While the stakeholders in the tourism industry are concerned with its survival, they recognize that given that a health crisis is at the root of the economic challenges they face, it is imperative that a balance is struck with the health concerns.
So says Chairman of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) Geoffrey Roach. Delivering remarks during the recently held virtual Third Quarterly Meeting of the Association, Roach maintained that balancing health and economics must remain the focus, The Barbados Advocate reported.
“When we look at all that has happened within the country, if we look at the issues of practicing social distancing, the wearing of masks, we go back to the early days of the alphabet system where we were only allowed to go out on days where all last name starting with a particular letter – that all was really about balancing health and economics, ensuring that livelihoods could be maintained and that is going to carry through to the re-emerging of tourism in the country,” Roach stated.
The BHTA Chairman went further, contending that as flights slowly return in increasing numbers and visitors start to occupy the accommodation sector again and visit our attractions and restaurants, that “balancing act becomes even more acute,” to reduce the likelihood of the spread of the virus.
His comments came as he reflected on the cruise sector, which he said is particularly important to sustaining the attraction business in Barbados. Roach noted that the sector is the main source of revenue for many of the attractions. Additionally, he noted that prior to COVID-19, the cruise sector also provided an opportunity for hotels in terms of the homeporting traffic, where persons had the option to cruise and stay.