Beaches Resort has been experiencing a slight, but steady decrease in bookings; down 7% at the end of 2015 and down 4% so far for 2016…and according to Chairman of Sandals Resorts International, Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart this is the first time in many years for a dip in room arrivals.
Stewart, while hosting a luncheon at Sapodilla Restaurant at Beaches on Tuesday for a cross section of residents, addressed the Taxi Contract issue but also discussed the fact that the TCI needs to handle more carefully its tourism industry.
He cited harassment on the beaches and poor attitudes in service in some areas as the reason for the decline. Harassment on the beach was an especially sore point for Stewart, who when asked what to do about it, said the perpetrators should be not only arrested but thrown into jail.
The Chairman of SRI does not believe this is an over-reaction when it comes to preserving the industry which employs the most people, where investors have pumped billions of dollars and where it threatens the reputation of the destination.
It is reported that tourism accounts for 80 cents of every dollar in the country.