Bim still safe for holidays, tourism officials say

Tourism officials are giving the assurance that Barbados remains a safe destination, in light of the shootings that marred Grand Kadooment this year.

Gunmen opened fire on Monday on the crowd along a section of Spring Garden Highway, killing 20-year-old Taried Junior Rock of 3rd Avenue, Chapman Lane, St Michael and leaving at least 18 other people nursing injuries.

Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc (BTMI) William Billy Griffith told Barbados TODAY while the shooting was regrettable, Barbados remained a very safe place for a holiday.

William Billy Griffith and Jeremy Nicholls

“The shooting incident was unfortunate and BTMI will communicate to all partners and stakeholders to reaffirm that Barbados continues to be a safe destination for locals and visitors alike,” Griffith said.

Another tourism official, who did not want to be identified, told Barbados TODAY the entire country should be concerned about the shooting, although it was an unusual occurrence.

“We believe the Royal Barbados Police Force are quite capable of handling the lawless elements in the country and we expect that will continue. Barbados is a very civilized country and we intend to keep it that way,” he said.

“It is a very unusual occurrence and I hope it never happens again. That sort of thing is not good for tourism,” the official added.

Bandleader of Xhosa Jeremy Nicholls also weighed in on the violence, telling  Barbados TODAY the shooting was “a really sad situation” that did not augur well for the island’s premier festival.

He said such behaviour could cause the already ailing economy to lose out on valuable foreign exchange.

“It is terrible on the festival because once it goes on the front page when something like this happens it goes on the Internet the number of people seeing it . . . if we keep allowing these kind of things to happen where it threatens that [the investment in the festival], then it is really not good. It is not only about the money, it is also about other people,” Nicholls said, adding that he was concerned people would now become fearful of going on the road to even to watch the parade.

Meantime, Griffith said that “from the tourism standpoint” this year’s festival appeared to have been another successful one.

“We believe that tourism arrivals were certainly on par with that of last year, which was at a high point with the 50th Independence anniversary celebrations,” he said.

“The highlights for us would probably be the significant attendance of partygoers at most of the events. The buzz generated by the celebrities who were here was probably another high point. BTMI created a dynamic promotion, No Crew Left Behind, with major exposure in Trinidad, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Vincent and Bermuda with 25 prize winners participating in Crop Over. And there was significant social media exposure as a result,” the BTMI executive said, adding that the organizers of the Crop Over festivities, the National Cultural Foundation, had created a good balance of events over the two-month period.

marlonmadden@barbadostoday.bb

20 Responses to Bim still safe for holidays, tourism officials say

  1. Epaphras D. Williams
    Epaphras D. Williams August 10, 2017 at 5:31 am

    The guests I interacted with are uneasy about the general direction the island is heading. “Gang” violence is a global concern and I suppose we are a bit reluctant to call them terrorists or terror groups but it is what it is. The vast majority of guests are concerned with the ridiculous cost of food. The cost of living is more likely to kill off tourism than terror groups cause hotels and villas employ security but who is protecting them from sky high prices?

    Reply
    • Bentley Williams
      Bentley Williams August 10, 2017 at 7:02 am

      There is a big difference between terrorists and gangs bro. Leh we focus on solving problems and not confusing the issues.

      Reply
    • Sherlene Phillips
      Sherlene Phillips August 10, 2017 at 7:25 am

      Definitely not terrorism.

      Reply
    • Eddy Murray
      Eddy Murray August 10, 2017 at 7:49 am

      1492 Columbus was the IS of today world

      Reply
  2. Danny Colombian Clarke
    Danny Colombian Clarke August 10, 2017 at 6:42 am

    Keep burying you head in the sand and talking what you hope rather than deal head on with the facts . This recent spike in gun related crime has already been read about by thousands of tourist . You seem to forget that news no longer spreads by way of a phone call at Christmas asking ” how things in Barbados ” . I wake up around 5 am and read the news online and often ppl from abroad have already commented . So keep on fooling yourself that visitors to our shores aren’t bothered . Then again half you all just spend an hour on the job , attend a few meetings and then back to your castle in the hill. Out of touch with reality

    Reply
  3. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner August 10, 2017 at 6:51 am

    Surprise not, don’t expect tourism officials to say anything else but Trip Advisor and social media not gine be so forgiving.

    Reply
  4. michael parker August 10, 2017 at 7:02 am

    mr william billy griffith, you need to get your head out of the sand, if you believe barbados is safe,just go and ask the parents of the murdered man and ask those who were hospitalised after that deplorable event, ask them if barbados is safe,for a man who sits behind the safety of his desk you dont seem to have grasped the situation.

    Reply
  5. Michael Crichlow
    Michael Crichlow August 10, 2017 at 7:10 am

    Bim is safer than where most Tourist arrive from ,please check ….your concerns should be your citizens first period

    Reply
    • Michael Crichlow
      Michael Crichlow August 10, 2017 at 7:38 am

      Stephen D Stewart …400 murders alone in Chicago…stupse Child porn is rampant in some European countries… these Politicians are useless and inept..

      Reply
      • Richard Johnston August 10, 2017 at 11:53 am

        New York City had 335 murders in 2016, with 30 times the population of Barbados. That rate has declined further in 2017. This is in a violence-prone society with a lot of poor people, and where guns are easily obtained. Is that what you want Barbados known for, too?

        Reply
  6. Saga Boy August 10, 2017 at 7:12 am

    It is interesting how some of you leave Barbados and go as visitors to places with higher crime rates. Some of the same visitors come from countries with higher crime rates. We are all uncomfortable but I still think Barbados is relatively safe. Most if not all the shootings are gang related. We need to stop the guns and bullets from coming in to Barbados. This is going to be a challenge because I am sure people at the borders and other places are being paid lots of money to allow them in.

    Reply
  7. Dionne Jackman
    Dionne Jackman August 10, 2017 at 7:13 am

    It was real safe kadooment day too

    Reply
  8. Eddy Murray
    Eddy Murray August 10, 2017 at 7:15 am

    But you notice that no one cares about the locals. When the men shoot up the power lines, no one speak, as long it did not involve a tourist or some big up. Life go on

    Reply
  9. Caroline Boxill
    Caroline Boxill August 10, 2017 at 7:46 am

    So what about we the locals . Aren’t we the first priorities . Smh

    Reply
  10. Michael Crichlow
    Michael Crichlow August 10, 2017 at 7:52 am

    Mek dem know …Stephen…The Chicken Little Politicians are wannabes Celebrities ..always in the news

    Reply
  11. Waiting August 10, 2017 at 9:03 am

    The first comment by Epaphras D. Williams concerning the cost of living should be addressed for that to me is also a critical fact that affects all of us. I hope something is done about it but unfortunately everything points to it getting worst.

    Reply
  12. Ossie Moore August 10, 2017 at 11:34 am

    Saga Boy
    August 10, 2017 at 7:12 am
    It is interesting how some of you leave Barbados and go as visitors to places with higher crime rates. Some of the same visitors come from countries with higher crime rates. We are all uncomfortable but I still think Barbados is relatively safe. Most if not all the shootings are gang related. We need to stop the guns and bullets from coming in to Barbados. This is going to be a challenge because I am sure people at the borders and other places are being paid lots of money to allow them in.

    Saga Boy says : It is interesting how some of you leave Barbados and go as visitors to places with higher crime rates. Some of the same visitors come from countries with higher crime rates.

    Ossie Moore : The COMPARISON FACTOR – Saga Boy is using the good old bajan COMPARISON FACTOR saying that 5 people getting killed in Barbados every week is okay . Buhbaydus is not bad once it does not exceed or COMPARED to the 6 people who get killed in Trinidad , Guyana and Jamaica week.

    Saga Boy says : We are all uncomfortable but I still think Barbados is relatively safe. Most if not all the shootings are gang related

    Ossie Moore : DENIAL – once again the typical bajan . . .always slipping in to DENIAL.

    Saga Boy says : We need to stop the guns and bullets from coming in to Barbados.

    Ossie Moore : CLICHE _ CLICHE _ CLICHE . We need to stop the guns and bullets from coming in to Barbados. . . . . this is just like the Holy rollers , Bible packers , Religious extremists and the God tricksters saying every day I LEAVE IT ALL IN THE HANDS OF GOD !

    Reply
  13. Ossie Moore August 10, 2017 at 11:44 am

    Quote :
    Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc (BTMI) William Billy Griffith told Barbados TODAY while the shooting was regrettable, Barbados remained a very safe place for a holiday.

    Now what do you expect this moron to say ? this guy is in the C M A mode . .. . . Cover My Ass mode.

    Cnn , The BBC , Aljazeera , Fox news , Abc , NBC , CBS 6o mins. and other profession and experiened news media organizations would wipe the floor with this guy and his comments.

    He can only spill that BS to the local bajan media without being challenge and made to look stupid . . . . . and he knows that !

    Reply
  14. Ossie Moore August 10, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Well if you say so Mesers; Griffith and Nicholls then we can place our heads into the alligator’s mouth.

    Reply
  15. Clemkonan August 10, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    You have to remember that perception is reality . If I woke up this morning and for the last 3 days there was a murder in Brampton and death and mayhem everywhere in the GTA I am still going to be hesitant about booking my flight to Bim and hitting Miami Beach or Browns beach where by daughter visiting for the first time had to go through passionate verbal abuse from a young man who left me shaken and scared that he would rape her right there. The comparisons simply will not hold up you are selling a product that people do not need to buy they have choices.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *