Faced with mounting criticism over the extensive tax concessions deal it brokered with Government, said to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, the Sandals hotel chain has been showered with praise by a Government legislator.
Senator Andre Worrell insisted that Sandals, owned by Jamaican businessman Gordon Butch Stewart, had enhanced the Barbados tourism product, invested millions, and provided employment for more than 1, 000 workers.
Speaking in the Senate on the Land Tax Amendment Bill 2018, which regularized the land tax rebates that hotels and villas received under the former Barbados Tourism Authority legislation, Worrell said despite the naysayers, Sandals was a worthy tourism partner for Barbados.
According to the Senator, despite the highly-criticized tax concessions, Sandals had established two hotels, the last one officially launched in December, while plans were announced for the construction of a third on the site of Almond Beach Village in St Peter.
Worrell praised Sandals for increasing the marketing and promotion of Barbados internationally, saying the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc now had another influential partner in promoting the island.
In his contribution to debate in the Senate on Wednesday, Worrell called for greater attention to the be paid to the Dover/Maxwell Coast Road area, pointing out that after one leaves St Lawrence Gap, the hype and excitement of the Gap ended abruptly.
The Government Senator said while the island was able to attract visitors, it was important to have services and attractions for them, including a more active night life circuit.
In this connection, he called for greater attention to be given to Bathsheba and the east coast of the island in general, which he said represented an increasingly popular attraction for more visitors staying at guest houses and residences.