that Barbados truly valued their contribution. (SC/PR)