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More than sea

We have always heard the slogan Tourism is Our Business let’s play our part. This statement is so true because our little island of Barbados has to rely heavily on tourism to keep the economy moving and to bring in foreign exchange. So we all have to play our part to ensure that when these tourists come to our shores that they have an enjoyable time.

After working in the hotel industry for many years in my opinion we have a few things we need to improve on if we truly want to attract visitors to our island. Barbados is seen as a very expensive destination. I have heard many tourists ask how we do afford to live here. Sometimes I ask myself the same question.

Sometimes on the news you hear of record numbers coming through our port via cruise ships but are these tourists truly spending their money or do they save their money and wait until they reach another island which is less expensive. So who really benefits from the cruise passengers? I would say the transport companies, taxi drivers and maybe the jet ski operators or beach bars as most cruise passengers just go to the beach and hang out.

Many tourists come from all around the world to experience what Barbados has to offer. Many check in to hotels for their vacation with us. When our guests go to breakfast, lunch or dinner they are faced with the same food they have left in their country. Where is the cou cou and flying fish or even conkies on the menu? Many hotels only have one night that they prepare a Bajan menu and that should not be.

Why is the Oistin’s Fish Fry still so popular? It is not because of the atmosphere but the food plays an integral part in attracting the visitors there. These visitors pay thousands of dollars to come here, not only to relax on our beaches but to sample of local cuisine as well.

Taxis are another problem we need to look at. Why is it that you call one taxi and the driver gives you one price and when you call another they give you another price? Where is price control? Many guests complain of being ripped off by taxis and this needs to stop. There should be one fixed priced that each taxi must charge for each destination and there should be a price list visibly displayed in each taxi.

We sing about beautiful Barbados but is Barbados still so beautiful when we have persons who constantly litter our gullies, roads and beaches on a daily basis. Green economy is becoming very important to many of the countries in which our tourists come from. We need to show the world that we are interested in pollution, dumping and our fossil fuel emissions. If the Government truly undertakes this initiative of a cleaner environment we will attract more visitors to our island.

Have a wonderful week ahead!!

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