Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 11th 2016 Contents BG10 FOCUS ON BARBADOS
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt FEBRUARY 11 • 2016
Industry Minister Donville Inniss says
Barbados needs to increase its export
of goods and services to the rest of
the world and the Caribbean region
is the best starting point.
He says it s the largest export market for
Barbados and the one that offers the greatest
Inniss was speaking at a press conference
at the Barbados Investment and Development
Corporation (BIDC), following a five-day
Caribbean Community (Caricom) trade mis-
sion aimed at generating increased exports
to St Lucia, Grenada and Guyana.
The latest statistics show that from January
to September 2015, Barbados exported
approximately BDS$259 million (US$129.5
million) in goods to the region. Minister
Inniss said that on the current trajectory,
the figure for 2016 could reach BDS$285 mil-
lion (US$142.5 million).
"Many Barbadians might certainly not
appreciate the volume of goods that we
export in the region, and whilst these figures
might seem significant, we didn t get there
just by sitting here in Barbados and believing
others will buy what we produce...That is
why the Board and management at the BIDC
took the decision that we really need to go
into the marketplace with those companies
and service providers that we know are export
ready, and to do so in a manner that will
build strong linkages and relations with our
partners in the other islands."
Inniss explained that St Lucia, Grenada
and Guyana were chosen based on the volume
of exports to those countries, as well as the
already established relations. Up to September
2015, Barbados had exported approximately
BDS$27 million (US$13.5 million) in goods
to St Lucia; BDS$14.6 million (US$7.3 million)
in goods to Grenada; and BDS$49.9 million
(US$24.95 million) worth to Guyana, and
the minister said Barbados needs to improve
"This mission was mounted with the
intention of taking into those three territories,
companies that we know have the synergies
there; some of them are already exporting
or they are certainly in a position to satisfy
any demands of those markets," he said.
"(The mission) was also designed to expose
our manufacturers and service providers as
to what is happening in the market place.
It is one thing to sit here and read reports
and to talk to people on the phone, but when
you get up and actually go there you actually
get to feel and experience what is happen-
The ministerial party also took the oppor-
tunity to explore opportunities for further
expanding exports to Guyana, as well as
investment in areas where Barbadian com-
panies could compete. The prospects for
exploring increased trade with Brazil via
Guyana s partial scope agreement with that
country were also investigated.
Last year is going to be a hard act to follow
as far as Barbados tourism is concerned, says
Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy. The reason
is simple: Last year, the industry grew much too
According to in-house---that is, not yet offi-
cial---statistics provided by the ministry of
tourism, long stay arrivals grew by almost 14
per cent in 2015 to pass 592,000 last year, up
from 521,000 in 2014.
According to the minister, 2015 has set a new
record for the country s tourism, becoming the
best-producing year in the history of tourism
arrivals in Barbados, surpassing 2007 which had
previously set the record with 570,000 visitors.
The 2015 arrivals surpassed 2007 s by just
over three per cent.
The United Kingdom remained the leading
tourism producer for the country with nearly
37 per cent of all long stay arrivals, with 218,000
visitors making the trip. The United States was
the second highest with 25 per cent or 148,000
visitors, while Canada was in third spot, with
close to 13 per cent of long stay arrivals, or 74,500
In terms of growth over the previous year, the
UK market grew by 14 per cent, the US market
by 25 per cent, and Canada by 13 per cent.
In a press briefing on Monday to discuss the
state of the tourism industry and the way forward,
Sealy was quick to lower expectations.
Sealy said he believed the Barbados tourist
industry had been returned to sustainability and
he was very grateful to all of the entities involved
in the success the industry was now enjoying.
The main factors in the country s outstanding
tourism performance, he said, had to do with
the return of consumer confidence and the fall
in oil prices, both around the world.
In terms of increasing the airlift coming into
the island, Sealy said the country had benefitted
from additional Delta flights from New York and
Atlanta, which had helped reduce some of the
loss of capacity caused by the decision of Amer-
ican Airlines to route all of its flights to the region
He noted that JetBlue had launched its Mint
service out of New York as a seasonal programme,
but due to its success had decided to make it
year-round, and was adding a service to Fort
Lauderdale in April.
The tourism minister said that several hotel
investment projects had started, or would start,
this year, including the Sandals Casuarina project
to add 220 rooms, the former Sandy Bay, which
is being turned into The Sands condominiums,
the Beaches hotel planned for the former Almond
Beach Village, the new Wyndham-branded Sam
Lords Castle, and the Carlisle Bay Hyatt Hotel.
Altogether, approximately US$1 billion in
investment was expected to be spent upgrading
or building hotels over the next few years and
when completed would provide another 4,500
full time jobs for the industry that is already the
largest earner of foreign exchange for Barbados.
Barbados aims to boost
exports to region, beyond
Minister: Don't expect as much growth in tourism this year
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