Earlier this month, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. hosted an event at the Soho Hotel to celebrate the historic connection between Barbados and Charleston, South Carolina. Many don’t know about the link between these two colonies but it makes for a fantastic story and one that BTMI hope to share far and wide as a way of promoting the two destinations as a twin centre experience. It is an exciting partnership for Barbados and Charleston as well as British Airways, the island’s long standing airline partner.
The evening’s event raised awareness of this great historical link by hosting the UK premier screening of the powerful film ‘Beyond Barbados: The Carolina Connection’ directed and produced by Sanderson Adams who attended the event. Dr. Kerry Hall, Director of Tourism Development, for the Barbados Ministry of Tourism & International Transport, and the eminent Bajan historian Dr. Karl Watson, also spoke on the fascinating mix of cultures and history that Barbados and Charleston share.
To give you a bit of background, Barbados was founded in the 1600’s by the British who had travelled from England to find their fortunes. Having found the perfect paradise in the middle of the Caribbean, they quickly settled and called Barbados their home from home, and the business of sugar cane became their gold dust. (Fun fact: Barbados is still to this day referred to as Little England)
When word got back of the riches in Barbados, many of the gentry bought a ship and sailed to the Caribbean to get a slice of the pie. Travellers soon found however there was no space left for their fortunes to be made in Barbados so they set sail in the hope of the next best thing – landing in what is now called Charleston in South Carolina.
From the people and the parish names, to the cuisine and the architecture Barbados and Charleston are intrinsically linked, their cultures intertwined from the very beginning.
The event proved to be instrumental in raising awareness of the significance of the historical connection between the two destinations, and it was attended by members of the UK National Trust, media, travel industry and Barbados High Commission, who were treated to delicious canapés, drinks and a performance from the world-renowned, Barbadian saxophonist Arturo Tappin.