Digital transformation of this island’s bread and butter industry is at the top of the agenda for Tourism Minister Kerrie Symmonds.
He made the disclosure as he addressed a church service to launch the start of tourism week at the St John the Baptist Church this morning.
Symmonds told the congregation, which included key tourism stakeholders, that while the achievements of the sector were significant, Barbados could not afford to relax.
He suggested that the future development and expansion of the sector must entail the full utilization of new technology.
“This moment in time cannot and must not be squandered, it must be used as an opportunity to modernize the ancient and antiquated and outmoded practices of Government in Barbados.
“And this brings me to the theme of Digital Transformation and Tourism and as your Minister of International Transport and Tourism, I give you the assurance that I am determined to give you the available modern technology to work better for you the people of this country and for the visitors to this country and the tourism product in general.”
Symmonds outlined several initiatives including an airport app and the introduction of epassports. He also announced that the Grantley Adams International Airport would soon be in a position to offer free wifi services throughout the facility.
“Beyond that I have instructed the board of the Grantley Adams International Airport through its Chairman that the airport must now cease to be a dead zone and must instead become an area with easily accessible free wifi connectivity so that all travellers can stay connected with friends and with family and loved ones.
Symmonds also revealed that Government was interested in building out a Uber service.
Meanwhile, Reverend of the St John Baptist Church Reverend Wayne Kirton urged stakeholders to make the delivery of high quality service a top priority.
“Your service and our service must be the best that it can be so that people will continue to see Barbados as one of the safest places they can go to for vacation and know that what is presented to them as a package is one that come with tremendous service, ” he said.