|Tourism??Minister, Richard Sealy (right) and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Arcadia Hotels & Resorts,??Ralph Taylor cutting the ribbon to officially open Soco Hotels at Hastings, Christ Church.??(A.Miller/BGIS)|
The official opening of Soco Hotel – the island’s newest boutique hotel on the south coast – is a welcomed addition to the island’s room stock at a time when savvy travellers are looking for more creativity to the visitor experience.
Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Richard Sealy, made this observation while delivering the feature address at the official launch of the plush 24-room hotel at Hastings, Christ Church, last night.
He told the gathering of past and present hoteliers as well as specially invited guests that there were a number of new hotel players located a short distance from each other and said government was "heartened by this activity taking place".
"This Soco Hotel formerly the Sierra Hotel – is being self-styled as Barbados’ sexiest boutique hotel.?? It is designed to provide an all-inclusive hotel in a boutique environment and is designed for the discerning traveller looking for a modern high-quality hotel facility.?? Additionally, Trip Advisor, the well-known and reputable tourism search engine, has already ranked Soco as the number one hotel in the Hastings area and they have only just started," Mr. Sealy noted.
The Tourism Minister urged Soco’s management to keep on the right track and added that "with a clear vision, a sound business plan and committed staff, you could accomplish a great deal no matter what sphere of endeavour you are in".
Mr. Sealy also encouraged other small hotels to "ramp up" their standards, saying this was necessary if the industry "is to achieve a world class status" for the island’s tourism product. "We must embrace standards as our way of life for this sector to remain current and competitive. The tourism sector has evolved over the years and we cannot do business in the same manner. In order for tourism to flourish and be sustainable in a forever changing climate, we in the industry are called upon to be innovative, to establish authentic niche products, train and retrain staff with emphasis in excellence on service delivery and to upgrade facilities and continually strive to find out what more we can do for our guests," he suggested.
The hotel employs over 30 people.