Nearly 100,000 visitors passed through Harrison’s Cave in the past year, in the process maintaining its position as one of Barbados’ premier tourist attractions, despite trying economic conditions.
Chairman of the board of directors of Caves of Barbados Limited, Ian Broome, made this disclosure during the annual staff Christmas dinner and retirement function at the Welchman Hall, St. Thomas facility Saturday night.
“Over the past few years we have sought to expand the product offered at the cave, with the combination of the traditional cave tram tour, the specialty tours such as the eco-adventure tours; the gully tour; the technical tour; along with the bat programme and special events associated with Crop-Over, and also the hosting of functions and other events. We have been able to achieve … almost 100,000 visitors per year,” he said.
Broome added that the cave’s scientific education and marketing programmes continued to grow, and noted that it was through those combined efforts that they were going forward to face the challenges of 2013 with confidence.
The chairman pledged that the board of management, and staff of CBL, would strive to ensure that the cave maintained its position as the number one attraction, and continued to achieve economic, social and environmental sustainability.
Chief Executive Officer of the Cave, Joe-Ann Grant, also noted that since the cave’s reopening on February 26, 2010, after being closed for eight months to facilitate infrastructure and development work, it had welcomed almost 300,000 visitors.
“This is clear evidence that the new and improved Harrison’s Cave is still, and will continue to be a cornerstone of Barbados’ tourism product. The sheer beauty and intrigue of Harrison’s Cave itself is a major component that has led to it being successful over the last 31 years,” she said.
She added however, that such success could not be achieved without the continued and tireless support, and dedication of the entire staff of CBL. “Thank you for [your] commitment and hard work over the years. It is my belief that you will continue to make great strides forward to ensure that the Harrison’s Cave brand remains synonymous with the brand of excellence,” Grant told staff.
However, as staff at the cave prepared to put measures in place to face the challenges of next year, they would be doing so without tram driver, Harold Roach, who officially retired on October 31 after joining the staff on January 16, 1990.
During the dinner and retirement function, he was honoured and praised by his colleagues. He was treated to a musical presentation by long-time friend Colin Spencer and Keisha Christian.
Roach was described by his colleagues as a man who was always punctual and meticulous, paid attention to detail, was reliable, a problem solver, enthusiastic, and loved to read. Overall, they all agreed: “We had good times with him. He was a cool guy.”