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Published on : Wednesday, January 11, 2017
The announcement was made by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart at his official residence during the first of four receptions for repeat visitors. He noted that a record was previously set in 2015 when 592,000 long-stay visitors visited the island.
Stuart stated, “I should like to thank and congratulate all of our tourism stakeholders for the energetic inputs which they have made in the promotion of our tourism product and our destination so that we could put these records on the books. “…I confidently expect that at the end of the year 2017, it will be reported to me that we have had 650,000 visitors visit Barbados.”
The prime minister said visitors constantly told him that they returned to Barbados because of the warmth and hospitality of its people. He added that successive governments had worked on citizens to ensure they understood that tourism was their business and every single person must play his or her part.
The prime minister described Barbados as a “highly personalised country”, and urged tourism stakeholders to continue improving the Barbados brand.
The prime minister said 2017 would be an interesting year for some of Barbados’ principal source markets, namely the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada.
He stressed that Barbados had a vested interest in what happened in the UK, USA and Canada.
“We cannot ignore developments in those three countries because invariably and inevitably what happens in those countries will have an impact on either what we do here in Barbados or on how we do it. And, therefore, we err grievously if we seem to be ignoring what is going on elsewhere…,” he warned.