May 19, 2008 3 Comments
Tourism is the life blood of the Barbados economy. Any decisions made outside Barbados that would have a negative impact on our survival is cause for concern. Like the recent decision by American air carriers to cut their carrying capacity by as much as 20% because as you guess it, rising fuel costs which would mean less travellers coming to these shores.
Let’s face it. If plane A, used to carrying say 780 passengers to region A decided to slash their passenger load by 20%, that’s 156 less travellers coming to region A. If plane B, used to carrying say 830 passengers to region B decided to slash their passenger load by 20%, that’s 166 less travellers coming to region A.
So plane A brings 624 passengers and plane B brings 664 passengers. Now it may not be the case of each carrier slashing their capacity by 20% more likely a combination of the air carriers percentage. The point is that is already 322 travellers less coming to the Caribbean and a lesser extent Barbados.
We have not even touch on the thousands much more the millions of travellers that the region would be losing in subsequent years. Imagine the dollar figures people!!!.
So dire is the situation that Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy would be just one of the tourism ministers receiving correspondence inviting them to a 29th May meeting [next Thursday] in Antigua to come up with a comprehensive plan to deal with the gravity of the situation.
According to the Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation [CTO] and St Lucia’s Minister Of Tourism Senator Allen Chastanet said that the decision by the air carriers,
would have a serious impact on visitor arrivals to this tourism dependent region. He warned that this would be made worse over the next six to nine months as the ongoing economic downturn, plus the traditional low spending in an election year, would equal a fall-off in holiday bookings to the Caribbean by visitors from the United States.
And he does not stop there. Mr Chastanet went on to say that if a US$30m marketing plan by the CTO did not get the support from the ministers needed to propel it into action, then that May 29th meeting would be the last regional meeting that he would attend!!!.
All because the Caribbean is still relying on sun, sea and sand!
Further reading – Tourism Ministers Summoned To Emergency Meeting