WITH THE WINTER TOURIST season just two months away, one economist is warning that Barbados cannot afford to have gun violence derail what he believes will be a make-or-break season in terms of the country’s economic recovery.
Professor Emeritus Michael Howard of the University of the West Indies said the revelation of what by all accounts is an ensuing “gang war” had the potential to be another spoke in the wheel of a sector beset by challenges for the last three years.
“I can tell you from an economic perspective that we are treading on dangerous ground. I note that the police are referring to them as groups attacking each other, but we all know what these groups are.
“All it takes is one international headline and a travel advisory and we are looking at a serious problem. No one wants to be the victim of a stray bullet; a number of the vicious acts have been caught on camera and it is clear that these persons are not concerned with reducing collateral damage. The fact that our statistics are not at the level of Trinidad or Jamaica does not mean that our reputation won’t be just as bad,” Howard said.