New tourism minister says BTA to develop master plan

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, January 28, 2008 – Barbados has a new minister of tourism following the January 15, 2008 general election. He is Richard Sealy, who has signalled that high on his agenda will be minimizing the impact of a possible US recession, while strengthening the island’s other source markets.

Sealy also reiterated that the new administration will be seeking to develop a tourism master plan that will generate some much required restructuring and rejuvenation of the Barbados tourism industry.

Some of the key areas identified include the development of community tourism toward the involvement and ownership of the industry by Barbadians of all walks of life; deepening the connection between agriculture and tourism; attracting more local and international investment and strategic human resources development.

His first few weeks on the job will be spent meeting with leading public and private sector players in key agencies that interface with the Ministry of Tourism will continue in the coming weeks.

He also related that many of the meetings also had to do with getting budgetary estimates finalized for the Ministry of Tourism and its related agencies, in time for the start of the new Parliament.

Sealy said that Barbadians were undoubtedly the island’s best resource and once there could be a greater level of interface between locals and visitors that would certainly channel more money into the economy. Sealy holds a degree in Civil Engineering (1989) from the University of Florida USA  and a Masters in Business Administration (2005) from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill.