NEW YEAR’S MESSAGE – BHTA calls for creativity in presenting island’s unique features


2018 is here and as we optimistically look forward to the New Year, the idea of New Year’s resolutions come to the fore.

In this regard, the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), as the leading private sector tourism entity, resolves to continue its work with the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI), to ensure that Barbados is represented at all major tourism expositions across the world and remains top of mind as a leading warm weather destination.

As the worldwide competition increases for the disposable income of travelers, we have to be resourceful and creative in presenting the unique features of our island to ensure that potential visitors understand the accommodation, activities and services we have available for all tastes and income levels.

Our aim for the BHTA is to attract more people at better net rates each year to the benefit of all our members as well as the wider community while sustaining downward pressure on our costs through highly efficient and motivated staff and sound sustainable practices, including the increasing use of renewables.

Our efforts to ensure that we are competitive and can fully access the benefits of the legislated vehicles to address our costs continue apace to achieve this goal and encourage reinvestment into the plant.

Indeed, we also have to recommit our efforts to the working relationship we have with the Barbados Tourism Product Authority (BTPA), to look at the delivery of the service and product quality that we are providing through our members and other private and public entities.

Our lobby for focus on the matters that concern the industry will continue tirelessly as our number one priority.

We resolve to keep the spotlight on the “welcome” we are providing at the airport which would have received a failing grade in 2017 in terms of service, irrespective of whose fault it is.  We already have a promise of improvement through the provision of more immigration officers, the shortage of which is one piece of the puzzle causing long wait times, among others.  The BHTA stands ready to commit hard dollars to this effort once formulated and implemented effectively and with haste.

Similarly, the provision of proper sewage treatment for waste would have received a failing grade and we resolve in 2018 to keep working closely with the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) to understand what the remedial, short, medium and long term solutions are and, what are the factors which our members have some control over, so we can implement as necessary.  We continue to be deeply concerned with those Barbadians, visitors and members who have been adversely affected so far for the season.  We will continue to provide support in every way that we can.

The focus on these critical tourism issues must be given priority in 2018. The coming year will bring a constitutionally due general election in the first half of the year.  It is the hope of the BHTA that there be objective discussion on the hard issues and active involvement in the exercise of individual franchise.  It is our desire that this is done in the peaceful and ordered way which the world has come to expect and admire of our mature democratic nation.

In order for us to make 2018 a better year than 2017 in terms of tourism receipts, we must not miss a beat when it comes to our marketing thrust and ability to deal with the matters already stated. New product, upgrades and refurbishments must continue as was the case in 2017. The economic crisis with which we are faced, including declining foreign reserves and high debt, requires our continuous focus and attention.  In this regard, we in the industry have to do our part to sure up the summer and fall receipts from early in the first quarter, which still represents the most vibrant booking period for the year.  We must keep our focus.

Within the BHTA secretariat we must continue our efforts to be more efficient and responsive to members as we build a new team.  As a member-centric organisation, our category chairs must keep close to the members and represent their interests at the level of the board.  Similarly, our members have to ensure the Association is kept apprised of all matters relating to their establishments, both positive and negative.  It is only through feedback that we can keep focused on the things that matter most to our constituents.

On behalf of my family, the Board of Directors and secretariat, I take this opportunity to wish all our valued staff and members along with the wider Barbados public a happy, healthy and prosperous 2018 and I thank you for your support in 2017.

7 Responses to NEW YEAR’S MESSAGE – BHTA calls for creativity in presenting island’s unique features

  1. Ras Small
    Ras Small December 31, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    Unique?! Sand, sea or Sun!?
    $400 million a year to do wha?
    What spaces do we really have or have done meaningful development to, dat will attract the eco-tourist$.
    Breathylser soon in play, so if da can’t drink & drive, nor wear camouflage, nor use cannabis, nor bath in nude, nor gamble, wha da coming hey to do(spend)? Oistins, Crop Over, Speighstown, Bridgetown!

  2. Jerry December 31, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    They all want firing. They keep offering the same old tired product year after year. Thank god for Sandals and their marketing power. We need a large casino hotel with international shows. The tourist have nothing to do after dinner every evening. We need a 1.5 Billion US Chinese investment like the Bahamas on the 4 Seasons site. We need to legalize marijuana for both medical and personal use. . We have the right growing climate and we will save millions in foreign exchange . Use Canada as a model. Projected taxes in 10 years greater than that on alcohol and cigarette consumption both bigger killers of people .

  3. Belfast January 1, 2018 at 12:58 am

    Pardon the expression, but these Tourism wallahs, including the Minister, are full of what is oozing out along the south coast.
    First, it was the Bajan Way, whatever that was. Now it’s uniqueness. Is this uniqueness the breakdown of garbage collection at the same time as the breakdown of the south coast sewerage system?

  4. Ossie Moore January 1, 2018 at 1:30 am

    All of these “official messages ” are like a** holes , everyone has one ( a message ) and they all stink.

  5. Tony B January 1, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    …and do you think that somewhere in that Mission Statement you may be persuaded to pay greater attention to how we (Barbadians) are treated by Immigration on arrival at the airport?

    …and do we really have to be stamping up the pages of our passport every time we enter the island?

    ….and/or are you able to include in the statement the need to persuade the Gov of B’dos that some other method ( if at all necessary) of recording passage in and out of the country is needed.

    All the best to you and the family of the BHTA

  6. seagul January 1, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    We share a common humanity which means that we are all people of equal worth– and if we were to act on the basis of embracing that common humanity in dealing with issues that will affect our children and grandkids, we must come together and work it out. So, we must continue to strengthen our heritage in
    promoting our OASIS OF HARMONY AND PLEASANT ENCOUNTERS. Their survival depends on it…The greatest menace for people of faith and tolerance is the circle of activity that imitates and counterfeits the realness of the spirit. Out of that spirit comes a call for us to understand that for our own good, for our own survival there are sacrifices to be made.

  7. Mike Bowler January 1, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    And then perhaps you will address the poor experience of visitors arriving at BGI.

    The lengthy queues and unmanned kiosks has gone on far too long and is unacceptable.

    After a 9 hour flight the last thing visitors want is to quee for over an hours, some times one and a half hours, to pass though the airport

    As a suggestion, what about free refreshments and steel drums to make it a more pleasant experience, and speed up the processing of visitors.


Leave a Reply

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