Sectors each have a role
CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC is Barbados Hotel And Tourism Association (BHTA) president Colin Jordan about the performance of tourism for 2011.
Jordan’s outlook comes against the background of Government pinning the island’s economic growth on the performances of the tourism and international business sectors.
Last week, Central Bank of Barbados Governor Dr DeLisle Worrell said he was anticipating two per cent growth in the economy this year but this depended mainly on how these two sectors would perform.
Jordan said that while much was expected of tourism and while this year should be much better than 2010, there were still concerns.
“April is causing us some concern due to weak forward bookings, and we are working with the Barbados Tourism Authority to address this month specifically.
“Also we continue to be concerned about spending by our visitors,” he said, noting that while the tourism sector “must be” the one to drive the economy forward, the main challenge was getting people to spend while on the island.
Henderson Holmes, executive director of the Barbados International Business Association (BIBA), said he believed all the sectors would have made a major contribution in 2010.
“International Business has been one of the most consistent in contributing to the economy. It has always contributed significantly and we will continue to do so. I don’t like the poster child approach . . . each sector is making their contribution in different ways and I think the poster child approach doesn’t really help us.
“I think we need to be aware of and honest about their respective contributions.
“I think tourism makes a contribution in different ways to international business and to manufacturing et cetera,” he said.
Ian Pickup, president of the Barbados Manufacturers’ Association (BMA), said while the manufacturing sector may have “diminished significantly” in its foreign exchange earnings, as was stated by Worrell, he thought 2010 was “a stabilisation year” for the sector.
Pickup said as the economy continued to grow, fuelled mainly by tourism and construction, he was confident that manufacturing would contribute more to the economy.
“Generally, as the economy improves, manufacturing improves as well,” he said.