More than 100 sellers will arrive in Barbados this week as Barbados hosts the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) marketplace for the first time ever in its 41-year history.
The only qualm the Chair of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) Renee Coppin has on the eve of hosting this huge event, is that she wishes that Barbados touted and promoted this event more at the local level to make citizens more aware of this major opportunity to sell brand Barbados and their local products and services.
“In fact, it is a personal sadness of mine that we have not spent more effort in making Barbadians aware of this event and its significance. It is really a huge boost for Barbados as a tourism event and we’re certainly looking forward to having a successful marketplace.
“It’s the biggest tourism conference we have ever hosted and as we rebuild the industry this positions us perfectly to showcase our island and how we deliver amazing experiences to our guests.”
But the BHTA intends to immediately exploit the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association Caribbean Marketplace 41, which will be held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre in Two Mile Hill - no holds barred.
“Barbados will play host and over the coming days we expect scores of journalists, over one hundred highly-qualified buyers and hundreds of other delegates from across the region to descend on Barbados to attend this event. It is slated for May 9 to May 11, 2023.”
The event begins with a Travel Symposium which features Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley as the keynote speaker. “That will be followed by two days of intense meetings between major buyers like Virgin, Expedia, BA Holidays as well as suppliers comprising hotels and other tourism product suppliers from around the region. We will entertain the attendees with two spectacular parties, one to open and another to close the event, and delegates will also be moving around the island experiencing the many wonderful tours and activities on offer as well as simply interacting with our island and our people.”
Coppin hopes all Barbadians will “join with us in showcasing why we have always been one of the leading tourism destinations in this region. Authentic experiences delivered in beautiful settings by warm, kind and caring people.
“We want that from the time persons arrive at Grantley Adams International Airport [GAIA] until they leave, every moment reflects the genuine excellence of our service levels. We usually bring our A-game so we want to ensure we are A-plus as we welcome the rest of the region and the world.”
She was speaking to media on Thursday at the BHTA headquarters, she and the BHTA CEO Ryan Forde were even excited and proud about the 100 per cent Bajan menu organised to captivate the tastes and senses of the entire contingent.
Back in January when Barbados was announced as the chosen host destination, CHTA President Nicola Madden-Greig announced, “CHTA has a very strong relationship with both public and private sector stakeholders in Barbados, and as we position the region’s top earner for robust growth this year, we are delighted to lock arms with our Bajan partners to drive business to the Caribbean.”
Tourism Minister Ian Gooding-Edghill also at that time shared, “We are honored to host such a preeminent gathering of tourism stakeholders from around the world.”
The second edition of the Caribbean Travel Forum & Awards will also be held in Barbados on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, ahead of the official opening ceremony of Caribbean Travel Marketplace. The Forum will focus on the business of tourism, while business appointments will be Wednesday, May 10 and Thursday, May 11.
CHTA Caribbean Marketplace 40 was held in Puerto Rico.