Travel agency operator Indar Weir is hoping to book a seat in parliament in the next general election as a Barbados Labour Party (BLP) representative.
Weir secured the nomination last night as the BLP’s candidate in St Philip South, defeating three other candidates for the right to challenge the incumbent, Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite of the Democratic Labour Party.
The contest at the Hilda Skeene Primary School saw Weir polling 48 votes to 17 for Mona Alleyne, eight for Ahmed Proverbs and seven for Sylvan Greenidge.
Once the nomination was secured he wasted little time tearing into the Freundel Stuart administration over the bread and butter tourism industry.
“We have reached the stage in Barbados where another conversation on tourism must take place. We must first set the benchmark to which we want to aspire,” he told party supporters.
The travel agency boss argued that the stay-over arrival numbers had stagnated at the 500,000 to 600,000 mark for much too long and while Government boasted of increased arrivals, tourism spend had been dropping.
“We now need to reach the million mark,” Weir stated, “[and] once we can reach the million mark we need to determine how we’re going to earn foreign exchange to remove us from the shackles of being around the same level of foreign exchange earnings where you have increased tourism numbers but reduced foreign exchange earnings.”
Contending that tourism information given by the DLP administration was designed to create an impression that all was well, Weir said there was in fact no improvement.
He challenged official forecasts of high arrivals for Crop Over, claiming the country was not attracting new tourists for the season.
“You are getting the same people that were coming before and at the same time when the flights were booked out, no increase in aircraft.
“We have not seen any increase in airlift from across the Caribbean region. So when you’re being told that you’re getting this bumper crowd for Crop Over, it is the same crowd that you were getting every time, and people are telling the same story to deceive you into believing that they’re doing more.”