Despite the ongoing economic recession, Barbados??? tourism industry appears to be on the rebound with most hotels reporting occupancy levels in the region of 75-90 per cent.

Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Richard Sealy, expressed renewed optimism in the industry???s future while addressing the official opening ceremony of the Infinity on the Beach Hotel in St. Lawrence Gap, Christ Church, last Saturday.

He said: ???From the polling that we have done, all of the hotels that we spoke to had occupancy in the 90???s except for one property, which reported occupancy of 75 per cent. So, we are doing pretty well right now and ???let me congratulate you [hoteliers] because the hotels are full and it is a credit to you that the hotels are full.???

He said the Infinity on the Beach Hotel project had come at a time when there were other projects in progress on the popular party strip, including upgrades to Pisces Restaurant, Reggae Lounge night club and the opening of The Beach Restaurant at the Divi Southwinds Beach Resort.

Mr. Sealy said attempts to revitalise St. Lawrence Gap showed that: ???The confidence level is very high and it is important that we see St. Lawrence Gap fight to come back.???

The Tourism Minister also alluded to other ongoing investments in the Gap including repairs to the board walk at the entrance to the Gap ??? a project being undertaken in collaboration with the Barbados Tourism Investment Inc.

???We are fixing that at the moment but the plan is to come to the global market area as well ??? the Barbados Tourism Investment Inc. We had a nice tour of the area and we have decided that with so much happening in this area…I mentioned the Reggae Lounge and what used to be the Ship, Infintity on the Beach and going right across to as far as Sandals. With that level of investment coming from the private sector, large and small, I think that the development must also step up to the mark,??? Mr. Sealy added.

He further stated: ???We have to get the street lighting in order, we have to get the Dover market fixed and what is going on at the front of the Gap is not intended to be a one off [situation]. But, we are going to find the resources to do the simple things to make the difference.?????

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