The crucial hotel and tourism sector in Barbados, which employs about 12,000 people, has instituted all emergency systems in preparation for the expected passing of Tropical Storm Chantal.
A spokesperson for the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association told Barbados TODAY this afternoon that the industry received its “stand up call” from the Department of Emergency Management since 9 o’clcok this morning.
The official said the sector, through its Tourism Emergency Organising Committee, was part of the DEM, which is the national emergency body that coordinates all emergency services across the country.
She said all the hotels and apartments had been put on notice and provided with the necessary information regarding the impending storm. “Everybody has to be prepared at their own levels. The Transport Board ceases at 9 p.m. Operators have to make sure their members are aware of that,” she pointed out.
The BHTA official also told this newspaper that the Tourism Emergency Organising Committee has all essential services on board. She explained that training had been carried out in the industry to help stakeholders develop emergency plans.
The Barbados economy, already starved of foreign exchange, stands to lose significantly, if Chantal causes major damage to the island’s hotel plant and other infrastructure. The tourism sector is the island’s main revenue earner.
The Barbados Meteorological Services said the island was expected to start feeling the effects of the system by midnight. (EJ)