Cricket World Cup and the Carnival Destiny debacle
Commentary by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner
‘That $14 million was supposed to have been self-liquidated, where we would have sold packages that would have more than covered that cost’!
This is the economic justification put forward by a former Minister of Tourism.
Now let’s do the maths!
The loan was actually US$14,772,000. Presumably before any interest payments and we have to assume that figure included any ‘arrangement fees’.
Carnival Destiny has a stated passenger capacity of 2,642 persons.
So! On a simple cost per person that meant that each passenger would have had to pay US$5,591.
Arguments could be made that additional revenue could reduce that figure if the ship was redeployed for the CWC 2007 semi-final in St. Lucia, but why would the Barbadian taxpayer be expected to subsidise the tourism industry in that island?
So could someone please explain to me how this amount could be ‘self-liquidated’?
We can all recall the ludicrous figures been thrown into the public and media domain right up until the now infamous ‘Down to Brass Tacks’ programme of the 25th March of that year.
“’25 cruises ships’, ‘90,000 long stay visitors in the week of the final’.”
But in reality, all that CWC did for our tourism industry was produce a net gain of just 44 long stay visitors for the first four months of 2007.
Of course, some of us spoke out about this lunacy at the time, including tour operators who knew the actual facts, but the deafening noise of the so-called ‘experts’ was overwhelming.
When it became apparent to even those that have a limited understanding of tourism, just how many hotel rooms remained empty in peak months like February and March and during the hosting of the final, it became even more difficult to justify the chartering of Carnival Destiny.
The so called ‘experts’ then went into the now customary damage limitation mode by attempting to justify the fiasco by heralding the promised contribution that would be made by the ‘legacy’ benefits.
Perhaps three years on, someone could put a Dollar figure on those legacy benefits when compared against the costs already spent on, or committed to hosting the event?
Tourism is far too important to the survival of this country to allow it to be led by poorly researched and speculative policies which cannot provide cost-effective justification.
We have to stop rewarding failure!
29th April 2010
BFP Editor’s note: This article is published as received from Adrian Loveridge with the exception of the main title “Rewarding the failures of former Minister of Tourism Noel Lynch – Net visitors gain for Cricket World Cup: 44 long stay visitors over normal !!!” and the sub-title “Cricket World Cup and the Carnival Destiny debacle” which were created by Barbados Free Press. The photo was also inserted by Barbados Free Press.