As Government races against time to fix remaining south coast sewage problems, the region’s top tourism official is urging the authorities to “do whatever is humanly possible” to get the job done.
Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Hugh Riley told Barbados TODAY that the regional tourism umbrella organization supported any effort to address infrastructural problems.
“We are tourism-dependent countries. We have a responsibility to do whatever is within our grasp, whether it is through social media . . . or whether it is through collaborative efforts,” said Riley, when asked what recommendation would the CTO put forward in relation to the issue, which was affecting tourism operators.
Riley was speaking as industry experts gather to assess the state of the region’s bread-and-butter industry at the annual State of Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC) at the Atlantis resort here.
Minister of Energy and Water Resources Wilfred Abrahams indicated yesterday that a process had started to fix the south coast sewage issues “as soon as possible”.
His assurance came amidst mounting queries from potential and regular visitors the island who have contacted Barbados TODAY, eager to find out when the Worthing Beach in Christ Church would reopen.
Staying away from singling out Barbados, Riley said it was critical that officials do “whatever is humanly possible to enhance the potential of tourism to the Caribbean”.
Stating that it was critical for all CTO member states to ensure proper infrastructure, Riley explained that this could only augur well for their residents and economies.
But he warned that infrastructural development should be accompanied by the continuous improvement of the human capital if Barbados and other Caribbean destinations wanted to witness “overall success”.
“We have a responsibility to keep pushing our public sector and private sector to get the resources together to do the best job we possibly can. Only then will we be able to fill those planes and fill those ships with people who are making the industry profitable for us,” said Riley.
“The more profitable we become the more foreign exchange gets injected into our economies, the less there will be deficits and deficiencies in infrastructure or human capital development or any other area that you might point to. So, while there may be some defects of kinds across the region, we have the potential to use this tool – tourism – to fix those,” he said.