Tourism Minister Has Full Confidence In BTMI’s New CEO & COO

Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Ian Gooding-Edghill, has expressed “full confidence” in the abilities of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.’s (BTMI) new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Andrea Franklin, and Chief Operations Officer (COO), Cheryl Carter, as he welcomed them in their new roles.

Speaking during a press conference at the Ministry’s headquarters at Warrens, St. Michael, today, Mr. Gooding Edghill noted that collectively Ms. Franklin and Ms. Carter have over 46 years’ experience, and he believes that they will execute the plans of the BTMI for the betterment of the industry and Barbados overall.

“They both have my full confidence and that is particularly important because whenever you start to lead an organisation, you must not only have the confidence of the Board of Directors … but you must have the full confidence of the minister, who’s responsible for the overall policy direction.

“They, in my judgement, are eminently qualified to lead the organisation.  Any one of them could have led this organisation, but I’m particularly happy that we will have them together in this organisation continuing the growth path that we intend to execute.  I have every blessed assurance that they will do extraordinary work within this environment,” the Tourism Minister stated.

Mr. Gooding-Edghill pointed out that the BTMI has done a “considerable amount of work, and there’s certainly a lot more work to be done”.  He added that with the Board and management team in place, the organisation is poised to accomplish its objectives for the sector.

Ms. Franklin, whose term runs from April 1, 2024, to March 31, 2027, said: “It obviously is my pleasure to join the team here at BTMI this morning.  It is going to be an interesting journey; it is going to be a long journey, but as we grow together, we will build on the foundation that has been set from those who have been with us in the past.  We will learn from their mistakes, and we will grow together…. Coming into this role, I think that it is important that collaboration is at the top for me, in terms of other stakeholders, both within the industry, other ministries, etcetera.

“We need to work closely together for the betterment of the country.  Tourism touches the length and breadth of the country and I think is important that we collaborate across the board as far as possible because at the end of the day, it is about the economy of Barbados and for the people of Barbados that we are here serving, and we just need to remember that in everything that we do.”

Other areas of focus for the new CEO include a sustainable growth strategy; expanding and defending Barbados’ airlift and cruise capacity; and embracing technology in BTMI’s marketing strategies, while utilising solid research and data to make key decisions.

Ms. Carter, who spoke about her plans as COO, indicated that she will be providing support to the CEO, which entails proper succession planning, diversifying marketing strategies, and streamlining BTMI’s operations.

“I’m very excited to be back in Barbados.  It’s great to be in this position where I’ll be working very closely with all of the overseas markets…. We’ll also be looking at emerging markets, so that we can build out not just what we are traditionally used to, but looking at how we can tap into other areas of the world.  So, my role here essentially is that of fully supporting the direction, the vision [and] the policies, which are coming through the office of the CEO,” Ms. Carter explained.