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REMARKS BY BHTA CHAIRMAN ROSEANNE MYERS AT THIRD QUARTERLY GENERAL MEETING
Published on September 13, 2017

                             

REMARKS BY BHTA CHAIRMAN ROSEANNE MYERS AT THE ASSOCIATION’S THIRD QUARTERLY GENERAL MEETING

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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