Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Senator, Lisa Cummins, addressing travel agents and media personnel who are part of the British Airways Heathrow Inaugural ‘FAM Trip’ at Villa Tamarindo yesterday. (BTMI)

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados–22nd October, 2020–Travel agents and media personnel who are part of the British Airways (BA) Heathrow Inaugural ‘FAM Trip’ have been encouraged to spread the word that Barbados is a safe destination to vacation.

Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Senator Lisa Cummins, stressed this point at a dinner hosted by the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI), at Villa Tamarindo, to engage persons on the ‘FAM Trip’.

Minister Cummins stated: “You have been able to experience what we have been terming safe travel to a safe destination, for a safe vacation and we are so pleased to have you here.”

Focusing on the current situation with tourism, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Senator Cummins emphasized: “It is not an easy time; it is challenging for everyone around the world and we’re watching people navigate and we want to make sure that as we work with all of you in the tour industry and in the media, that we send the message, that Barbados is open for business–and it is open for business safely.”

Ms. Cummins pointed out that Government would continue to enforce the protocols, which have proven to be successful, in that there is no community spread on island, and would continue to do all it could to keep those who live here and visit safe.

Minister Cummins stressed that to continue to have no community spread, a level of trust must exist between locals and visitors alike, and that trust includes the wearing of masks, practicing good hand and respiratory hygiene and following the protocols, which include getting a COVID-19 PCR test three days before arrival, and quarantining while awaiting the second test.

She believes that once the above is carried out, visitors to the island, after receiving two negative PCR test results, are “guaranteed” to enjoy their vacation.

Senator Cummins acknowledged that British Airways is a “long-term valued” partner in the airline industry and thanked the BTMI UK office, headed by Director Cheryl Carter, for its efforts in bringing about a return of BA flights from Heathrow Airport.

Ms. Carter highlighted that last Saturday the delegation of British and Irish travel agents and media arrived on the inaugural flight of the relaunched year-round daily service from London Heathrow to Barbados on British Airways, after a hiatus of more than 15 years.

She shared that during their stay, the travel agents and media engaged in activities which included the No. 1 Bajan Bus tour, a guided tour of Bridgetown, and a sunset cruise on Cool Runnings catamaran.

They also visited Coco Hill Forest, where each person planted a tree, as part of the “more than a million” tree initiative.