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ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW BY CEO RUDY GRANT AT THE ASSOCIATION’S THIRD QUARTERLY GENERAL MEETING WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2017
Published on September 15, 2017


Good morning and a warm welcome to everyone. I wish to offer our sincerest condolences, prayers and support to our Caribbean neighbours who are now challenged due to the impact of Hurricane Irma. We wish them God’s guidance as they undergo the rebuilding process. The BHTA has distributed information on bank accounts set up by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, as well as information on The Caribbean Tourism Recovery Fund facilitated by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) and the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) Relief Fund through GoFundMe. In addition, we have also circulated to members a list of items which the Government of Antigua and Barbuda requires urgently to assist the people of Barbuda.  Members are encouraged to support the relief efforts through the use of one of these initiatives.

DISASTER PREPAREDNESS.

Let us give thanks to Almighty God for sparing us from the wrath of Hurricane Harvey and Irma. We must not however become complacent. Given the active nature of the current Hurricane season, it is critical that we are well prepared to safeguard our guests, our employees and ourselves.

During the passage of Hurricane Harvey, the BHTA Directors were kept in touch via a WhatsApp chat to feedback in real time what was occurring on the ground. This was facilitated by the Special Projects Officer being at the Tourism Emergency Operations Centre (TEOC) and the CEO collaborating with the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC). In an effort to ensure that members are apprised of critical issues from the TEOC and the National NEOC, and to be able to feed in critical information, we are proposing to set up a WhatsApp group chat for BHTA members for that specific purpose. If you wish to be part of this WhatsApp group, please e-mail one mobile number for your organization to membership@bhta.org; copied to rudyg@bhta.org. This WhatsApp group chat will be strictly for business, and members are therefore encouraged to be guided by this.

In an effort to keep members informed during the passage of Hurricane Harvey a number of emails were circulated. Unfortunately, due to a computer virus from a spam email the majority of these emails were not reaching members circulated. In an effort to ensure that should our email server be compromised in anyway, we have set up two Gmail accounts, ceobhta@gmail.com and memberbhta@gmail.com to ensure members are kept informed.

We wish to encourage all members, in particular our Accommodation Members to have your Disaster Management Plans in place and ready for execution.

CURRENT DESTINATION PERFORMANCE

Visitor arrivals to Barbados continue to be on a general upward trajectory. At the end of June this year there was an increase of 8% in stayover visitor arrivals which represented an additional 25,896 arrivals when compared to the same period for 2016. The USA market continues to lead in the market growth with an increase of 18% with Canada also showing reasonable growth in the vicinity of 13%.

While there has been commendable growth in these two major markets the growth in Barbados’ main source market, the United Kingdom (UK) has been flat with growth for the period January to June 2017 being less than 1% (0.9% to be exact). This undoubtedly would affect revenues as visitors from the UK stay longer and spend more daily than visitors from our other source markets. The challenges of Brexit and the prevailing economic factors facing the UK are likely impacting arrivals from this market. Information on the third quarter will be available next week.

It is critical therefore that we design the appropriate marketing actions to significantly improve visitor arrivals from the UK particularly at a time when one of our Caribbean destinations, Jamaica, through their Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, M.P. has informed that “Jamaica had been campaigning aggressively in the United Kingdom (UK) marketplace and would not relent until it has sole position of the number-one destination for British travellers to the Caribbean.” The UK is our major source market and we therefore must act effectively to ensure that no one is able to “eat our lunch”.

The STR Report for the said period informs that occupancy in participating BHTA member accommodation properties has increased by 1.5% while the Average Daily Rate (ADR) is the same as for 2016. It is therefore appropriate to opine that the increase in overall stayover arrivals is not resulting in a similar increase in occupancy for our accommodation members. It is necessary that we confront the new realities and design those actions which provide new value-added experiences to visitors coming to Barbados.

Cruise passenger arrivals recorded an increase of 76,130 passengers or 21.1% for the period January to June 2016. Concurrently, cruise ship calls were up by sixty-four (64) or 26%. This is certainly good news for our DTS members who rely on cruise ship business. 

