The More We Hear From Tourism Minister Sealy, The More We Like His Ideas

richard-sealy-tourism-175.jpg

It is still a little early in the game for the new Minister of Tourism, but so far he is at least proving that his perspective is long term rather than the “BIG EVENT” shortsightedness of his predecessor, Noel “Instant Millionaire” Lynch.

Firstly, he is talking about Barbados tourism in a post-Castro world and is obviously considering the strategies that we will need as we face the greatest changes seen in Caribbean tourism and economies since the 1959 Cuban revolution. (Hey… maybe Minister Sealy even read our April 19, 2006 article Cuba After Castro – What Does It Mean For Barbados?)

Secondly, Minister Sealy seems to understand that we must look after our core clientèle before we try anything fancy. That’s a fundamental rule of business that was forgotten during the past BLP government’s tenure.

Remember the huge press conferences where Noel Lynch proclaimed that fleets of Boeing 747s would be arriving from India and other Asian markets? Man, that must of been some good herb that Noel was smoking!

In contrast, Minister Sealy has so far exhibited a firm grip on reality.

Here’s a little bit of what our new Tourism Minister has been saying lately…

“The morning that [Castro’s] eyes don’t open, and Cuba opens up in a big way, we can have some problems in this part of the world.

“(Cuba) is going to be largely untapped and will have a lot of potential as far as tourism development is concerned…”

“…what might concern me is our capacity to attract investors who would find themselves going into Cuba”.

… “My view, frankly, is that [Britain] should be treated separately and any foray into new markets cannot be at the expense of our traditional markets that have been good to us and continue to be good to us,”

… read Minister Sealy’s full comments in the Nation News story Cuba Might Be A Threat

22 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business, Cuba, History, Traveling and Tourism

22 responses to “The More We Hear From Tourism Minister Sealy, The More We Like His Ideas

  1. me

    he is saying nothing new even though what he is saying makes sense…

  2. Tony Hall

    I believe Minister Sealy is thinking long term and it is in the right direction.

  3. Happy To Say

    I suspect he is listening to persons who know a thing or two about tourism – e. Oliver Jordan, Andrew Cox, etc. Unlike Noel Lynch who was a pompus know it all.

  4. Hants

    If Cuba becomes “free”, the Americans are likely to build or finance huge Las Vegas style Casinos.

    Call girls and hookers will be part of the “Tourism” mix.

    Barbados will still be a viable market for those who have no interest in the above.

  5. Hants

    Uh oh. BFP moderating my comments. I really in trouble now.

    It must be the words Cuba, Casino ,CallGirls.

    *************

    BFP says,

    Hi Hants,

    Yes… just the robot spam thing grabbed your comment because of those words. We have retrieved and posted it now. You must understand that we receive about a thousand spam comments a day for gambling, sex and travel etc… We do the best we can, but that’s life that sometimes your comments will never be seen again or take hours to post.

  6. Hants

    A $2 BILLION LUXURY-HOME development that would have pumped millions of dollars into the economy has been put on hold by Sandy Lane resort.

    mmmmm.I wonder why ?

    We need insider information.

  7. tstt

    Did any one read Bob Verdun’s column in yesterday’s Nation where he talks about the level of racism associated with west coast hotels?

    “One of our new Cabinet ministers had a similar experience. He was showing off this blessed island to two visitors, and they wanted to stop at a well known West Coast hostelry for a drink at the bar.

    Flatly refused

    He drove up to the gate, explained his intentions, and was flatly refused the right to enter a place that provides “services for the public”. ”

    Which minister is this?

  8. Bush tea

    …or maybe at last we have given the job to someone with the ability to think logically. …I wonder if he is an engineer..?

  9. Donald Duck, Esq

    There appears to be a split already in the cabinet with regards to policy. Take note of Chris Sinckler’s comments as reported in the nation last week.

    (BFP editor comments: We don’t see a split in policy from this story. We see a government that is pursuing some new business while taking care of the foundational clients. No split there, and we would certainly call a split if we saw one)

    Eye on Latin American tourists

    Date March 19, 2008
    Brief

    BARBADOS is looking towards Latin America for more tourists, cheaper goods and investment.

    Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and International Business, Chris Sinckler, made this point as the House of Assembly continued debate yesterday on the Government’s Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the 2008-2009 financial year.

    On the need to bring the cost

    of living down, the parliamentary representative for St Michael

    North West said: “We have to . . . find cheaper markets to source

    our products from.

    “We can’t continue to rely on the traditional markets only. We have to look into Central America. We have to look into South America.”

    He also noted that Latin America was an area where the Government was seeking tax and investment treaty business.

    The Government recently held

    a meeting here with its honorary consuls in Latin America “and they’re all happy and ready to pursue our interests in Latin America, not only for treaties,

    but also for air links”, Sinckler

    told parliamentarians.

    Government was said to be hoping to bring more tourists

    out of Panama and Brazil.

    “We are considering and negotiating an air services agreement with Brazil to bring

    a charter out of Sao Paulo . . . ,” Sinckler reported.

    The plan was to reposition

    the Barbados economy to earn not just investment, but quality investment, Sinckler said.

    What the Government was

    not hunting was investment

    that alienated the Barbados population by putting up gated communities “here and there”

    or that took up land “only for

    the purposes of leisure”,

    according to Sinckler.

    The idea was to go after investment “that can produce meaningful and sustainable jobs”, he said. (TY)

    “. . . We intend, through my ministry, to redirect our efforts at getting foreign investment to the extent that people in Barbados can participate in the wealth that is . . . created and earned in Barbados,” he declared.

