Find Tourism and Travel partners in Barbados
Tourism plays a hugely important role in supporting and developing the economy of Barbados. The tourism and travel industry contributed BBD3,625.6m in 2011. The sector supported 59,500 jobs, including those indirectly supported, accounting for a significant 42.7% of total employment (World Travel and Tourism Council – WTTC 2011). This placed the country 10th in the world (out of 181 countries) in terms of the relative contribution of the industry to the economy, with a 43.5% share of GDP, vastly above the world average of 14% (WTTC 2011). In 2010 the country saw 532,000 tourist arrivals, with the United Kingdom acting as the main source market, followed by the United States and Canada respectively. Additionally, there continues to be a large number of cruise passenger arrivals, with 664,747 visitors in 2010. In 2011 visitor exports generated BBD2,249m, constituting 43.4% of total exports. The Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA) officially promotes tourism to the country and has offices in Australia, Europe and North America. The Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association represents private sector interests and also carries out promotions, sometimes in partnership with the BTA.
The country widely markets itself as a high-end tourist destination with its numerous luxury holiday packages centred on the beautiful white beaches and clear seas. As part of this, the country continues to expand within the wedding and honeymoon sector. The health and well-being sector is also rapidly developing and offers great opportunities for investments, with a growing number of luxury spa destinations.
There is an increasing growth in adventure tourism, with the expansion of activities such as diving, surfing and sea fishing. Sporting events, particularly cricket, continue to bring large numbers of visitors to the island. The connection between the island and rum production provides a tourist attraction in numerous sites and activities.
The Ministry of Tourism is specifically aiming to develop both agro- and community tourism. Community tourism can be promoted as a way in which Barbadian culture can be portrayed, specifically encouraging the use of local arts and crafts within the tourism industry. The Ministry is keen to promote the rich culture of the islands, and to diversify into the cultural heritage niche market.
In 2011 investment in travel and tourism was BBD396.5m, constituting 16.2% of total investment in the country. This was expected to fall by 1.1% in 2012, and then rise by 4% pa over the following ten years, reaching BBD579.4mn by 2022.