Without Tourism, Barbados Is Dead In The Water

Peter Laurie gets it mostly right in his editorial on tourism. If at the end, all we have is a wall of concrete condos blocking the sun and the beach, what will we have?

On The Other Hand – Why tourism matters

BY PETER LAURIE

BARBADIANS have mixed feelings about tourism. We recognise it as our major money earner, but some of us resent that fact.

From a social perspective, they are annoyed by the idea of poor black natives serving rich white foreigners. From an economic perspective, they think that tourism is not a dependable or dignified way of earning a living.

They’re wrong on both counts.

If we’re stupid enough to confuse service with servitude, then we’re really stupid.

And the future for tourism is brighter than any other world economic activity.

But, in any event, tourism matters because it’s not only what keeps us afloat; it’s the only option we have (barring the discovery of huge reserves of offshore oil, which may be a mixed blessing).

So we absolutely have to get it right. If not, one day we’ll end up with an island no one wants to visit…

… continue reading this article at the Nation News link here.

41 Comments

Filed under Barbados

41 responses to “Without Tourism, Barbados Is Dead In The Water

  1. Bimbro

    Could that account for why there’s been no mention on the major blogs, of the Antigua murders, perhaps, two weeks after the event, except my own attempt to draw it to the attention of Barbadians – and I don’t even live there!!

    Or perhaps, Barbadians assumed it would n’t affect them!!

    Perhaps, I know something which they don’t!!

  2. Krzysztof Skubiszewski

    “we’ll end up with an island no one wants to visit…”

    If we keep building marinas – to ruin our beaches – and architectural monstrosities like the Sands opposite the old Coach House – to disfigure our West Indian heritage.

    And blocking access to the sea. And not filling West Coast Highway potholes. Allowing trucks that would be oversized in Texas. Littering anywhere. PSV and Transport Board drivers speeding while text messaging.

    Won’t be long before no tourists at all.

  3. Margaret Knight

    Krzysztof Skubiszewski: Well said! Time to stop the rape of our coastline. For my one small part, I am working with someone (who shall remain nameless for now) to do our best to stop a marina being built at Six Men’s, less than a mile from Port St. Charles, where there is already an adequate marina. Wish us luck.

  4. Ady Hotep

    Picking up on the Antiguan murders I was suprised very little was mentioned in your local media,have Bajans become desensitised to murder,is is it a case of the ostrich burying its head?This cold blooded murder has enormous ramifications for all the Caribbean islands.People in England are beginning to understand that the Caribbean is not is safe as it likes to claim.When will Barbados establish a dedicated tourist police with both overt and covert operations?After all tourism is worth millions.Listening and watching the murder coverage on Sky news,TalkSport radio etc makes me worry about how we West Indians are dealing with our tourism.

  5. Tony Hall

    The article by Peter Laurie is an interesting one. Barbados’ tourism sector has to be more creative. I like the mention of the “rum shop tours”. Barbados is one of the few countries which has so many rumshops per district and these rumshops are so culturally linked to the everyday lives of Barbadians. Barbados has so much to offer as far as tours are concerned. The powers that be in the tourism sector just have to genuinely accept input from persons on the ground. When “tourists” come to an island they are very much interested in its history. That’ s where senior citizens can be utilised. You would be surprised that there are some Barbadians living overseas who don’t know much about Barbados, and they migrated as adults. Even some Barbadians living in Barbados suffer the same dilemma, i.e lack of knowledge of our wonderful country. Some repeat visitors know the country better than them.

  6. Adrian Loveridge

    There is (in my opinion) very little to argue against in Mr Laurie’s article with perhaps the exception of the ‘no all-inclusive resorts’. Its a niche market and no-one can realistically ignore the financial contribution made by Almond and the others. What the responsible all-inclusives do is to ensure their guests are exposed to off-resort experiences.

