Saturday 4 April, 2020

Tourism threat bubbling over! Urgent South Coast fix needed

CEO of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), Rudy Grant,

CEO of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), Rudy Grant,

As residents and business owners on the South Coast continue to be challenged by the sewage problems in that area, the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) is expressing concern about further negative impacts on that industry.

CEO of the BHTA, Rudy Grant, noted that they are "extremely concerned about the ongoing challenges with the South Coast Sewerage Plant and particularly the negative impact on many of our hotel and restaurant members" in a statement today.

Stressing that this specifically relates to those located between the stretch from Lanterns Mall, Hastings to Worthing, all of whom are at their wits end about the increased overflows from manholes in those areas, he added that they have been working with appropriate authorities to keep abreast of the issue"

"In order to provide members with relevant and important information on the problem, our Association continues to have frequent dialogue with the Barbados Water Authority (BWA), which provides us with regular updates on what they are doing to rectify the situation as well as future strategies to be deployed. 

"We appreciate that the BWA is making every effort to remedy the issues but it would appear that there are a number of additional factors and challenges that are inhibiting them from successfully implementing identified solutions."

This is why he is calling on senior members of Government to take the lead on this issue:

"We truly believe the situation has deteriorated to the point where it is imperative for Government to view this as a national crisis as it affecting residents, schools, businesses and visitors to the island.

"In this context, we also believe the time has come for a senior Government official to take the lead in terms of the day-to-day management of this crisis."

Stressing that "BHTA reaffirms its willingness to continue working with the relevant authorities in order to find solutions for this crisis and to provide appropriate support where possible," Grant also warned that urgent action needed to be taken to prevent any further damage to the local tourism product:

"It is also important for the BHTA to be in a position to be able to respond to the concerns being expressed almost on a daily basis by our trade partners.

"The BHTA fears that if these challenges are not remedied soon, the end result could prove disastrous for the future of the industry as well as Barbados as an attractive and desired destination."

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