AS our nation celebrates the great achievement of 50 years of Independence, the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) is extremely proud to say congratulations Barbados.
Over the years we have transitioned several times from one political directorate to another with unprecedented peace and calm no matter the outcome. It is this innate, dignified approach and reaction to matters by Barbadians of all creeds, classes, persuasions and affinities that has given our Association the backbone to carry the greatest portion of the responsibility for the country’s economic growth.
This, combined with the dedication and hard work of business owners, managers, supervisors and team members who go to work every day to ensure that this very important sector continues to be the pride of the country, have been key to the success of this industry.
Established in 1952, our predecessor Barbados Hotel Association (BHA), the first such association in the Caribbean, came into being during the heyday of sugar being the king that ruled the economy. Then, tourism was not even recognised as an industry.
However, by the time of our name change in 1994, our organisation was able to be revised to reflect the broadening scope of membership and to take cognizance of the fact that the industry was not limited to the involvement of hotels only but was all encompassing and embraced the non-accommodation sector as well.
Today, in our Golden Jubilee, the Association enfolds more than 300 accommodation and non-accommodation members, ranging from luxury Class Tourism Services. Although we represent over 80 percent of the total accommodation room stock of the island, over 60 percent of our membership consists of non-accommodation entities.
These include activities and attractions, airlines, restaurants, real estate agents, tour representatives, retailers, local and international trade and consumer press, advertising and public relations agencies, technology providers, consultants, and suppliers of goods and services, consultants, cruise service providers and tourism students.
Our primary goal is to facilitate the sustainable growth and development of our sector to the benefit of our members, our country and the people of Barbados in general. In so doing, we represent the largest earner of foreign exchange, the largest provider of jobs at every possible level of qualification and specialisation, and the largest consumer of local goods, produce and services.
Together with our members and our global public and private sector strategic partners, we hereby pledge to continue striving steadfastly to ensure that Barbados continues to achieve and maintain its internationally recognised status of being the most desired Caribbean destination for pleasure and business.
Happy 50th anniversary of Independence Barbados.
Board of Management of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association