Barbados Tourism Is Surging

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - March 2, 2017

Barbados posted very strong tourism growth in 2016, according to the latest numbers from Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.

The island reported 631,513 stayover visitors in 2016, a 6.7 percent increase compared to 2015 and a new record for air arrivals in a single year.

That was one of the highest tourism growth rates of any Caribbean destination.

“This growth stands to have a positive impact on every Barbadian,” said Barbados Tourism Minister Richard Sealy. “An increase in stay-over visitors, and an increase in average visitor spend, translate to new and growing opportunities for individuals in the Barbados labour force, as well as the overall economy.”

The country’s strongest growth was in November, when arrivals grew by 18.5 percent compared to the same period in 2015.

While the United Kingdom remained Barbados’ strongest source market at 35 percent of arrivals, it was the U.S. market that showed the most growth, with an increase of 14.1 percent in U.S.-based arrivals last year.


The latter is a major credit to Petra Roach, Barbados’ tourism director for the U.S. market, who has helped spearhead a major push with new partnerships and promotional work.

It’s also thanks to the efforts of hotel companies like Elegant Hotels, which operates six resorts on the island (like the terrific  Waves boutique all-inclusive and has done significant work to promote Barbados in the United States in particular.

That’s without metioning the new JetBlue flights from Fort Lauderdale, which have added much-needed airlift from South Florida.

The US represented 27 percent of the overall market for Barbados last year. (Barbados was named Caribbean Journal’s Destination of the Year in 2015).

Are you looking to head to Barbados this year? Choose your next hotel here.

— Caribbean Journal Staff

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