Tag Archives: Barbados Economy

Barbados raids national pension fund to provide severance pay to dismissed Transport Board workers.

Leroy Parris and good friend Finance Minister Chris Sinckler share champagne

Leroy Parris and good friend Finance Minister Chris Sinckler (left) share champagne

Robbing the future? Kiss your pension goodbye?

Robbing Peter to pay Paul? Juggling accounts because there’s precious little left in the treasury? All of the above?

The headline pretty well says it all – we’re broke!

Dismissed Transport Board workers are getting every cent of their long overdue severance pay, thanks to Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler.

Very reliable sources have revealed that the cash-strapped statutory corporation that provides islandwide public transport services had, through the Ministry of Transport and Works (MTW), sought the assistance of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) to meet its obligations to retrenched workers.

… read the full story in The Nation Pay Day at Last

7 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Economy

Barbados Government borrows $35 million to repay previous $35 million loan

Barbados payday loan

Like a drunk going back to buy another bottle

by Rainmaker

Let me try to figure this out. It might take time because even though I went to univercity of de West Indys on guvment money, I’m not the sharpest pencil in the box, I know. Them univercity teashurs let me in to be fair and inclusive and I didn’t have to pay a dollar. Different now though because for some reason the guvment ran outta money for univercity. They should just borrow more and pay it off with other money they borrow.

Also I don’t know too much about guvment financing or stuff like that. I got fired before from Uncle’s store becuase I couldn’t make no good change for peoples. He said for every hour I worked for him on cash it cost him twenty dollars in misteaks.

Wuhloss! I was just doing the best I could but it weren’t no good. Uncle said I shoulda been a politician cause my mathematical skill set and handling of cash was just about like a politician.

I doan know ’bout that buy I know the guvment ministers know alot more about finanshul stuff than I do. So I’m gonna use science-tiffic raisoning to try to figure it.

Here goes…

The Barbados Advocate paper say “GOVERNMENT will today be seeking Parliamentary approval to borrow $35 million from the Republic Bank (Barbados) Limited.”

Okay. Got that. Now why are we borrowing all this $35 million dollars?

The paper say, “According to the Resolution, the money is being sought to repay a $35 million line of credit.”

Okay. Got that. We is borrowing this $35 million to pay off another $35 million that we borrowed before. I guess we filled up or tapped out that line of credit over time and didn’t pay any of it off. I guess we just paid the interest as we went along. I guess. Or maybe there was another loan we took out to pay the interest. The guvment probably does that so the peoples can’t marry up payments and interest charges with specific loans. Or somethin. Continue reading

10 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Economy

Great expectations for Barbados as visitors from the U.K. up 8% over last year

barbados-beach-sand-surf

UK long-stay visitors up, airline fuel prices down…

This has possibilities for recovery

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

A quoted 8 per cent increase in long stay visitors from the UK over the same period last year is very encouraging news. As often highlighted, it’s not just about the numbers, but the fact that the average British visitor stays longer and spends more, which is an equally important factor.

But with good news, it is often accompanied by bad and in this case the fall of the value of Sterling against the US Dollar resulting in Barbados again being perceived as a higher cost destination.

What could be the saving grace is the four year low price of oil and the effects that may have when it filters through to energy prices including electricity, water, distribution and airfares.

How long Government will take to positively respond to the dramatic fall will send a very important message to the industry.

For an obviously cash-strapped administration it’s a two edge sword. Lower fuel prices means less VAT collection, but if we are able to maintain a prolonged recovery in arrival numbers then this should be largely mitigated.

re-Discover Dining programme doing well

The 24 restaurants currently participating in the re-DISCOVER dine-around programme will soon have to make the decision whether to continue the initiative through the winter. There is no doubt in my mind that our visitors and locals alike are increasingly looking for value-for-money. No one can also reasonably question that it has galvanized more people to eat out. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy

Harlequin’s H Hotel: Latest photos of an eyesore that spoils Barbados

Harlequin Barbados Disaster 39

Harlequin Barbados Disaster 500

by St George’s Dragon

As promised I went to take a few photos of the Harlequin H Hotel today.

The site has obviously suffered less than Merricks, presumably because it is in a more populated area. It looks as though it was secure until fairly recently, although when I went it was possible to walk straight in from the boardwalk side of the site as someone has ripped the site hoarding door off its hinges.

There are still a few items of plant and materials on site, although nothing of any great value.

Such a shame. So many people have lost money just to create an eyesore that spoils Barbados.

A lovely view for the tourists from the beach boardwalk!

A lovely view for the tourists from the beach and boardwalk! Click photo for larger view.

Editor’s Note: The exposed rebar is salt-drenched and rusted, with salt-laden water dripping down into the concrete. How long before no self-respecting structural engineer would approve further work? Has that time already arrived? Do we have an architects or engineers out there to comment?

