Tourism Ministry Honours Loyal Visitors To Barbados
Seven tourists, referred to as “loyal visitors”, who have visited the island between 25 and 45 times have been recognised for their numerous repeat visits to Barbados.
During the first “Loyal Visitors and Friends of Barbados” reception post-COVID, held last Friday evening at Ilaro Court, Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Ian Gooding-Edghill, told the awardees and other repeat visitors that it is because of them that Barbados’ tourism industry is rebounding positively post-COVID and will continue to grow.
In his welcome, Minister Gooding-Edghill said: “It is a wonderful thing when any country involved in tourism can, of course, invite our loyal guests who come here year after year, to a function to celebrate their success. And your success, obviously, is our success….
“We consider you family and a crucial part of telling the story of destination Barbados. Even as we implement creative strategies to market the island, the stories told by those who have lived the authentic Barbadian experience are even more valuable.”
The Tourism Minister disclosed that as the Ministry seeks to drive tourism forward, it is focused on improving infrastructure and integrating technology into its marketing strategies so that its tourism product captures the needs of the modern traveller. This, he noted, would also ensure that an exciting experience awaits not only new but also repeat visitors to the island. To this end, a number of new initiatives are being worked on, including new attractions, hotels, partnerships and airlift agreements.
Mr. Gooding-Edghill highlighted that in listening to the stories of those who visit Barbados, a common theme stands out, that is “the friendliness of Barbadians”.
He noted that Bajans are a key part of visitors choosing Barbados as their second home and expressed thanks to the people of Barbados for the hospitality they show to visitors.
At the reception organised by the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI), awards were presented to Ronnie Iffla from the United States of America, who has visited the island 32 times; Canadians John and Crystal Eagleson, 40 plus visits, as well as Brian and Evelyn Bell-Reid, with 26 visits. Sally Paynter from the United Kingdom with 26 visits and Trinidad-born centenarian Isaac Ramsingh, who resides in Canada, were also awardees but were unable to attend the reception.
The night featured performances from Dancing Africa, the Ziggy Walcott band, and the Israel Lovell Foundation Tuk Band. Attendees received a warm welcome from students of the Wesley Hall Infant School.
Persons who have visited Barbados 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.