    Several of us already have for many years ensured our guests see past the superficial sun, sea and sand product including taking them to:

    Horse racing at the Garrison.
    Tours of Parliament (until they ceased to become available)
    Inviting Guest speakers to our round table dinners
    Inviting artisans to sell their handicrafts on our premises. On one day, a jewellery artisan sold $3,000 worth of goods, more she said than were sold in a week at a leading store.
    We also regularly take guests on heritage walks of Bridgetown on Sundays mornings and almost daily in the winter to many other parts of Barbados.

    As a white Englishman, I perhaps have never fully understood the service/servitude issue, but I think some of us in tourism have to take part of the blame for the deficiencies.

    We often expect our staff to deliver a level of service that they have never been exposed to.
    Its one of the penalties of not having more brand name hotels, where during the slower summer months employees could be sent to overseas hotels in countries where the majority of visitors come from.

    They would then witness at first hand, people of all races and creeds delivering worldclass levels of service in every aspect of tourism operation from General Manager to waiter.

    Thanks to our democratic system ‘we’ now have another opportunity of devising a middle to long term masterplan for tourism.

    We ALL have to ensure that opportunity is not squandered!

  7. Grumbler

    Bajans fulla resentment.
    Yes tourism is we ting, but we resent the fact.
    Trinidad is our best rich friend that feeds and fuels us
    but we resent the fact.
    God promised us a Rose Garden
    someone failed to deliver same
    – we resent the fact.

    We are a nation of malcontent grumblers
    and the root root psychological cause is human overpopulation on this waaay overcrowded island.

  8. I believe the blogs don’t touch the Antigua newlywed murder as it would be bad for Tourism for the entire region.

    For a long while, B’dos had few UK guests after the Palm Tree Hotel shooting in Worthing. I even recall one of their owners threatening ME with a lawsuit if I brought it up in the TV news one more time, I had to explain I do not select the stories and you have to speak to the editors.

    At first I was not believed, then I went into detail as to how I did not even WRITE that story! It’s amazing what the average joe perceives as supposed godlike powers that Anchors have, it’s about as real as the large wages we get here in the Caribbean too.

    So back to Antigua, with repercussions like what i experienced, I don’t quite blame the silence on the matter – it’s actually rather tasteful…

  9. degap

    “Up from Tourism?”

    The time has come to pronounce the eulogy for the failed tourism experiment. Tourism has only given us foreign white ownership, foreign white managers, and low wage, low silk jobs for the masses. It’s time for a change.

  10. Krzysztof Skubiszewski

    Margaret Knight – I wish you much luck.

    And when you’re ready to accept additional assistance or pressure let me know through this blog.

  11. .63

    Important article. Congrats to BFP for posting it. The Antiguan murders emphasise the folly of the $10m in the budget alotted for investing in a Caribbean brand. We are not in control of the Caribbean brand. Some islands may wish to take the Caribbean brand in a way that does not fit with ours. We should be investing in the Barbados brand and we should be doing those things that support tourism and tourism related activities.

    I also agree with Peter Laurie that we should not have all-inclusives. The advantage to ordinary barbadians is that what is good for tourism, is good for them – an efficient airport, a clean and safe taxi service, good restaurants etc. That is broken with all inclusives. They diminishe the economic linkages of tourism outside the sector.

  12. Bimbro

    Ady, like u, I live in the UK and have seen the same news coverage and share your apprehensions. However, I think that either Barbadians don’t consider that Antigua is in the caribbean, or, if it is, that what happens there will not impact them!! Both positions of which are misguided!!

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

    So back to Antigua, with repercussions like what i experienced, I don’t quite blame the silence on the matter – it’s actually rather tasteful…

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

    Grumbley, ‘J’, just engaged me in a discussion in which she swore-blind that Bim is currently, UNDER-POPULATED, even according to UN stats.

    U can’t both be right!! Who’s right and who’s telling porkies!!!!

    This is a matter of nationaly, importance!!