AIRLIFT WINTER 2017

During the upcoming winter season, there will be a slight increase in airline seats by approximately seven thousand seats when compared to the 2016 winter season.

In the USA - JetBlue Airways will operate a weekly Newark (EWR) service on Saturdays beginning 18th November until 28th April, 2018. They will also reintroduce a daily Fort Lauderdale (FLL) service effective 5th November, 2017.

The Boston flight will again operate on Saturdays and Sundays with MINT service on Saturday’s only, and New York JFK services will continue to operate twice daily during peak periods with the MINT flights on Saturdays.

American Airlines is expected to continue similar services out of Miami with two (2) daily flights.

In the UK market, British Airways will again operate a minimum of 10 weekly non-stop services between Barbados and London Gatwick starting 29th October, 2017 until 24th March, 2018. BA will increase flights to 12 per week from November 28th 2017 to March 24th 2018.

Virgin Atlantic Airways will introduce a new London Heathrow Airport (LHR) service on Tuesdays and Saturdays starting on 12th December, 2017 until 24th February, 2018.

Thomas Cook Airlines will commence a new weekly Saturday service from London Gatwick (LGW) effective 16th December 2017 until 17th March, 2018.

Air Canada will continue to operate its low-cost airline Air Canada Rouge for the winter 2017/18 season, with a Boeing B767-300 with capacity for 280 passengers, in a dual-class configuration from Toronto.  This schedule is similar to last season.

The Westjet Airlines schedule from Toronto remains unchanged compared to last season.

In the region, Air Antilles will continue their three (3) times weekly service between Barbados and Fort-de-France, Martinique, which began in February, this year. These flights will operate with ATR42 aircraft with a capacity of forty-six (46) seats, while Caribbean Airlines, and LIAT are expected to operate similar schedules and capacity as last year.

Unfortunately, Delta Airlines and Avianca Airlines have both suspended operations into Barbados.

DATA AND ANALYSIS

If as an Association we are to be able to acutely aware of market performances then our members must provide information requested in a timely manner. Our internal data collection suffers from inadequate responses from members in providing the necessary information being requested by the BHTA secretariat.

We have a situation where the BHTA pays a free service to accommodation members requesting them to provide information to STR. At present, approximately fifty percent (50%) of our members are contributing information. While our anticipation based on the properties reporting and the spread between the south coast and west coast properties for there to be significant deviation from the averages we have compiled it is still critically important that we have more accurate data collection.

The interpretation and analysis of data received will help to guide our decisions. We therefore need you by submitting information requested and providing the STR information to help us to do better serve you as an Association.

We are developing a new formula which will allow us to get a better view of our performance, particularly forward bookings and pace reports. Looking at historical information is important, but it’s the past. In order to plan for the future, we must also measure the pace of our bookings, so that we can identify possible challenges on the horizon and to allow us to take the necessary corrective actions to arrest problems before they become untenable.

ADVOCACY AND MEMBERSHIP ISSUES

We continue to lobby and advocate on behalf of our members during these very challenging times. The major matters to report on coming out of meetings with our partners and matters for which we continue to lobby are as follows:

  • It is now almost twelve (12) months since the forty-nine (49) additional items were requested to be added to the list of duty free Food and Beverage items.  We have been assured that all the relevant ministries have reviewed but as of this writing we have not had official notification.  This process is completely untenable one.  To bring this matter to a close we are proposing, as was suggested by the Minister of Finance, to request that the remaining items to complete the full list be submitted and a meeting requested with all the appropriate parties to bring this matter to conclusion.

 

  • During discussions with the Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA) we received confirmation that the National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL) does not apply to Hotels and Restaurants which receive exemptions of taxes and duties when they are purchasing locally manufactured products. BRA is in the process of revising the NSRL Guidelines so that this exemption is realized.

