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In Barbados, a Showcase for Caribbean Tourism

By: Joe Pike - March 27, 2023

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), in collaboration with Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., and the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association, is set to host Caribbean Travel Marketplace, taking place from May 9 – 11 at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre in Bridgetown, Barbados.

And Vanessa Ledesma, acting CEO and director general of the CHTA, recently shared what to expect from the show.

“Hosting CHTA’s Caribbean Travel Marketplace underscores Barbados’ bounce-back from the pandemic by demonstrating its resilience and commitment to revitalizing its tourism industry,” said Ledesma. “The event showcases the island’s ability to host large-scale international events, while adhering to health and safety protocols and providing a world-class experience for attendees.

“It is also an opportunity for tourism professionals to have first-hand experiences of Barbados’ tourism product,” she continued. “This ultimately contributes to rebuilding traveler confidence in the destination and attracting more visitors in the future.”

The Caribbean’s largest marketing event, Caribbean Travel Marketplace is a two-day experience where buyers and suppliers meet face-to-face for the benefit of the region’s continued tourism growth.

“Shows like Caribbean Travel Marketplace play a crucial role in the recovery from 2019 by bringing together key stakeholders in the tourism industry,” said Ledesma. “The event provides a platform for discussing strategies to overcome challenges, sharing best practices, and promoting collaboration among Caribbean destinations.

“It also creates opportunities for local and regional businesses to expand their reach,” she continued, “and generate new leads, thereby contributing to economic growth and continued recovery in the region.”

She said delegates will be welcomed to experience “Barbados: A World of Difference” at Ilaro Court, the official residence of the Prime Minister of Barbados on Tuesday, May 9. This opening reception will be a celebration of Barbados’ culture, showcasing local performing, visual and culinary arts.

“Hosting the event also highlights the Caribbean’s resilience and readiness to continue growing its tourism economy in the post-COVID environment,” said Ledesma. “Additionally, it provides a platform for local and regional businesses, especially those in the Eastern Caribbean, to showcase their products and services to new and traditional buyer representatives, promote further growth in the tourism sector, and foster economic development.”

The week closes at the historic Charles Forte of Hilton Resort Barbados.

“Tourism professionals around the world can make the most of the opportunity to connect with buyers, suppliers and media for two days of intense B2B sessions in the beautiful island of Barbados,” said Ledesma.

During lunch breaks, delegates get a taste of the popular Bridgetown Market, a staple in the annual Crop Over Festival. Attendees can choose from the island’s best street food and food truck vendors for this quintessential Barbadian foodie experience.

“The significance of hosting the 41st Caribbean Travel Marketplace in Barbados is multifaceted,” said Ledesma. “Notably, it demonstrates the island’s commitment to strengthening its position as a leading tourism destination within the Caribbean region.”

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