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Tourism light


marciadottin, [email protected]

Tourism light

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More than 700 000 visitors came to the shores of Barbados this year, a three per cent increase compared to the corresponding six-month period last year.And Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy yesterday thanked the island’s hotel and restaurant workers, since he believes it was their hospitality and excellent service that ensured that most of those who came here were repeat visitors.Speaking at the launch of the 25th Hotel And Restaurant Workers Week at the Barbados Workers Union’s Solidarity House headquarters, Sealy noted that the only way Barbados’ tourism product could continueto survive the current worldwide recession, was if workers in the industry continue to give it their all.“No one comes back to Barbados because the minister invited them here. No one returns to Barbados because the president of the Barbados Tourism Authority begged them. “They come back here because of the experience they encountered, and with the service they received from the workers in this industry,” Sealy said to rapturous applause.Noting that tourism was easily the most fragile sector for an island like Barbados, the minister said he was pleased hotel and restaurant workers had chosen the theme Recovery Through Service Excellence for this year’s week of activities.Sealy said Government would continue to urge the private sector and the Social Partnership to work together so as to train workers in improving their provision of service excellence, which remained the single most important factor after tourists disembarked a plane or cruise ship and stepped onto Barbadian soil.“I have confidence in the workers of Barbados,” Sealy told the audience. “It’s the times that show the true mettle and character of a person, a country, and even the tourism sector. I am pleased our sector did not roll over and die during these tough times.”He said the sector’s numbers were nowhere near to those in 2008 for the same period, but Government remained confident their efforts to shore up tourism would work, and already had shown signs of improvement based on increased numbers from the Canadian market and early success through its new flights from Brazil.According to the minister, they would continue to look at non-traditional markets and re-emphasise sports and community tourism.

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