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COVID-19 hits Barbados’ tourism sector

GERCINE CARTER, [email protected]

COVID-19 hits Barbados’ tourism sector

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COVID-19 is dealing Barbados’ tourism sector severe blows.

Addressing a meeting of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association at Hilton Barbados earlier today, chairman Stephen Austin dubbed the current situation the “COVID-19 Season” for the tourism industry which has seen cruise activity halted and airline operations severely curtailed.

Industry practitioners are saying it is a “fluid situation”.

And this was before Barbados recorded its first two cases of the virus today.

There are about eight cruise ships with thousands of crew on board berthed in the Bridgetown Port and chartered flights are lining up at the Grantley Adams International Airport to take passengers back home.

Minister of Tourism Kerrie Symmonds urged Barbadians to use the current “down period” to take advantage of staycations offered by the island’s hotels and visit the local attractions to assist in keeping some of the now floundering businesses afloat.

Still tourism officials are assuring Barbadians though the industry may be down, it is not out, and say they are working collectively to ensure its survival. (GC)