 

  • We have written to the Ministry of Finance to suggest that the reduction to 7.5 % VAT for Direct Tourism Services (DTS) which was to be clarified by a one-word change to the legislation, still outstanding, can perhaps be dealt with administratively.  We encourage members to put in their applications to BRA and let us assist with the processing as we have been able to do for some members.

 

  • Stand-alone restaurants can currently access concessions under the TDA for refurbishment but not under the TDAA for Food and Beverage. We are continuing the process of advocating for stand-alone restaurants to access duty free status on Food and beverage items as currently only restaurants attached to hotels can obtain Duty Free concessions through the TDAA where they meet the criteria set.  The BHTA has posited that stand-alone restaurants should be allowed to receive the same type of exemption of duties and taxes for Food and Beverage as restaurants attached to hotels provided that they meet specific criteria as presently exists. Meetings with the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, the Hon Christopher Sinckler M.P and the Minister of Tourism and International Transport, the Hon. Richard Sealy M.P have informed that there is no major issue from a policy perspective with this. The challenge relates mechanism for the implementation which we are told is currently being considered.

 

  • Further to a meeting of all the relevant parties to deal with the issue of fees to be charged in Folkestone Marine Park and the congestion in Carlisle Bay the BHTA wrote to relevant parties with proposed suggestions on both matters.  We have been actively following up and awaiting a response as well as guidelines for operating in both areas prior to the October start of the cruise season.   Our plan is to convene another meeting to bring some of the matters to resolution in the absence of the feedback required.

 

  • There continues to be concerns by members about the general cleanliness of the island. In most instances, we communicate the concerns of our members with the Barbados Tourism Product Authority (BTPA) and follow up with them. The BHTA as direct action to assist with the cleanliness of the island and in keeping with our need to protect core elements of our brand, is refurbishing fifty (50) garbage bins strategically located close to selected schools and in Holetown, Speightstown, Oistins and St. Lawrence Gap.

 

The main issues of concern identified by members relate to VAT returns; Beach Harassment; cleanliness of the island; approvals for expansion or new builds under the TDA; accessing the waiver of taxes and duties for items imported under the TDAA and the impact of the NSRL.

We met with BRA on the VAT and NRSL as was reported.  A few members reported that they have received some outstanding VAT returns. We will continue to highlight specific company issues once we are furnished with the information.  We wish to thank the BRA for their continued openness to dialogue and to the resolution of issues.

In a recent meeting with the Commissioner of Police we made reference to the issue of beach harassment.  As it relates to the issue of crime, the presence of the Attorney General here today is in response to our collective concern for protecting our brand. Both the AG and Commissioner are with us today and are available to answer questions later.

You are encouraged to provide information on those issues which are impacting on your operations so that we can discuss with the relevant partners when we meet with them.

 

PROMOTIONS AND ACTIVITIES

Brilliant Barbados

Our general feedback from Accommodation and DTS members indicate that this marketing programme has not delivered the level of expected results. One of the challenges has been that while this programme provides the option for kids to stay and play free to age sixteen (16) years many accommodation members already provide a summer programme where kids stay free up to age twelve (12) years. In the meantime, discussions at the marketing committee level have been ongoing to determine the 2018 summer promotion. The objective is to have this promotion agreed to by the time we attend World Travel Market (WTM) in November.

Staycation 2017

This year we partnered with the Intimate Hotels of Barbados (IHB) in the promotion of Staycation. From information received Staycation bookings continue to be positive.  This is good news for our hotels as well as for the economy as vacationing at home instead of abroad helps our foreign exchange reserves.

The Staycation focus has also been extended to the Caribbean market. The Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) is in the process of completing a marketing initiative with the 2017 Staycation accommodation properties. This promotion involves collaboration with Going Places Travel and LIAT to promote Barbados in select Caribbean countries and offer these visitors the Staycation rates.

