Mention Barbados and for most, a luxury Caribbean dream springs to mind. Glorious sunshine, warm smiles, clear seas lapping on white sandy beaches, a backdrop of lush tropical greenery and a laid-back vibe. There may be a rum in hand, with the sound of steel pans in the background, travelling on the gentle breeze. The dream is real for thousands of visitors each year, surfing on the East coast, water sports, golf, tennis, duty free shopping, delicious dining experiences all supported by good infrastructure.
Pre-pandemic, visitor figures were rising year on year to the island, now a republic. And during the pandemic, when travel was restricted and when priorities and working practices changed, a large number of higher earning remote workers applied for 12-month Welcome Stamp visa when it was launched by the government in 2020.