A Government Minister is charging more must be done to redefine the island’s tourism product.
Minister of Tourism Kerrie Symmonds in delivering his welcome remarks at the Loyal Visitors Cocktail reception held at Blackwoods Screw Docks, Bridgetown, said Barbados has a lot of prime real estate entities that are misused.
“Barbados has a bunch of opportunities which have remained unpacked, unexplored and undeveloped from the time I was a little boy learning to swim. The reality is a lot of our beachfront property is old warehouses which are misused. The reality is some of our beachfront property are abandoned commercial buildings. Some of them are empty car parks,” he said.
Symmonds said UNESCO heritage sites can also be retrofitted into signature tourism attractions.
Thus, he said investment cannot only be limited to structural and financial development alone it must include the revitalization of Bridgetown for residents as well as guests.
“We want you to help us deal with the need of having recreational facilities for our communities where we do not have appropriate recreational facilities but which must have them if we are to have a happy coexistence with the inhabitants of the City of Bridgetown and the surrounding communities of St Michael,” he said.
The Minister of Tourism said a happy coexistence between the residents and investors is critical as Government does not want a situation similar to Latin America where the disconnect between investors and citizens led to antagonism.
“We want to have the type of planning gains that allow for better housing in our communities, better recreational facilities, better drainage for those who are in low lying coastal areas, and more important than that, the investment in small business opportunities in communities which can be linked back to the hotels,” he said. (LG)