Last week the government member for Christ Church West Central, Stephen Lashley, stood up in Parliament and talked about the need for Barbados to tap into new international markets for tourism and industry. As tactfully as possible (considering he is a member of the government), Mr. Lashley made the point that our Barbados Tourism Authority and Barbados Investment and Development Corporation aren’t doing nearly the job that they should be doing.
To be fair, Lashley talked about “encouraging” the BTA and BIDC and being positive about their efforts. He also chided the Opposition for being “negative” as he delivered the traditional Bajan milquetoast speech about “what we’re gonna do” etc etc etc. His central message for those listening at the BTA and BIDC came through though: “FOR GOD’S SAKE JUST BLOODY-WELL DO SOMETHING!”
Good luck with your encouragement, Mr. Lashley. Just don’t hold your breath waiting for results.
Let’s get real for a minute, shall we?
Over six weeks ago, Minister of International Business and International Transport George Hutson gave a press conference where he mused about the possibilities of targeting South American markets to fill the tourism void during the “off” season – and to try to raise some new business opportunities.
At that time Barbados Free Press said that IF the government and the Minister were serious about South America, they would already have ordered Spanish and Portuguese language options on the websites of the Barbados Tourism Authority and the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation. We said it would take a week, maybe two, to translate both websites, put up a welcome in Spanish and Portuguese and at least look like we mean business.
We also predicted that it wouldn’t happen. We said…
“Oh well, not to get upset about it because the truth is that nothing will be done.
The Minister spoke a fine little speech, and the newspaper printed a fine little article and editorial.
That’s it, folks. That’s all you’ll see. This is Barbados and we do – or don’t do – things a certain way.”
We were correct. Here we are six weeks later and nothing was done. The BTA and BIDC websites are still in English only.
See? We told ya that nothing would be done!
After all, the Barbados Tourism Authority failed to establish Spanish, Portuguese language websites despite 10 years of begging by hotel owners.
Why should anything change now?
Please have a read of our original story and we’ll see you again in another six weeks and every six weeks thereafter until all those concerned become embarrassed enough to make it happen – if such a thing is possible in the cushy government service. I tell you the truth friends – very few in the BTA or BIDC would last a week in a similar position in London or New York.