Art of Cuisine – Barbados Meets the World

In July, we launched the first Art of Cuisine – Barbados Meets the World, event featuring Barbados Chef Jason Howard and friends – Chef Jason Licker, Chef Marco Maestoso, and Chef Angel Betancourt. Three pop-up events were held; two dinner events at Oceans Two and Daphne’s Restaurant respectively, and an Afternoon Tea event at the Crane Resort. Additionally, training sessions were conducted for local chefs over a five-day period. The idea was to expose local chefs to new and unique ways to cook, to plate, and to preserve local produce available to them.

While there were some teething problems in the execution of the week of activities, the event was successful for many reasons. The creativity and output at the event was superior; we received tremendous social media exposure; our local chefs were exposed to new skills, and we realised the possibilities for our famers and chefs, in terms of the production and use of local produce. The linkages between agriculture and tourism were put in the spotlight during this event. The BHTA proposes to make some adjustments to this event so that participating members are provided greater value.

Divefest 2017

This first-time event which took place in July with some synergy with the Art of Cuisine event, was also a success. Substantial environmental awareness and education was undertaken. A pre-event focused on teaching one hundred (100) children to swim and to make them more aware of the marine environment. I wish to thank Andre Miller for the tremendous support he provided in making this activity a success. 

Crop Over 2017 and Carifesta

We have not received any official numbers regarding Crop Over bookings as yet, but anecdotally, it appears that the smaller south coast hotels performed reasonably well during this period averaging between 65% and 95% occupancies. This trend also continued during the Carifesta period.

Car rental companies reported a “mixed bag” with respect to Crop Over. Bookings were slightly up over last year. However, there was a very sharp drop off immediately following the end of Crop Over, which meant that the booking periods were not as long as have been in the past.

HUMAN RESOURCES

We have had a few changes and additions to our resources within the Association. Rhea Walker is the new Receptionist/Administrative Assistant. She takes over from Akilah Martin who had temporarily filled that position. Kathy-Ann Grant, the Acting Membership Relations Officer, will be leaving us next week having resigned her position effective September 18, 2017. We extend our sincerest gratitude to Kathy-Ann and Akilah for their dedicated service and wish them every success as they continue their professional journey. In the interim, Judy Wilkinson will handle all membership matters until a replacement is recruited.

Effective September 1, 2017 we engaged the services of Ethic Vision Inc. to work with us in executing our social media agenda. I wish to thank Rashad Hinds for the support he has given us over the past few months with our social media programme.

The HR Committee (Internal) has interviewed for the position of Business Development Consultant. A recommendation from the HR Committee is expected to be considered by the Directors at next week’s Board of Directors meeting. For the past three months Ms. Averil Byer has been providing temporary Business Development Consultancy services to the BHTA. I wish to thank her for her support and assistance.

LEADERSHIP 21

The Leadership 21, CVQ management level 2 and 3, is a highly recommended learning experience for managers and supervisors. This training is provided by Toney Olton and his team at The Potter Center.  We believe that there must be investment in leadership skills at the management and supervisory levels if we are to sustain a competitive edge in the delivery of our products and services in the future.

To support these efforts, we secured part funding from The Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Council, and agreed to underwrite part of the training cost to make it more affordable to members. The fee to members is $500. The plan for this September was to have three cohorts, but regretfully only twenty (20) persons registered, which means that we will now conduct just one cohort starting September 19, 2017. This cohort will be for a duration of ten (10) weeks. 

Members are encouraged to take advantage of this type of subsidized training which can prove beneficial to your organization.

UWI SCHOLARSHIP DISBURSEMENT

The BHTA hosted two (2) golf charities to provide scholarship funding to students pursuing studies in the Tourism degree programme at the University of the West Indies (UWI). The award criteria which was developed in conjunction with the Tourism Department at UWI will be reviewed by the Directors at their next Board meeting. It is proposed that students in both the undergraduate and graduate programmes can apply for these scholarships. 

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • The Caribbean Society Hotel Association Executives (CSHAE) meeting in Turks and Caicos September 13 – 16, 2017 has been postponed due to Hurricane Irma.
  • CTO’s State of the Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC) - will be held in Grenada from October 10 – 13, 2017.
  • IMEX America 2017 is in Las Vegas, USA, October 10 – 12, 2017.
  • World Travel Market (WTM) takes place in London from November 6 – 8, 2017.
  • The BTMI will conduct a promotion in Paris immediately following WTM.

