Above: Bridgetown (CJ Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Barbados is planning to create a “Hotel Innovation Fund” that would provide low-cost financing to hoteliers and other tourism providers.
The government is currently meeting with tourism stakeholders to design the fund, according to Finance Minister Christopher Sinckler, who recently met with Dr Justin Robinson, Chairman of the National Insurance Board.
The fund was first announced in the financial statement and budgetary proposals of last year.
Barbados is also planning a tourism reinvigoration project, something that will reportedly launch by June.
“It is going to involve issues pertaining to fiscal incentives that the Ministry of Finance is now looking at,” Sinckler said.
“There are some things which the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association has been asking for some years, and you are going to be seeing some of them appearing in the package that we are bringing to deal with these matters,” he said. “We want to equally provide resources to the sector to ensure that we have a continued retraining of workers.”
Sinckler said it was “incumbent” upon government, the private sector and citizens to encourage and facilitate investment, he said.
“In many ways, we have fallen behind on some of that, particularly, not at the top end of the tourism market where you have the villas, the condominiums and the expensive properties, but in the middle ranges and the lower end of tourism offering in Barbados,” he said.
Sinckler said the government needed to “ensure that we reinvigorate that product and ensure that those who come to Barbados, when they leave here, can speak of a product and a service that are of the highest possible standard,” he said.
The Minister was speaking at the launch of the Radisson Aquatica resort.