2800 cancellations! Barbados tourism sector feeling coronavirus impact
Arrivals at Barbados' Grantley Adams International Airport (FILE)
Barbados has not recorded a single case of the novel coronavirus to date and yet the country has lost millions because of the fear surrounding travel and transmission.
"It is already impacting travel."
Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley disclosed such when she met with members of the Social Partnership at the Hilton Barbados to update them on the situation locally.
Noting that prime airlines which serve Barbados, were experiencing a dip in sales, she further disclosed "and [they] are already asking us to work with them in respect to some of the problems that they face ... We are lucky this is coming on the backend of our winter season and not the front-end, but nevertheless it is likely to have significant consequences."
Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the press briefing, Chairman of the Barbados Hotels and Tourism Association (BHTA) Stephen Austin also shared that for the month of March the tourism sector has experienced a loss of $1.2 million in revenue due to cancelled bookings.
"That really accounts for basically the cancellation of 2,853 rooms. So it is quite significant and we are working on an emergency plan through the BHTA to try and help our members during this time because the next three to six months will determine if this continues we will have to find ways to cope and to help our members litigate with staff and training and helping the industry get through this mess."
As the press briefing was occurring, Jamaica was confirming its first case of the novel coronavirus, and Martinique had its third confirmed case.