Bridgetown, Barbados, September 11th, 2020–“International transport is the plank on which tourism is built, says Minister of Tourism and International Transport”, said Barbados Tourism Minister Lisa Cummins on Friday.
Cummins was excited about the addition of Barbados to InterCaribbean routes launched on August 4, offering direct travel to Dominica, St Lucia and Grenada. A flight to St. Vincent will be added in October.
In a virtual link-up with tourism officials chairman of InterCaribbean Airways, Lyndon Gardiner, told tourism planners and travel practitioners his aim was to continue to grow Barbados as the regional hub.
The intention was to take full advantage of passenger facilities available at Grantley Adams International Airport, such as dedicated regional gates.
He added: “With the partnership with other airlines, we do want to make sure that Barbados becomes the travel hub to the destination of the customers all around the world, whether they are coming to Barbados or going outside of Barbados.”
While also stating that it was the plank on which an economic development model now had to be built, Cummins gave the assurance that her Ministry and its team remained committed to doing just that.
She noted a number of agencies under the umbrella of the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport, such as Caribbean Aircraft Handling and the Civil Aviation Department, had the responsibility for building this out and said: “How are we going to be refashioning and remodeling a Caribbean aircraft handling?”
“They are responsible for regulatory management; they are developing their relationships obviously with InterCaribbean having already created a Southern and Eastern hub from here in Barbados out of Turks & Caicos.”
“Now what does that mean for all of you? It means that we open new gateways, as we find new partners, as we open new routes and as we bring new international parties to the table and allow them to participate in what is going to be hard to beat for anywhere else. All the downstream services benefit.”
Referring to the accommodation sector, she said with increased visitor arrivals, this would bring with increased demand for rooms and for all of the other services such as restaurants and taxi services.
Speaking to the partnership with InterCaribbean, she said the country stood also to benefit from investment in flight maintenance, flight school training and the development of new aviation industry skills that would create employment opportunities for Barbadians and even to export skills and services that have been developed as new niches in the employment market.
As well as interisland flights AInterCaribbean also operates domestic flights in Jamaica between Kingston and Montego Bay, the first non-Jamaican airline to be given such route rights. The company also provides charter flights.