 

CONCLUSION

While we continue to collaborate with Government to achieve the agreed benefits for our members the process is painfully slow. I speak specifically of the additional forty-nine (49) items to be added to the list of items approved for importation, the process of adding further items to be approved for importation and the inclusion of the stand-alone restaurants in the TDAA by utilising the same criteria as what exist for restaurants attached to hotels.

I know that this frustrates our affected members. It frustrates us at the secretariat. We will however continue with our efforts to ensure that our members receive the benefits of these agreed measures and to encourage our government counterparts to execute. These measures provide for greater global competitiveness for our tourism industry.

The success of our industry is dependent on our building of a strong team – Government, Private Sector partners and Workers representatives. The growth, development and sustainability of this very important industry which provides significant employment and is our country’s major foreign exchange earner requires that timely decisions are made and executed by all parties. We no longer have the luxury of time if we wish to continue to safeguard this very important industry.

In closing, I wish to thank the Chairman, Directors and members of staff for their continued commitment and support. We pledge to continue to engage and build relationships with all members as we continue to build our organisation and strengthen our advocacy.


REMARKS BY CHAIRMAN ROSEANNE MYERS AT THE ASSOCIATION’S THIRD QUARTERLY GENERAL MEETING WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2017
Published on September 15, 2017

“Protecting the Barbados Brand”

The Barbados Tourism Master Plan 2014 to 2023 includes this statement “Safety and Security is one of the pillars on which Barbados‟ tourism has been built and has thrived. Barbados is a preferred destination on the basis that visitors perceive it as a safe and secure location.” 

Tourism Master Plan 2014-2023 Report III . . Environmental Planning Group & HLA Consultants 96

Cleanliness, friendliness, safety and security are some of Barbados’ key brand elements.  Each of these require their own forum for discussion but today our focus is safety and security.  Our brand is the collection of attributes as a destination that we are most remembered and heralded for.  Our primary brand elements are determined by the feedback collected over many years.    More importantly is the fact that the Barbados brand has been created by what we think of ourselves and our own island.  We actually live where thousands come to vacation, so our safety and security and perception of such is critical. If we get it right for ourselves our visitors will derive the benefit.

I speak for the members of the association when I say, we are not having this discussion because we are only concerned about crime against tourists.  Those figures show a very well controlled and enviable situation.  Yes, we have some issues to deal with like beach harassment but we are alarmed by incidents within our villages and neighbourhoods that need to be dealt with urgently.  We are concerned about the circumstances that are affecting our youth and causing them to resort to what we have seen as unacceptable behaviours.  We are concerned that they are persons who must be facilitating these crimes through money and influence and we are clear that no one must ever be seen as “too big to jail.” 

We are determined not to be redefined by the wanton acts of the reckless few whose only objective is to make their families hold their heads in shame as they engage in a race to the bottom.  Whether at the foot of the crime chain or at the head, these persons will not destroy what we work daily to build.  Our reputation.  We are determined to do our part as it is the social partnership that has to pool its resources to deal with these issues, government, private sector and unions.

What we are about to discuss today is the ugliness that has raised its head as part of the Barbadian landscape and is a part that we stoutly rebuke.  Before we speak of these unfortunate people many quite young who have captured our attention in a very negative way, I want to take a moment to speak on those young people who have made us so very, very proud as they keep the Barbados flag held aloft.

Many young Barbadian men have taken a very positive path.  They have chosen not to be lead astray but to take the lead in putting Barbados on the map in various endeavours. I focus on the young men on this occasion but it is clear our young ladies are also blazing a trail.

Last month young Barbadian Shai Hope lead the West Indies Cricket Team to victory over England partnered by Kraigg Brathwaite and captained by Barbadian Jason Holder.  Well done young men.

