BHTA members weathered Tropical Storm Matthew with no major damage

Barbados’ tourism product survived the passing of Tropical Storm Matthew with no challenges or major damage.

Word of this came from Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association’s (BHTA) CEO Sue Springer, who said its 300-plus members, including accommodation, restaurants, attractions and activities, were all spared during the passing of the system and were all back to business as usual.

She said, “We have been in contact with our members and from all reports none sustained any major damage other than periodic electrical outages for a few, minor roof damage to one property and a fallen tree in the car park of one property and the garden of another member.

 “Our hotels are up and running, our attractions, including our sea-based ones are operating, our restaurants are open and the airport is operational again so our visitors can get in and out of the island.”

Springer explained that the Association and its members took emergency management very seriously and each year ensured that all plans, including hurricane preparedness, are up-to-date.

She added, “To ensure that our members were kept well abreast of the system and how it was expected to affect us, the BHTA was in constant contact with the Department of Emergency Management (DEM) and I was also stationed at the National Emergency Operations Centre for most of the night into the morning. So, we were able to give our members on the spot information on all matters from the airport closure to public transportation schedules and possible water and electricity outages.”

Springer also commended all those who were involved in keeping Barbados safe, informed and operational during the passing of Matthew, from Government to the DEM, to the Barbados Light and Power, the Barbados Water Authority, volunteers and the media.

“The cooperation between these entities and communication with the public was phenomenal and was paramount to how we all weathered this system,” she said.