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Barbados still owns Harrison’s Cave

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Barbados still owns Harrison’s Cave
Minister of Tourism Senator Lisa Cummins (second right) speaking with (from left) chief executive officer of Chukka Caribbean Adventures Marc Melville, Caves of Barbados CEO Andrea Franklin and Caves of Barbados chairman Ralph Thorne.  (Picture by Gercine Carter)

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Minister of Tourism, Senator Lisa Cummins, stressed that Harrison’s Cave has not been sold.

At a press conference this morning to introduce the new operators of the cave, Chukka Caribbean Adventures from Jamaica, she said that company was given a 25-year lease, but the attraction remained the property of Barbados since it lies under properties owned by Barbadians.

“Harrison’s Cave has not been sold,” Cummins told the media.

“The Barbados Hilton, what is being done there, owned by the Government and People of Barbados, managed by a third party, is the model being used for the management of Harrison’s Cave. Caves of Barbados Limited therefore, will have a successful company which will remain owned by the Government of Barbados, it will be managed by a team which remains under the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport . . ,” Cummins said.

That team will “work closely” with the management of Chukka Barbados Limited to ensure that the development plans, budgets and resources “are consistent with the policy position” of the country.

Chief executive officer of Chukka, Marc Melville, said they had plans for massive extension of the operations of the cave that would include activities such as zip-lining, fun slides and entertainment for children.

Meanwhile, chairman of the Caves of Barbados, Ralph Thorne, said Chukka won the bid to operate the cave over three local contenders in a process that was transparent and fair. The decision to go with Chukka was made by a committee which was specially set up to look at all the bids. He said all 60 employees were paid severance and their services would be retained by Chukka in a new employment arrangement. (GC)


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