BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – The number of foreign tourist arrivals to Barbados has increased this season as compared with the same period last year. Minister of tourism and international transport, Richard Sealy, said while last season saw a record number of tourists coming to the island, the numbers for this year were “up” on that number.
Speaking with ambassador of Qatar to Barbados, Battal Al-Dosari, Sealy noted that he would like to see Barbados used as a hub or stopover for airlines out of Qatar.
Listing the advantages of such a proposal, he stated that Barbados had “hub status” and that the runway at the Grantley Adams International Airport was currently able to land almost any plane, and, after the scheduled upgrading of the tarmac, would be able to accommodate any aircraft.
The minister also told the ambassador that, among plans to develop the industry and increase visitor spend, was the expansion of duty free shopping facilities at the sea port, which would be open to all visitors to the island.
He added that there were currently just fewer than 6,000 beds in the hotel sector in Barbados and the influx of tourists meant that there was a need to have additional “quality” hotel rooms.
According to the minister, a Hyatt and a Wyndham were being added to the hotel stock, but there was also an opportunity for Qataris to invest in such properties.