Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Holetown businesses want Almond reopened


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THE SOONER Almond Beach Village in St Peter reopens, the better, says president of the Holetown Chamber of Trade Inc. Mark Simmons.
Speaking to the BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY last week following a news conference to launch the Holetown craft and farmers’ market, he said he was not in a position to say whether retail sales in the area had fallen with the April 30 closure of the 32-acre beachfront property.
However, he said the closure had “affected Barbados overall” not just from an accommodation standpoint, but because 500 workers lost their jobs and could not contribute to the economy as before.
“I am eagerly anticipating and hoping that it can be bought as soon as possible and reopened . . . “I think it’s a very valuable property just like Four Seasons is a very valuable property. It has so much potential, it’s incredible and for it to be closed especially at this time of year, it would have to be a big blow,” he said.
Simmons noted that businesses in the area were suffering from reduced revenues like others throughout the island.
“What is important now, I think, is to find a way to stimulate products that can be exported.
“If we don’t have economies of scale to export in a significant way, then I think we need to deal with import substitution which is going to save foreign exchange in any case.
“One of the other things I think we need to look at very seriously is getting more Barbadian produce into the hotels, into the restaurants,” he said, citing food, craft, souvenirs, pottery and clothing as examples.
Simmons said members of the Chamber had been discussing the need to develop “a hospitality product as opposed to a tourism product”.
“. . . a tourism product deals specifically with foreigners. A hospitality product deals with anybody who wants to come to a place and receive hospitality . . . all guests no matter where they’re from,” he said.


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