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Winter tourism didn’t drive economy

SHERRYLYN CLARKE, [email protected]

Winter tourism didn’t drive economy

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BARBADOS’ FOREIGN RESERVES got no positive movement after the just ended winter tourist season, and Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados, Dr DeLisle Worrell said it was another three months of decline in the local economy.
Speaking earlier today on the island’s first quarter performance, Dr Worrell revealed that economic activity contracted by 0.4 per cent, though he said this was an improvement on the 1.2 per cent decline for the same three months of 2012.
Tourism, the main engine on which the Barbados economy depends for vital foreign exchange showed a one per cent decline in long stay arrivals.
While the number of long-stay British and European visitors was on the rise, increasing by eight and ten per cent respectively, the visitors from the United States and Canada fell. And the Governor blamed this on the cancellation of direct flights out of New York by American Airlines and reduced demand from Canada.
In his predictions on what Barbadians should expect from the rest of the year, Dr Worrell said it will be much of the same.
However he encouraged Barbadians to look for sustained growth next year of 0.5 per cent and two per cent in 2015.
Tomorrow, the Governor will take questions from the media during his quarterly Press conference. (GE)