    As for Mr ‘dirty-mout’, Ian Bourne; I hesitate to make any comment, at all, to him, ‘who’s more Barbadian than I am’ (a white, man!!!!) however, I REMIND HIM AND ALL OTHER BLOGGERS, SHOULD THEY NEED REMINDING, THAT BLOGGING IS N’T ABOUT IGNORING SUBJECTS!!!!

    THAT, MR ‘OH, SO INTELLIGENT, WHITE MAN’ IS THE ANTITHESIS OF WHAT BLOGGING IS ABOUT AND WHAT BFP AND WE ARE FIGHTING TO ROOT-OUT OF THE PSYCHOLOGY AND PRACTICE OF OUR COUNTRY!! U SHOULD REALLY, KNOW BETTER AS THE ‘INTELLIGENT’ WHITE, MAN YOU CLAIM TO BE!!

    NICE DAY!!!!

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

    We are a nation of malcontent grumblers
    and the root root psychological cause is human overpopulation on this waaay overcrowded island.

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

  13. 329.18

    Adrian L. comments…
    “As a white Englishman, I perhaps have never fully understood the service/servitude issue”

    we need to SERIOUSLY investigate where this notion of service being servitude comes from.

    Allegedly, Massa Day Done
    so what are we still harping about,
    if we are indeed masters of our own fate?

    Is the truth that ..we are lazy?
    and prefer to not work than wait tables?

    Is the term Bajan Work Ethic an oxy-moronic phrase?
    ………………
    Most Bajans are quite clueless about what the possible death of the tourism industry would implicate, on this island.
    Quite quite clueless!

  14. Krzysztof Skubiszewski

    Margaret Knight – Seen on BU.

    Whose island is it?

    Not content with their rape of Heywood’s beach to prevent local lads playing football there and scaring the living daylights out of a few white investors who fear black people laughing and being rambunctious the Port St. Charles gangsters have resorted to a new tactic. It’s called, “Call the police.”

    As part of the Port St. Charles abomination the investors have built a secluded bar and restaurant area for the rich folk to keep very much to themselves. With a jetty ideal for local kids to jump and dive into their own Caribbean Sea. On Sunday they were doing just that and having much fun when the Port St. Charles Homeland Security goons called the police.

    Of course when the ashamed policeman arrived the kids had vanished. Hey, whose island is this?

  15. Will this get me banned

    For a long while, B’dos had few UK guests after the Palm Tree Hotel shooting in Worthing.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………
    Ian Bourne where did you come up with this rubbish? Although this was a heinous and unfortunate human and economic crime guests from the UK did not fall off. If such is repeated however that may change. Bourne because you worked in the media you think you have a lock on information. Dont fool yourself.

  16. ru4real

    How about making the airport a bit more tourist friendly?

  17. Anonymous

    how bout painting the arm at the port..it look grungey. to mek GAIA more touris freindly you hadda change the entire staff up dey.not gonna hapen. hell has a new spelling these days…. a.i.r.p.o.r.t. everybody knows and acepts that these days even tourisses

  18. Remember when the sign at GAIA was mis-spelt? Instead of the Italian “Ciao” it had CAIO like the Brazilian buses

  19. Jukecheckedeyskirt

    Barbados belongs to investment, politricks and anyone white people. Black people (the poor and middle class ones) are not interested in it because they are busy trying to make ends meet and do not have the money power to change anything. THe rich blacks are interested in it because they are getting there drawbacks.

  20. Boy you – I forget how pitiful how some IDIATO‘s are – get ya own blog, twit, and spout ur racial crap elsewhere; sounds like you could be a staff member for another site….

    Bloggers don’t cover every darn thing and we may not necessarily want to screw up visitors coming out here and thus Antigua coverage is low-keyed.

    As for proof that bloggers do not cover everything I sent Free Press, Underground & Bajan Global Report info that is too sensitive for a non-anonymous blogger like self to handle and all chose to ignore the info! Yes, I still have the links and correspondence.

    Finally – What does my colour (not race because that is wrong as you are retarded, and no – I do not regret my comments on when you dissed my late colleague’s wife, in fact I will stand by those words FOREVER, I wish it was you who left and not Terry) have to do with remarks, punk?

