Chairman of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc (BTMI) Alvin Jemmott said Barbados has nothing to fear at this time as St Vincent and the Grenadines prepares to open the Argyle International Airport (AIA) next month.
Jemmott told the online news publication Barbados Today that it would take a considerable amount of time before there is any impact, despite the fact that Barbados has been the international gateway for some Eastern Caribbean destinations.
“With this new airport opening this year, I think it is a good thing for the Caribbean because the Caribbean is the most sought after [tourism destination] and it will also be a good thing for St Vincent and the Grenadines.
“I do not see an immediate fallout for Barbados because things of this nature will take the time to take root and plans that have been made will not change overnight.
“Barbados has excellent relations with our major airline partners, and I cannot see easily where that will deviate. There will still be some people that will still take the Barbados route even if there is a direct flight into St Vincent and that may very well open up the gateway for other neighbouring islands,” he contended.
However, Jemmott cautioned that even though the threat of competition may be some distance away, it did not mean the industry could afford to rest on its laurels.
“Everyone has to be always cognizant of the competition around them, and we are called upon to compete, so if you sit on your laurels someone else would eat your lunch.
That is something that we cannot afford to do, and I am sure that we are not going to do that,” Jemmott stressed.
Original Publication ( Barbados Today)