Barbados’ tourism product has been spared any fallout from the flooding caused by Tropical Storm Kirk’s passage, according to a senior industry official.
Based on initial reports, there have been no adverse impact on the island’s bread-and-butter industry from the passage of the storm between last Thursday night and Friday morning, Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. William ‘Billy’ Griffith told Barbados TODAY.
“We are getting feedback that it was a significant amount of rain, not much wind, so no major impact,” he said, as he highlighted the tour of affected communities by Prime Minister Mottley, who cut her trip to the
United Nations General Assembly short in light of the storm.
Last Thursday night into Friday morning, Barbados was lashed with torrential rain and heavy winds, disrupting the lives of several residents, especially on the south of the island, and forcing emergency personnel to plunge into action.
Following a tour of the affected areas, then acting as Prime Minister, Attorney General Dale Marshall indicated that a damage assessment team would be seeking to determine which of the dozen-odd households dislocated by rushing waters of chest-high levels, were in need of assistance.
While the continuous rain, which dumped between six and nine inches of water on the island, had forced the closure of schools and some services, Griffith said early reports from the tourism industry were that it was spared.
The storm’s passage came as the the industry works on a comprehensive disaster management and mitigation strategy.
But Griffith was quick to point out that no one was ever fully prepared for a natural disaster.
“I don’t think any of us every think that we are ever very ready. But I do know that all of the [tourism] entities involved are huddling right now to make sure that we are always ever prepared for hurricanes,” he said.
Just recently, during its third quarterly general meeting, officials of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association were reminded of the importance of being prepared for natural disasters.