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

    BFP says,

    Hi Ian,

    Please send it again under your own name. If you sent it anonymously we wouldn’t know it was credible.

    tx

  21. Bimbro

    Keep your nickers on Ian & don’t take it so seriously!!

    Learn to relax a little bro!!!! Some of it is said, ‘tongue-in-cheek’!!

  22. dogbitemuh

    Its quite interesting that the government is pursuing the building of a marina at six mens. As I recall, the last administration was pursuing this. Seems like the BLP is still in power.

  23. Grumbler

    Barbados is an island of 166 sq. miles.
    That’s a fixed statistic.

    The ever-upward-moving statistic of the island’s population is not fixed.

    The Census of Yr.2000 (eight long years ago)
    came up with a figure very-nearly-280,000.

    In those 8 long years that figure has increased
    as has the Guyanese population, the illegal immigrant population
    and the fact that there are several thousand tourisses on de island at any given time.

    For ease in calculation then
    a nice round figure of say..300,000? could be used, without that being too far off the realistic mark.

    Now: 300K divided by 166 sq. miles
    derives a population density of 1807.2289 humans per sq.mile, on average.
    Let’s round that out to 1800 of us, per sq. mile.
    Let’s reduce that to 1700 per sq. mile
    just in case I have too many people on de island.

    http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0762380.html
    has statistics.
    as does
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_population_density
    and other informative websites.
    ———————–
    By comparison,
    population densities generally among our nearby Caribbean islands(Trinidad Grenada, St.Lucia,etc.) are approximately half our Bajan density-levels.

    Draw you own conclusions
    as to whether we need MORE people on this tiny rock,
    or do we need LESS people on this tiny rock
    to lessen the stress and strain on our meagre resources
    (water, land space, room in the schools, cost-of-living as EVIDENCE,etc.)

    You go figure.

  24. Bimbro

    Admirable post, ‘Grumbler’, and co-incides precisely, with my own calculatins, here!!

    https://barbadosfreepress.wordpress.com/2008/07/28/who-made-the-policy-that-separated-mothers-from-3-year-old-children-at-kensington-oval/#comment-261333

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

    i.e.:

    Bimbro
    August 2, 2008 at 4:15 pm
    So, ‘J’, you’ve a 166 sq ml area divided by a 290k population = 1746 per sq MILE and you think you’ve a shortage of population?!!!!

    I think that many would disagree!!!!

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

    Yet, some, still, amazingly, reach the ridiculous, conclusion that Bim is UNDERpopulated!! How’s that possible?!!!!

  25. Bimbro

    Hi BFP, in regard to Ian and some other subjects I sometimes feel like I’m fighting our battles alone, for all the support I receive from yourselves!! Is this perception, true!!!!

  26. * Dear “will this get me banned

    The fall off in UK visitors was not in general at the time, I should have specified, it was mainly peculiar to the hotel where the sad incident happened.

    This was fact at the time when CBC was tracking the story, I never felt that I had a lock on info, I am merely stating what happened at a given point based on facts of the period which I was in direct experience thereof.

    * Dear “bimbro

    If you feel ur battle is lonely & uphill, maybe you should take stock, and not expect the world to revise their opinion, but for YOU to examine ur own mote & decide what strength of Optrex is best

    * BFP?

    Re-sending item!

  27. Grumbler

    This island has been overpopulated for so many decades(maybe centuries!)
    that most Bajans have little idea what a normal population density looks like in a God-given environment.

    I travel to Trinidad, Grenada, St.Lucia and St.Vincent and see lovely gree, virginal rain-forest areas
    quite vast in expanse compared to Barbados vestigial remains -10 lousy acres of Turners Hall Woods!

    (Doan get me wrong..Thank God we still have THAT!)

    The average Bajan would look at such rain forest in the other islands
    as a somewhat appalling sight
    and consider how best it could be cleared, ‘developed’, concreted/asphalted for car-park and shopping mall!
    And quickly!

