NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Bahamas Hotel Catering and Allied Workers Union (BHCAWU) President Darrin Woods yesterday expressed his concern over the country’s tourism industry’s rocky restart, with Atlantis informing employees that it will scale back its operations next week and furlough some staff again.

Woods told Eyewitness News: “They called us and told us about it Monday morning. We asked them to put it in writing and outline all the areas that will be affected.

Atlantis Paradise Island.

“They have tied this to the new protocols the US government has implemented and the quarantine requirement. They indicated that they have seen a huge number of bookings canceled.

“We were concerned over this new protocol and how it was going to affect us. We believe that persons would definitely think twice about traveling with all of the requirements in place. We will have to watch and see what the full effect will be.”

Woods added: “We really hope that things will start to trend upwards and we don’t keep stalling. We don’t want to speak doom and gloom but it is very difficult to get restarted with all of the challenges the industry is facing right now.

“Atlantis is the only one who has come out and said anything so far. Melia hasn’t said anything to us regarding their reopening. No other properties have said anything to us.”

Atlantis’ president, Audrey Oswell, in a letter to employees noted that while the overall business outlook for the resort remains hopeful, it faces similar challenges as it has over the past several months.

According to Oswell, guest reservations at the Royal Towers will move to The Cove and “some colleagues will be placed on temporary furlough”.

She added: “Our plan and hope are to invite team members back by the Spring Break season, pending occupancy.”

Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar recently indicated that a recent executive order by US President Joe Biden requiring travelers to quarantine on arrival to the US, could potentially deal a devastating blow to the Bahamian economy.

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