More Photos… 
Continue reading

15 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Disaster, Economy, Environment, Offshore Investments

Thomas Cook drops Manchester-Barbados route – while Barbados government markets to a low-income / high employment area of the UK

Thomas Cook airline

Sad news – maddening news

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

It would appear we are losing the summer weekly Thomas Cook Manchester-Barbados flight from early May 2015. Perhaps there is sufficient surplus capacity on the Virgin Atlantic Monday flights, but Thomas Cook provided a lower cost option for many and while we are lacking in empirical evidence, my guess is that this flight was used by many people who have a second home on Barbados and/or who stay in our lower priced accommodation options.

While Virgin currently retains their larger once-a-week Boeing 747 on the Manchester service during the low season, it may not prove a challenge at all.

But if Virgin decides to change equipment to the smaller A330 as they did from Gatwick, clearly less capacity and more demand will lead to the inevitable higher air fares and deter the more budget conscious holidaymaker who largely keeps the industry afloat during the eight long summer months.

For travel in April 2015, a return flight from Manchester with Thomas Cook is presently available at GBPounds 376. With Virgin the cost is GBPounds 638 over a similar period. In fairness luggage and meals are ‘extras’ with Thomas Cook, but there is still a huge price differential – particularly if a family of four are considering travelling.

What is also a little puzzling was our tourism policymakers had already indicated that there was going to be a special effort in growing the markets out of the North of England and Scotland.

And especially after the July long Barbados Summerfastic tour by a beautiful liveried bus in partnership with Capital FM which visited several northern cities and Scotland.

I totally agree there is tremendous further potential, but you also have to look at the demographics which should take into account average disposal income and affordable access to the airport serving the destination.

Unemployment is at its highest in England’s North East and North West with average weekly earnings considerably lower than the south of the country. Clearly the cost is often the ultimate deciding factor.

And now I make no apologies in returning to a pet-peeve subject, websites which are not kept current…
Continue reading

13 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy

Barbados must do everything possible to retain the Fairmont brand!

Fairmont Hotel Barbados

We need Fairmont – an iconic global brand

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

While not seeing it reported in our local press up to the time this column was submitted, I noticed a recent media release announcing the sale of Fairmont Royal Pavilion by its owners Quebec-based Ivanhoe Cambridge – a global real estate company with a quoted property portfolio value of CDN$40 billion across 20 countries.

In turn, Ivanhoe Cambridge is a subsidiary of one of Canada’s leading institutional pension fund managers.

What immediately stood out of this particular sale was the description ‘set on more than 17 acres of landscaped tropical gardens’.

With only 72 hotel rooms and a three bedroom villa, even when fully occupied (150 persons) that would give a staggering almost 5,000 square feet of land space for each guest.

If you are trying to visualise that, then just think before any additional land is purchased or room stock added, Sandals Casuarina currently offers around 778 square feet per guest.

The sales price was not publicly disclosed, but it appears absolutely apparent that the new owners will be seeking to increase the number of rooms either in a hotel model or villa accommodation to justify the acquisition.

Only time will tell if we will lose another international brand with a worldwide reputation for excellence, and what if any effects there will be on any planned closure and the ultimate long term benefit – as and when any enhanced plant re-opens sometime in the future.  Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy

Answering Loveridge about Barbados tax concessions to Sandals

Sandals' Butch Stewart doesn't look like he's starving to death.

Sandals’ Butch Stewart doesn’t look like he’s starving to death.

by William Skinner

The granting of concessions to the hoteliers is a capitulation on the part of the Barbados government, which now finds itself with a one step forward two steps backward economic policy; trying to please an essentially lazy and backward corporate class while inflicting serious blows on the already poor and economically downtrodden.

The hoteliers in Barbados have clearly demonstrated that they have failed to capitalize on an industry that has been in existence for over sixty years. They have whined their way into the taxpayers coffers, on the spurious grounds that the concessions granted to the well established Sandals Group should be automatically theirs for the taking.  In other words, while very few of them can ever boast or hope to come close, to demonstrating that they can ever reach Sandals’ heights, they have blackmailed the government into giving them similar benefits. It’s akin to a fourth division footballer demanding the same salary and perks of a first division superstar!

Be that as it may, they have also refused to sign on to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which will be used to monitor  they operating in good faith with the agricultural community and other businesses , to ensure that the process is not exploited. In other words, the government wanted some formal agreement that the benefits will trickle down to local businesses. Low and behold, the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) said that it will not sign any MOU. Imagine a beggar being so bold faced, to be a chooser as well! It was very pitiful and embarrassing to witness a minister backing down from this group.  Continue reading

10 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy