Tuesday 14 July, 2020

BHTA starts by helping tourism staff impacted by COVID-19

BHTA Chairman Stephen Austin (FILE)

BHTA Chairman Stephen Austin (FILE)

The tourism sector has been the most negatively impacted by COVID-19 and as such the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) has rolled out its assistance programme starting with its workers.

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Adopting a phased approach, home drums are certainly beating first within the hardest hit sector.

BHTA Chairman Stephen Austin explained that the BHTA’s COVID-19 Assistance Programme is being executed in a number of phases:

“We started in March with our own employees for Phase One, which saw member properties and businesses providing care packages including food supplies and cleaning products to their team members." 

Commercial flights in and out of Barbados ceased, hotel bookings fell by 99 per cent or 100 per cent after hoteliers were predicting growth year-on-year for 2020, some operators had their facilities being used as quarantine facilities, but by and large tourism ground to a complete halt locally.

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Austin said: “This pandemic is affecting the entire country and at the BHTA we are very aware that we all have to play our part. We all have to work together in this fight and so we are committed to providing support wherever we can.

"As time goes on we will execute the other phases of the programme accordingly." 

The BHTA is assisting in the local fight against the COVID-19 pandemic by providing support to not only the tourism industry employees, but also to the Government, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), the Harrison’s Point Isolation Centre, the Paragon Facility and charitable agencies, among others. 

"COVID-19 has stripped us down and allowed many to realize that we have minimal control over these current circumstances. However, we have control of how we respond to challenges, control of our faith and of the brightness of our hope for a better tomorrow," Austin added.  

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