Good luck to the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) – they will need it. The organisation hired defeated Barbados Tourism Minister Noel Lynch as its new Deputy Director General and Director of Membership.
Hey, we hope the CHTA has much more luck than Barbados citizens did in getting accountability and answers from Noel Lynch about where the money went when he was in charge.
Mr. Lynch was part of the cover-up that denied Barbados citizens any accountability for the hundreds of millions of dollars of their tax money thrown into the black hole known as the GEMS Scandal – Hotels and Resorts. And what a scam it was!
Then there was the disaster of the Cricket World Cup and the outright lies Lynch told us about the event even when it was plainly apparent to all that he was lying. Lynch settles upon a fiction in his mind and that becomes reality. Cricket World Cup was his baby and it was a frankenstein that will take us a generation or more to pay off. (Tourism to Barbados actually FELL as a result of Cricket World Cup. The last game played at night without lights was the crowning touch!)
Under the last year of Tourism Minister Lynch’s reign 67,000 airline seats to Barbados were lost and hotel staff had reduced hours and workdays because the whole thing went over a cliff. That’s not even talking about the 27 hotels that closed under his government.
And then there is the moment that truly defines the legacy of Noel Lynch:
We couldn’t figure out if Lynch was angry because he got caught with his hand in the cookie jar, or because he believed himself to be unaccountable.
No matter, because for Bajans the defining moment of Noel Lynch as Minister of Tourism happened on the popular radio show Brass Tacks. Noel forgot that he was speaking not only to a radio journalist, but to over two hundred thousand citizens who’d had just about enough, thank you, of Minister Lynch and his corrupt government…
Barbados Tourism Minister Noel Lynch ran away from a live radio show when a listener asked him to explain how he became a millionaire in a few short years on a government salary. Lynch subsequently sued the radio station, whose cowardly managers paid him off rather than fight for their journalistic freedom.
Such is the character of Noel Lynch that he does not believe he should be accountable to the voters to explain his “instant millionaire” status.
So good luck to the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association. Just remember to watch your expense accounts – and make sure your auditors know how to spot unreported commissions and kickbacks. One thing is fur shur… any person in a public position who acted as Noel Lynch did when asked a reasonable question about the origins of his unexplained recently acquired wealth, believes they are above accountability.
At least Mr. Lynch is the CHTA’s problem now.
Further Reading at BFP…
July 18, 2007: OOPS… Tourism Minister Noel Lynch Gets Caught Lying Again!