Ian Gooding-Edghill, the new Minister of Tourism and International Transport, has stated that an “all-hands-on-deck” strategy is being adopted to make the tourism industry “better and stronger than ever” following COVID-19.
Minister Gooding-Edghill made the statement at his first official appearance as Minister of Tourism and Foreign Transport during a reception for international media partners covering the ministry’s Food and Rum Festival from October 27 to 30.
“I’m thoroughly looking forward to taking up the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport at such a critical time, and it will be an all-hands-on-deck effort to ensure that Barbados remains top of mind even in a post-COVID world, as many destinations are now fighting for the attention of travellers,” said the Minister.
The new Tourism Minister stated that from the United States to the United Kingdom and Europe, Latin America, Canada, and the Caribbean, Barbados was ready to welcome visitors, and he would soon share the Government’s vision for Barbados’ tourism beyond 2023.
During his remarks, Minister Gooding-Edghill congratulated his predecessor Senator Lisa Cummins, the current Minister of Energy and Business, for the “enormous amount of work” she had put into the Ministry and for reviving the Food and Rum festival after a two-year break.
Dr Jens Thraenhart, Chief Executive Officer of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI), also spoke at the event and emphasized the significance of the festival.
“I think why this Food and Rum Festival is so important is because it shows what Barbados is, and it’s not just about the beach, it’s more than the beaches, and I think in the end it’s about the culture, it’s about diverse experiences, and it’s also about the rum and the food behind it.
“So these are the stories that we need to tell, and you, as media coming from all over the world, are the storytellers. So you’re the ones that ignite the spark and make sure that the world sees Barbados in a different light,” said Dr Thraenhart.
Minister Gooding-Edghill and Dr Thraenhart welcomed the media for attending the occasion. They expressed their eagerness to see and read the stories about the illustrious history of cuisine, rum, and Barbados as a travel destination.
In addition, they praised the BTMI staff for organizing the festival as well as all of the participants. The evening featured food made by Chefs Damian Leach and Javon Cummins, snacks from the event’s sponsor, Brydens Stokes Ltd., and cocktails by mixologists Alex Chandler and Philip ‘Casanova’ Antoine.
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