Barbados Launches Task Force on Tourism Recovery

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Barbados Tourism Minister Kerrie Symmonds has launched the new Barbados Recovery Tourism Task Force. 

The unit is responsible for managing the island’s tourism sector during the pandemic and its aftermath and “mapping its transformation.”

The unit is being chaired by Dr Kerry Hall, the director of tourism development in Barbados’ Ministry of Tourism, joined by deputy chairman, hotelier Peter Odle. 

Symmonds said the task force had two mandates. 

“One, the management of the COVID-19 crisis, and the second is the transformation of the tourism sector and the tourism industry in Barbados,” he said in a government release. “ In that regard, we feel that we have done an adequate amount of service to the opportunity that now presents itself during this downtime.”

The task force’s work will cover a range of areas, from building out health and safety protocols to developing a “coping mechanism” for those in the sector who have been “emotionally and financially impacted.”

As for the island’s potential reopening for tourism, Symmonds said the first consideration would be ensuring the safety and security of the island’s workforce. 

“Thereafter, we are better able to deal with our visitors and to manage in a structured and phased way the reopening and the re-welcoming of visitors to the island, but until when we get the workforce properly looked after and have a set of safety, health and hygiene protocols in place, that are giving us a degree of certainty, then we cannot get to where we want to get,” he said. 

— CJ