Barbados’ long-stay visitor arrivals plummeted to 93 per cent but tourism officials remain optimistic the industry will rebound.
Chief executive officer of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), Senator Rudy Grant, painted a gloomy picture of the current situation in a media conference on Thursday, revealing that hotel occupancy had fallen as low as six per cent in January.
The BHTA executive attributed the dramatic drop in numbers to several factors associated with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but he said based on reports from tour operators and other travel industry representatives in Barbados’ main source markets, the desire for travel to Barbados was still high.
He suggested the availability of a vaccine should serve to bring back confidence in travel and because of this he said: “We are very confident that we will see a resurgence of the tourism sector.”
Grant’s positive outlook for the future was shared by BHTA chairman Geoffrey Roach who said the BHTA was feverishly working with other industry partners on several initiatives to ensure the survival and recovery of the tourism industry.