Barbados not leaving foreign media to tell missing visitors story
Prime Minister Mia Mottley and Minister Kerrie Symmonds speak on missing US visitors.
Barbados Tourism officials are trying to control the narrative hitting the international media after two unfortunate events in the two territories involving American tourists this week.
Asked today during a press conference if the news of two American visitors missing at sea since Monday, while vacationing in Barbados, will have an adverse effect on tourism in Barbados, Tourism Minister Kerrie Symmonds told reporters at the Grantley Adams International Airport:
"Not the simple disappearance of them, I don't think the mere disappearance of the tourists will have a negative impact. I think the issue really is how we manage the situation and how we project to the world that we are managing the situation that is why it was a very important thing to return today to demonstrate to all of the press who is on island that there is someone taking charge and that the government is very conscious of the situation and doing all within its power to rectify if possible the circumstances. I mean accidents happen.
"We left England today and the headline in the United Kingdom is a young lady who disappeared at a summer camp, but am..things happen. It is how you manage it and how you relate to a family in an hour of what could really be loss and grief. You have to be compassionate and accessible."
Prime Minister Mia Mottley added that along with sending up prayers, the search has been extended for another 72 hours.
"The reason why we are extending the search for another 72 hours is that we want to make sure that we are doing everything humanly possible because none of us can bring back life. And if they are there and they are still capabale of being found then we must do everything possible to find them as they have been doing for the last 72 hours - the Coast Guard, the RSS, the police."
And she expressed "how deeply sorry" she is that the couple is missing and gave deep assurance that "diligent" efforts of Barbados, the region and the government will continue.