A few days before that 25-year old Darian King made a name for himself internationally when he put up an impressive fight against Alexander Zverev in the US Open Tennis Championships. Darian did not lose the game, he just did not happen to win on that occasion but created history as the first Barbadian to compete in a Grand Slam.  Well done. Our young men have positive role models so they need to make better choices

In July our Segway Polo Team captained by Nevin Roach and including our member Brett Callahan, from Totally Barbados, won the 2017 WOZ Challenge Cup - Segway Polo World Championship in Germany, beating home team Germany into second place and Sweden into third. Barbados has won four times in ten years.  A phenomenal feat. 

Then we have 21 year old surfing sensation Chelsea Tuach who continues to do us proud and has won more international awards and accolades than any other Barbadian surfer. Known as the ‘Barbados Surfer Girl’, Chelsea has won competitions in countries such as the United States, Costa Rico and Spain and continues to fly the Bajan flag high. 

On the note of surfing we extend our condolences to the family of Zander and the entire surfing community who from what I have read participated in positive activities to make his family, school and surfing fraternity very proud.

Outside the sporting arena:

Twenty-one year old Johnathan Alleyne won the Royal Household Hospitality Scholarship in May, entitling him to a six week stint as part of the Front-of-House Team of the Masters of the Household’s Department at Buckingham Palace and then at Windsor Castle during Royal Ascot Week.

Jamila Sealy, the Caribbean Youth Environment Network’s Regional Coordinator for the Caribbean, received the Queen’s Young Leaders Award for her work to protect the environment. The 28-year old headed to London earlier this year to collect her award, where she met the Queen and also took part in a course called Leaders for Change at the University of Cambridge.

DJ Puffy continues to excel and of course our entertainment giant and business mogul Rihanna who just launched Fenty beauty, both blazing a trail of excellence in their chosen fields.   Closer to home we have heralded the accomplishments of the Barbados Culinary team but we know we have many young persons working in every department in our hotels, villas, restaurants, direct tourism services  that are  creative and productive minds engaged in building the tourism sector to the heights.

The list is not intended to be exhaustive but to indicate that there is more positive than negative and we have to keep the focus on the correct things while dealing with the issues in a constructive way.  Let us keep our positive and dynamic young people who deserve spots on the front page of the newspaper and in the headlines in their rightful position. 

Today’s discussion is “Protecting the BARBADOS Brand” and no one is more imminently qualified to speak on how to do so than the Honourable Adriel Brathwaite, MP and Attorney General of Barbados.  The AG has asked that we dispense of the formality of long introductions and extensive bios so I will simply say:

I first met Mr Brathwaite in his formative years as a young student at Harrison College and my junior in school.  I was a prefect and the fact that I remember him means he was either very helpful, and engaged in what he was supposed to be doing or he was not.  My memory is fuzzy.  He is an attorney at law having graduated from the University of the West Indies and Hugh Wooding Law School and he assumed duties as Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs from October 23, 2010.   I am sure that your alma mater is very proud of your achievements and it is with great pleasure though grave concern that we want to hang on to your every word as we listen to your thoughts on how Barbados can always be the Paradise that Terencia Coward so melodiously sings about, by “Protecting our Brand”.

Ladies and gentlemen, Attorney General of Barbados and Minister of Home Affairs Adriel Brathwaite. 


BHTA PATICIPATES IN TOURISM CAREER SHOWCASE
Published on September 15, 2017

OUR Members were well represented at the recent Barbados Tourism Product Authority (BTPA) Tourism Career Showcase held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, as part of the activities for Tourism and Maritime Week 2017.

The showcase, which was geared for secondary and tertiary level institution students and youth in general, highlighted various areas in the industry including culinary tourism, agro-tourism, adventure and leisure tourism, cultural heritage tourism, community tourism and business tourism.

At the BHTA’s booth, the eager students were given details on the Association, its members, advocacy and the many careers within the sector, as well as advice on areas of study.

