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“With hospitality at the core of what we do, compassion lives deep within our souls, so it has always been our duty to protect the health and safety of our guests and our employees, first and foremost. Further, we have a commitment to our communities and the destinations in which we operate,” said Elite Island Resorts (EIR) founder and CEO Robert A. Barrett.
“Current science tells us that if you’re vaccinated, you are less likely to become seriously ill, or end up taking up a hospital bed in a fragile medical environment such as the Caribbean where local resources cannot afford to be overburdened. It’s imperative for us to protect the hospitals of these smaller island nations, and while they have had a good track record so far with COVID-19, we must remain vigilant, and all do our part to become part of the solution.”
Travel advsiors alerted to the new EIR policy via social media questioned late Thursday how the resort would handle guets with existing reservations who arrived at the company’s properties without proof of vaccination.
“We are doing everything we possibly can to prevent that situation from happening,” Barrett said. “We have contacted all our suppliers, along with our direct consumers. He added, “While we hope it doesn’t impact people’s vacations, the goal is to keep these precious islands open, the hotels open and our employees and communities employed. This decision will help protect those resources. There are bigger things at work here.”
“While we understand that news of our vaccine mandate may be disappointing to select travelers, it will be uplifting and encouraging to others. Travel breeds tolerance and with this decision, we don’t seek to divide, because as hoteliers, we bring cultures and people together. Yet, in today’s world, we must consider so many more variables to do that, all while respecting the integrity of these beautiful islands and the people who work in them. After weighing all the choices, issues, and concerns, mandating vaccines was the wisest option in protecting the critical tourism industry of these beloved destinations which are so crucial to the survival of so many employees, and the only way we will be able to keep travel and tourism going strong throughout the fall and winter. People rely on us for work—to support their families and their livelihood—so in making this choice, we work for them, too,” said Barrett.
Elite Island Resorts represents five resorts in Antigua which include Galley Bay Resort & Spa, Hammock Cove, St. James’s Club & Villas, Pineapple Beach Club and The Verandah Resort; St. James’s Club Morgan Bay in St. Lucia, The Club Barbados, Palm Island, The Grenadines, and Los Establos Boutique Inn, Panama.