Local tourist attractions stand to be among the hardest hit if the spread of the novel coronavirus continues unabated.
Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Kerrie Symmonds, speaking to the membership of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association earlier this week, noted that some of the attractions are already operating on “razor thin margins, if on profit margins at all.
“I am not overstating it, I am not being melodramatic folks, and you all know this is true – some of our attractions are so fragile that they may not be able to withstand a month of this without being complete eviscerated. But we can’t just allow them to go under, and I say to the BHTA that while you represent 80 odd hotels, you have, I believe, 500 or so members and that’s part of the attractions as well and the experiences across Barbados,” he said.
He added, “Nobody is going to Disney World this year because Disney World is closed. The Americans don’t want us and frankly speaking we should start to do a little bit of introspection and look inward. Nobody is going to spend all their money at Macy’s this year, or up and down 47th street… because they don’t want us, and frankly we should spend a little bit of time looking inward”.
In that vein, Minister Symmonds said it could not hurt to encourage Barbadians who would otherwise be travelling abroad, to spend some time doing staycations and inject cash into the market.