All visitors to Woodbine are allowed in the paddock area to get up close and personal with some of the much-loved horses
A great view of the track from the Club Suite
Cuz Fish Stand
One of the more unusual outings visitors in Barbados can do
is head to the local race track.
Mingling with the locals, cheering on the local jockeys and maybe even
coming home a dollar or two richer are all part of the fun.
So where better to mark Barbados 2017 Year of Sport than at
Toronto’s Woodbine Racetrack? Even
better, with popular Bajan (nickname for Barbadian) jockey Patrick Husbands!
During the course of the evening, Peter Mayers,
Director, Canada for Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. gave us a great update on
the island, and some meaty insider tips as to how to sell it best.
First: Mayers was careful to point out that there can be a
little confusion between “Barbados” and “Barbuda” – but Barbados was not
affected in any way by the two hurricanes which recently devastated other parts
of the Caribbean.
And while there are still touches of the island’s British
heritage (drive on the left, schoolkids in uniforms, tons of cricket plus afternoon
tea – always popular with the island’s many British visitors), Barbados has its
own distinct culture.
The islanders are certainly doing something right: there was
a jump of 12 per cent (to almost 60,000 passengers) from Canada so far this
year. Lift is looking healthy with AC rouge having daily service from YYZ
(twice daily Saturdays and Sundays in high season); plus four flights weekly
with WS. From Montreal there is service on AC four times weekly.
Here are some of Mayers’ favourite tips for selling
The Sporty Island:
what do your clients like to do – or join as spectators? From cricket and polo to paddle-boarding,
scuba diving, sailing, rugby and even running marathons: there’s something for them under the sunny
Bajan sky. And no fear, they’ll always
find someone to explain cricket to them!
The Festival Island: there’s always something going on, with
opera, motor racing, wellness, food and rum, reggae, history and gospel music
just a few.
The Authentic Island:
As well as the “big guys” (Hilton, Sandals and Fairmont), clients can
choose independent properties from the poshest such as the legendary Sandy Lane
to funky B’n’Bs.
Barbados is home to some of the finest restaurants in the
region, yet clients can experience real Bajan life by visiting one of the
dozens of rum shops (tiny roadside bars) or the town of Oistins for the famed
outdoor Friday fish-try – complete with music, dancing in the streets and some
viciously competitive domino games. Or try Mayers’ personal fave for a traditional
Bajan treat: Cuz food stop near the Hilton. “It may look like a bit of a hole
in the wall but believe me: they serve
the best breaded flying fish!”