Stranded travellers on Barbados holidays still enjoying "Good Barbadian hospitality"
Despite the fact that many British visitors are still stranded in their never-ending Barbados holidays, many have received a comforting pat on the shoulder by the Barbadian Tourism Minister who's been spreading Barbadian hospitality among stranded guests.
As many as 3000 British travellers are still stranded in Barbados unable to put an end to their Barbados holidays – and all because of the spread of Icelandic volcanic ash that has grounded British-bound flights. Even when as of yesterday some long-haul flights resumed operations again, the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association (BHTA) also stated that about 800 travellers were still stranded across various Barbados hotels.
Barbadian Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy gave these numbers last Tuesday morning as he addressed Britons booked in for longer-than-expected Barbados holidays at the Almond Beach Club & Spa. The minister said his visit to Almond was one of the many he had undertaken "to interface and empathise" with British holidaymakers who could not readily leave for home.
And it looks like it’s not all gloom and doom for those still stuck on their Barbados holidays as Sealy added that the guests he had met so far had been "very understanding, to the point that they are volunteering to extend their vacations".
He hailed Virgin Atlantic and British Airways’ efforts for providing accommodation and other comforts for "the stranded guests" for the longer duration of their stay in Barbados hotels. And, while the minister was quick to express his joy over flights - though limited – having resumed operations in Europe, he also express his concern about "suggestions of further activity in Iceland", which he reassured, the Government of Barbados was "closely monitoring".
"We are trying to avoid having crowds at the airport waiting to get on the plane, and people having to sleep at the area in front of the check-in counter," Sealy added.
Making clear that his activities visiting stranded British holidaymakers at their resorts didn’t mean to interfere with or overshadow the airlines’ many endeavours to look after their stranded passengers, Mr Sealy noted: "I am not in any way trying to usurp the role that the airlines are playing . . . . It is their responsiblity; but we are partners."
Matthew Clayton from Mumbles, South Wales, who should have left last Friday, said that despite the inconveniences he was enjoying his longer Barbados holidays and was extremely happy with the hospitality he was receiving at Almond Beach Club & Spa, but unhappy that he and his wife Carolann did not know when they would be able to go home.
"My wife is the deputy headteacher at a large school . . . . She is away and the headmaster is stranded in Spain. While I am a self-employed consultant and can do my work from here, my wife will not be paid for the time she is spending here" - said Clayton.
On the other hand, hotel director Gerry Lewis said Almond Beach Club & Spa was constantly in contact with the airlines and tour operators, as the primary objective was to ensure the British visitors were comfortable and were given as much as information as became available so they could make the best of their forcefully-extended Barbados holidays.
Lewis added that like many other Barbados hotels faced with same situation, Almond Beach Club & Spa's aim was that the British "enjoy good Barbadian hospitality while they await their departure".
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