Attacks on tourists counterproductive, warns Jemmott
Barbados’ image as a safe destination is in danger of being eroded, warned one prominent hotelier today after two tourists were attacked this morning in Black Rock, St Michael.
The two women, one a Spanish national and the other Polish, were injured by a man brandishing a machete before he escaped.
Describing the incident as unfortunate, Alvin Jemmott, general manager of Divi Southwinds, said it was worrying that such negative incidents appeared to be occurring more frequently.
“It is all well and good to do a good job of apprehending but that is after the fact and after the damage has already been done and Barbados can ill afford this. We have to stop the lawlessness and if harsher measures need to be implemented to punish the perpetrators then we should do so,” he stated.
Earlier this month, a 33-year-old Canadian man was shot during a robbery at a house in St John. Several people have since been charged.
Jemmott said Barbados could not afford such, particularly given the competitive nature of tourism.
“Brazil is an emerging market, one we are trying to grow but unfortunately we are sending negative signals. Europe is one of the source markets which is growing, we just got additional airlift from there but again these attacks are counterproductive.”
He added: “When I think of traveling there are places in the world that simply do not appeal to me because I always feel that I will be harmed or killed. I go to places where I feel I can be safe. I like going to visit my brother in Barrie, Canada; He hardly locks the door because he lives in an area where everybody respects everybody and crime is low.
I don’t have the same sense of appeal for other places. You can’t get me to go to Afghanistan, I don’t feel I would be safe, rather that I would step on a land mine or that a suicide bomber would drive into the area I am staying and kill me and I don’t want to die that way.”