Barbados will not be significantly impacted by the latest US travel advisory that urges its citizens to avoid this country deemed as a COVID-19 “high-risk” destination.
The assurance came today from Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) Senator Rudy Grant, who also revealed that the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport and the Barbados Tourism Marketing Incorporated (BTMI) are on the case.
Senator Grant said while Barbados cannot ignore the advisory coming from the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this island remains in big demand by American travelers.
“It is something we do have to take note of. I believe that the BTMI and the Ministry of Tourism and international Transport have been seeking to engage with the relevant individuals in order to deal with that,” the Government Senator told Barbados TODAY this afternoon.
“However, there is still a significant demand for Barbados as a destination. As you know American Airlines last week restarted its flight to Barbados out of Miami. They are starting their five flights a week, Thursdays to Mondays.
“Jet Blue is also anticipating an increase to the number of flights coming into Barbados as well. So that reflects the fact that there is still a demand for Barbados as a destination,” the BHTA CEO declared.
Even though Senator Grant acknowledged that local Government authorities want Barbados to be removed from the list of countries deemed by the CDC as high-risk, the travel advisory would not result in any serious fallout.
“While we would certainly want to see Barbados coming off of that list, I don’t think that it is impacting on the demand that you are getting as a tourism destination,” he assured.
Besides Barbados, Antigua & Barbuda, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, Saint Maarten, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands and the US Virgin Islands also fall on the CDC list of Level 3 “high-risk” countries. The centre’s advice to potential travellers is to “avoid” these destinations and to consider postponing non-essential travel to the locations.
This advisory comes exactly a week after Barbados copped the Seatrade Cruise Award for Destination of the Year beating out fellow Caribbean country St Kitts and Nevis.
So far, the CDC has deemed five Eastern Caribbean countries safe. These countries that have no travel notice issued against them are Anguilla, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis and St. Lucia.
The centre said the COVID-19 risk in these islands is ‘very low’. ([email protected])