Barbados holidays must be globally competitive in the world of tourism, says expert
Publicly speaking on the topic of the future of Barbados holidays tourism expert Professor Avinash Persaud stress the need for Barbados to be globally competitive in the travel industry arena without being heavily subsidised as the sugar industry once was
According to the view of Professor Avinash Persaud, the featured speaker at the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association's (BHTA) which took place last month, Barbados holidays must be globally competitive in the world of tourism, and not just remain on standby waiting for subsidies. He expressed his views recently again when addressing the Daily Nation paper. Professor Avinash Persaud is a renowned Barbadian economist and chairman of the Four Seasons national tourism project in the Island who pointed out to the media that the tourism industry for Barbados holidays should not be heavily subsidised.
Earlier on, before a packed audience at the posh St Philip hotel, Persaud, speaking on the topic: Myths And Realities: Tourism As A Driver Of Economic Growth In Barbados, said that unless things were done differently, tourism could go the same way as the struggling sugar industry or the Barbados holidays industry could seriously suffer.
"The sugar industry was made unprofitable and uncompetitive as a result of extensive closeted support and subsidies.
"Unless our tourism sector can stand on its two feet and be profitable, it will not be part of the future."
Persaud, addressing members of the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association's (BHTA) last month also added: "I fear that this sector could become like the sugar industry, employing a tiny fraction of employees, remaining closeted and unprofitable, but we have it there as part of our heritage, we have it there as some grand museum,"
Persaud told hotel and restaurant managers he was concerned that less than 20 %of Barbados hotels were globally competitive and could survive in the long run.
"We need to do some things that will change that projection because I will argue that if we lose the tourism sector, that will actually be even more crippling than losing the sugar industry. The sugar industry was never going to profit in the long run in a globally competitive world of special preferences and the large arms of Latin America," he stressed.
On a more hopeful note Persaud said there was much hope for tourism and the future of Barbados holidays. "We have in Barbados a world-class tourism product. There are many in this room who know how to manage, operate and develop world-class products," he added.
At the same time he also dismissed suggestions that the product offering of Barbados holidays should be less globally focused and aim for more domestic development: "I have heard this talk about doing things ourselves here, rather than being globally competitive, [and that] tourism is servile . . . not something you want to aspire to. Of course, this is all ridiculous nonsense"
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