The Barbados government is setting up a seven and a half million US dollar fund as a buffer for its tourism industry to cope with the global financial crisis.
The tourism sector is vital to the country’s economy and a fall-off in visitor arrivals and overall earnings is anticipated, resulting from the global economic downturn.
Already a slowdown is being experienced in some parts of the industry.
The Barbados Tourism Minister Richard Sealy said the money will be available to local tourism companies which have recorded losses in the first quarter of the current financial year – this is normally the peak of the tourism season.
But during a parliamentary debate, the opposition Barbados Labour Party said the government should be doing more to assist the vital industry.
The government of St Kitts and Nevis has announced that a special committee is to be set up to investigate the current state of the job market there.
The government says this is because of the impact of the global financial crisis.
One key area of concern is the manufacturing sector, especially people employed on the country’s industrial estate.
A statement coming out of a cabinet meeting on Tuesday says they want to “glean as much information about the employment situation as possible, with a view to alleviating the concerns of the workers employed there.”
The government says the industrial estate workers represent a critical segment of the working population and that all means should be explored to provide assistance and support to them.