BARBADIAN TOURISM BUSINESSES TO EXPLORE NEW IDEAS & FRESH THINKING FOR GROWTH

Tourism stakeholders in the public and private sectors in Barbados will explore new and exciting ideas on how to grow and develop their businesses using one of the world’s top development models as a case study.

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has organized a half-day tourism forum on The Singapore Tourism Experience on Friday 17 July, to introduce participants to best practices in the South-East Asian island city-state of Singapore, using that country’s tourism model as the tapestry to explore opportunities for development and expansion of tourism businesses in Barbados and regionally.

"Singapore offers one of the best business environments in the world and is fast emerging as a choice destination for the development of iconic tourist attractions. It also offers a dynamic tourism landscape and is constantly evolving to stay compelling and remain relevant as a tourist destination," said Bonita Morgan, the CTO's director of resource mobilization and development. "This forum offers an ideal occasion for sharing, learning and discussion among all tourism industry stakeholders."

Singapore offers one of the best business environments in the world and is fast emerging as a choice destination for the development of iconic tourist attractions. It also offers a dynamic tourism landscape and is constantly evolving to stay compelling and remain relevant as a tourist destination,” said Bonita Morgan, the CTO’s director of resource mobilization and development. “This forum offers an ideal occasion for sharing, learning and discussion among all tourism industry stakeholders.”

The forum, organized in partnership with the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association, will examine six main areas relating to Singapore’s strategic approach to tourism. These include planning and development, product development, partnerships, investment and financing, marketing and education and training.

It will be led by Christopher Khoo, a senior tourism consultant at International Business Dynamics (iBusiness), a Singapore training and consultancy firm that specializes in trade and economic development, investment promotion and tourism development.

Mr. Khoo has a broad range of technical and operational expertise in the areas of strategic planning, tourism development, destination marketing, event management, tourism product development, and human capital development and has undertaken many international tourism projects in the Abu Dhabi, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Russia, Uzbekistan and Singapore.

I will show the similarities between Singapore and Barbados. Both are islands, both are former English colonies, both surrounded by larger islands. What I’m looking to show is where Singapore is from a tourism perspective and to show it can be done, it has been done and to show some examples of how we can achieve this,” said Khoo who spent fifteen years with the Singapore Tourism Board in many key positions.

“In Singapore we’ve made it a practice to look around the world for best practices and I will show how Singapore has used this process to develop the cruise industry, the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Events markets, the cruise industry, and how it can apply to Barbados. I’d like to see something more done with your history, your rum; these are ideas that can resonate,” he added.

Barbados received over 550,000 cruise passengers in 2014. The tourism development expert said he plans to explore ways for local businesses to extract more from cruise.

He will also share insights into Singapore’s hotel industry, some of the early problems encountered by this sector and what was done to overcome these problems and grow the sector.

“This can give ideas to your hotel association on certain things that can be done at the local level,” Khoo said.

The forum on The Singapore Tourism Experience takes place on Friday 17 July from 9:00 to noon at the Radisson Aquatica Resort in Barbados, and follows a four-day workshop on Developing Viable and Sustainable Tourism Products using the Singapore Tourism Model.

The programme also includes informative and thought-provoking discussions from a panel of tourism experts, led by the CTO’s secretary general, Hugh Riley and will afford the audience and opportunity to engage with Mr. Khoo and the panel regarding the topics being discussed.

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