BTPA says restaurant and attractions must be up to standard
Unregistered operators in the accommodation, restaurant and attractions sectors are being warned that time is running out on them.
The Barbados Tourism Product Authority (BTPA) said it was moving to regulate the industry to put a stop to those that were having a “debilitating impact on the Barbados brand” and to protect the Barbados tourism product.
BPTA Chief Executive Officer Dr Kerry Hall c said regulations had already been developed for the accommodation sector and similar guidelines were being drawn up for restaurants and attractions in order to bring then in line with best practices and international standards.
“What we have done in the last six months is develop new regulations for the accommodations sector. The regulations were actually developed in 1982 so they were in dire need of upgrade. They only regulated the hotels, guest houses and apartments. The industry has evolved so much so we have created regulations that include villas and great houses, holiday retreats and hotels with marinas and golf courses,” Hall disclosed to the media at a recent briefing.
“We are now taking it to the stakeholders to have a few focus groups before we send it to Cabinet to be legislated. But that was one of the biggest projects of our department to date that I am very proud of.
“We have moved on from the accommodations to the restaurants sector and regulation for that sector is current being developed. What is happening is that we have to protect the Barbados brand and by not having regulations for the attractions or restaurants sectors there are no standards to which to hold anybody to and it cause for very inconsistent levels of service; those service standards and operational standards,” she explained.
Hall said the BTPA had been receiving complaints that that some operators who were not registered were not operating according to the desired standards.
“There are those who are unregulated in the industry and some of them are not running establishments that are up to standard and they are having a debilitating impact on the Barbados brand. So those who are registered and licensed yes, but there must be sector compliance. We just can’t have one set of accommodation complying and allowing us to come in and inspect their properties, pay their licenses and another set who are running establishments but are not a part of the process but earning revenue,” she said.
“We do get some complaints about these individuals and we are looking to see how we could bring everybody under the umbrella. These regulations will have a little bit more teeth than the 34-year-old regulations, and we will hope to rectify the situation by building into these new regulations all of these different things that will take care of the current gaps in the present one.”
Hall could not immediately say how many operators in the accommodations, restaurants and attractions sectors were unregistered.