Barbadians are being told by the Barbados Tourism Product Authority (BTPA) to clean up their act.
Chief Executive Officer Dr Kerry Hall expressed her shock and disappointment at the large amounts of garbage scattered throughout Warrens, St Michael, as she participated in a clean-up in the area over the weekend, as part of the Clean Bim initiative.
She said tourists to the island are also noticing the indiscriminate littering.
“We have seen some very negative reviews on social media . . . especially [from] our repeat visitors . . . . They are very concerned about the state of the environment in Barbados,” Hall said.
“A clean nation is a healthy nation, so when they see the piles of garbage all over the nation, they get a little concerned and we are concerned as Barbadians.”
Indicating that visitors were now seeking a holistic travel experience and not just staying in hotels along the coast, Hall stressed that cleaning up the island’s streets and communities was an integral aspect of maintaining the Barbados brand.
“The three core elements of the Barbados brand are cleanliness, friendliness, safety and security, and therefore we have to secure each element,” the BTPA official insisted.
“We have to think from a holistic perspective where our guests are experiencing the total Barbadian experience, so we have to make sure everywhere is clean because our guests are weaving into every avenue, district and residential area.
“The Barbadian people protect the Barbados brand. It is the hosting population that makes the experience what it is; we are the ones who are going to make sure that Barbados remains friendly, clean and safe,” Hall added.
With the Clean Bim campaign, the BTPA hopes to educate and sensitize locals on the importance of solid waste management starting in their own backyards.
“Clean Bim specifically wants to change behaviours through education and sensitization of the waste management problems in Barbados, and helping people to actually rethink, redo, reuse, and look at ways they can actually reduce the amount of waste that goes to the landfill,” added project manager of the Clean Bim initiative Marsha Alleyne.
Accompanied by 60 individuals, students from Harrison College and the Parkinson Memorial Secondary, along with teams from businesses within the Warrens area, Alleyne disclosed that the group collected more than 40 bags of trash.
Based on how much littering was taking place in that Warrens business hub, she stressed that locals must be re-educated on how to manage their waste.
“If we don’t clean up, it’s going to affect us [in] an environmental perspective and a health perspective at the end of the day,” Alleyne emphasized.