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Officials exploring faith-based tourism

JOHN SEALY, [email protected]

Officials exploring faith-based tourism

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TOURISM OFFICIALS are stepping up a gear to attract churches as part of the industry’s tourism thrust.

This is coming from marketing director of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. Robert Chase as the island prepares to welcome the Brooklyn Tabernacle Singers for a free concert March 11 at the Kensington Oval.

Chase, along with Pastor Timothy Arthur and marketing assistant of Kensington Oval Management Inc. Diane Prescod made the announcement of the visit of the 18 singers at the Oval yesterday.

“There are numerous reasons why people travel; and faith and the opportunity to see historic churches and interact with individuals who are of a similar perspective on faith is one reason for that  [and] we definitely encourage it,” said Chase.

He said Barbados had a strong faith-based community which placed it in a good position to network with churches across the world.

“Our primary vehicle for that right now has been supporting Gospelfest which is one of the main [avenues] that attracts persons to listen to gospel music. We are also beginning to reinforce the idea of networking with churches and getting [them] to network with their counterparts across the world to get them come to Barbados because [many of them]  are in very cold places.”

Chase said there were many other niches that were getting the attention the BTMI: romance and weddings and sports.

“Faith-based tourism is one of the niches that we will be developing,” Chase said.

Expanding on the aim of the concert, representative of the Brooklyn Tabernacle choir Pastor Arthur said it was to inspire and uplift Barbados and coincides with the island’s 50th anniversary of Independence. (JS)