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The island hosted over a million tourists, of whom 544,696 were long-stay arrivals and 533,278 were cruise ship visitors. Accommodation for tourists is targeted to increase from 6,685 rooms in 2000 to 9,500 rooms by 2010, an increase of 40%. Over 70% of Barbados’ foreign exchange is earned by the tourism sector. Tourism’ contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2000 was estimated at 11.3%. In 2000, tourism directly employed 14,100 persons, approximately 10% of the island’s labour force. An additional 12,000 persons gain indirect employment from the tourist industry.
With so many options for accommodations in Barbados, you have a big choice to make. However, one thing is certain: staying in Barbados can afford something to suit every style-from very simple to ultra-luxurious. Barbados accommodations boast a range of five-star, world-class hotels. We also have an ever-expanding all-inclusive sector allowing for you to sit back relax and worry about absolutely nothing for your entire vacation in Barbados.
Staying in Barbados is easy with a wide selection of hotels, apartments, resorts, all inclusive resorts, condominiums, guesthouses, and family-owned and run establishments, most with simple lifestyles and rich heritage. Another choice for Barbados hotel accommodation is to rent a villa, another vastly expanding market on the island. We also boast of multiple timesharing options, including the well-known company, RCA, whose number one destination in the world is our very own Crane Beach Hotel.
Additionally, many residents on the island, who as yet have not done so, are preparing to open their homes to visitors for the upcoming Cricket World Cup. By actually living with a true Bajan family, visitors to Barbados can experience a truly exciting and rare glimpse of the island through the eyes of locals. Options for Barbados hotels and accommodations in Barbados are so diverse that everyone will find something that fits their vacation perfectly. Staying in Barbados will be your unforgettable vacation in our very own paradise.
Because Barbados is an island, a mass of land fully surrounded by water, there are only two ways to get here: by air or sea. Barbados is a favourite stop for cruise ships, so that's a rather popular way of getting here. For ideas of what to do while travelling to Barbados for one day on a cruise ship, see our short visit or shore excursions page under the custom vacations library.
If a cruise ship isn't really your thing, you can still enjoy travelling to Barbados by sail or motor boat from any of our neighbouring islands. During the winter months, our bays are often full of people who are sailing around the world and who have come for a little stop-off in paradise. The other option when travelling to Barbados is by air. There is a large selection of airlines that fly into Barbados. The inter-island services include Air Jamaica, British West Indies Airlines (BWIA), LIAT, Caribbean Star, Caribbean Sun and American Eagle.
BWIA, Caribbean Star, American Airlines, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Air Canada, Delta Airlines, LIAT and Air Jamaica all fly to and from Barbados on a regular basis from all over the Caribbean and the World. When travelling to Barbados, remember that there will be a departure tax of BDS $25 that must be paid at the airport in cash upon departure. Baggage tipping is a suggested $1 U.S. per bag. Barbados is a major tourist location and with all the technical advances of recent years, it is now easier than ever to get here.
When the first flight made landfall in Barbados in 1939, the airport was nothing more than a grassy strip with a shed as an arrivals hall. About ten years later the runway was paved and an official terminal built. We've come a long way since those days for Grantley Adams International Airport (BGI) now welcomes flights daily from destinations all over the world. We were one of the few countries in the world that was a weekly destination for the British Airways' Concorde, before the official retirement of that aircraft. The flight from the UK to Barbados on Concorde took a mere four hours as opposed to nine on a commercial airliner.
Recently the government of Barbados has embarked on a one hundred million U.S. dollar project to revamp and upgrade BGI. The plans include a brand new arrivals hall, repaving of the current runway and renovating the current terminal, as well as a museum dedicated to the history of flight in general, and, more specifically the British Airways' Concorde.
British Airways donated one of the Concorde aircrafts after their retirement, to use in the museum. It will be built adjacent to the airport on the old Spencer's Plantation and will house the actual Concorde aircraft.
Barbados is a favourite stop for cruise ships, so that's a rather popular way of getting here. If a cruise ship isn't really your thing, you can still sail or motor here by boat from any of our neighbouring islands or beyond if you're brave. During the winter months our bays are often full of boats of people who are sailing around the world, and who have come for a little stop-off in paradise. We are south-east of the United States of America, west of Africa, south-west of the United Kingdom, and north-east of Venezuela.
Christmas, a magical time all over the world is truly special in Barbados. Cool breezes and clear blue skies combine to make this a particularly beautiful time of year. December 15th marks the official beginning of the Winter Season therefore accommodation rates increase from this date and availability can be tricky so avoid disappointment and book your Christmas Vacation early!
Should you be visiting the island in December you may wish to attend Carols by Candlelight, a spectacular celebration of music held on the grounds of Illaro Court, the official residence of the Prime Minister. Locals and visitors look forward to this special event each year. An open-air, picnic style experience - friends, family and new acquaintances relax together as they listen to a variety of live Christmas music performed by local artists. The gentle sloping hill is transformed by a myriad of soft light from the hundreds of candles held by spectators at dusk.