Following is an edited model of an announcement by Minister of Tourism and Worldwide Transport Senator Lisa Cummins.
“I need to take a second to reply to quite a lot of the commentary that we’ve been listening to these days, together with, in fact, the issues raised most not too long ago about an occasion referred to as Haywire.
“Haywire is probably not a BTMI occasion or sponsored by the BTMI – and our position to this point in participating with the organisers has been to offer steering on protocols, as we do for all travellers. However additionally it is the BTMI’s job to direct journey safely to Barbados.
“So on Monday, for instance, a cruise ship carrying 600 passengers arrived right here. We welcomed them. We spent the final 12 months working with the cruise strains to have everybody on the identical web page. And it was the primary cruise wherever in the whole Western Hemisphere. We introduced it right here and we did it safely.
“It could be no totally different for the organisers of Haywire or some other group from wherever on this planet – white, black, yellow, blue, proposing to journey to Barbados as a result of tourism is our enterprise. What’s extra is that we additionally should be assured in who we’re and the truth that Barbados and Barbadians are about way over extreme consuming and extreme feteing. And that’s positively the case for our tourism product.
“So it’s unlucky that some individuals who for their very own goal, would then take movies of occasions which occurred earlier than COVID and current them for circulation to inflame the passions of Barbadians, as if occasions the whole world over haven’t needed to change since COVID. We not do occasions the best way that we did earlier than COVID.
“However I need to say one thing as a Barbadian first and as a tourism official as nicely. I should be very clear on this as a result of it has troubled me in quite a lot of the continuing commentary on something tourism.
“There are literally thousands of employees and companies, giant and small, in our sector who’ve stepped ahead to be vaccinated. Why have they accomplished that? They’ve accomplished that to allow them to get again to work and assist their households. These are folks that vary from taxi operators within the Port to buy distributors within the airport as nicely. Each nook of Barbados has individuals who rely upon the tourism business and so they’re anxious to get again to work safely. They’re the folks that we stand up for and we do that for each single day.
“So, for me, this isn’t about any occasion. It’s in regards to the continued makes an attempt by some, not all, simply by some, to fire up a false debate, attempting to pit tourism and guests in opposition to locals. That isn’t who we’re. And I take robust objection to the views of some with their very own agenda that counsel by their place and their stance that tourism employees and individuals who rely upon the tourism sector, which stays our largest income earner, shouldn’t be in a position to eat or feed their households or ship their youngsters again to highschool till COVID is extinct from the Earth.
“I really feel as if we now have to face up for these folks. Barbados is protected and open for enterprise, for tourism, so long as our officers do precisely what they do every single day – information potential guests on learn how to observe and to have our protocols enforced.” (PR)