    Except, God made those precious areas too steep for man to defy gravity.
    What a clever God/Nature He/She is.

  28. Bimbro

    Dear Ian, thanks for the reply. I thought it was the battle of ALL of us here for ITAL etc, not just me, but trust me to get that wrong, again!! BFP can’t be bothered to comment, so why should I worry!! Lonely? In a way, but I thought it was for the noble cause of Bim’s redemption but, as I intimated, if the main protagonists, BFP, can’t be bothered to comment then perhaps, I should n’t either!!

    Ian, MY opinion, as u said, has been BFP’s opinion. Perhaps, u had n’t noticed but I’ve been one of their strongest, supporters. Do u think that THEY should revise their opinion?

    It’s difficult for me to see why u get so excited, but, I wish u luck. It’s not that important and I’ve no desire to annoy u even further.

    Regards!!

    ‘Grumbler’, excellent response to which I hope u may receive a sensible reply, or two, but, let’s just say that, sadly, I’m not very, hopeful!!

  29. Rumplestilskin

    Dogbitmuh re pursuing the building of a marina at six mens & BLP still in power.

    It is not the BLP in power, but the ‘big boys’ who running things behind the scenes.

    If certain people want a marina, there gonna be a marina, get it?

    Secdonly, who is a northern airport going to serve other than the Westmoreland and Sandylane and any NEW development in St.Lucy?

    This must be explained more gully, as to why taxpayers money should go to build an airport for a select few wealthy?

    Or is the promise of significant development in high-end condos, townhouses and villas in St.Lucy too much for the government to resist?

    Mr.Kellman may be happy, but the taxpayer will bear the brunt of the cost.

    I hope that the airport fees and taxes on new development justify the airport costs.

    Further, I hope and expect that no ‘duty-free- concessions will be allowed on these new developments.

    If such are, then, may I a taxpayer for years, have duty-free concessions on my own house?

    Time to be fair and that is what the change in January was all about.

    Bajans done wid hairy-fairy stories and politricks. The BLP did not lose by much votes in the ‘balancing constituencies’ last election and Mia goin be battling all the way.

    My advice to the current administration is to govern wisely and do not give her fodder for varbal cannons.

    Fair warning.

    Peace

  30. Rumplestilskin

    s/be on my moderated post ”explained more Fully’

  31. Grumbler

    The main factor leading to Barbados early ‘development’ (and therefore human multitude!) is that very factor of steepness versus flatlands!!

    It is recorded(Schomburk or Poyer,I forget which)
    that by about 1680(?) most of the island had been cleared of the original rain forest that cloaked all these islands….a task the more easily facilitated by Barbados’ relatively flat topography.

    This early clearing would then have made way for human plantations, roadways…the level of development and human infrastructure we see today.
    Trust me when I say that today’s Barbados is NOTHING like how Nature devised it!

    By comparison, there are many areas on our neighbouring islands that are today -08/08/08- as God and Nature left them since time immemorial and will probably remain so.

    ……………………………

    Bajans will see Barbados’ early clearing and development as a plus, which in human terms it is,
    but I fear The Flat Island has a future akin to Manhattan, where concrete steel and glass are the main thing.

    To those who reckon we’re under-populated….oh sure we could be standing shoulder-to-shoulder from sea to shining sea, trampling down every cane blade while we squabble among ourselves for the rapidly shrinking resources every human needs to live(and reproduce willy-nilly!)
    but it wouldn’t be very pleasant.

    Do we want to end up with a Macao-esque population density?

    Can we ‘tie a knot’ in it?

    Only the future will tell!

  32. Littleboy

    Please read Bob Verdun’s latest article in the Nation.

    Sad to say, the marina at Six Mens will be built just like the barricade has been allowed to remain at Porters and the Fearless chain and the extension of Regina Sixt and all the other impediments to free passage to the beach.

    Unfortunately the piper comes from the same band (middle-class Barbados hoping for acceptance by the moneyed class).

    Isn’t it frustrating!!!

