Talks on to secure tourism jobs

The Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) is meeting with trade unions today for discussions concerning the future of hotel workers that could avert a National Insurance payout estimated at about $300 million in the event of widespread permanent layoffs.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought the tourism industry to its knees, forcing the closure of nearly all hotels and leaving hundreds of workers unemployed.

It was disclosed that only about 15 hotels had reopened, with another 40 to resume business by December.

Chief executive officer of the BHTA, Senator Rudy Grant, highlighted the grim reality during a virtual media briefing yesterday.

He said airlift was about five per cent of what it would have been at this time last year; hotel occupancy had declined by 91 per cent and stood at six per cent, while revenue declined by 96 per cent. 

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