Bridgetown, BARBADOS (March 10, 2023): Barbados has copped the Green Destinations Story Award for Environment and Climate at one of the world’s largest travel trade shows, ITB Berlin. The nomination came from Barbados’ ambition to be the first island in the Caribbean to achieve a 100% renewable energy goal by 2030 and a 70% carbon neutrality goals by 2050. The strides taken thus far have landed Barbados its first milestone in this prestigious category, namely having the largest fleet of electric buses in the Caribbean.
Minister of Tourism and International Transport, the Honourable Ian Gooding-Edghill proudly accepted the award in Germany March 7, 2023, expressing gratitude to Green Destinations. “The fact that as a Small Island Developing State we have been able to beat out a field comprising of 100 countries says a lot about who we are and where we want to be. Our Prime Minister, the Honourable Mia Mottley, has been a trailblazer on the international scene, advocating in particular for Small Island Developing States to ensure that we not only build resilience but also stress the awareness and impact that climate change has on Barbados.”
The Green Destinations Story Awards celebrates the most inspirational initiatives for sustainable tourism development, promoting 100 destinations as inspiring examples for other destinations, tour operators and visitors. Minister Gooding-Edghill referenced the Barbados National Energy Policy 2019-2030 which outlines six goals to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2030. “Our policies at the government level have caused us to be where we are today, so I really want to say that this award is for Barbadians, this is about Barbados and its leadership in the field of resilience and climate change,” he added.
Among the most significant accomplishments, Barbados currently has a fleet of 49 electric buses. As Barbados transitions to greater use of solar energy, almost 43% of the island’s grid is run on solar power, a remarkable feat in peak and non-peak periods. Over 25,000 of streetlights island wide now use LED bulbs to further reduce Barbados’ carbon footprint.
Portugal and The Philippines placed second and third in the Environment and Climate category.
The award is a promising step in Barbados’ fight to becoming the first Carbon-Neutral Small Island.
The island of Barbados offers a unique Caribbean experience steeped in rich history and colourful culture, and rooted in remarkable landscapes. Barbados is the home of two of the three remaining Jacobean Mansions left in the Western hemisphere, as well as fully functional rum distilleries. In fact, this island is known as the birthplace of rum, commercially producing and bottling the spirit since the 1700s. Each year, Barbados hosts several world-class events including the annual Barbados Food and Rum Festival; the annual Barbados Reggae Festival; and the annual Crop Over Festival, where celebrities such as Lewis Hamilton and its very own Rihanna are often spotted. Accommodations are wide and varied, ranging from picturesque plantation houses and villas to quaint bed and breakfast gems; prestigious international chains; and award-winning five-diamond resorts. In 2018, Barbados’ accommodation sector captured 13 awards in the Top Hotels Overall, Luxury, All-Inclusive, Small, Best Service, Bargain, and Romance categories of the ‘Traveler’s Choice Awards’. And getting to paradise is a breeze: the Grantley Adams International Airport offers plenty non-stop and direct services from a growing number of U.S., U.K., Canadian, Caribbean, European, and Latin American gateways, making Barbados the true gateway to the Eastern Caribbean. Visit Barbados and experience why for two years in a row it won the prestigious Star Winter Sun Destination Award at the ‘Travel Bulletin Star Awards’ in 2017 and 2018. For more information on travel to Barbados, visit www.visitbarbados.org, follow on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/VisitBarbados, and via Twitter @Barbados.