Your safety ‘our duty’
Barbados is generally safe for visitors, and the measures to ensure continued vigilance in law and order will not be relaxed.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart gave this assurance to repeat visitors he hosted to a reception at Ilaro Court, his official residence on Wednesday night, while stressing their importance to the island’s tourism, the “lead foreign exchange earner” for Barbados.
“Barbados has a duty to continue to make Barbados attractive and comfortable to those who visit us and must ensure that visitors coming here must be made to feel safe,” the Prime Minister told over 100 visitors who included people who have visited Barbados more than 50 times.
Stuart said while it was beyond the capacity of any government to prevent the occasional incident that did occur, he said: “we have tried to keep those incidents to a minimum and you have my assurance tonight that we will not be relaxing our vigilance and our efforts to ensure that Barbados continues to be a safe and congenial place for you to enjoy.”
He also advised the visitors to give feedback that would enable government to “tidy up” any administrative issues in their dealings with the public sector that might cause them frustration.
The Prime Minister praised Barbadians for their hospitality, the hallmark of the island’s popularity as a tourist destination. He said: “Ultimately no matter how well our public services are working, how good the infrastructure, if people are not polite, courteous, charming in dealing with visitors, there would be no impulse to return to Barbados.”
Students of Bay Primary School, accompanied by music teacher Katrina Bradshaw and musician Anthony Sargeant, serenaded the Ilaro Court guests with a range of Barbadian folk songs, while students of Ellerslie Secondary School assumed the role of escorts as guests arrived for the function.
Canadian Don Cliff who has made 74 visits to Barbados in 40 years, said Barbadians “have not changed except to get better”. He added that he felt no least safe now than when he made his first trip to the island.
The youngest guest at the reception was five-year-old German Veronika Auer who was on her third visit with her parents. She was specially greeted by the Prime Minister.