  10. Donald Duck, Esq

    BFP

    You said that Minister Sealy seems to understand that we must look after our core clientèle before we try anything fancy.

    Then you have the minister of foreign affairs saying:

    “We can’t continue to rely on the traditional markets only. We have to look into Central America. We have to look into South America.”

    Is this not a split in policy? or do you prefer to call it a difference in policy?

    *****************

    BFP says,

    Minister Sealy did not say we would only rely upon traditional markets… he said that first things must come first and thank Heaven that he seems to recognise the value of keeping our main customer base well serviced.

    The only splitting going on that we see is you splitting hairs over words to create a story that isn’t there.

  11. armchair critic

    It would be false to believe that Cuba’s socialist model will breathe its last breath along with Castro, whenever that happens. Whether you may agree with it or not, it is the way of life of millions of Cubans, many of who support the Revolution.

  12. Craig Daniell

    Well, as far as tourists go thousands of them go to Cuba already and one of the main reasons they do is “price”. It is estimated that 250,000 US citizens go to Cuba to vacation every year. The number from Canada must be similiar. Many of the US tourists leave for Cuba through Canada. I found it quite interesting that the US flag flies at the airport in Varedero and US passports are allowed to be used but theyare not stamped. Barbados is a wonderful place but simply stated it is very expernsive as a tourist destination. Mexico, Dominican, Florida and Cuba are the competition. You will not find Barbados advertised in many travel agency offices in Canada or the USA. There is already signficant investment in Cuba and many 5 star hotels on wonderful beaches. Whether Castro is alive or not won’t change the cost of things in Barbados or the cost of getting there. Work has to be done to organize charter flights from Canada to Barbados so that cost is reduced. The price of a ticket on the regular scheduled airlines such as Air Canada is almost the cost of total all inlcusive vacation package on a charter to Cuba.

  13. Straight talk

    HANTS :
    You ever been to Cuba as a holiday?

    Get with it, they beat us hands down at sun sea sand @ 1/2 price of Bim.

    Barbados has a cachet of luxury, an ultimate destination.

    Selling it short as in Best of Barbados destroys the image and erodes its unique selling point.

    If we don’t keep the snaps of stars cavorting on the West we shall surely suffer.

    Condos…..naff!

  14. Hants

    Straight talk says.
    “Get with it, they beat us hands down at sun sea sand @ 1/2 price of Bim.”

    Cuba will more likely become the Las Vegas of the Caribbean.
    It is only cheap now because of Government control.

    Once it is free they will fill the place with Casinos and Super Resorts.

    And No. I have never been to Cuba. I have no desire to go anywhere other than Barbados.

  15. rumboy

    Nothing will change in Cuba with the death of Castro. It is only the yankee media that reports that change will come but for the revolution to have survived for so long could only mean that the vast majority supports it. Sure some will skip across to join their families in Miami and get fat on Big Macs but those who are trully Cuban will stay the course.

  16. Tell me Why

    Untraditional markets? I hope that we will not be like Ghana. A new strategy for immigrants.

  17. Tell me Why

    I would like to know the substance of the meeting with President Bush and the 3-B’s, especially the promises by the Bush administration and the “I will do as you say” by our Prime Minister. How would Minister Sealy’s intention of strengthening ties with Cuba and PM Thompson recent visit to the White House?

  18. Jerome Hinds

    BFP,

    Here is a riddle for you to solve following the front page story of the Nation News of 25 th March 2007:

    How was it possible for a former Director of Finance……who became Minister of Agriculture
    ( Erskine Griffith )

    And

    A former Deputy Auditor General….who became Permanent Secretary of Agriculture ( Frederick Forde )

    Both

    Conspire to break the Financial Rules ???

    I concur with the current Auditor General…….someone must be held accountable….!

    Owen Arthur……really had a well entrenched TIEFFING machinery !

    * An Abundance of Consultants !

    * Newton Building !

    * Oistins Bay Gardens redevelopment !

    What else is up ahead ???

  19. O man

    Anybody spotted instant millionaire Muscle M Lynch since January? What an arrogant sod he was. Good riddance to bad rubbish!

  20. Rumplestilskin

    Rumboy.

    I disagree. Raul has previously and recently stated intentions to ‘open up’ somwhat. That somewhat may be arguable, but what of his ‘polling of the people’ last year as to what they want?

    That could only signify a ‘raison d’etre’ to open the economy up, in the guise of being ‘what the people want’, without losing face!

    Very clever indeed.

    You all are in for a surprise is my opinion.

    When Cuba does open, not one more dollar will be invested in Tourism here or any other Caribbean island, by any USA corporation or individual at least.

    As long as it is understood to be ‘irreversible’, it’ll be like a new gold rush.

  21. Rumplestilskin

    Having said that Rumboy, how about us bajans who cannot afford a piece of our own land here at US$15 per sq foot?

    Some of us may have a chance at a decent sized peice of land AND a job in Cuba when it opens up.

    So do not think it will be just Americans. Some of us may be gone too.

  22. reality check

    “How was it possible for a former Director of Finance……who became Minister of Agriculture
    ( Erskine Griffith )

    And

    A former Deputy Auditor General….who became Permanent Secretary of Agriculture ( Frederick Forde )

    Both

    Conspire to break the Financial Rules ???

    I concur with the current Auditor General…….someone must be held accountable….!”

    spot on

    “tiefing” could only happen with those civil servants who are fully conversant with and know the banking and tendering ropes.

    We now have about three weeks left for full ITAL. If it doesn’t include the civil service, we can only expect more of the same.

    In the meantime let the forensic auditors chase the trail of the money of the politicians and civil servants who stole from the public purse even if it means requesting supoenas in international jurisdictions.