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Tourism debate in the Upper House
PARLIAMENTARY Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs Senator Jepter Ince is taking to task some comments made by immediate Past President of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) Colin Jordan.
In a recent address to tourism stakeholders, Jordan said that Prime Minister Freundel Stuart had yet to honour a request for an urgent meeting two and a half months after receiving a letter from the BHTA.
Saying the private sector owned the assets in the tourism sector, a fiery Ince stressed, “We subsidise the tourism sector, we market the tourism sector, we bring the tourists here, we give concessions to the airlines, we pay the wages and salaries to the agencies that are located throughout the world. That is government! But yet when the assets in the tourism sector are badly managed, (and) run themselves into high amounts of debt, then you seek to blame Government.”
Claiming that the private sector was 98 per cent profit and two per cent social obligation, while the public sector is opposite, Ince emphasised that Government was always criticised when things went wrong in the tourism industry.
Ince stressed that the failure of areas within the sector, including that of the Almond Resort could not be blamed on the Democratic Labour Party government.
Interrupting on a point of order, Opposition Senator Kerrie Symmonds insisted that the issues raised by the BHTA were those which were in the purview of the government including dilapidated assets, overgrown verges, indiscriminate dumping of discarded vehicles, poorly paved roads, inadequate signage and poor marketing, to name a few.
The two made the remarks during the debate on a resolution to note and approve Protocol VI of the Social Partnership 2011-2013 in the Upper House yesterday afternoon. (JMB)