The development of Barbados’ yachting sector could see the creation of new jobs and possibilities.
Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy, Kirk Humphrey, made this revelation as he disclosed that Government was preparing to take a paper to Cabinet on yachting to improve the sector.
Speaking during a virtual handover of a Blue Economy Scoping Study conducted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Mr. Humphrey said one area of development would be for the creation of a facility to lift vessels of a certain size out of the water.
To facilitate that process, he said the Barbados Port Inc. was about to issue a request for a proposal towards the build-out of a haul out repair facility, so yachts would have a place where they can be lifted from the water and stored after arriving in Barbados.
“That is the creation of a whole industry, a whole set of jobs, new techniques, new skills to be learnt, a whole set of possibilities,” the Minister said.
He noted that people thought COVID-19 meant the demise of the yachting industry, but what it did was call for a rethinking of the industry. “People will still want to travel and still want to move,” he said.
Head of the Blue Economy Accelerator Lab at the UNDP, Nikola Simpson, noted that the expansion of the island’s yachting sector was one of the recommendations outlined in the study.
“We definitely think that there is room for that. It is going back to tourism and reimagining the sector. Over the past few months, we have realised that the yachting sector was promoted as a more controlled tourism option as it relates to other types of tourism,” she said.