The success or failure of a tourism destination depends on being able to provide a safe and secure environment for visitors. Therefore it is imperative that any threat to the sustainability of the industry be firmly addressed.
The Tourism Safety and Security Programme is divided into two (2) components. The components are Multi-Hazard Disaster Management and Visitor Information and Awareness.
Multi-Hazard Disaster Management
The Ministry of Tourism’s policy objective with regard to multi-hazard disaster management encourages an environment in the tourism industry that is proactive in the mitigation of damage resulting from natural disasters. However, in the context of comprehensive disaster management in the tourism industry, it has been necessary to develop a co-ordinating mechanism to cope effectively with any crises which may affect the industry.
Thus, multi-hazard disaster management plans must also consider potential man-made disasters, such as acts of terrorism, health related disasters and other environmental issues, which can negatively impact upon Barbados’ vulnerable tourism sector.
Activities and/or outputs under the Multi-Hazard Disaster Management Programme are as follows:
The Multi-Hazard Disaster Management Symposium
The Ministry of Tourism hosted four Multi-Hazard Disaster Management Symposia which facilitated the exchange of pertinent information between disaster management officials and tourism stakeholders.
Tourism Emergency Management Committee (TEMC)
The Ministry also developed a co-ordinating mechanism and framework for dealing with disaster threats to the tourism industry through the formation of a Tourism Emergency Management Committee (TEMC). The TEMC is a standing committee of the National Disaster Committee of the Department of Emergency Management, which has responsibility for establishing a policy framework for disaster management in the country.
The Draft Barbados Tourism Sector Tropical Cyclone Plan (2007)
The plan addresses activities relating to preparing for and responding to severe tropical weather systems at the tourism sectoral level. As such it:a. assigns roles and responsibilities to actors taking part in the plan; andb. sets out the sequence of activities to be undertaken.
The Plan focuses on immediate preparedness and response activities for the threat of severe tropical weather systems. Only basic elements of mitigation and prevention are included and basic activities related to transitioning from response to recovery.
A Draft Multi-Hazard Framework for the Tourism Sector in Barbados
This framework outlines methods in which the tourism industry should address multiple hazards.
Tourism Emergency Operations Centre (TEOC)
The TEOC operates in like fashion to a command centre from which persons jointly co-ordinate the management of the tourism industry before, during and after a disaster. The TEOC is a direct link to the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) and the tourism industry. There are standard operating procedures which outlines the tasks and responsibilities of the TEOC personnel.
Visitor Information and Awareness
There can be a general lack of awareness on the part of visitors to the island with regards to their personal safety and security. This lack of safety and security and incidences of crime represent a more serious threat to travel and tourism than any other negative factor. Visitors therefore need to be sensitised to their particular vulnerabilities prior to and on their arrival in Barbados. Accordingly, listed below are some of the activities undertaken under this programme.
Ministry of Tourism Representation on the BHTA Safety and Security Committee
The Ministry’s representation on the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) Safety and Security Committee, and its work with other relevant agencies have provided a useful avenue for addressing safety and security concerns which arise in the industry.
‘Top Tips for Visitors to Barbados’ Flyers
The Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) Safety and Security Committee, developed a ‘Top Tips for Visitors to Barbados’ flyer. The flyer has been distributed by the Federation of Tour Operators, the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association and the Barbados Tourism Authority.
‘Top Tips for Visitors to Barbados’ Visitor Infomercial
An infomercial has been produced and has been previously aired on the Discover Barbados Visitor Channel. The infomercial highlights safety tips which should be taken by visitors while on island. The Ministry of Tourism is in the process of having this infomercial placed on The Holiday Channel on MCTV 109 and the Holiday Channel website -www.theholidaychannel.net.
Banners at the GrantleyAdamsInternationalAirport
The Ministry of Tourism has erected ‘Top Tips for Visitors to Barbados’ banners in the Arrivals Hall of the GrantleyAdamsInternationalAirport, the BridgetownPort and the Port St. Charles Marina.