The hotel sector here said it was keeping a keen eye on a fresh influx of the dreaded Sargassum seaweed, which in 2015 proved a major headache for the tourism industry.
Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) Rudy Grant said while some members had been affected, the association had received no reports of significant fallout.
“I am still awaiting information from members with respect to the Sargassum seaweed. We certainly have not had a significant communication from our membership in relation to the Sargassum. But I am aware that we do have members that are affected and members that are utilizing their own resources to ensure that they do clean the beach,” Grant told Barbados TODAY, which last Friday reported on the difficulty visitors to Bathsheba, St Joseph were facing entering the sea because of the virtual wall of seaweed along the shoreline.
Grant added that the National Conservation Commission was assisting with vehicles to help clear the affected areas.
An invasion of the menacing weed in 2015, mostly on the south and east coasts, had sent tourism officials and practitioners, including hoteliers, scrambling for a way to control the flow.
The ghastly stench from the tonnes of weed that covered beaches here and across the Caribbean, making it difficult for locals and visitors alike, had prompted the Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) to hold a symposium on Sargassum in a bid to better understand how to control it.
It was there that UWI Vice Chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles had estimated that the Caribbean would need US$120 million and 100,000 people to clear the troublesome weed.
However, as the flow receded, Sargussum was no longer the preoccupation of tourism officials, who now must be hoping the latest influx will not be a serious as the one of two years ago.
“Of course, this is something that is of concern and we do have to be continually assessing and evaluating. Because we also want to ensure that Barbadians and visitors can enjoy [the beach],” Grant stated.