The prime minister of Barbados has a message for workers weary of COVID-19 restrictions and other pressures at home: Come to the Caribbean island for up to a year and do your job remotely.
And the country is codifying hospitality by offering 12-month travel documents via a “stamp concept” that is “now being refined for promotion,” according to the government.
“Covid-19 has presented tremendous challenges to those countries that are tourism- and travel-dependent and we have reached a position where we recognize that part of the challenge relates to short-term travel,” Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley said in prepared remarks released by the country's government. “So, if we can have a mechanism that allows people who want to take advantage of being in a different part of the world, of the sun, sea and sand, and a stable society, one that functions well, then Barbados is a perfect place for you to come.”
Amid all the “uncertainty” created by the pandemic, she added, Barbados is offering 12 months of stability.
Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus tracker had fewer than 100 known cases on the island, and a half-dozen deaths, as of Friday (July 10).
As for accommodations, Mottley said workers relocating to Barbados will be able to choose among “villas, condominiums, hotel rooms and rental houses.” She said workspaces also will be made available.
The island’s technological infrastructure also will be up to the task, she said. “In terms of the broadband, we have two major telecommunications companies, and at the same time we are looking to see how we can continue to boost our national television station and move it from being a broadcasting entity to digital services.”
Mottley earlier touted her idea at the July 1 opening of a restaurant, according to a government news release at the time that quotes her saying: “You don’t need to work in Europe, or the U.S. or Latin America if you can come here and work for a couple months at a time; go back and come back.”
Globally, a four-month tourism shutdown could produce some $1.2 trillion in gross domestic product (GDP) losses, according to a U.N. study.
One thing Mottley has not said in official remarks is how workers leaving behind steel-and-glass towers are supposed to muster the willpower to work when they could be enjoying adult beverages on world-class beaches.