February 24, 2002

Barbados reports decline in tourism

                 BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (AP) -- This year has started with a 12 percent
                 drop in the number of people taking vacations in Barbados compared with
                 last year, the government announced.

                 In January, there were 39,915 overnight visitors to the Caribbean island, compared
                 with 45,499 during the first month of 2001, according to state statistics released

                 The number of passengers on cruises leaving from Barbados in January remained
                 almost the same at 80,516, compared with 80,976 for the month last year.

                 The number of visitors from Britain -- the main tourist market for the former
                 British colony -- dropped 11 percent.

                 The greatest decrease came from German tourists, with 23 percent fewer taking
                 holidays in Barbados. There were 13 percent fewer Canadians, and 3 percent fewer
                 tourists from the United States.

                 The island's tourism officials did not explain the decrease and were unavailable for

                 Many Caribbean islands have seen a decline in tourism due to the slowing world
                 economies and fear of traveling following the September 11 terrorist attacks on the
                 United States.

                  Copyright 2002 The Associated Press.