“It’s been an incredibly fascinating and rewarding journey.”
That’s how outgoing Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) Sue Springer sums up her journey in the tourism industry.
Springer, who has worked in the sector since 1972, was among 50 Barbadians who received the Barbados Jubilee Honour last Friday night during the Prime Minister’s Dinner and Ball.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY during the event held at the Prime Minister’s official residence, Ilaro Court, Springer said it was a humbling experience.
“There are people who do just as much or far more than I do so I’m really honored to be among the 50 tonight,” she said.
Springer, who held the position at the BHTA for 15 years, announced her resignation earlier this year. She is expected to rejoin the Elegant Hotel group next year as a general manager at the Colony Club property.
Reflecting on her journey, Springer said she was glad she chose a career in tourism after wanting to be a physiotherapist in the early stages of her life.
“I wanted to be a physiotherapist. I was very active in sport and unfortunately I was playing hockey and I fell and damaged my back. So I said if I can’t deal with people in helping them to improve themselves medically then I would look at rest and relaxation, so I looked to tourism,” she explained.
Springer, who stressed the importance and “wonderful world” of tourism, said she was glad to see more young people choosing tourism as viable career and not just as a last resort.
“I think now people are realizing it can be a career and it is not just about being a room attendant or bartender or a cook. They’re so many fields in the industry now. The jobs have expanded tremendously,” she added.
However, she reminded them that the job required a team effort.
“I think the main thing is to remember there is only one tourism in Barbados so we need to work together, we need a lot of tenacity and when I say tenacity, I mean we have to remember that there is no I in team, it’s about us all working together. It doesn’t matter who you are, no one in tourism is too big or small. Whatever job you have, do it, because there is a need for that job,” she advised. (DB)