Full employment still possible, says Minister of Tourism

Barbados could see full employment in under four years once Government’s hotel investment plan is allowed to bear out, Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy said last evening.

Making his contribution to this week’s Budget debate, Sealy spoke about increasing the island’s accommodation room stock to some 10,000.

Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy
Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy

“That fact would facilitate not only a whole set of investment in Barbados, investment to the tune of US$540 million annually in terms of visitor receipts, but we should also be well underway by the time we get into Phase ll with the developments at Carlisle Bay and Needhams towards full employment,” he told the House of Assembly.

The Minister justified his projections by pointing to “all of the ancillary and vicarious operations that will benefit from seeing so many hotel rooms. The agriculturalists will benefit, manufacturers, service providers,” he said.

Stating that the drive was “towards a scenario where we see jobs”, he explained: “Ideally we would like to see full employment in Barbados. It is achievable if we stick with this investment plan that we have for tourism.

“By the year 2019-2020, we could have 10,000 hotel rooms and the unemployment level would be what the economists would call full employment, where it is basically negligible,” Sealy said.

He said the recent amendment to the Tourism Development Act to regard tourism as an export sector “has been driving investor confidence not only among foreign investors, but domestic investors as well”.

He spoke of the former Amaryllis hotel being now in reconstruction ahead of rebranding. He said the former Sandy Beach hotel was also under refurbishment and will become Sandy Bay when completed.

Regarding Sam Lords Castle, Sealy said, “we expect that as well to come on stream”.

He added that Government had completed negotiations with China and “we anticipate that those rooms will come back, [with] 450 luxury suites and amended activities. It will be managed by Wyndham.”

He also mentioned the proposed Belair Beach resort project at Foul Bay, St Philip that will provide an additional 309 rooms and will be completed by 2019.

6 Responses to Full employment still possible, says Minister of Tourism

  1. Nikki Vs Nicksie
    Nikki Vs Nicksie June 19, 2015 at 6:59 am


  2. Ryan Bayne
    Ryan Bayne June 19, 2015 at 7:46 am

    With all the layoffs and lack of funds from both the treasury and the NIS, you can’t be serious, Stealy.

  3. Tony Webster June 19, 2015 at 9:04 am

    Things so rosy looking….bohsie…DEM cud call a snap-election by January next!
    My only grouse, is that this projection / anticipation/ prophesy of of full employment…would have better been delivered by Jepter-The-Joker…in the other place.

  4. Realist June 19, 2015 at 10:36 am

    Oh shut the …. up, you are giving me a headache. You cannot get a full hotel dreamer, what full employment are you talking about.

  5. Alex3 June 19, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    As a visitor of long standing (1980) I find the idea of expanding capacity to be somewhat humourous but it is in fact no laughing matter.
    The current capacity is not being used today. Until that happens what will be gained in employment with people being laid off.
    It seems to me that the way forward means that the business model has to change.
    Barbados, as I have said on these pages before, is a relatively expensive destination.
    The growth and expansion of other destinations in the Caribbean offering comparable experiences at lower cost thrive yet my contacts in Barbados in the industry tell a different tale.
    Investment is getting the cart before the horse.
    Taxing the industry and then taking that money and investing it in capital projects seems to me to be wrong headed but then again we don’t know which palms are getting greased.

  6. Patrick Blackman June 19, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    @Alex3: RIGHT ON POINT. If this is the level of analysis the minister brings to the table no wonder tourism is in such a state. I have said numerous times that B’dos should not be percieved as a high price destination, we need to promote this country as a family friendly middle class destination . Almost every reference to B’dos state “the rich & famous”, this is not what we want.

    All the other destinations have sea and sun thus B’dos is not unique in anyway. What the minister first has to do is to tell us WHAT IS B’DOS TOURISM PRODUCT. If you don’t know what your product is, then how can you effectively market it?

    There are too many hotels on the island, we don’t need anymore. What we do need is efficiently running hotels, and a significant infrastructure upgrade (roads, transit etc.) to support the industry. We must allow hotels to fail, get rid of the non-productive entities that drain the industry.


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