Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, right, greets Roberto Menegati, centre, who has made 60 visits to the island and Vincent Prager who has come 40 times, during the reception at IIaro Court.
PM PRAISES CONFIDENCE
PRIME MINISTER Freundel Stuart is thanking visitors to the island for continuing to place confidence in Barbados, and is offering his assurance that all measures are being taken to ensure their safety.
Stuart told a gathering of repeat visitors who attended his annual highly-anticipated reception at IIaro Court recently, that while tourism is the lead sector in the economy, “It is important to us that we do nothing to undermine or to weaken the confidence which you have continually displayed in Barbados over the years.”
“We have never pretended to be a perfect country. In fact, I don’t know of any perfect country on this planet. The countries from which you have come are not perfect. In fact, if they were perfect you would not be here,” Stuart said.
However, the Prime Minister said the necessary precautionary measures are followed to make sure that Barbados remains a safe place. He further stressed that it is important to note that tourists would not leave their countries of origin, to come to Barbados if they will not feel safe.
The Prime Minister also remarked that occasionally, there will be some type of motor vehicle accident, or misfortune, happening on the island, because after all, “we have not yet reached the stage where we can pursue the standards of angels”.
“We are still limited to the standards of ordinary men and women. As I said, we lay no claim to perfection. Perfection, I have always contended, is the exclusive preserve of the Almighty.
“So, we are not perfect, but we try as far as possible to make Barbados a safe place so that you can go about your daily moving around, feeling comfortable that you do not have to fear molestation or assault of any kind,” he promised.
The Prime Minister said, in ensuring that Barbados creates the type of environment that encourages visitors to return to the island, the country must sustain a congenial and comfortable place for its residents first.
He said this is a significant undertaking, pointing to the fact that if the country’s citizens are unhappy, then they would be unable to extend the warmth and hospitality tourists expect to receive.
“Warmth and hospitality cannot easily be extended by people who are unhappy with their environment or with what is happening in it. So we try to make Barbados a comfortable place, a congenial place for our people. That is why we have placed such a heavy emphasis on the education of our people,” he said. (AH)