Mia sets sights on 1m tourists
LAMENTING THAT BARBADOS’ tourism now seemed “like a horror story that has been just beyond your imagination”, Opposition Leader Mia Mottley said yesterday it was not beyond Barbados’ capacity to make the industry soar by attracting a million land-based tourists by 2020.
Mottley told the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association’s (BHTA) annual general meeting yesterday that there could be no economic recovery in Barbados without a tourism turnaround; and if her Barbados Labour Party held the Government, it would bring in a million tourists in seven years instead of only increasing visitors by 5 000 in ten years.
Going back to 2003, she said Barbados had merely moved from 531 211 long-stay visitors to 536 303 in 2012 , while Aruba had in the same period gone from 641 906 to 903 934 visitors – a 300 000 increase.
She said, however, the million-visitor mark could be achieved by increasing the island’s average occupancy from 60 to 85 per cent, while mobilizing capital to facilitate investment and building another 800 rooms by 2017-2018. (RJ)