By Victor Gotevbe,
Travel is one of the world’s largest industries. Where people go and where they spend their travel monies have real economic and political significance. Every day millions of people travel all over the world for diverse purposes. Some travel for business, family visits, schooling, starting a new job, attending conferences and so on.
Mindful travel can bring many benefits, both personal and global. By individuals and or organizations choosing the destinations well and remembering their roles as citizen diplomats, they can create international goodwill and help change the world for the better.
Travelers seeking an easy-to-reach destination that will impress on all fronts should start planning a vacation to Barbados.
Barbados is an eastern Caribbean island and an independent British Commonwealth nation. Bridgetown, the capital, is a cruise-ship port with colonial buildings and Nidhe Israel, a synagogue founded in 1654. Around the island are beaches, botanical gardens, the Harrison’s Cave formation, and 17th-century plantation houses like St. Nicholas Abbey. Local traditions include afternoon tea and cricket, the national sport. It is the birthplace and inventor of rum and music’s mega-superstar, Rihanna.
The island of Barbados offers the most authentic Caribbean experience with its exceptionally rich culture and history rooted in remarkable landscapes. Rated as one of the world’s sexiest beaches in 2008 by Concierge.com; Barbados’ Crane Beach in St. Philip stands as a premier destination for travelers.
Barbados is also the first Zagat-rated Caribbean island and is known as the culinary capital of the Caribbean. Barbados has hosted several world class events including: The annual Barbados Food & Rum Festival; the 2006 PGA World Golf Championships-Barbados World Cup, the ICC Cricket World Cup Finals in 2007, the Sentebale Charity Polo match with Prince Harry of Wales in 2010, and the ICC Twenty20 Cricket Finals for 2010, and the Rihanna LOUD concert in 2011.
Accommodations range from picturesque plantation houses and villas, to quaint bed and breakfasts and award-winning, five-star resorts. Grantley Adams International Airport offers even more non-stop and direct service from a growing number of U.S. cities, making Barbados the true gateway to the Eastern Caribbean. Barbados was voted eighth in the World by Trip Advisor’s “2008 Travelers’ Choice Destination Awards” in its Top 100 Destinations category. For more information on travel to
In 2013, Barbados was voted as the World’s best ethical destination for 2013 by a non-profit all volunteer organization called The Ethical Traveller. The listing was based on a number of factors including environmental protection, social welfare, social welfare and human rights.
Barbados tourism was again in the winner’s row, this time beating out destinations such as second-place Seychelles and third-place Bermuda, to land the number one spot on the 2017 Destination Satisfaction Index (DSI).
Throughout that year, over 70,000 travellers were interviewed around the world, giving their feedback on 20 categories including Beaches, Accommodation, Cuisine and Shopping. In the end, Barbados had the highest overall World score, 8.8/10, of the 144 countries included. The destination also ranked highest in the Accommodation category, and highest in the Americas region ahead of Bermuda and the Bahamas.
The awards were presented to the Barbados delegation, led by Donna Cadogan, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport, during a ceremony at ITB Berlin, the world’s leading travel trade show held in Germany’s capital city.
When asked what the award means for Barbados, William ‘Billy’ Griffith, CEO of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI), shared plans to leverage the accolade in the destination’s marketing communications over the next year. “For us it’s going to be very advantageous because with our marketing and our public relations, we’re going to be saying we’re best in the world, at least for the next 12 months. And I think it helps us in our quest to move forward in terms of pressing for success for Barbados tourism.”
The DSI, developed and executed by two European research companies – Norstat and dp2research, is a metric that measures the overall valuation of a holiday destination based on the factors travellers find most attractive. The online survey was administered in 24 source markets, and the 70,000 interviews resulted in 1.4 million responses direct from travellers which informed the scores in each category.
Marc Leimann, Managing Director of Norstat Germany, was excited about how the study went. He stated: “The feedback was that people, especially when it comes to Barbados, were extremely happy with the trip provided. Barbados basically really challenged and won against the world in total.”
Stressing the value of visitor feedback, Griffith added that “the important thing is that… it was the customer’s opinion and that’s really what drives the energy in terms of what we do, and that’s why we think it’s such a validation and an endorsement of what we’re trying to achieve.”
Apart from the overall World award, Barbados also topped the Accommodation category, scoring 8.8/10 ahead of Bermuda which placed second, and the Maldives which placed third.
Griffith also congratulated the accommodation sector and commended their contribution to the destination’s high overall score. He added that the DSI Accommodation award further supports Barbados’ outstanding performance in the highly-recognized TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards. “We recently captured 13 Travelers’ Choice Awards for the Caribbean region. We placed across a diverse range of categories – Luxury, All-Inclusive, Best Service, Bargain and Romance. And what we’re really seeing here are different travellers from different countries all over the world giving their feedback on different platforms, and they’re all saying the same thing – that accommodations in Barbados are among the best in the world. That’s the main message here, that’s the main takeaway.”
It’s not surprising that travellers enjoy their experience in Barbados – the country boasts incredible beaches, great nightlife, the UNESCO-listed capital of Bridgetown, and a chance to sample some of its famous rum. Spending your hard-earned cash on a trip there might even double your satisfaction, as studies have found that experiences make people happier than possessions. If you want to go beyond just being satisfied on your next holiday, you could always plan a permanent relocation to one of the happiest countries on Earth.