BHTA’S MESSAGE FOR BARBADOS’ 52nd ANNIVERSARY OF INDEPENDENCE
THE Chairman, Directors, Members and Staff of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) extend greetings and Happy Independence wishes to all Barbadians as we celebrate our 52nd Anniversary of Independence.
This is a challenging time for Barbados with the country entering an IMF recovery programme commonly referred to as the BERT programme (Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation Programme).
The BHTA is confident that the resilience of Barbadians, coupled with our faith in God, will cause us to emerge from the spectre of darkness into the resurgence of light.
Fortunately, we still have a very strong tourism sector which reflects a sophisticated yet all-embracing ambience infused by natural beauty, delectable cuisine and intriguing experiences.
We are projecting that the upcoming ‘Winter Season’, which officially starts on December 15 and continues until the end of April, next year, will perform better than the previous season. In addition, we are excited about the new hotel developments already started or that are anticipated to start soon. While this will naturally increase our room stock with contemporary accommodation, it also allows us to globally expand our destination’s image.
In 2018 the BHTA continued its advocacy and lobbying on behalf of members in the critical areas of the performance of the Tourism Development Act (TDA) and the Tourism Development (Amended) Act as well as for the inclusion of Stand-Alone Restaurants. In addition, we engaged in discussions concerning Beach Harassment, Room Rate Levies, VAT Refunds and Land Tax Rebate.
The issues associated with the South Coast Sewerage Plant continue to be a major area of concern for us. While our members are extremely pleased and appreciative of the elimination of effluent from our roads, the continued closure of Worthing Beach is impacting on our members in close proximity to that beach. The members are required to expend significant sums of monies to ensure that our visitors’ expectations and experiences are not diminished.
In addition to representing the issues affecting our members, the BHTA also continued our promotion of Brand Barbados by strengthening strategic partnerships with entities such as the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI), the Barbados Tourism Product Authority (BTPA), Tourism Development Corporation (TDC), the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) and other partners.
We also participated in a number of international and regional trade shows and conferences including the Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF), IMEX America, World Travel Market (WTM), Caribbean Society of Hotel Association Executives (CSHAE), the State of Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC), as well as a promotional visit to Panama and Colombia.
This year the BHTA continued its sponsorship of Dive Fest Barbados in association with the Barbados Divers’ Operators Association (BDOA), the Tourism Development Corporation (TDC) and the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., (BTMI), in our efforts to attract more visitors to the island. We also launched the second edition of our Resource Guide and re-launched our Staycation Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/staycationbarbados/, among other activities.
As Barbados celebrates this 52nd year of Independence, the BHTA recommits to continue to work diligently with our partners to facilitate sustainable growth and development of this very important tourism industry to the benefit of our members, our country and the people of Barbados in general.
We give the assurance to our members and to Barbadians that we will continue to strive for excellence as well as collaborate with our partners to ensure we maintain the image of Barbados as a pristine, enthralling, first world destination, thereby enhancing our global competitiveness and resulting in achievements that we can all be proud of.
Happy 52nd anniversary of Independence, Barbados!
Senator Rudy Grant,
CEO -Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association