Barbados, the most easterly island in the Caribbean, features sun- filled beaches, luxurious accommodations, and a wealth of sporting and cultural attractions. The 430 square kilometer coral island has an estimated population of 285,000 people,with around 80,000 living in or around Bridgetown, the largest city and the country’s capital. Barbados is the wealthiest and most developed country in the Eastern Caribbean and enjoys one of the highest per capita incomes in Latin America. Although, Barbados was hit hard by the global economic crisis in 2008, Barbados’ public debt-to-GDP ratio rose to from 56% in 2008 to 83% in 2012.
The island enjoys a hot tropical climate with a seasonal wet period from June to November. Drawing on its English, African and West Indian roots, Barbados has established its own distinctive identity evidenced in its historic attractions, delicious cuisine and vibrant festivals. The island’s rich heritage is complemented by its international flair and sophistication – a combination that makes it one of the most diverse destinations in the Caribbean.
The Barbadian economy had been dependent on sugarcane cultivation, however, since the 1950’s there has been an increasing dependence on tourism. The mix of high class accommodation, including intimate guest-houses, luxury hotels, villas, and condominiums, accompanied by an array of quality restaurants, places Barbados as one of the highest tourism and hospitality oriented destinations in the region. With its well-educated population, stable democratic political system and good economic infrastructure, Barbados has also developed a reputation as a leading investment and international business location. The standard of living in Barbados is among the highest in the region and this coupled with the warmth and friendliness of the population has helped to make Barbados one of the most desirable countries – both for living and international business.