The Barbadian economy is heavily reliant on luxury tourism, and so was negatively affected by the global recession of 2009, contracting by 4%. Since then its economy has stabilised but struggled to recover, posting growth of just 0.2% and 0.4% in the past two years.
Yet the island remains one of the strongest economic players in the region, and as multinationals look for new markets to replace the saturated and stagnated regions of North America and Western Europe that have been their traditional markets, so more and more of them will look to emerging regions like the Caribbean, and this bodes well for Barbados's economy.
As for the PR industry, it remains dominated by small, local players, and is yet to attract the attention of any of the major global groups. But it is making an attempt to become more professional. A growing number of entrants to the industry have gained a degree in PR from the Barbados Community College. A significant recent achievement was the formation of a Barbados Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).
One agency boss says: “This is a great achievement and one which will lead to a major strengthening of the industry. Many practitioners, especially the recent entrants, are qualified to graduate degree level; so we're highly articulate and educated but I believe the professional certification will further bolster the quality of the work we do.”