By Alexander Britell
WILLEMSTAD —Barbados is booming.
The Caribbean island is slated to see more than $1 billion of proposed hotel plant investment over the next five years, according to William Griffith, CEO of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.
That investment will produce some 2,300 rooms, according to Griffith, who was speaking during a media briefing at the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s State of the Industry Conference in Curaçao last week.
That investment began with the opening of the new Sandals Barbados earlier this year, which is slated to add another 220 rooms in 2016.
This winter, the Sugar Bay Hotel and the Sands (formerly Sandy Beach) will open their doors as all-inclusive products as well, adding 300 new rooms.
They’re joined by the recently-announced Wyndham project at Sam Lord’s Castle, and the planned Hyatt hotel in historic Bridgetown.
Another 24 hotels have undergone “significant refurbishments” in time for the 2016 tourist season, Griffith said.
The investment comes as Barbados has seen significant growth in tourism arrivals so far in 2015, with a 14.5 percent year-over-year improvement in the first nine months of the year.
“We’ve just completed a brand positioning exercise wherein all of our future marketing campaigns will capitalize on our reputation as a safe, engaging and culturally rich destination – all of the ingredients sought by the contemporary traveler,” Griffith said.