‘TDC still relevant’
Fri, 04/22/2016 - 12:00am
From trees to Gun Hill, the Tourism Development Corporation (TDC) has contributed to many projects and continues to be relevant in the development of Barbados.
However, the organisation is calling for new, well-thought-out, unique projects that fit their mandate to make Barbados better.
Martin Ince, the new Chairman of TDC, has been at the helm for three months, and in a recent interview at the Foster & Ince office, he detailed his passion for the organisation, being part of the TDC for close to 20 years.
He stated, “The TDC will be 30 years next year and over that period of time between 40 and 45 million dollars have been contributed to the fund from private sector companies to improve what we have here in Barbados.
“We are looking for things to fund; if anyone in Barbados has an idea you can go to our website and submit the form...Our mandate is simple – marketing support or improving products – it
is relevant today as it was 30 years ago.”
The Chairman added, “We continue to grow but there have been challenges. We have a very simple structure where our members contribute funds to the TDC. The members used to get 150 per cent back of their tax, [but] unfortunately this was reduced to 100 per cent last year and we are lobbying to try and get it reinstated. At the TDC close to 95 per cent of funds contributed goes into projects, less that five per cent is to run the secretariat which is run by one person, and every single member gives of their time freely and we have champions of industry that are involved.”
Ince reported in terms of projects they have been involved in, “We just did a wonderful promotion with the BTMI to help with the Jet Blue launch out of Fort Lauderdale a few weeks ago. We are also supporting the Run Barbados 2016 which will be held over the independence weekend, and I think they are expecting close to 1 500 people coming from overseas, and we see that as a key event and we believe it has the potential to get bigger. Also, Swim Barbados is happening in early November and about 900 people coming in for this event which is now a Caribbean wide event.
"The Rugby tournament will be in Barbados early December and they are anticipating 1000 players from all over the world coming in; we are also involved with the World Flower Show 2017.
"Morgan Lewis is an iconic structure in Barbados and the Caribbean - the last working windmill in the Caribbean - and we have just put funds in that to ensure it doesn’t disappear.”
He added, “We have a project called ‘Future Trees’ [where] we will be putting another 750 palms along the highway. The TDC has supported and funded this project for many years and the palms are a wonderful part of our landscape. Through the National Trust we have completed Gun Hill refurbishment and it is a significant improvement as an attraction. We also work with events such as Sol Barbados to help make certain events even bigger..."