Local hotels to get CARIFESTA boost
Minister of Sports, Youth and Culture, Stephen Lashley.
Cultural and entertainment practitioners are not the only ones set to benefit from the staging of CARIFESTA XIII next month. The hotel sector will also be hoping to get piece of the pie when over 3,000 people flocks to the shores of Barbados.
The Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) and Intimate Hotels of Barbados have been working along with members of the host country management for the 22 delegations, who will be attendance for the festival dates which run from August 17-27, to advise them on the accommodation process and meet the needs of delegates. In addition some hotels are earmarked to be branded as CARIFESTA hotels. Hotels have also been offering special rates to attract delegates and support staff and the AirBnb platform has also been seeing tremendous traffic.
Andrea Wells, Chief Cultural Officer with the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) said all accommodation spaces across the island will be seeing an economic boost for the festival.
“You know that wherever artistes go they take their energy and their music so we expect that the hotel sites, apart from being sites for accommodation, will also be very lively and spontaneous sites where artistes will interact and create. We expect that the entire island will be touched by people staying in various spaces for the festival.”
CARIFESTA XIII planning has been the main focus of the Ministry of Culture for the last year and Minister Stephen Lashley said the festival is not for the sole purpose of fun and frolicking but also for creating business opportunities.
Lashley spoke to the media on Monday to deliver updates on the festival where he said CARIFESTA is testament to the fact that the cultural industries sector can stimulate the economies of the region.
“All of our economies, as you know, are facing fiscal challenges and certainly at the level of the CARICOM heads they all agree that the sector holds part of the answer in terms of how we can restructure or organise our economy. So CARIFESTA is a major part of that, it is not simply a festival where we come and enjoy ourselves.”
Lashley also said the employment opportunities are expected to increase significantly for the span of the festival and will hopefully create additional streams of income for Barbadians.