Let’s hope Barbados Tourism Marketing does a good job with the Internet

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

Trawling through the Internet when it has been available this last week, I have been almost overwhelmed by the sheer number of beautifully presented and creative local world class websites, clearly built by what appear to be mostly small Barbadian entrepreneurs. Often with stunning images both in still and video format, the websites are frequently highlighted by outstanding graphics.

To me it raises the question why any private or public sector entities feel the need to venture overseas for this expertise, which is plainly available on our doorstep.

Follow this to a logical conclusion and it is an absolute wonder why so many websites, especially in tourism, look sad, neglected, out-of date and lack the dynamic attraction that is a prerequisite these days to compete on a global stage.

The quality and resolution of images are especially critical. Thirty plus years ago, as a tour operator, I recall spending hours and sometimes days with renowned photographers attempting to capture the ‘right’ picture that would dominate the front cover of a holiday brochure. These would be placed on the shelves in thousands of travel agents throughout the UK.   Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Caribbean Governments must remove laws criminalizing homosexuallity

“Public health academia has known for decades that to effectively curb the global crisis of HIV/AIDS we have to remove institutionalized oppression that re-enforces homophobia. It is not a panacea but it is a major part of the solution…

Twelve of the fifteen CARICOM member states still criminalize homosexuality…

Harassment, silence, intimidation and homophobic laws are a major hindrance on the efficacy of HIV outreach and prevention. It compromises the fight against HIV and AIDS.”

by Sean Macleish for Barbados Free Press

The Caribbean is second in the world to Sub-Saharan Africa in the rate of HIV infection. The primary mode of transmission in the region is heterosexual intercourse with high risk groups to include men who have sex with men (MSM) and there is intersection between the two.

Public health academia has known for decades that to effectively curb the global crisis of HIV/AIDS we have to remove institutionalized oppression that re-enforces homophobia. It is not a panacea but it is a major part of the solution.

Countries that criminalize homosexuality marginalize MSM which pushes them underground and helps to fuel the HIV epidemic. Treating people with dignity and respect facilitates effective HIV education and prevention. It reduces the discrimination many Caribbean Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender experience when accessing health services. Studies and the resulting data have consistently demonstrated that homophobia contributes to higher HIV infection rates and that internalized homophobia also increases your risk of HIV infection.

People who place a high discount rate on their lives tend to participate in higher risk behaviours. The decriminalization of homosexuality to reduce the global crisis of HIV/AIDS is a policy endorsed by the United Nations, World Health Organization, Pan American Health Organization, and many non-governmental organizations. This is the consensual public health approach. Twelve of the fifteen CARICOM member states still criminalize homosexuality as of date.

SVG Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves gets it wrong…   Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Health, Human Rights

Afra Raymond: When corrupt politicians reward their supporters with Public Property

afra raymond CMMB

“Given that our political parties receive financing from business-people, how will those party financiers be rewarded?  In a situation which properly controls the award of State contracts for goods, works and services, how can they be rewarded?

The answer is Public Property.”

You must visit Afra’s website and read his post None So Blind.

And while you’re at it, consider the situation in Barbados where it is not unheard of for a Minister of Government to end up living on land that was confiscated from private ownership – supposedly to be used for a public purpose. Nothing was ever done about then BLP Minister of Public Works Gline Clarke, and nothing ever will be…

“No Integrity Legislation exists in Barbados. As a result, powerful Government Ministers like Mr. Clarke do not have to declare their assets or explain how it is that, as a Member of the Cabinet that approves the expropriation of privately-owned lands, a Minister of Government comes to live upon a choice building lot that was forceably taken from an owner – using the full power of the Government.”

… from the BFP article Barbados Government Minister Gline Clarke – House and Mercedes On Expropriated Land

 

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption, Trinidad and Tobago

Peter Boos: Barbados current economic state all about poor leadership, zero transparency and a painful business environment

Peter-Boos-Barbados

Financial guru Peter Boos lays it out short and not so sweet at Caribbean360.com.

Here’s a sample…

Why are we not doing better?

There are several structural key performance indicators on which we must all focus before the economy will grow sustainably:

  1. Demand competent leadership in all sectors. Leadership with integrity and a set of shared national values and goals that are inspirational for all and grounded in trustworthiness and competence.
  2. Create a business friendly environment that provides world class competitive business facilitation services. Doing business in Barbados today is painful.
  3. Implement and vastly improve transparency and accountability in Government. The 2012/13 Auditor General’s Report is essential reading and should be discussed publicly and acted on. Mismanagement of public funds is a serious disincentive to taxpayers to pay even more.
  4. Commence a debate on strategic National Governance Reform that eliminates patronage and corruption and engages the full skills base in Barbados on a non-partisan basis.
  5. Reform the Legal Justice System.

We continue to refer to ‘the global recession’ as an excuse for our depressed state. Most of our wounds are self-inflicted.

The solutions are totally within our control. Difficult decisions are needed. Leaders are needed.

Confidence will begin to be restored when we make serious credible efforts to address the five issues above.

