The Barbados Hotel and Tourism leadership has called on the Mia Mottley administration to immediately introduce mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for all employees across the industry or witness the collapse of a sector that brings in 40 per cent of the island’s precious foreign exchange.
In a paid press statement issued on Sunday, the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association BHTA urged the Government to support its call that “all employees within the sector be required to take a COVID-19 vaccine by December 1.
The BHTA said this would ensure that the country was ready and well-equipped for the official start of the 2021 winter tourist season.
“The BHTA is of the view that unless immediate action is taken, there will be a collapse of the tourism sector that employs directly 16,000 persons and many thousands more in supporting services,” the hotel and tourism stakeholders warned.
The association said it was “extremely” concerned with the impact of the prevailing COVID-19 environment in Barbados inclusive of workers, businesses and the general economy.
In seeking to ground its case for mandatory vaccines, the BHTA referred to increasing hotel cancellations due to a significant increase in deaths and cases in recent months, the decision by a growing number of intended visitors who are only choosing hotels with fully vaccinated staff, the slow vaccine take up on island and the negative impact on the provision of health care due to an overwhelmed system.