14 15 W ith support from the In- ter-AmericanDevelopment Bank (IDB),Barbados will in- crease the appeal of its tourism attractions,with a focus on encouragingmore spending byvisitors on its unique heritage and cultural products,enhancing the digital visibility of Barbados in the global tourismmarket,and increasing the country’s international aviation connections. Tourism is themain driver for the economy of Barbados.The tourism industry in Barbados has repeatedlyexperienced cyclical peaks and OPENING LINES BARBADOS TO STRENGTHEN ITS GLOBAL TOURISMPRESENCE valleys in terms of its total number of visitors and receipts.In 2015,tourismcontributed 12 percent of Barbados’gross domesticproduct,approxi- mately37percent of total employment,and 60.4 percent of total exports. A$20million loan approved by the IDBwill finance the implementation of three components linked to tourismdevelopment and governance in Barbados. The first component will finance the develop- ment of newtourismvenues with an emphasis on uniquelyBarbadian cultural and heritage assets, including: a newVisitor Centre in Bridgetown’s OldTownHall Building; the enhancement of an urban tourist route through historicBridgetown; and improvements to theNational Museumat the Garrison and theOistinsWaterfront. The second component will increase the digital visibilityandmarket awareness of Barbados as a cultural tourismdestination in coordinationwith the private sector.The third component will fund the design and implementation of a newmech- anism to select operating airlines to reinforce air connectivitybetween Barbados and newmarkets. It is anticipated that this project will help the government of Barbados by increasing the resil- ience of the country’s tourismsector,enhancing the appeal of the Barbados tourismbrand,and connecting Barbados with various newmarkets. The programwill be executed byBarbadosTour- ism Investment,Inc.(BTI),which is the official government agency responsible for facilitating infrastructural development for tourism.Several tourismentities will collaboratewith BTI in the execution of the project in their respective areas of expertise.