Barbados tourism exec forecasts slow summer

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados -- Sue Springer, president of the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association (BHTA), is forecasting a slow summer season for the island.

Springer, who served as president of the BHTA for the past two years, suspects that a number of international events will keep visitors from traveling to Barbados.

At the annual general meeting of the BHTA, Springer listed the Summer Olympics, the weakening of the pound sterling and the U.S. presidential election later this year as factors that may cause arrivals to drop.

Springer also said competition still lies close at hand with the expansion of international hotel chains in St. Lucia and Tobago.

A strong showing in the first five months of this year "was not expected to be repeated during the summer," she commented. Despite waning interest from international visitors, Springer said she hopes arrivals from the U.S. will make up for some of the downturn in other visitors.

With increased airlift from the U.S. by BWIA and Air Jamaica, Barbados should be able to recover during the winter season, she said.

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