Relationship Between Latin America & Barbados Strengthened

Barbados will further deepen its relationship with the Latin American market through the opening of a new office in Panama City.

Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Ian Gooding-Edghill, announced that this will aid Barbados in continuing to strengthen the relationship and marketing efforts in the region and further demonstrate the confidence in this market for the growth of the tourism industry.

With the return of the Copa Airlines flight connecting Barbados to LATAM countries, the destination has facilitated the arrivals of thousands of travellers, including those looking to enjoy the destination under Barbados’ 12-month Welcome-Stamp visa.

Latin America is poised to be an important market for the growth of the tourism industry and trade relations with different partners in the region. Barbados has continued to see an increase in arrivals from Brazilian and Latin American travellers and is looking to continue its growth by welcoming more visitors through direct services via Copa Airlines.

Destination Barbados on Display

Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) returned from Brazil following its successful participation at the World Travel Market (WTM) Latin America and a media tour in which members of the BTMI showcased the Caribbean destination to Brazilian media, travel professionals and consumers, accompanied by a delegation of the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport.

The delegation at WTM included Minister Gooding-Edghill, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport, Francine Blackman; BTMI’s Chairperson, Shelly Williams; BTMI’s Director of Latin America, the Caribbean and Sports, Corey Garrett; Ambassador of Barbados to Brazil, Tonika Sealy-Thompson; Executive Director Intimate Hotels of Barbados, Davina Layne, and BTMI’s Cruise Senior Business Development Officer, Tia Broomes.

The tour kicked off with an intimate event celebration at Fasano Hotel in Sao Paulo, where a select group of media, influencers and trade contacts were invited to discover the best of the destination through cocktail offerings, music and art.

“Barbados and Brazil have a more than 500-year long history of connection, despite the fact that the Barbados-Brazil trade relationship is still largely underexplored, given the size of the opportunity and we share significant cultural ties, not only due to proximity, but among the core elements of our shared experiences are sports, cuisine, festivals, beaches and luxury.  Our historical connections and cultural similarities also allow many opportunities for collaboration between the two in the areas of sports, higher education, language learning, and business,” said Minister Gooding-Edghill during the evening event.

Latin America continues to be an extremely important market for Barbados, and Brazil, one of the major consumer markets from the region.  During this year’s WTM and following successful participation in 2022, Barbados presented its unique destination offerings to Brazilian travel specialists and consumers, showcasing tourist hotspot ‘Rihanna Drive’ in their booth design.

The destination brought together the elements that Rihanna herself holds most dear, creating an experience that is trending, authentic and showcases the essence of the island.  The concept has been incorporated into different events throughout LATAM and will continue its presence at local events taking place over the next year.

Cultural event

The cultural evening event at Fasano brought local mixologists, Shane Mclean and Phillip “Casanova” Antoine, to showcase the flavours of the birthplace of rum, crafting a selection of rum cocktails representative of the destination.  

The event also featured a musical performance by local singer Ashleigh Phillips, accompanied by an art display created by contemporary multidisciplinary Barbadian artist Sheena Rose. The evening concluded with a prize giveaway, in which a lucky winner was awarded a week-long, all-expenses paid trip to Barbados.