I have always tried to stay away from the various personalities that have been entrusted to guide our number one foreign currency generator, but it would have been almost impossible not to comment on the remarks accredited to the outgoing Chairman of the Barbados Tourism Industry recently. If accurately reported, there certainly was some very robust, and frankly, blunt language used to describe the agency as, ‘a slothful, wasteful and inefficient organization in an increasingly dynamic technologically-driven and commercial industry’.
Perhaps, in less colourful words, this has been stated by many in the sector repeatedly over several years, so why is it after more than three years at the helm, only being recognised now? And if you analyse the figures, why were corrective measures not put into place much earlier?
After assuming the position of Chairman of the Barbados Tourism Authority in May 2011 that year only recorded two months of long stay visitor decline. However, by April 2012 Barbados witnessed a reduction in arrivals for 21 consecutive months. Sadly the release of tourism numbers seem to get later and later each month, with the May 2014 figures taking a staggering 60 days to be posted on the Barbados Statistical Service website. But all the indications are that so far this year the best we can expect is a ‘flat’ performance. Equally important to highlight is that during the third year (2013) of the official’s tenure, Barbados registered the lowest stay-over arrivals for any one of the last 11 years.