Stakeholders in the local tourism industry are being given the opportunity to enhance their skills and organisational procedures as it relates to tourism security through a week-long workshop.
The training workshop, which opened this morning at the Barbados Defence Force, is being facilitated by the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE), the Organisation of American States (OAS), the United Nations Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) and the Barbados Tourism Product Authority (BTPA) with support from the Government of Canada.
Teams from UNICRI and the OAS, along with experts from around the world, completed a needs assessment session here on May 18 and 19, and have returned to conduct training based on the gaps identified during the assessment.
Manager of the National Tourism Host Programme with the BTPA, Marsha Alleyne, explained: “It was important for the international team to come to Barbados first and conduct a session with local stakeholders to understand the dynamics of our tourism product, and to ensure that the training is tailored to fit the Barbadian reality.
We spent the two days in May having an open discussion with key stakeholders about our strengths and weaknesses as it relates to tourism security and therefore the training seeks to address our weak areas.”
The seminar is expected to touch on key areas such as emergency response; community and intelligence-led policing; cyber security, as well as maritime and cruise security, through discussions, presentations, table top exercises and case studies.
In May, site visits were conducted at the Bridgetown Port, St. Lawrence Gap and Oistins, to ensure that the table top exercises will be based on local scenarios.
Chief Executive Officer of the BTPA, Dr Kerry Hall, endorsed the seminar, stating: “Given that tourism contributes to a significant portion of Barbados’ economic earnings, coupled with the fact that safety and security is a core brand element on which the island is marketed, training in this area is paramount.
“It is only through such capacity building that Barbados can ensure that the future of the tourism industry is secure and that tourism develops in the most sustainable way possible.”