Prime Minister Freundel Stuart (centre) in light conversation with chairman of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., Alvin Jemmott (left), and BTMI’s chief executive officer Billy Griffith. (Picture by Nigel Browne.)
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LONG LINES and inordinately long waits for visitors coming through Customs at the Grantley Adams International Airport are raising fears about the long-term effect on the island’s tourism.
One month into the 2015 winter tourism season, chief executive officer of the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association(BHTA), Sue Springer, has spoken out about the frustration visitors are experiencing getting through the airport and, specifically, through the Customs process when they arrive on the island.
“The biggest complaint that I am getting, far more than water, is what is happening at the airport,” Springer said Wednesday night on the sidelines of a reception hosted by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart for repeat visitors. In her view any problems hotels may be experiencing with the current water shortages pale in comparison to the situation at the airport for which she said the BHTA was receiving “numerous complaints” about how long it took to clear Customs.
“I believe there are some issues regarding Customs still, and it has been in the Customs area, not so much Immigration, . . . that we have seen the delays,” Springer said, citing an example of an American Airlines flight that landed in Barbados at 10.30 p.m. last Saturday, with the last passenger from that flight going through Customs at 1 a.m. Sunday.
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