PM: Diversify from tourism

BARBADOS’ ECONOMY MUST be diversified from tourism.

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley said yesterday alternatives must be found to drive Barbados’ economy, the main plank of which almost completely collapsed under the weight of the COVIDC-19 pandemic.

“We have to diversify,” Mottley said during debate on the Appropriation Bill in the House of Assembly yesterday.

Reflecting on the devastating effect the pandemic has had on tourism worldwide and on the industry in relation to Barbados’ economy, the Prime Minister said: “We believe that the exposure to the heavy reliance on tourism has taught us a major lesson that we would want never to have any future set of Barbadians or Government taught again.”

She said dependency on tourism remained “excessive” and was adamant that alternative means of revenue generation had to be found, while indicating that areas such as renewable energy and the medicinal cannabis industry, which is now in the ebryonic stages, must be pursued as other means of attracting foreign exchange.

Hundreds of tourism workers found themselves out of employment at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic last year when hotels and tourist attractions  were forced to close their doors, cruise ships that fuelled a thriving cruise industry for Barbados were left out to sea and airlines that brought thousands of visitors to the island were grounded.

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