Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, is the third son of Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh. The Earl of Wessex, visited Barbados in March to support of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award International Association, Gold Award Ceremony and other fund-raising events.

Britain’s Prince Edward was the centre of attention during the Royalist Regatta yesterday. He was seen aboard one of the numerous yachts leaving the Careenage in Bridgetown as part of the fundraising exercise which is to benefit two Barbadian youth organizations – the Duke Of Edinburgh Award, which will soon be marking its 50th year, and the Barbados Sea Cadets.

Prince Edward, visited with several local officials thanking them for their sponsorship. President and CEO of the Barbados Tourism Authority, Mr. David Rice spoke with the Prince at length at the Awards Luncheon held at Apes Hill Polo Club Sunday, March 20.

The luncheon held festive Barbadian style entertainment hosting over 200 guests, sponsored by the BTA. “The turnout was a huge success for the organization and we are proud of our association” stated Mr. Rice.



Tourism has been identified as a priority area for co-operation between China and the Caribbean, but the region may have to wait a while before seeing tourists arriving en masse from that Asian market. Nonetheless, with China’s population standing at 1.6 billion people, Barbados is still expecting a boost to its tourist sector by promoting itself to Chinese travelers as a desirable destination.

Deputy Director-General of the Department of American and Oceanic Affairs in China’s Ministry of Commerce, Xu Yingzhen, recently suggested that it may take some time for Chinese tourism to the Caribbean to really take off. She was at the time responding to a question from the Barbados Advocate on the status of promised tourism co-operation between China and CARICOM countries at the Ministry’s Beijing offices. Xu’s statement was confirmed by figures from the China National Tourism Administration, which ranked the top ten destinations for Chinese tourists as Hong Kong, Macao, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Russia, Singapore, Australia, the US and Malaysia.
However, according to a Barbados Tourism Authority official, this does not necessarily mean that Barbados will have to wait on a more even distribution of wealth in China before it sees an increase in arrivals from that Asian country. Bernard Phillips, National Co-ordinator of the local planning committee for the Barbados World Expo exhibit, clarified that Barbados’ strategy is to target China’s more well-off travelers. His comments came three days after Xu’s press conference in an interview with this newspaper on the opening day of the World Expo in Shanghai.

He further pointed out that even the smallest percentage of the massive Chinese population would be a boost to the Barbadian tourism sector. He indicated that though Barbados may seem far away from China, direct connections through major cities such as London and New York make it quite accessible to the affluent Chinese traveler. Furthermore, with the US being a popular destination for the Chinese, he suggested promoting Barbados as an additional stop, inviting tourists to come down to the island for a few days as part of their vacation in the West. Referring to the popularity of cruises among Chinese travelers, he also mentioned marketing the option of home porting in Barbados.

Indeed, Xu Yingzhen had acknowledged that there was some measure of tourism travel from China to the Caribbean and assured that the region’s markets were still being explored. She also expressed confidence that as personal income increases, there will be growth in the number of Chinese setting their sights on Caribbean countries as a tourist destination.

In the meantime, the groundwork is being laid to boost Chinese tourist arrivals to Barbados. Xu stressed that tourism co-operation was a top priority in China-CARICOM dialogue, recalling that all Caribbean countries that have established diplomatic relations with China have been listed as approved tourism destinations for Chinese citizens.

Barbados does in fact enjoy Approved Destination Status, which means that Barbadian tour companies can promote and market Barbados as a tourism destination to Chinese tour operators, who in turn can organize and advertise tours to the island. In 2005 a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the National Tourism Administration of the People’s Republic of China and the Ministry of Tourism of Barbados on the Facilitation of Group Travel by Chinese Tourists to Barbados. Meanwhile, at the second China-CARICOM Trade and Economic Co-operation Forum held in Xiamen, China in 2007, the then Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi pledged that they would be looking to implement tourism agreements to encourage more Chinese citizens to visit Caribbean countries.


BARBADOS, (January 31, 2010)

Sentebale’s Patrons Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso launched the inaugural Sentebale Polo Cup in Barbados on Sunday 31st January, 2010 where the polo match was held at Apes Hill Polo Club and crowds of over 2000.
What is the Sentebale Polo Cup? It’s an event that will tour the world, being hosted in different countries to raise funds and awareness for the charity Sentebale and its work with orphans and vulnerable children in Lesotho. The Sentebale Polo Cup will celebrate polo as a sport whilst focusing attention on the plight of vulnerable children in Lesotho. To achieve Sentebale’s ambitious goals, working at a local and national level in Lesotho, the charity needs funds to deliver the care that these children deserve. The annual Sentebale Polo Cup will be a high profile and exclusive event that will direct money and attention to a cause in critical need of help, support and exposure.

In a speech before the game, Prince Harry said, ‘It seems to be one of life’s cruelest ironies that when natural disaster strikes, whether it be an earthquake in Haiti, or years of drought and ravaging by HIV/AIDS in Lesotho, it is always the most vulnerable, the defenseless, normally the children, who are left exposed and needing more help. We seem so powerless to prevent these things from happening, but out of such tragedy comes the purest of human reactions: love, charity, and, in time, a sense of renewed hope. This is really what Sentebale is about”.

This year, Sentebale had the fortunate opportunity to be the guests of Sir Charles Williams who generously offered to host the event at Apes Hill, a stunning venue for their first Polo Cup.
David Rice, President and CEO of the Barbados Tourism Authority, the Title Sponsor for the event, was on hand to thank Prince Harry for his involvement and interest in Barbados as the inaugural of such a worthy cause, as well to Sir Charles Williams for his steadfast and continued generosity.

The event drew International Tourist from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom along with local Barbadian supporters with the help of the Barbados Tourism Authority and their marketing efforts.

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