Bollywood comes to Bridgetown – Akshay Kumar enjoyed Twenty20 Cricket and Barbados. Indian papers still following Barbados Free Press

Indian action movie icon Akshay Kumar took his friends to Barbados on a chartered bizjet

I confess that I’d never heard of Akshay Kumar when a Google-alert for “barbados” landed in our inbox and said the Bollywood star had left a movie set in Vancouver Canada because he wanted to see some Twenty/20 cricket in Barbados. Kumar chartered a large jet and took a dozen or so friends with him – paying the whole shot. (Where do I sign on to be his friend? 🙂 )

The stuntman turned movie star can do that because a billion people in India love the guy and he’s made almost 100 Hindi films. From what I read online he still does his own stunts and we’re not talking wimpy fights and falls. In one recent film Kumar jumped from one external elevator to another 125 feet in the air without the benefit of safety ropes etc. Not bad for an old man over 40!

Small world syndrome: Indian papers still cover Barbados & Barbados Free Press articles

Along with the Google Alert about Akshay Kumar, we started to receive all kinds of links to Indian newspapers and media featuring stories about Barbados. These stories were a result of the Twenty20 event and, unlike the disastrous coverage of the disastrous 2007 Cricket World Cup, the stories about Barbados were 100% positive. That went for the rest of the world too.

There’s something to be learned there, friends.

In both events Barbados welcomed the world’s cricket fans – but with Twenty20 we kept it real. Visitors experienced real Barbados and Bajan cricket and all that means. We didn’t spend a fortune on non-essentials and we didn’t phony up the place by painting houses or adopting European standards for events. (Which, judging by their football hooligans, aren’t so great anyway!)

BLP supporters will point out that Cricket World Cup was on an entirely different scale, that India fared badly and that we learned much from the mistakes at CWC that we corrected this time. All that is true.

But it’s also true that the BLP overspent at CWC like the world was ending tomorrow and much of the style and cost of CWC was reflective of the pretentiousness and elitism of the BLP government at the time. They believed their own hype! Not to forget that the outrageous overspending and mistakes by Owen Arthur, Mia Mottley and Noel Lynch left the cupboard bare so this time around we had to make do… and making do was just what led to the success of Twenty20.

Oh… and we had lights at the oval too!

This time Indian cricket fans and their press came and liked what they saw of the real Barbados. Here we are weeks later and the Indian media outlets are still running positive stories about our little rock, our people and our tourist attractions. Unbelievably the India Times website is still linking to new Barbados Free Press stories and that’s rather special.

Noel Lynch: Moron

Unlike Noel Lynch and his gang, I’m not stupid enough to believe that Air India will be running direct flights into Grantley Adams anytime soon – and I’m also not stupid enough to pay for them like the BLP paid for Air India’s abortive CWC venture. But…

The recent Twenty20 experience has shown that, when done correctly and kept real, sports tourism is cost-effective and generates worldwide positive press for Barbados long after an event.

So kudos to the DLP government and all the folks who made Twenty20 a success by keeping our costs down and welcoming cricket fans with real Bajan hospitality.

As to Noel Lynch preparing for his 1000 yachts anchored offshore and people sleeping in the streets during Cricket World Cup…

What a moron!


Filed under Barbados, Celebrities, Cricket

8 responses to “Bollywood comes to Bridgetown – Akshay Kumar enjoyed Twenty20 Cricket and Barbados. Indian papers still following Barbados Free Press

  1. 78

    BFP you do realise that the reason why the Twenty20 was so “cost effective” as you put it was that it used the capital investments made for World Cup?

    Twenty20 is what was generally referred to as a “legacy benefit” which was one of the reasons for the world cup in the first place.

    Now as for the Air India link…. of course there isn’t one! The new administration stopped all efforts at developing one.

    There’s no reason why we shouldn’t have Air India, or Emirates or any of the long haul Asian carriers flying in to GAIA other than a lack of imagination or committment on the part of our Ministry of International Transport /International Business (a combination that has yet to be explained in a way that makes sense to me)

  2. BFP

    Hi 78

    “Capital Investments”???????

    Like what? The Oval? You think we couldn’t have held Twenty20 without rebuilding the Oval? Of course we could have. Or, we could have spruced up the oval for about a 10th of what was borrowed and spent. We borrowed everything for CWC and we probably aren’t even making the interest payments.

