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Mottley talks tourism in Estimates

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

Mottley talks tourism in Estimates

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Opposition Leader?Mia Mottley would support an increase of funds to the Ministry of Tourism.
She made this quite clear during her response to the Estimates and Expenditure as she stated that the Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA) was “starved for funds”.
“I?would support an increase vote to the Minister of Tourism because I know we are now relying on the good will of Barbados’ overseas staff working with their tour operator partners and others. There is virtually no presence of Barbados in the market place for the last year,” Mottley charged, pointing out that there was no 2012 marketing programme and that the BTA?had been unable to capture space in the market.
She stated that the Ministry was given $98 million but this was subsequently reduced to $78 million.
“I was one of the ones that said ‘yes’ I would have supported government spending last year urgently because I?felt that if your tourism product is on the brink that you cannot afford to go through two winter seasons and that is what this decline is,” she added.
She further charged that the “failure of Government to protect and to ensure that Almond Beach Village was returned had implications for both large and small companies as well as Barbados’ airlift.
In terms of the overall hotel industry Mottley contended that hotels were suffering from increased fixed cost especially from electricity and water while she reminded that the Central Bank report also spoke about an increase in non- performing loans which had also negatively impacted the sector.
More stories from the Estimates Debate in Parliament in tomorrow’s DAILY NATION