Gulf News

Home team’s loss spells bad business in the Caribbean

Travel agents coping up with spate of cancellati­ons as food stalls grapple with surplus stock

- BY K.R. NAYAR Staff Reporter

It all began with Woolmer’s murder. Then came Pakistan’s exit followed by India’s shock defeat to Bangladesh. The organisers could not have asked for anything worse than this.

Still reeling under the pressure of the first three mishaps, the entire country plunged into sorrow yesterday when West Indies lost to South Africa and in all probabilit­y — a slot in the semifinal as well.

All hopes that the people of Barbados had to cash in on the World Cup have now crashed. Hotels here are flooded with cancellati­on calls and so are the airlines.

Before the tournament began, the organisers had gone to the extent of planning to have yachts at sea in order to meet the demand for accommodat­ion.

Non-refundable

There was a time when all tickets in and out of Barbados were booked and only business class seats were available. Today, only those few airlines which insisted on non-refundable tickets have made money.

The whole of Barbados is dressed up for some big matches, with the home team scheduled to play their last two matches here.

Most hoteliers who had invested in revamping their rooms are likely to face huge losses.

The Caribbean Hotel Associatio­n (CHA) and Barbados Hotel and Tourism Associatio­n have blamed the hoteliers for not collecting payment in advance from the visitors. Hotels like Divi South Winds and Accra Beach had insisted on full payment as early as February, while the others decid- ed to wait and charge more – hoping the demand would increase.

Word is around that it is not only the Indian and Pakistani fans who have cancelled their trip to Barbados, but a whole lot of West Indies fans have done the same.

Lots of food, but no one to eat is the state of affairs here. Thousands of caterers who

 ?? AP ?? A dejected West Indies fan’s face says it all as she watches the Super Eight match against South Africa in St George's, Grenada on Tuesday.
AP A dejected West Indies fan’s face says it all as she watches the Super Eight match against South Africa in St George's, Grenada on Tuesday.
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