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Visitor safety a priority, says PM

GERCINE CARTER, [email protected]

Visitor safety a priority, says PM

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Days after a robbery at a South Coast hotel, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has restated his commitment to ensuring Barbados remains a safe place for visitors.

“We are not perfect, but we try as far as possible to make Barbados a safe place, so that you can go about your daily peregrinations and movings around, feeling comfortable; that you do not have to fear molestation or assault of any kind,” the Prime Minister told more than 150 visitors attending a reception at his official residence Wednesday night.

“We try to make sure that Barbados is a safe place because we are aware of the fact that whether you come from the United States, from the UK, from Canada, from Denmark, from other parts of Europe, you are not going to leave your countries of origin to come to Barbados, if you are not going to feel safe in this country.”

Stuart conceded that visitors may from time to time experience “some kind of misfortune” in Barbados, but with a hint of humour and an undertone of seriousness he said: “We have not yet reached the stage where we pursue the standards of angels. We are still limited to the standards of ordinary men and women.”

The Prime Minister’s reception is hosted at Ilaro Court during the winter season to extend special hospitality to visitors who continue to choose Barbados as their holiday destination.

On Wednesday, several of them were recognised by Stuart who told his guests that efforts were ongoing to ensure Barbadians were “so cultured, that they extend the warmth and hospitality that you expect”.

Roberto Menegati, who has visited more than 60 times, Barbara and Wood Lockhart and Nicole Forbes and family, all of whom have been here for over 30 visits, were among the visitors singled out for recognition. 

Stuart also highlighted Barbados’ reliance on foreign investment in its tourism infrastructure and on visitor spend and cited a “highly intelligent labour force and a secure and safe environment” as reasons why tourism and international business and tourism had done so well over the years that the two had taken over from sugar as the plank of Barbados’ economy.

During the evening, visitors interacted with parliamentarians, community figures, people from the business sector and others making up the 200 guests invited to the reception.

They were entertained by students of St Paul’s Primary School, accompanied by Cultural Ambassador Anthony The Mighty Gabby Carter on guitar, in a performance of folk and calypso. (GC)