“If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” – Psalm 139:9-10
Over 20 years ago I was at an international conference in Langkawi, Malaysia, adjacent to the Thai border, known for its pristine beaches. I exchanged my business card and observed an element of surprise on the recipient’s face when she noticed my profession – business consulting. Her immediate response was “do people actually work in Barbados, apart from servicing the leisure industry?”
Like many others, when one thinks about the Caribbean brand it conjures up visions of a serene, idyllic, tranquil spiritual blanket covering an archipelago of warm-weather leisure destinations characterized by its pristine marine environment.
However, this Caribbean brand has expanded from “leisure” destinations to “leisure and business” destinations. Examples of these concepts which allow you to live, engage in gainful employment, and relax in the Caribbean, all at the same time, are: (1) location of the headquarters for international businesses in the Caribbean; (2) pivoting business activities to inevitably position our region and our people on the world stage; and (3) an invitation to the international community to relocate and work virtually from the Caribbean.
U.S. Virgin Islands Commissioner of Tourism, Joseph Boschulte, recently stated the marine industry was another opportunity to enhance the overall tourism product: “We have already begun to build on its potential as the COVID-19 pandemic provided an opportunity to expand on this important sector that serves an affluent population.”
This 11th column in the series, Tourism is Our Key, draws attention to the beauty of these diverse marine opportunities that are attractive to competitive sports groups, couples of all ages, families with small children as well as individuals.
Yachting, water polo, surfing, and fishing are organized competitively and for recreation purposes. For the very active, diving, swimming, kayaking, and snorkeling facilities are widespread and well organized.
Those who are adventurous can get involved in jet skiing, parasailing, and windsurfing to capture some exhilarating experiences.
The inquisitive and those who prefer not to immerse themselves in the ocean can seek relatively safe harbour in catamaran and submarine activities.
As a resident of Barbados, where the beach was a stone’s throw from my home, my routine was to walk on the beach and swim every day. It was a part of my health and wellness therapy.
Walking is an aerobic cardiovascular activity, and the sun provides an important source of Vitamin D. Sea bathing and recreational swimming is a refreshing practice. Building castles on the sand is a creative activity for the young ones.
I enjoy the spiritual refreshment floating on my back, observing the blue sky, and unaware of what is in my peripheral vision. In the days when I engaged regularly in public speaking, many a speech was composed while walking on the beach.
Sometimes when frustration sets in and there was a need for a verbal release, what better place than an empty beach at 5.30 in the morning with no one in earshot.
The concentration of salt in seawater has therapeutic skin care value. Many ingest pure forms of sea water as part of their internal care.
Marine tourism provides many vast opportunities for sport, adventure, curiosity, recreation, and therapy, protected by the gracious hand of the Divine.
As tourism rebounds around the world, let us be sure to make a splash!
(Dr. Basil Springer GCM is a Change-Engine Consultant. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. His columns may be found at www.nothingbeatsbusiness.com/basil-springer-column/ and on www.facebook.com/basilgf).