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Sandals Resorts International wishes to clarify a story carried in the Barbados Today online publication headlined “Too Many Entitlements” referencing comments made by Sandals Chairman Gordon “Butch” Stewart with respect to the social welfare programme in Barbados.
The story has been presented totally out of context and gives the impression that Mr Stewart was criticising the programme, when in fact the Sandals Chairman was complimenting the country for its ability to provide such a programme, where many other countries have been unable to do so.
It is also important to note that while Mr Stewart did give official statements to the media about the upcoming Beaches project during that lunch meeting, the issue that has been reported on was part of a personal conversation between Mr Stewart and Director of News at the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation Ms Michelle Arthur.
During that discussion Mr Stewart said that while he was mindful of the challenges such an effort entails, it is important for those it impacts and assists, and was entirely complimentary to Barbados in this regard never once suggesting that the system be terminated or taken away, as the headline would tend to imply.
We have no doubt that the persons present, including the CBC Director of News herself can confirm this.
Having been presented without the proper context, the story raises an issue where none exists, and has given a wrong impression to the amazing people of Barbados with whom we have been friends with and supported for years.
What Mr Stewart emphasised was that Sandals was committed to deepening its investment in Barbados, allowing the company to provide hundreds of well-paying jobs. Sandals recently employed close to 600 persons at the new Sandals Royal Barbados bringing the total number of persons employed by the company in Barbados to over 1 100 at present. Upon completion of the Beaches project, there will be another 1 800 full time jobs created which means that eventually Sandals will provide employment for close to 3 000 persons in Barbados. This does not include at least 1 500 jobs which will be provided during the construction phase.
With the two current resorts now enjoying occupancy levels over 90 per cent, it represents a positive and brisk start to the season and Sandals is excited to partner with the government to ensure that the record growth experienced in the hospitality sector in 2017 continues this year and beyond. (PR)