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TALK BACK: 10-point plan and BCCI call take spotlight

Carol Martindale

TALK BACK: 10-point plan and BCCI call take spotlight

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Tourism has been a talking point for many of our readers this past week and while some welcomed Government’s ten-point plan to help the industry, others say Barbados has simply become too expensive a destination.
The talk was triggered when last Thursday Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy unveiled Government’s plans, which will initially cost about $20 million.
Readers also commented on the call by the Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s to review and reduce landing charges and destination fees.
Following are some of the comments by our readers.
Carl Harper: “Barbados is an expensive destination. The high landing charges and destination fees do nothing but increase reality and perception that Barbados is an upscale place where the rich and famous love to frolic. I find it interesting that the Minister of Tourism continues to grumble about the APD (Air Pasenger Duty) out of the UK as being burdensome on travellers to the Caribbean – Barbados in particular – and uses that and the economic conditions in Britain as the reasons for the decline in visitors from there to our shores.
The most nagging issue with the APD is in its unfair application where travellers to Hawaii, for example, that is much farther away, are assessed a lower APD than those to the Caribbean. The APD was put in place by the British government, not to curtail travel to the Caribbean, but as a means of generating tax revenue to bolster the economy . . . .
Orson Arthur: “It is a good idea to cut those fees. Also look at the departure tax and other taxes related to the tourist industries. The cost of living is too high.”
Bim Bum: “Barbados is simply too expensive. Too unneccesarily expensive! There were days when ripping off the golden goose was sport. That was when there was plenty of mad money sloshing around. Those days are gone now and yet many Bajans are not adjusting to this new reality.”
Rawle Maycock: “You do not need ten  points to solve an equation in tourism . . . . Do you know the type of visitors you’re trying to attract and have you done your research about the likes and dislikes of the potential visitor? First, I can say the visitors of yesteryear are not the same as the ones of today.
They do not want to be on a flight for long hours . . . . We are a high-end destination so what incentives are you going to offer in your package? Visitors like places of interest – they love boat rides, tours, food, drinks, entertainment, tour guides, etc.”
• Carol Martindale is THE NATION’s Online Editor.