    Another marina will virtually cut off the residents of retreat and surrounding areas from the beach, forcing them to sell.

    Some years ago Oliver Hinds, Doriel Jackman, Alfred Mascoll, the Skeetes and Ms Babb andMs Edna Franklyn all received letters from Eastern Land Developers offering to purchase their properties.

    They refused to sell. We all know that there is “more than one way to skin a cat”. So build a marina that will in essence cause a reduction in beach space and further erosion of your land and you are forced to sell.

    EUREKA!!!

  33. Margaret Knight

    Littleboy: I have not read Bob’s Verdun’s article in The Nation, but I am in constant contact with Bob (who is away from the island at the moment), and when he and I last spoke, he told me that permission has NOT yet been granted for the construction of a marina at Six Mens, and is, in fact, awaiting the P.M.’s approval. He also suggests that persons should send letters to the P.M., protesting the construction of the marina.

    Also, Dr. Esther Byer-Suckoo stated, when questioned by me during her lecture at DLP HQ, that nothing has been finalised. I hope this makes you feel a little better.

  34. Littleboy

    Thanks Margaret. While I feel that the PM will use his judgement on this one, I am sceptical, since I have dealt with similar situations before, and the advisors are the same.

    Bajans voted for a change and I believe that “change” should be more widespread…including who goes to Illaro Court to the Prime Minister’s reception, the opening of Parliament and several other functions that Government has recently hosted.

    Quite frankly, there has been no “change” in the invitees, leading one to believe that the status quo remains.

    No talk about the barricades I mentioned in my earlier posts from any government officials; but a statement from the BTA chairman that…” all remaining beach land should be used for tourism development…”; and no rebuttal from anyone has been forthcoming.

    Sorry, but I need to see action before full confidence can be placed in the new Government.

    Meanwhile the public is also waiting. Please let Bajans have a greater stake in our country, Mr PM!!!

  35. Margaret Knight

    Littleboy, you said: “but a statement from the BTA chairman that … ‘all remaining beach land should be used for tourism development …’ and no rebuttal from anyone has been forthcoming”. However, I believe there was a rebuttal from the P.M. himself. I don’t remember what form it took, nor the words he used (I’ll have to research that), but maybe Wishing In Vain can come to our aid on that one.

  36. Margaret Knight

    Littleboy, you said: “but a statement from the BTA chairman that … ‘all remaining beach land should be used for tourism development …’ and no rebuttal from anyone has been forthcoming”. However, I believe there was a rebuttal from the P.M. himself. I don’t remember what form it took, nor the words he used (I’ll have to research that), but maybe someone can come to our aid on that one.

  37. Adrian Loveridge

    I am not going to even try and speak on behalf of Mr Taylor but what I understand from his comments is that we really have to think very carefully exactly how prime ocean front land is used.

    In the last 14 years we have lost 29 hotels. NO other major Caribbean tourism destination can boast that.
    And in many cases they have been turned into Condominums.
    Whatever, anyone tells you, that relates to lower accommodation occupancy and lower tourism employment and dramatically negatively impacts on overall visitor spend and business viability of our ancillary services.
    From the Governments’s own figures direct tourism jobs fell from 14,200 to 12,200 between 2002 and 2004 or 14% or one in eight of the total number employed in this sector.

    If we are going to build visitor arrival capacity (and airlift) then there has to be a critical mass of registered accommodation.

    Currently, 39% of our total long stay visitor arrivals do NOT stay in a registered hotel/guest house/apartment.

    I for one, am not anti-condominiums, but its the land they occupancy that could have better served our long term tourism interests with enhanced/enlarged full service hotels.

  38. Littleboy

    I recall the PM stating that land on the East Coast will remain in local hands, but a limited liability company, formed in Barbados is considered local, even if owned by non-nationals. We must be careful.

    Also Mr Taylor was specific that we must …”use all remaining coastal land for tourism development…”. That suggests to me that the concerns of Barbadians re access to …” one of the last free areas of recreation…”.. to quote a DLP candidate in the last election who is now Deputy to Mr Taylor at the BTA, and who is now very silent of late about these issues.

