Cheryl Carter from BTMI (Barbados Tourism Marketing) welcomed the group and airline partner Aer Lingus, which was represented on the night by Bill Byrne and Jenny Rafter.
Cheryl then introduced the delegation that was over from Barbados that included the new Minister of Tourism and International Transport of Barbados The Hon. Ian Gooding-Edghill, Francine Blackman, Permanent Secretary, Ministry for Tourism and International Transport, and from BTMI, Shelly Williams, Chairman and Dr. Jens Thraenhart, CEO.
Minister Gooding-Edghill then took to the podium and told us that this was his first visit to Ireland. He took the opportunity to thank Aer Lingus for its belief in Barbados. (Aer Lingus is now flying there 3 times per week via Manchester, with the terminal change still causing some small barriers to sale).
BTMI will continue to support the Irish travel trade to ensure growth from here, he said. It is aware of the need for a direct flight and hopes that an increase in passengers will lead to change.
He also highlighted that the upgrading of facilities and hotels locally is a priority for Barbados as they continue to promote the country as a year round destination.