Barbados welcomes delegates in style
Exclusivity and cutting-edge architecture were parts of the formula used by Bajans to wow delegates attending the State of the Tourism Industry (SOTIC 2016) Conference on the island this week.
A cocktail reception at the exclusive Alaya, located in Queens Fort, St James, Barbados, was the perfect welcome for a country poised for significant growth in the tourism industry.
There was no doubt this country is doing well. It was evident immediately after stepping off the tarmac at the Grantley Adams International Airport.
With some of the world's biggest celebrities flocking to the island nation's shores, it was fitting for the country's Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy and his team at the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) to titillate appetites with the creme de la creme in the villa vacation sector on Tuesday night.
Alaya, one of the finest on what the Bajans have tagged 'The Platinum Coast,' focused its attention on the taste buds, serving up mango mojitos to guests on arrival, complemented by premium white or red wine.
However, it was the ribs off the bone served in a cup; the pumpkin and ginger fritters; breadfruit; plantain and salt fish balls that had tongues wagging. Top this off with sushi and shrimp tempura and there was no doubt anyone coming after would have to come very good - as we say in Jamaica.
On Wednesday, the excitement moved to Fort Charles at the Hilton, Barbados, where newly elected Prime Minister of St Lucia Allen Chastanet was greeted like a rock star.
The CTO-staged event entered into serious business mode on Thursday, and ends today (Friday), with the much-touted Youth Congress.