Barbados, the most easterly of the Caribbean chain of islands was first settled by the British in 1627 and remained a British colony until internal autonomy was granted in 1961.The island gained full independence in 1966 but maintains ties to the British monarchy as a member of the Commonwealth. The island's population has easy access to a comprehensive health care system which offers preventative and curative services. It also has access to free education to tertiary level.
Tourism & the EconomyHistorically, the Barbadian economy had been dependent on sugarcane cultivation and related activities. However, since the 1950s there has been an increasing dependence on tourism. Long stay visitors to the island have increased from 17,829 in 1956 to 567,724 in 2011. The island has also benefited from the development of the international cruise industry with an increase in cruise passengers from 12,391 in 1956 to 619,054 in 2011. Visitor expenditure for 2011was estimated at Bds$743.6 million.
Geography & Climate
Transport & CommunicationsThe island has one airport, Grantley Adams International which is thirty (30) minutes drive from the capital,
Barbados is serviced by a number of international airlines including Air Canada, American Airlines, British Airways, Caribbean Airlines (formerly BWIA), Delta Airlines, US Airways, Virgin Atlantic, JetBlue and WestJet. All visitors to
For further travel advice, please visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade website.
Currency & BankingThe currency of
Ministry of Tourism
"Encouraging Sustainable Tourism Development"