A Major Tourism “Turnaround” in Barbados

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Barbados tourism is on a strong growth path after a record year in 2015, according to the country’s tourism officials.

Barbados Tourism Minister Richard Sealy said last year was a “turnaround year,” with many of the island’s vital signs showing steady improvement.

That was led in large part by a surge in arrivals from the United States, helped by the leadership of USA director Petra Roach and new hotel product like the Sandals Barbados all-inclusive resort.

In 2015, arrivals grew by 13.7 percent to 591,892, the highest on record.

sandals barbados

And while the UK remained the country’s largest source market, US arrivals grew by 25 percent.

Overall, tourism contributed $133 million to the country’s GDP last year, an increase of six percent and one of Barbados’ largest-ever year-over-year increases.

“With our strong performance and our plans to maintain this growth comes a heightened sense of responsibility to our environment and to ensuring the wider disbursement of the benefits of the sector among the people of Barbados,” Sealy said. “We also recognized that visitors more than anything want authentic local experiences and this will be a top priority as we develop the sector going forward.”