    I hope he is not now blinded because his party is in government!!!

    But I agree with you both that we must write government about our concerns.

  39. The scout

    Taylor has made some dumb statements before and this one takes the cake. Mr Taylor, this is NOT Cuba?

  40. Littleboy

    The Scout

    This is not Cuba (yet).

    Maybe if we were a bit less self centred (like Taylor) and more nationalistic like the Cubans, this country would be better off.

  41. Anonymous

    Women charged over Antigua deaths credit: BBC NEWS

    Two women have been charged in connection with the murders of British honeymooners Ben and Catherine Mullany in Antigua, police there have said.

    The pair, aged 32 and 22, appeared before the chief magistrates in St John’s, Antigua, on Thursday morning.

    Police on the Caribbean island said they were not in a position to disclose any further information at this stage.

    The newly-weds, both 31 and from Pontardawe in the Swansea Valley, were shot in their hotel cottage on 28 July.

    They were attacked at the Cocos Hotel and Resort in the south west of the island in what police think was a robbery which went wrong on the last day of their honeymoon.

    Garry Nelson, the commissioner of the Antiguan Police, said the charges were a “significant development” but that they were still looking for others in connection with the couple’s deaths.

    “This has taken us where we want to go,” he told BBC 5 Live.

    “Any homicide investigation, any major investigation you rely on information you receive from either a persons of interest, persons who’ve been charged, or members of the public and we’re following up on the leads.”

    Scotland Yard, which has a team in Antigua helping with the investigation, said it is not believed that the charged women are responsible for the murders.

    One report said it was understood the charges related to goods stolen from the couple.

    A view from the hotel cottage in Antigua where Ben and Catherine Mullany were shot
    A view from the Cocos Hotel and Resort where the couple were shot

    Inspector Cornelius Charles, a spokesman for the Antiguan Police said: “What happened, we had two ladies in police custody and they were charged today in connection relating to the Mullany investigation and they have been remanded in custody.

    “For strategic reasons we would not want to go into detail of the charges.”

    He said releasing any further information could jeopardise the investigation.

    “We expect to do some further arrests further down the road. They were charged with some offences but were not charged with murder. That is as much as I will want to say.”

    He said British officers had been “working together” with police on the island and that the charges were “a significant development as far as the investigation is concerned”.

    Funeral service

    The couple were buried in a private ceremony on Wednesday.

    It is believed the burials took place at St John the Evangelist Church, in Cilybebyll, Pontardawe, where they married on July 12.

    Their families said they were planning to hold a funeral service at a later date to allow extended family members, friends and colleagues to pay their respects.

    Catherine Mullany, who was training to become a GP, was killed instantly after being shot in the head.

    Her husband, a University of the West of England physiotherapy student, died a week later after being airlifted to hospital in Swansea in a critical condition.

    South Wales Police said it had informed the families of Mr and Mrs Mullany of the latest developments in Antigua.

    “The force is continuing its support of the ongoing investigation and trained family liaison officers are continuing to support the families and keep them fully updated on events both in the UK and Antigua,” it said in a statement.

    Death penalty

    More than 30 people have been questioned in connection with the shootings and a total of eight British officers have flown to Antigua to assist with the investigation.

    The island’s troubled 350-strong force, which is faced with rising violence, has no computers, no crime database and only one forensics-trained officer.

    Assistant commissioner Ron Scott, who was head of the force’s crime unit and one of four Canadian police officers brought in earlier this year to transform Antigua’s force, resigned at the weekend citing personal reasons.

    Antiguan justice minister Collin Derrick said the resignation would not affect the continuing murder investigations.

    Earlier this week, Antigua’s government said it will introduce the death penalty for crimes involving weapons in the wake of the murders of the couple.

    The new sentencing legislation will be introduced for anyone who uses a gun or knife in a crime which results in death or serious injury.