An Exploration of Political, Social, and Tourism Realities.

Ryan Forde needs to lite a fire under The Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association’s members.

As a staunch advocate for Ryan Forde, the esteemed CEO of the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association (BHTA), I firmly believe that the time has arrived for a paradigm shift within his association. While I stand by Mr. Forde’s leadership, I am of the opinion that it is imperative for him to rally the members of the BHTA towards a more mature and patriotic stance, crucial for the growth and flourishing of Barbados’s tourism sector.

It is incumbent upon the BHTA to communicate to its members the necessity of active engagement in shaping the entirety of the tourism landscape. No longer can they afford to remain passive spectators on the side-lines. Every participant, from taxi drivers to beach vendors and beyond, must be encouraged and, where necessary, mandated to register. Moreover, the BHTA must spearhead comprehensive training initiatives aimed at elevating the standards of service across the board, surpassing even the highest global benchmarks.

Furthermore, it is high time for the BHTA to extend an olive branch to the unions operating within the industry. Whether it be the Barbados Workers Union or any potential emerging unions, they ought to be viewed not as adversaries but as indispensable partners in the quest for progress. Embracing these unions as allies will foster a more harmonious and cooperative environment, conducive to the advancement of both workers’ rights and industry standards.

While acknowledging the importance of governmental involvement in bolstering our tourism product, it is my firm belief that the BHTA should take a leading role in charting the course for the sector’s future. A dedicated think tank within the association should be tasked with formulating visionary strategies spanning a decade, subject to annual updates. These proposals, encompassing marketing endeavours, tax incentives, policy revisions, and more, should then be collaboratively deliberated with the Ministry of Tourism on a yearly basis, ensuring alignment with the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) and swift activation as deemed appropriate.

In essence, by fostering a culture of active participation, collaboration, and forward-thinking, under the astute guidance of Ryan Forde and the BHTA, we can propel Barbados’s tourism industry to unprecedented heights of success and sustainability.

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