Prime Minister David Thompson surveys the beachfront??at Escape Hotel and Spa in St. James.????

Barbados is taking steps to ensure that its tourism product is balanced in every way.

This was underscored yesterday by Prime Minister David Thompson, following a tour of the $14 million renovated Escape Hotel and Spa in Prospect, St. James.

The Prime Minister indicated that the work being performed at the hotel to make it all-inclusive and environmentally friendly, was extremely important as a component to Barbados’ tourism product.

He stressed that the renovations were consistent with the island’s tourism policy, and would position Barbados for the period after the economic recession."

Mr. Thompson stated that Government was in discussions with stakeholders about a range of tourism investments which would take place over the next year and over the medium term, would provide new opportunities across the spectrum.

"As you know, we opened the Palm Beach condominiums on the south coast, so that’s a new concept in the sense for the south coast, in which they’re going more up market, and I think that is desirable,?? so that we have balanced tourism – south and west coast," Mr. Thompson observed.

He also mentioned work being done on Edgewater Hotel on the east coast, as another example of efforts to boost the market, as well as receipt of a "number of new and innovative projects".

The Prime Minister complimented the owners and design team of Escape Hotel and Spa for conceptualising the initiative in partnership with Virgin Holidays and he explained that the company’s top management indicated that they were in Barbados "for the long haul" and wanted to see the island championing more environmentally friendly projects.

??Mr. Thompson said: "We would like to see Barbados as the leader in this hemisphere as a small island developing state in relation to achieving even smaller carbon footprints. We have no choice but to do that because if we don’t force our way and make our presence felt worldwide by actions that we take locally, we will have no credibility. So we have to have in Barbados a policy that is consistent with that.

??The four-star property, Escape Hotel and Spa, will re-open this month as Waves Resort. It will feature 70 rooms and suites, three restaurants, four bars and a spa, eight treatment rooms, a sauna, steam room and two outdoor massage pavilions.

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