Festive Fridays to pull patrons into Pelican Village for Crop Over
The Tourism minister and his team at the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) want more tourists and locals in Pelican Village.
Recognising that Bridgetown needs to come alive once again, Tourism Minister Kerrie Symonds hopes that the newest tourism initiative can drive business up for the local vendors in the cultural and craft village, which in turn boosts tourist spend and helps the Barbados economy.
Speaking to Loop News at the launch of the new tourism product - Festive Fridays, which are part of the BTMI's cruise and product development strategy, Symmonds said:
"This will see a craft market in Bridgetown at Pelican Village by night. Now that does a number of important things for us.
“First of all, it distinguishes traditional Barbadian tourism product from that which it has historically been because we are doing something special by night in Bridgetown. Where before Bridgetown has almost been like a tomb, and more important, Pelican Village is like the tombstone. So everybody has past it, seen it pretty much dead and assumed that it can only fail.
“My judgement is that we can help Pelican to come alive. Help the people inside Pelican to earn more if we have activity that helps to generate and drive new interest in the area.”
Speaking to spend, the Minister said that this effort is to directly tackle the issue of visitor spend especially as it relates to the cruise passenger when onshore in Barbados.
He reminded that the Business Research & Economic Advisors (BREA), Economic Contribution of Cruise Tourism to the Destination Economies study revealed that Barbados was not seeing an ideal spend for some time now.
“Barbados’ spend for cruise passengers is well below the average, and it has been well below the average for a long time, and that while we may be getting somewhere in the vicinity of 65 or 70 U.S. dollars per passenger, there is an average across the Caribbean of about USD $100 per passenger and there are some special destinations that are earning USD $200 per passenger, and I feel very strongly that that is not good enough.”
Therefore he assures that with Festive Fridays his Ministry is demonstrating that they refuse to just lament it but instead are doing something about it.
For the first Festive Friday, to be held tonight, May 17, 2019, patrons will grab their bottle, spoon and powda and even have a mini-jump. For the first, the BTMI is presenting the Riddim Route – Bottle and Spoon Jump Experience with music by the Izavybe Pan ‘Round Neck & Riddim Section. There will also be traditional Bajan tasty treats with a 'kick' such as Spiked Bajan Mauby, Sorrel & Lemonade.
Speaking to issue of security, the Minister assured that media that such was taken care of for the festivities to be a safe but fun-filled.