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Chairperson of Tourism on the Barbuda Council, Asha Frank, is optimistic that Barbuda will be back in operation in the imminent tourism period.
“We would like to officially declare that Barbuda will be open for business for the upcoming tourism season. We have two hotels, they are both smaller properties, the Barbuda Belle and Barbuda Cottages that will definitely be opening this coming November,” Frank asserted in an interview yesterday with OBSERVER media.
She said although things may not be at 100 percent as they were before, there must be a starting point. According to her, the infrastructural development has been slow but steady and she is positive that things will be in place by November to facilitate the normal operations of the tourism season.
She stressed that other than the hotels, taxi services will be available as well as restaurants, and guest houses.
She acknowledged that larger properties such as the Coco Point Lodge and the Light House Bay Resort were severely damaged by Hurricane Irma and in her estimation, it would take major work and a number of years before those hotels would be back to operational standards.
Frank also stated that those hotels were graded as level 3 and 4 properties by the United Nations Development Programme assessors immediately after the hurricane last year.
She also revealed that the development company known as Peace, Love and Happiness had recently purchased the Coco Point Lodge lease and has begun work on that property. The same developers, according to Frank, are to construct a new hotel in the vicinity of the Beach House Resort formerly known as the Palmetto Hotel.
The tourism chairperson stated that the council has held one consultation so far with tourism stakeholders on the island and will continue to meet with them as the planning phase for the upcoming season continues. She said that stakeholders indicated the need for a tourism development plan and that the council had begun putting it together.
She said that the first step was to generate a new mission statement since the one they had was adopted in 2002.
The tourism chairperson also highlighted the council’s decision to become more involved in marketing Barbuda as a tourist destination. She pointed out that in this regard, the council recently completed the filming of an advertisement for Barbuda, aimed at notifying everyone that the island is open for business.
She emphasised that the Barbuda council has been working closely with the ministry of tourism on the mainland.
Frank also announced that the council recently hosted a tourism motto competition with participation open to the general public and all age groups.
The prize giving ceremony for the competition was held yesterday with the winner, Sherien Griffin, receiving $300. Sharima Myers placed second and Darlene Beazer was third.
Griffin’s winning motto was, “We live it, you’ll love it, visit Barbuda.” 

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