Barbados’ acting minister of tourism and international transport, Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner, says the country needs to go after the faith-based tourism market more aggressively and use its deep spiritual foundation to cash in on this multi-million dollar industry.
Sandiford-Garner said the concept that religious travel being centred on the notion of taking a pilgrimage was no more and, therefore, the market was much larger and more segmented with niches ranging from high-end religious travel, volunteer-oriented religious travel to modern-day pilgrimage. She said government had a great deal to offer faith-based guests and pledged its support of any initiative that would build up this tourism niche.
Meanwhile, the Caribbean field director for the New Testament Church of God and the Bishop for Tortola, Ishmael Charles, said the church’s Caribbean Assembly event in November would attract more than 3,000 believers from around the world. Charles said Barbados was chosen as the venue because it is accessible to travellers especially from North America and the United Kingdom, who would not have to take multiple flights to get there.