A Government official has urged Barbados and the Caribbean to continue seizing opportunities in the global travel and tourism market, saying it is showing resilience in the face of continued slow growth in the main markets.
Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, Senator Jepter Ince, said that industry, which was forecasted to increase, remained an important contributor to global GDP (approximately 9.0 per cent) and employment.
He made the comments today while delivering the feature address at the Annual General Meeting of the Tourism Development Corporation at Accra Beach Hotel.
Senator Ince told his audience: ???The message therefore, is that we must continue to look to develop our industry with the aim of acquiring greater market share. This means we must further increase room stock, which we are currently working on; continuously upgrade our plant; and ensure the highest standard of service delivery. These are all the makings of a competitive product.???
He pointed out that there were other adjustments that needed to be made and stressed that officials must work harder at facilitating investors who viewed Barbados as a place where they could add value.
???Hence, we must be more efficient in responding to investor concerns and to find workable solutions without compromising values or the rule of law. Our Government will continue to take a more active role in helping to move critical tourism and other development related projects along.
???It cannot be business as usual if we are to really grow this economy, create jobs and ensure a quality standard of living. Important also, we must continue to maintain an economic environment that is attractive to investors by ensuring fiscal discipline and macroeconomic stability,??? Senator Ince suggested.
He stressed that it was necessary to sustain the growth momentum in tourism by tackling and correcting any imbalances, many of which were within our control.
The Parliamentary Secretary noted that in the 2015 Budget, Government identified tourism as a key sector to help lay the foundation to return the Barbados economy to a sustainable growth path. He disclosed that some of these initiatives were working and that Government would continue to look at ways to strengthen the sector and its contribution to development.