8th Annual African Diaspora Heritage Trail (ADHT) – Barbados hosts ADHT Conference
Hot on the heels of the Barbados Network Consultation of August 7-10, which welcomed people of Barbadian heritage from around the world, comes the 8th Annual African Diaspora Heritage Trail (ADHT) conference.
This conference, held September 17-19, 2012 at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, will embrace approximately 400 members of the African Diaspora the world over. The theme of the conference this year is “Our Freedom, Our Identity: Uncover, Recover, Discover”.
Valerie Marshall, the Barbados Tourism Authority’s Product Integration Manager, says, “Barbados, in particular, should benefit tremendously from hosting this conference. Apart from providing hospitality for around 400 extra people on the land, the islanders will also receive aid in developing a strong cultural heritage component for its tourism, aimed especially at attracting visitors from within the Diaspora. This could in turn result in mutually beneficial business relationships.”
Special travel packages from within the Diaspora could also be arranged with tour operators specializing in the cultural heritage market. Barbados is in the process of uncovering archeological finds which could provide valuable clues to the lives of African slaves. The conference is a good reason for overseas archeologists and historians to come and be educated on the history surrounding slavery on this island.
Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison, which recently received the coveted UNESCO World Heritage designation, will be showcased and the conference should provide the impetus needed to get certain heritage projects up and running.
Other representatives of Barbados who will impart their wisdom at this conference are: Professor Pedro Welch, Professor Alvin Thompson, Trevor Marshall, Steve Devonish, Dr. Deryck Murray and Alissandra Cummins. There will also be presenters from the USA, Europe and the Caribbean.
The ADHT Conference originated in Bermuda as a cultural heritage tourism initiative developed by the Ministry of Tourism in that country. It has since been endorsed by UNESCO.