Barbados Blessed To Have Many Loyal Visitors
The Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.’s (BTMI) Loyal Visitors Programme has honoured 11 tourists, during a “Loyal Visitors and Friends of Barbados” reception, held on Friday, May 19, at Ilaro Court.
Recognised during the evening’s proceedings were three persons who have marked 100 or more visits, they were Peter Twitchett, Andrew Cundell and Eleanor Small. Also recognised were Nikki Vassall with 64 visits, Lindsay Bennet – 60 times, Kenneth and Gillian Woodcock with 50 plus, Polly Gould – 40, Phillip and Shan Martin – 38 visits, and Cathy Phillips, who visited over 35 times.
Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Ian Gooding-Edghill, noted that in conversing with some of the guests, the recurring theme as to why the loyal visitors repeatedly return was because of the hospitable nature of the people.
“As you know, tourism plays a major role for us and the fact that you continue to choose Barbados as your holiday destination to visit often, signals to us that we are doing tourism right in Barbados. I truly enjoy hearing about your first visit over 50 years ago in some cases [and] each of you continues to play an important role in telling the authentic story of destination Barbados, to your friends, families and work colleagues,” the Tourism Minister stated in his welcome address.
He thanked the visitors and said it was because of them and the locals that the island’s tourism industry continued to be in high demand.
Minister Gooding-Edghill highlighted that: “Over the years many of our loyal visitors have contributed to the growth of Barbados’ economy through purchasing of property and job creation. They have also been instrumental in community building by active participation in programmes like ‘Pack For A Purpose’, where they bring in essential items to assist with community-based projects. We thank you for your contributions and encourage you to continue to get involved in community activities.”
Guests were warmly welcomed by students from the Grazettes Primary and Ellerslie Secondary Schools, Junior Minister of Tourism, Josiah Grannum, as well as stilt walkers, market ladies and a tuk band.
The night featured performances from the Ziggy Walcott band, the children’s arm of Dancin’ Africa, and Nikita – the ‘orange hair songbird’.
Persons also had the opportunity to view locally made jewellery by Summer Gems and handcrafted bags and wristlets by Tones.
The term “loyal visitors” is accorded tourists who have visited Barbados 25 times or more. Persons who have visited the island 25 times and over who are interested in joining the Loyal Visitors Club should contact the BTMI at 535-3700, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The club currently has over 500 registered guests.