New Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Senator Lisa Cummins.
‘CREATE NEW INITIATIVES’
THE new Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Senator Lisa Cummins, was sworn in last Thursday and as she took up the tourism mantle of the island, she explained that new paths must be charted.
Senator Cummins acknowledged that the tourism sector had in fact ground to a halt and not just in Barbados, but globally and using the example of the
12-Month Welcome Stamp initiative, agreed that Barbados had to be distinctly distinguished from other vacation destinations.
“We have to be able to refashion and repurpose new products and put them into new markets. We have to create new initiatives, we have to be able to create new sectors,” outlined the new minister.
Referencing a seminal body of work by Dr. Clyde Mascoll, Cummins highlighted that it was key to create strong linkages between tourism and the wider economy in order to generate foreign exchange, jobs, create new opportunities, new businesses and start-ups to drive Barbados forward.
Cummins addressed the question of whether the new tourism portfolio was a daunting task, with a simple answer that nothing great has ever come without challenge or come without great difficulty. She explained that the word “daunting” was not in her vocabulary, even after the past few months of a challenging COVID-19 environment in the Port of Bridgetown.
“Certainly in the last few months since COVID, we have navigated all of the challenges dealing with ships, cruise lines and this has been a great platform into the relationship with the cruise sector and I do not think that if you dealt with ships with all types of scenarios and you watched our Prime Minister lead and navigate nationally, that ‘daunting’ is a word that you would necessarily have in your vocabulary,” asserted the minister.
Cummins lauded the effort by former Minister of Tourism, Kerrie Symmonds, to market Barbados as more than sun, sea and sand.
“I want to be able to see that in the next two years that Barbados stands apart, not just from the other countries in the region, but every other small island state that is offering far more than sun, sea and sand,” said Cummins. (AS)