Celebrating the flavours of Barbados in Year of Culinary Experiences
Fresh fish grilled under the open night sky, perfectly paired with the world's oldest rum, are just two of the authentic Bajan experiences that will be touted around the world as the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc (BTMI) brands 2018 the Year of Culinary Experiences. Keeping with tourism trends and targeting the ever-growing movement of foodie travellers, the company's marketing efforts will be focussed on tantalising the taste buds with the diverse assortment of unique Bajan flavours.
CEO of the BTMI, William 'Billy' Griffith, shared the rationale behind the strategic move. "On the surface, naming 2018 the Year of Culinary Experiences sounds light and fun - tasty even, but it's also a very intentional marketing tactic we've conceptualised to really hone in on the differentiating factors of brand Barbados. Everyone understands the competitive nature of the current business environment and in response to that, Barbados' unique selling propositions are what continue to drive the BTMI's marketing efforts year after year.
"We successfully grew interest in destination Barbados with the Year of Sports in 2017; we saw several journalists and visitors eager to travel here to experience this phenomenon we'd generated by simply packaging those elements of Barbados we already have, and do well, in a fun and exciting way," Griffith added. "So, when we looked to 2018, we once again thought about those unique experiences our island has to offer, experiences that boast both quality and longevity."
The calendar for the Year of Culinary Experiences aptly reflects the breadth of gastronomic fare available in Barbados. It comprises opportunities to partake of everything from the most famous ham cutters to the best seafood on the island, but even beyond the food are festivals and other cultural events that one simply cannot separate from the true Bajan experience.
Kick off with the Barbados Sugar and Rum Season
Officially launched last year, the Barbados Sugar and Rum Season was conceptualised by the BTMI's sister company, the Barbados Tourism Product Authority, and was inspired by the time-honoured tradition of the King and Queen of the Crop. From January through March, this season provide a memorable tribute to Barbados' world-renowned indigenous spirit and its rich history built on centuries of sugar production, through a series of events steeped in Bajan history.
Oistins Fish Festival
Over the years, Oistins has become a culinary and cultural fusion of flavours enjoyed by visitors and locals alike. The annual fish festival, held over the Easter weekend, will be one of the highlights of Barbados' culinary calendar. Fresh fish and other delicacies, grilled and drizzled with the unique tastes of Barbados, are a must for any food lover.
The Barbados Food and Rum Festival
Once again, this will bring together some of the best local, regional and international chef and mixology talent for a unique festival of flavour. Local foods and the island's famous spirit - rum, will be the highlight of this period of festivities - coupled with beach parties and other exciting cultural experiences that mark the annual festival.