BHTA CEO Rudy Grant, praised the BTPA for including the Career Showcase in the week of activities, stating that it was important to ensure that the youth be fully informed on what the industry is all about and the role it plays in the economy.

“These are the persons who will be leading the tourism sector in the future. So it is very important that we engage them from as early as possible, so they are well aware of the importance of the tourism industry and the roles they can play from now,” Grant said.


ASSOCIATION ASSISTING CARIBBEAN NEIGHBOURS AFTER BARBADOS IS SPARED FROM IRMA AND MARIA
Published on September 15, 2017

OVER the past few weeks the Association has been coordinating relief efforts to assist neighbouring islands affected by Hurricane Harvey, Irma and Maria, after Barbados was spared the wrath of these systems.

Chairman Roseanne Myers, said: “We are counting ourselves as lucky that the island was not affected by these recent systems as we were not in the direct path on this occasion.  Most of the weather systems which affected the region brought only temporary rough seas and rain, but no damage to infrastructure in Barbados. However, properties here received several calls of concern after the passage of Irma.”

Myers noted that a number of international news reports indicated that the island was hit by the massive hurricanes which unfortunately caused major damage to many of our Caribbean neighbours including Barbuda and Dominica.

“A number of these reports mixed up Barbados with Barbuda, which was devastated by Hurricane Irma. This is understandable as the names are very close and with relief efforts being coordinated from here, there is some confusion.

“The BHTA is saddened by the news of the devastation and damage caused by Irma and Maria to Barbuda, Dominica and the other islands. Our members stand ready and willing to assist citizens from the affected islands.

“To date we have joined other businesses and the citizens of Barbados to collect much needed funds, food items, clothing, building materials and other essential items to send to these islands and have already sent off a shipment of supplies to Antigua, including bath towels, sheets, bedspreads and toiletries, collected from our members. We are also in the process of undertaking a similar collection for Dominica.

“Additionally, we are also supporting relief efforts driven by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) and the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO),” Myers stated. 


BHTA ALSO COLLABORATES WITH BCCI AND BIBA ON HURRICANE RELIEF EFFORTS
Published on September 15, 2017

In addition to our other hurricane relief efforts, the Association also joined forces with the Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI) and the Barbados International Business Association (BIBA) to give some much needed assistance to Barbuda, which was recently devastated by Hurricane Irma.

During a recent press conference, His Excellency Ambassador Dr. Clarence Henry, National Authorising Officer and National EPA Coordinator for Antigua and Barbuda, expressed his country’s appreciation for the gesture.

He expressed his gratitude to the BCCI, BHTA and BIBA on behalf of the Government of Antigua & Barbuda for extending the hand of friendship. He also thanked: “All those persons who demonstrated the humanitarian drive within all of us - that when our brothers and sisters are devastated, they are willing to come to the table.”

He stressed however, that there was also the need for phase two: “There is also a need for the response to deal with the rebuilding process. The Governments are trying their best to deal with the humanitarian crisis but there has to be a second phase in terms of the rebuilding in Barbuda and in Dominica.

“People of the region, let us respond to our challenges together. Together we are stronger. Spare a thought for the people who have had to run from their homes. How many of us have a full appreciation of the level of psychological damage or impact or effects on the mothers, the fathers, the brothers and sisters, the children? None of us would have wanted to endure what they went through but we thank the almighty for sparing life.”

BHTA CEO, Rudy Grant, explained that the Association saw the partnership as a very important and critical effort, “The entire BHTA family is supportive of this effort because we recognize that there is great discomfort in the islands affected and we recognize the importance of supporting our brothers and sisters in the region.

“We cannot imagine what it must be like to have an entire island devastated in the case of Barbuda and as we also reflect on the challenges of Dominica. We are going to be refocusing our efforts because we realise there is still need for additional items and we will continue to work with the BCCI and BIBA as we continue to ensure that we are able to provide more items.”

