Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy is assuring that Barbados remains a safe destination, despite recent incidents of violence and several attacks on visitors.
Speaking just weeks after two female tourists were robbed by a machete-wielding man in Black Rock, the minister suggested that all acts of violence must be frowned upon.
At the same time, he said he was satisfied with the work of the Royal Barbados Police Force in bringing the perpetrators to justice.
“We have our challenges like everyone else but certainly from what I see, the team from the Royal Barbados Police Force is doing their work and we will continue to work with them,” he said.
“We know that safety and security is a very important brand element and we must continue to work and do what we can to increase our capacity at preventing crime and crime against tourists and in the odd case where we do have incidents, solve them quickly.”
Immediate past president of the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association, Colin Jordan, agrees with the minister that the country remains a safe destination.
“Even though recent criminal incidents have received publicity, the incidents remain few. The vast majority of visitors are safe and continue to see Barbados as safe and Barbadians as friendly people,” he said.
However, he told Barbados TODAY the current situation calls for decisive action from all right-thinking Barbadians, including the media.
“If crime gets out of hand there will be serious implications for our society. In addition, there is also the matter of the fear that comes from the perception of crime – even if crime statistics were down. This has to do with the types of crime as well as the targets of the criminal activity.
“I am concerned that some of us may be wittingly or unwittingly sending a negative message about tourism. Constructive critiquing is good and should be encouraged.
“However, the constant criticisms of the industry from some quarters, from people who ought to know better, the sometimes irresponsible conveying of a totally incorrect impression that leaders and businesses in tourism are mendicants who give nothing to the society but are out to take everything they can, these can provide some psychological support for the few persons who are bent on criminal activity,” he added.