Barbados has realised that for all of its efforts over the years there is still much to be desired in the overall quality of its services to visitors. One has only to have an encounter with some taxi drivers at the Grantley Adams International Airport to understand the point being made here. This is what led to the New Initiative in Service Excellence (NICE) project.
Our own Minister of Sport has already made some comment on the quality of service delivered by Bermudans as opposed to our own people.
We have also not yet started work on the airport at Arnos Vale.
There is also the problem of the movement of peoples across the region. Indeed many may be hoping that the visitors stay in the country in which their team is slated to play the first round of matches.
Our inter-island transportation requirements are still in heavy demand around the time of the CWC2007. Our traffickers will still be travelling and they are regulars as far as the airlines are concerned.
Normal visitors and business people will be continuing what they do best at that time, travel. There is much talk about the accessing of extra planes but that it only one part of the problem. There are concerns about the ability of the handling agencies of the airlines to rise up from their slumber and deliver a more efficient service to get people around the region more expeditiously.
In the Caribbean we are a truly laid back people and here we have not heard of meetings with entertainers and/or places of entertainment to fashion us a most attractive package of entertainment for our expected guests during the CWC2007. What else is new?
Perhaps we will witness the same tardiness as we had in the preparations for our Heritage Month, Emancipation Month and Independence Month, that left them all decidedly lack lustre.
If we believe that the CWC2007 organisers are only now waking up to the reality of the Caribbean as we know it we should perhaps take heart in the fact that at least they are waking up.
The governments are hurting from their expenses on facilities. Our peoples are screaming over the cost of petrol and the likelihood of more economic woes globally.
Hosting the CWC2007 is no easy task and we had better brace ourselves for the consequences even as we eagerly await the excitement of the contests.