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Sandiford-Garner knocks private sector over tourism spend

Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport Irene Sandiford-Garner today expressed sharp criticism of local tourism businesses, accusing them of lacking innovation.

Speaking in the Senate on the Appropriations Bill 2016, Sandiford-Garner complained that the private sector was not doing enough to extract maximum benefits from tourism.   

She pointed to record arrival numbers last year and made it clear that while Government can attract the visitors, it was up to the private sector to ensure the tourists spend as much as possible.

“We can bring the people here but we can’t take the money out of their pockets. There has to be some incentive for those persons to spend in Barbados. The private sector of this country needs to get on board, they need to move out of their comfort zones and enter the world of 21st century business,” she told fellow legislators.

Tourist arrivals to Barbados grew by 13.9 per cent last year when compared with 2014, well over the Caribbean’s growth rate of seven per cent. During this period over 591,000 tourists visited the island.

The parliamentary secretary said these figures emphasized the need for the private sector to create the attractions that would encourage spending.

“When will the private sector understand that the more the visitor spends the more it benefits the country [and that] increased passenger spend is a vital economic benefit to this island?

“There is no real high-end nightclub in this country for those who come here and would want to party,” she stressed, recalling that the situation was different in the 1970s and 1980s.

“We had a night life [then], we don’t have it now. And there is nobody seeking to take advantage of the stay over [cruise visitors] because we are home porting at a considerable level now, or even bringing Pelican Village coming alive when the nights come.”

Sandiford-Garner insisted that Government ought not insert itself into these areas of private enterprise and appealed to private businesses to step forward. (GA)

4 Responses to Sandiford-Garner knocks private sector over tourism spend

  1. Adrian Loveridge March 24, 2016 at 5:49 am

    I agree the private sector has to do more, but the Senator failed to mention our re-DISCOVER initiative which has generated MILLIONS including a substantial amount of non-reclaimable VAT for her Government at virtually no cost to her adimistration or the taxpaper. This despite our voluntary unpaid efforts where we cannot even get due and payable VAT refunds for 25 months.

  2. BaJan boy March 24, 2016 at 6:20 am

    Adrian the poor Senator like all or most of the others don’t have a clue to run even a pig pen and killing bajans. Like the MoF she has joined the cursing group after they have done absolutely nothing to engender private sector confidence. They have no business acumen and expect private sector to pick up their hard earned dollars and throw it in an economy that continues to deteriorate and be downgraded.
    That is like throwing water in the sea and for creativity she Richard,Chris and Freundel are the only ones with ideas worth looking at so they should spend some of the money they were never accustomed to.

  3. jrsmith March 24, 2016 at 8:16 am

    The problem the tourism industry in Barbados is too over priced, this is then killing how the locals can and cannot sustain part of the industry for the various yearly changes.. Barbados is loosing out to places in the region, because they are offering what can be bought in Barbados at high prices for a lot less, the tourist industry has almost killed off the gap. Bajans cant even afford to go there.. this is being echoed by lot of foreigners who visits bajan friends..

    Look at Oistin still a lot more can be done to this area. by people with vision , we have gone past the rum shop mentality..

  4. Big Brown March 24, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    jrsmith surely you mean we have not gone past the rum shop mentality


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