Recent weeks has seen many parts of the Caribbean suffer dreadful damage and loss as a result of the recent hurricanes, but the island of Barbados has been fortunate and, remained relatively unscathed.
Heavily dependent on tourism, the island is still supporting the relief efforts of neighbouring islands and donating critical supplies and money, while trying to get things back to normal for themselves.
Thankfully, the island has a busy autumn and winter season ahead with a number of exciting activities and developments to look forward to for the rest of the year and into 2018. The message from Barbados? Now is the best time to visit Barbados and experience all it has to offer.
This year has been ‘Year of Sport 2017’ and the island continues to play host to numerous major sporting events, drawing competitors and spectators from around the world.
In an adrenaline filled display of circuit racing, drag racing and karting, Bushy Park hosts Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button at the third annual Festival of Speed on 14 October.
Featuring some of the world’s best beach tennis players, The Barbados Beach Tennis Open will make its debut on the island in October and the first ever-dedicated paddleboard team racing event Dragon World Championships will be held in Carlisle Bay, between 28 – 30 October.
Surfs up this November (9-12) with Barbados Independence PRO Surf Festival. Expect to see great surfing from internationally acclaimed surfers, along with surf demonstrations, bikini contests, music and much more.
In a celebration of aquatic excellence, Barbados welcomes the Open Water Festival from 1-5 November. The event aims to bring together swimmers of all skill sets for fitness, water sports and entertainment at Carlisle Bay.
From 1-3 December, Run Barbados Marathon dominates the shores of the Caribbean, bringing together track enthusiasts and promising a gala of speed and agility, where runners can take part in full and half marathons or a 5k or 10k.
It’s not all sports though. There are plenty of exciting cultural activities on the island too. October welcomes legendary Jazz musician Elan Trotman as the leading act of the Barbados Jazz Excursion from 6-9 October. Think contemporary culture with a tropical sports twist, the four-day event is a melting pot of golf, experiences and musical festivities.
The annual Barbados Food and Rum Festival takes place from 16-19 November. Enjoy a four-day extravaganza of tastings, fun cocktail classes and tropical Bajan vibes and a mouth-watering ensemble of culinary finesse from local and international chefs including Michelin starred chef, Tom Aikens.
Looking to 2018, which will be the ‘Year of Culinary Experiences’, an array of bespoke Barbadian experiences and events will be hosted on the island to celebrate Bajan gastronomic cuisine. 2018 also welcomes Barbados Independent Film Festival (BIFF), showcasing a wide display of theatrical genre from 9-14 January.
With all this activity on the island, it was great timing that Virgin Atlantic Airlines is launching a new twice-weekly direct service to Barbados from London Heathrow in December, operating on Tuesdays and Sundays, while Thomas Cook will begin a direct weekly flight from London Gatwick to Barbados, every Saturday. British Airways will also be increasing flights this winter from seven to 12 flights weekly.
Cheryl Carter, UK Director of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, said:
“Visitor numbers are on the rise and travellers are still booking their places for Christmas. The increased air capacity into Barbados is testament to the popularity of the island. We invite visitors to travel to Barbados as there is so much happening on our island to experience and enjoy.”