Grant added that the BHTA was committed to continue working with its partners to support the efforts in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica and the wider Caribbean. He said: “The level of devastation is unimaginable. We are happy today to be a part of this effort and to say that it does not stop here. As the Ambassador mentioned, there is also the need for effort towards the rebuilding and we stand beside you as Caribbean brothers and sisters, committed to ensuring that, through our various organisations, we are able to assist.”


AG OUTLINES PLANS TO ADDRESS CRIME ON ISLAND AT THIRD QUARTERLY MEETING
Published on September 15, 2017

DURING our Third Quarterly General Meeting held in September, Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs, the Hon. Adriel Brathwaite M.P., outlined a number of measures Government is considering to address the recent rise of crime on the island, specifically gun violence.  Listen to the full speech and Q&A here


WORLD TOUISM DAY MESSAGE
Published on September 15, 2017

AS we celebrated World Tourism Day 2017 we were ever more mindful and thankful of the fact that Barbados was left relatively unscathed by the recent hurricane systems which wrought turmoil and damage on our Neighbours.  Barbados was spared on this occasion and we will do everything as an Association to assist our Neighbours.

But what do we need to do to influence the conditions that have propelled climate change and unleashed the fury of Mother Nature? What is our role and what can we, ourselves, control?  

When you look out your window today, or drive to work alongside the blindingly beautiful shoreline that accompanies most of us on our drive, ask yourself – How can I be a part of the solution? What beauty do I see? How hard am I prepared to fight to protect what I see?

We can only be a sustainable sector if we practice sustainable methods of growing and showcasing the tourism product. Commit today to sign on to our efforts to reduce the use of plastics, check your sewerage lines and ensure they are working properly, educate your team members on what they can do at home, monitor the chemicals you are using and eliminate them and spend the money to change to renewables and reduce use of fossil fuels. It is more costly not to do so. 

Here is our other reality - the damage has been done and we cannot prevent the fury of nature but only be thankful when we are spared.

Hurricane season is not over and there is always next year. So what do we do? Are we prepared to mitigate against the effects of warmer oceans and more destructive weather systems? 

Get an engineer to assess your property and home. Take lessons from our Neighbours and, as we celebrate World Tourism Day 2017, let us count our many blessings and dig deep in our cupboards and pockets to help our Neighbours. Let us also take to both knees in praise and thanks for our beautiful island and seek divine guidance to make our industry sustainable. 

Chairman of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association

Roseanne Myers.



NEW BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CONSULTANT
Published on September 15, 2017

Join us as we welcome the newest member to the BHTA team – Jacqueline Gill our Business Development Consultant, who joined the Association on October 1, 2017.

Ms. Gill is a Marketing professional with more than twenty (20) years of experience. She has been working to positively impact organisational performance through market research and business development. 

Her responsibilities at the BHTA will include providing research and statistical information on the performance of the tourism industry, specifically as it relates to members, as well as developing and recommending business development strategies and monitoring the sustainability of the Associations’ marketing initiatives.

She will be responsible for developing and recommending marketing plans, managing the Association’s Research Programme, amongst other duties.

Before joining the Association, Mrs. Gill operated her own businesses as a Digital Marketer and Business Development Specialist. Prior to that she held the positions of Senior Research Officer - Invest Barbados and Research Consultant – University College of Barbados Project Office.


BHTA AND IHB LAUNCH EXCITING 2017 STAYCATION CAMPAIGN
Published on August 25, 2017

THE BHTA has joined forces with Intimate Hotels of Barbados (IHB) for this year’s Staycation campaign - ‘Staycation the 246 way’ - which was jointly launched recently, aimed at encouraging and reminding Barbadians that they can enjoy their vacations right at home.


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BHTA PARTNERS WITH US EMBASSY AND LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES TO EDUCATE ON ‘CRIMES THAT AFFECT THE INDUSTRY’
Published on August 25, 2017

IN OUR ongoing commitment to provide relevant training for our membership, the   BHTA recently partnered with the United States (US) Embassy, the American Chamber of Commerce and the Overseas Security Advisory Council to host a one-day programme on crime in the sector.


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