Clint Chan Tack
CARIBBEAN Lodge and Tourism Affiliation first vice-president Nicola Madden-Greig was optimistic that the area was making progress in the direction of reopening journey with totally different international locations, equivalent to the UK.
She mentioned this throughout a webinar hosted by the Caribbean Council and the Colibri Company Advisory on UK-Caribbean journey in the course of the pandemic.
Madden-Greig mentioned the regional tourism sector was arduous hit final yr by the pandemic, with a lack of US$36 billion in gross home product and hundreds of employees misplaced their jobs as effectively. She was involved about additional losses, if regional tourism was not restarted in a considerable manner quickly.
She defined that by a sequence of well being, security and public relations methods, trade stakeholders have been in search of to seek out modern methods to maintain its prospects secure whereas adhering to covid19 protocols.
“We took it severely from day one.”
Madden-Greig mentioned stakeholders have additionally been utilizing this time within the pandemic to develop new choices for purchasers.
Referring to Caribbean Public Well being Company (Carpha) government director Dr Pleasure St John’s feedback about how Caricom has been in a position to deal with the pandemic higher than many different international locations, Madden-Greig was hopeful that methods might be developed to permit vacationers to journey safely between the UK and the Caribbean.
Virgin Atlantic chief business officer Juha Jarvinen shared her optimism. He mentioned the airline has been flying to the Caribbean since 1997 and with its founder Sir Richard Branson having a house within the area, Virgin Atlantic considers the Caribbean residence.
Jarvinen mentioned the airline’s revenues took an 80 per cent decline with the discount in business flights due to covid19. However he mentioned Virgin Atlantic’s cargo enterprise threw the airline an necessary lifeline which has allowed it to maintain flying.
He mentioned the resumption of the airline’s service to St Vincent and the Grenadines has been rescheduled from July to October due to the current eruption of the La Soufriere volcano.
He added, Virgin Atlantic can also be different Caribbean locations with a view to resuming flights within the close to future.
Guide Carol Hay mentioned there’s nonetheless lots of doubt on the UK aspect, with British nationals unsure about whether or not it’s secure to journey to the Caribbean. She mentioned current feedback within the public area, together with blended messaging from authorities ministers, have contributed to this doubt.
“I could not take heed to the information for some time.”
Hay attributed the confusion within the UK to the British authorities’s visitors gentle system, to find out which international locations are secure to journey to and which aren’t.
The system contains purple, amber and inexperienced lists, with journey solely being allowed to international locations on the inexperienced record. Trinidad and Tobago, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Lucia, Jamaica, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada and the Bahamas are on that record. No Caribbean nation is on the inexperienced record.
Hay mentioned given efforts by Caribbean international locations to take care of the pandemic, a case might be made to maneuver them to the inexperienced record.