Minister of Tourism and International Transport Richard Sealy is complaining that the story of this country’s successes under the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) is not being told.
Addressing the latest in the ruling party’s FACTS conferences Monday evening, he listed a series of achievements that he contended debunked the notion of a country “belly-up [and] sliding down [like] a fallen angel”.
Among the accomplishments he highlighted to supporters gathered at the Belfield Community Centre in Black Rock, St Michael were Barbados’ performance in the World Economic Forum and United Nations Human Development Index.
Noting the island’s tourism achievements, in particular, he pointed out that Barbados has won awards from Travel Bulletin and Expedia, and was rated number one in the Caribbean, seventh in the Americas and 46th in the world in travel and tourism competitiveness by the World Travel and Tourism Council.
“That is because of a lot of work . . . a lot of sacrifice by so many people in the tourism sector,” he said of the latter accomplishment.
The minister also highlighted that the Barbados Hilton Resort was recently rated the best property in the Western Hemisphere and the UK’s leading travel trade brand Travel Bulletin had ranked the country the best destination for luxury tourism.
Furthermore, Sealy said, the Barbados passport is one of the most desired passports in the world, referring to that document being rated this year on passportindex.org as the most powerful in the Caribbean and the 50th most powerful in the world.
“People [are] still willing to push down fences and scale walls to come to get a piece of this rock . . . and that is a fact. Not only the tourists . . . the investors . . . people looking for somewhere to live . . . people wanting to enjoy a good quality of life would give their eye teeth to get residency here,” he contended.
Sealy boasted, too, that Barbados’ health care and educational systems have also been highly rated internationally and have become the envy of the world.
He said it would therefore be a backward step to “give this country to the reactionary elements in this society”, insisting that Barbados is on a solid course, despite the economic challenges and difficult decisions Government has had to make.