Tourism provides the main source of foreign exchange, economic activity and employment. The major elements of Barbados’ tourism product are its solid historical and cultural legacy, varied entertainment and its natural physical attributes. The four major markets for the Barbados tourist industry are the UK, USA, Continental Europe and Canada.
Accommodation facilities in Barbados include a wide range of hotels, apartments, luxury villas, cottages and beach houses. Barbados receives just over one million visitors per year, with cruise ship arrivals narrowly surpassing long-stay arrivals in recent years. Economic expenditure by those two groups collectively exceeded US$1.2B in 2010, with spending down 6.8% through Q1 to Q3 2011. The Port Authority has invested in a dredging exercise to facilitate mega cruise liners, which has expanded its berthing capacity and the potential to earn more foreign exchange.