Barbados Looking To Enhance Its Sports Tourism Sector

As part of its plans to diversify the island’s tourism product, the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.  (BTMI) has as one of its missions to enhance the local sports tourism sector.

Chairman of the BTMI, Shelly Williams, shared that with each passing year, Barbados’ sports tourism has expanded, and it is against this backdrop that the BTMI has been working to expand and develop the sector.   This, she added, is due in part to the profile of the average Barbadian visitor evolving.

She made the comments yesterday while speaking at the closing and award ceremony for Barbados Sailing Week 2024, held at the Barbados Yacht Club, Bay Street.

Mrs. Williams noted that traditionally, the island was seen as the vacation spot for sea, sand and sun, but over the years, as the Ministry has been diversifying, the sector’s product offering, visitors now come for the many calendar activities, including Barbados Sailing Week, the Run Barbados Marathon, Crop Over and the Food and Rum Festival.

“You would have heard us mention several times of how BTMI is getting involved more into sports tourism and driving our business through this….   We are on track and quickly becoming recognised as a destination more than sun, sea and sand.   We are staging successful international sporting events, such as this one (Barbados Sailing Week).

“Barbados is on the global map that shows the world that the island has a diverse set of sporting experiences to offer. Our mission is to continue to position this destination in the way we will attract different types of tourists to this island,” the BTMI Chair stated.

Ms. Williams, along with President of the Barbados Sailing Association (BSA), Renata Goodridge, and Mount Gay Distilleries Ltd.’s Global Marketing Director, Laurent Cosson, described the 2024 Barbados Sailing Week as “successful” and “fantastic”.   They credited the fusion of sailing and social activities, Barbadian camaraderie and culture for setting Barbados Sailing Week apart from other racing experiences.

The overall winner of the Barbados Sailing Week 2024 was The Whistler, skippered by Peter Lewis.  The Whistler, a J121 yacht, also won first place in the Mount Gay Sailing Round Barbados, Caribbean Sailing Association (CSA) Monohull Racing Class One, and placed second in CSA Monohull Racing Class Three.

Some of the events that took place during the week were the Remote Control DragonFlites, kitesurfing and wing foiling.   There were also several social events, including The Visit Barbados Sailing and Boardwalk Experience and Red Cap Party.

The activities, which run from January 13 to 24, were organised by the Barbados Cruising Club in partnership with the BTMI, and were sponsored by Mount Gay Distilleries Ltd., Old Duppy Food Inc., CPM, Bajan Pure, the Barbados Yacht Club, Sagicor Health Management and Unseen Barbados Inc.