… read the entire article at Caribbean360.com Stop blaming the global recession; Barbados’ wounds are self-inflicted

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Municipal Solid Waste Tax is another attack on a beleaguered Barbados tourism and hotel sector

peach-and-quiet-barbados-cricket.jpg

“What is especially galling is that we are expected to pay this new solid waste tax imposition before we receive the tens of thousands of Dollars we are still owed in NIS and VAT refunds…”

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

When my now wife and I ‘discovered’ a then virtually derelict Arawak Inn back in 1988, we never really set out to become seasoned hoteliers. More like having the privilege of living in a big ‘house’ right on the ocean and sharing it with a few friends and the many clients who followed us over the years with our British based tour operators business. Every restored and occupied room was another gallon of paint or new soft furnishing.

Our first major setback came when after paying the initial deposit to buy the hotel, the value of Sterling plummeted from over BDS$4 to the Pound to BDS$2.88 at the time of completion. As all our funds were brought in from overseas, there was no alternative as an option.

Effectively this wrote-off literally every cent we had budgeted for renovation and improvement of the property. As new residents it was virtually impossible to borrow monies from the banks. They wanted a trading record, three years of audited accounts, cash flow forecasts and business plans among many other requirements. Suppliers, with very few notable exceptions, would not grant us credit and so we learnt very quickly, how to not only survive, but flourish and transform the hotel from earned trading revenue.

While easy to say now, in hindsight, it was probably the best thing that happened, leaving us totally debt-free years later.  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Prince of Wales who later betrayed his duty, disliked Barbados, found ‘coloured population revolting’. That’s okay, we didn’t care much for racist Edward VIII either!

HMS Renown Barbados

(HMS Renown, Barbados 1919 – click photo for large)

‘There are over 170,000 of them the white population is very small and they aren’t much to look at all too deadly dull and of course depressingly primitive.’

Local scenery ‘ugly’, ‘coloured population revolting’, Barbados a ‘bum place’

… Edward VIII, Prince of Wales, talks about Barbados and Bajans in letters to his friend’s wife in the Mail Online

Royal adulterer wrote to his mistress – who was someone else’s wife

Edward VIII with Mistress, MRS Freda Dudley-Ward and friend, William Dudley-Ward (click for large)

Edward VIII with Mistress, MRS Freda Dudley-Ward and friend, William Dudley-Ward (click for large)

It takes a special kind of man to be photographed with a friend – knowing that you are secretly banging his adulterous wife.

Apparently the spoiled royal brat Edward VIII was that kind of man.

Edward was also a vile racist, according to recently offered letters written by the then Prince of Wales on a goodwill tour to Barbados in 1920.

Concern for his fellow man? Empathy? Ha! When a man was lost at sea on the HMS Renown (history link), Edward wrote to his friend’s wife: “Of course one man’s death means nothing.”

The little shit later went on to abdicate his throne and duty to Britain and the Empire for another piece of quiff – American divorcee Wallis Simpson.

When I think of all the good he could have done in his life, or at least could have tried to do, and how self-centered his choices were – Edward VIII seems nothing but a pathetic excuse for a man.

Reading his letters, as a proud Bajan I can say that Edward VIII wasn’t fit to clean Bajan toilets, let alone be our monarch.

contributed by Passin thru

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, History

Harlequin house of cards continues to fall

Dave Ames Harlequin Ponzi

David Ames – Harlequin CEO and Ponzi Scheme King!

Where does one start when considering the sad tale of ‘investors’ who trusted their life savings with the predators working to sell never-to-be-constructed resort units for Harlequin?

These predators (called ‘financial advisors’) received 9 percent of the sale price off the top – and that came from the client’s 30 percent deposit! The clients were not told that about a third of their deposit was going as a sales commission, because that would have been an instant indication to most folks that something was terribly wrong.

Harlequin bastards. Most of the ‘financial advisors’ were unregulated, uninsured and totally unqualified. The ‘investment vehicles’ were different corporations in different countries – obviously created for the sake of confusion, hiding money and avoiding liabilities. Often Harlequin sold units on land that it did not own.

The scams could only have been pulled off with the cooperation of elected and appointed government officials in the different countries.

Harlequin’s ‘business model’ (I use the term with a rising anger) was totally unsustainable and is proof that the whole Harlequin scheme was an intended scam from the start. Like any Ponzi scheme, Harlequin collapsed because payments to previous investors relied upon finding sufficient new suckers to swindle. Once the cracks start to appear and new investors shy away, these types of frauds unravel very quickly.

And so it was, and is, with Harlequin…

UK Financial Ombudsman Service sides with Harlequin victims

The recent Financial Times Advisor article ‘Financial Ombudsman Service – FOS decision on Harlequin must be tip of iceberg‘ tells the story of the next chapter well. One of the profiting scam artists, Harris Knights, has been ordered to compensate a ripped off couple in full…

“… the ombudsman has ordered Harris Knights to take ownership of the Harlequin investment and compensate the couple in full.”

Thailand Court sides with Harlequin Victims   
Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Offshore Investments, Real Estate