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Watch out

Tourism boss warns that crime can hurt tourism

Tourism boss warns that crime can hurt tourism

Crime, violence and social deviancy could place a choke hold on Barbados’ bread and butter industry, chief executive officer of the Barbados Tourism Product Authority Dr Kerry Hall has warned.

The top tourism official told a forum on crime and its effects on community-based tourism hosted by the St Philip Parish Independence Committee at the Princess Margaret Secondary School last evening that Barbados has attracted a “new type of tourist” that it simply cannot afford to lose.

“There is a new tourist out there that is driving what we call new tourism and this person is looking for more than a beach, they are looking to immerse themselves in the communities, in the culture of the destination. They want an authentic Barbadian experience.

“What I am saying is if this new traveller is looking to spread out and go into communities . . . if crime takes root and we cannot allow it to take root as for economic reasons. Barbados is the 15th most dependent country in the world on tourism out of 180 countries. That is serious, that means that anything that threatens [tourism] should be a cause of great concern to us all,” she maintained.

Dr Hall also revealed that the country has relied on the friendliness of its people, safety and the opportunity to relax as the three core elements that have been the foundation for the success of the tourism industry for 50 years.

“We cannot let those three elements slip away; they are the most critical,” she said.

“Tourism is also about bringing benefits to a nation; tourism is about ensuring; and what we want to ensure is that a wider cross section of Barbadians benefit from the prosperity that tourism brings. We want to spread the tourism, a special balance from the coastal part of this country into the rural areas, spreading that tourism dollar across this country and giving a wider cross-section of Barbadians an opportunity to interact and to benefit from that tourism dollar,” she added.

Past chairman for Crimestoppers Barbados Julie Dash made a similar appeal, stressing that Barbados could not afford to have its reputation for safety tarnished.

“Tourism being the goose that lays our golden egg we can not afford a single tourist to have a negative experience in Barbados. We just can’t stand it. We have to know that people can be safe here; we have been known as a safe destination for decades, we can’t let that stop now,” said Dash who is now the chairperson of Crimestoppers Bermuda, Latin America and the Caribbean.

However, Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs Adriel Brathwaite said the country is still a safe place for visitors. But he maintained that the right message should be go out to tourists.

“Do what you normally do at home, apply the same common sense. Yes you are on holiday, yes you are in a more relaxed mode but because you are on holiday does not mean that you leave your bags and valuables in the car unlocked and go about your business.

“Barbados still remains one of the safest places to travel in the world. It still remains one of the safest places to travel in the Caribbean. So yes we have some challenges at the community level and we need to make sure that we take the message to our young men and women in terms of what impact their behavior can potentially have on the tourists,” he said.  

6 Responses to Watch out

  1. jrsmith October 15, 2015 at 8:08 am

    As having high regards ,for most women ,in upper management in Barbados , must say to DR.. Kerry Hall, you are getting in on the act rather late in the day, where were you months or years ago. Crime in Barbados which would effect tourism, was always there, just getting worst ,because nothing is being done ,by the failure brigade who suppose to run Barbados LTD.

    Why person like yourself , who bears such responsibility, never be brave to fire your salvos ,directly at the failing useless government ministers who are all in over they heads. as I always said , you are building a house, but you have employed all painters, that’s what the government is like.

  2. Alex Alleyne October 15, 2015 at 9:01 am

    We have been asking for the PM and the AG to come forward with a plan to fight crime in BIM .
    Let’s start with JOBS number one .

  3. seagul October 15, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Barbados has arrived at a place where its way of life and social order invites emulation, however large elements of a self-centered business sector has grown deaf to the struggling poor. If this continues it can lead us into dire straits. It can successfully meet its current and prospective economic challenges but a magnitude of expenditure is still a cause for grave concern. I am not sure how much longer the Caribbean in general can avoid remedying this issue. We would find it extremely difficult to withstand another major external economic shock.

  4. cecil . P October 15, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    Excuse me. sorry but it took u a very long time figure that one out I was saying that for a very long and time and many readers of Barbados to day .may be just may be u should star reading Barbados to day and see what the people of Bim have to say about the problems there facing with the crime no one in government seems to care to listen or give a damn about what’s going in Beautiful Barbados . u still have time to fix this mess it’s never too late .we all know that tourism is our bread and butter we have nothing else going for us. Dr .Hall where were u when all of this was going on ? hello where u out there in space floating around have you now return earth ?

  5. Menace II Babylon October 16, 2015 at 8:26 am

    Call me a prude but I even bother to read this article. So you hear them now their cash cow is under threat. Predial larceny was rife, cows getting butchered for beef and not a word from the ministry of agriculture or the police. Local farmers was getting mauled and not a word. That is until COW Red Poll get thief or something….front page news….. Laws passed, consequences enlarged stuppppesss

    All Reactionary rather than preventative.

    Figured after the slump after Twin Towers they would have learnt to not have one sole industry to prop a nation’s financial status quo. No other industries are prevalent in Bim. You cut down the canes and build golf courses, no subsistence farming as we import, in and everything, they encourage us to buy local when the imported items are way cheaper than our own locally made products. Barbados is too dependent on Tourism.

    Do you not see what happens when the country is devastated with a natural disaster? Do they keep coming? Do you not see what happens when a major terrorist threat occurs? After 9/11 the place was dead, as nobody aint want fly and you still aint learn.

    Do they keep coming?

    Barbados I love you but your cost of living is atrocious and seriously hurting the poor. The highest in Caricom. Why would people want to go to a country where the money cant stretch? Crime is natural. It is worldwide. Not just in Bim. You never see the causation but the equals to

    You cannot travel to a place in the world where there is no crime. Bora Bora, Maldives, Thailand, Vietnam crime is prevalent. Xenophobic people often compare it to Jam Town, Trini with their cosmopolitan attitudes. It is already like Jamaica as the all-inclusive has taken over thus cutting small entrepreneurs out the equation to earn a dollar and Jamaica is extremely nice.

    Miss Tourism you nah look at unemployment figures, job attainment, cost of living, Education, Training or Employment (ETE), Not in Education training or Employment (NEET) etc but could jump up bout hurting tourism?

    What about it hurting bajans? The effect on livelihoods, small entrepreneurs but you jump to let us know protect the culture bandits other wise we will all lose. We wont loose as you already big in the all inclusive thing and Barbados is still very safe and with any country, you stray off the tourist track you will get robbed.

    This now happen. All of a sudden crime is like wow…..You and your predecessors statically can track violent crime, firearm offences, anything you can track, you can plan, envision, and have effective strategies in place to counteract and protect your industry.

    Crime? This is just the beginning……

  6. Alex 3 October 16, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    I commented on a similar story on this subject earlier. Those comments apply here as well.
    The comments of the AG are typical. What he has said is not new and yes just pain common sense.
    However, after 36 yr of visiting Barbados, he is perpetuating the same attitude. If we don’t talk about it it will be ok.
    For years crimes against tourist have been hushed up or under- reported.
    Now we have drugs and guns and unprecedented crime Ito citizens as well as tourists.
    Denial will not fix what is out there,
    If the AG doesn’t want to be part of the solution he is part of the problem so he needs to move to the side and let others whose eyes and ears are open try to change things.


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