Bad because it seemed and sounded, the November 4 incident involving a Barbadian passenger landing in Florida with a loaded gun after passing through security at Grantley Adams International Airport has not affected the island’s tourism industry.
That’s the word from Barbados’ Tourism Minister Lisa Cummings.
The passenger, 85-year-old former police sergeant Cameron Hinds, was apprehended by Miami customs officials with the loaded gun in his pocket after he’d carried it aboard the airplane in a laptop bag; surprisingly, he had the felony case against him officially dismissed and allowed to return to Barbados.
Nevertheless, the feminine security guard who attended to the elderly passenger on the Barbados airport was fired by G4S, the private firm she was employed with for over 20 years – and has indicated she’ll challenge her dismissal in court.
The difficulty put Barbados in world headlines 4 days after the island became a republic, and it was feared it could harm the tourism-dependent island’s status.
There’s been much speculation concerning the incident, including the likelihood of a possible official “sting” operation.
However the minister, in an exclusive interview with Saint Lucia News Online (SNO), said the island’s tourism wasn’t affected.
Asked if the incident may need affected tourism and travel industry, Minister Cummings replied, “That incident was unlucky, doubtless.”
But added, “it has not impacted travel and tourism (in Barbados) in any way.”