    What other “legacy benefits” you talkin about? The flyovers? The cruise ship rental? The house rebuildings for BLP members that used CWC as an excuse? LOL

    List the capital expenses associated with CWC that we couldn’t have held Twenty/20 without please.

  3. 37

    There was a great deal of investment in the security and public health services that was a large part of 20-20 (no you never saw it but yes it was there)

    The much maligned rebuild of Kensington Oval is already paying off. Financed over 20 years like most capital projects it is ahead of its earnings projections.

    We are making payments on the various investments despite your unsupported statement about not making interest payments.

    Many of the so called improvements that you cite are simply the fact that the ICC has now accepted what the Caribbean Governments told them in the first place, that to attempt to impose the restrictions of cricket at Lords on Cricket in the Caribbean simply would strip the game of what makes Cricket in the Caribbean special.

    They discovered this in the opening half of World Cup having held firm to their regulations and then having relaxed them in the second half of the World Cup tournament, they now recognise them as an integral part of the experience of the game in the Caribbean.

    The fact of the matter is that you would not have gotten the 20-20 to begin with without having hosted the World Cup.

    If BFP spent half of the energy holding the current administration’s feet to the fire as it did trying to kill the already dead BLP administration it might actually accomplish some good in the world.

    Instead it wastes it’s time trying to unseat a government that has already been voted out, no wonder your readership is down.

  4. Bad man saying nuttin

    Sometimes Bajans are so stupid. Do we really think that they are no beautiful beaches or vacation spots in Asia for wealthy Indians and Chinese to visit. Most people, wealthy or not, will not fly 1o to 16 hours for a vacation. If they are in North America on business they might hop over but most people just will not do the long haul when there is so much to do and see in other places which are closer. It’s a reality of life. They will come over for international events but very seldom for simple vacations. Definitely not regularly enough to make it a commercial viability. And no amount of marketing dollars will change that. the people who market perpetuate that fallacy because it creates, legitamises and perpetuates their career sphere. How many alternative markets have any Caribbean destinations developed in the last 20 years? Europe, the Americas and more sustainably North America are our gold mine. We have to continue doing it but do it better and better and better in those areas. We can’t even increase arrivals from the US and want to tap India and China.

    Money down a well at midnight. Doing something for the sake of doing it.

  5. 37

    Actually Bad Man, Jamaica does a very healthy business with Japanese weddings.

    it’s a market segment that they have marketed to and gone after aggressively and they are seeing the rewards from it.

    But then they had the vision for it. Others of us make vacuous statements about “money down a well at midnight” because its easier.

  6. BFP

    Hi 37,

    Gosh, that must have been quite an investment for half a billion US dollars. Can you please list exactly what was purchased for our money?

    So far you’ve said two words “security” and “public health services” to account for the half a billion US dollars. Can you provide that in a little more detail please? Start with US$100 million dollar chunks?

    Now, where was that first US$100 million spent on “public health services” ? Obviously not on surgical gloves because they are short of them at the QEH, but perhaps you can list what we did get.

    If you can it will be a first because so far neither the BLP nor the DLP governments have accounted to the public except for making “everything fine” statements that are as vague as yours.

    As far as the “earnings projections” and achieved revenues for Kensington, can we see them please? As I recall it sat almost unused save for a few small events throughout the later half of 2007 and all of 2008.

    And did we ever settle who owns Kensington? You’ll recall there was a “tiny” controversy at the time about that and then it was dropped and faded from memory, but you sound like a man with connections and insider knowledge so I’m sure it will be nothing for you to present the projections and earnings of the Oval here, along with the ownership details and other numbers.


  7. BFP

    37 speaks the truth to an extent about Japanese visitors to Jamaica (pre-Dudus of course)…

    “Over 100,000 Japanese travellers have visited Jamaica in the last fifteen years, mostly for sightseeing, golf, tennis, diving, shopping and honeymoons, to attend reggae concerts, to study English and Jamaican patois or just for fun and relaxation.”

    That’s from the website of the Jamaican Embassy in Tokyo and it works out to just under 6,700 Japanese visitors a year. No indication as to say, the last five years. Looked at another way, that’s 18 Japanese visitors per day stepping onto Jamaican soil.

    But how many of those are cruise ship visitors who stay for a few hours and are then gone? Other than a website, how much money does Jamaica expend on the Japanese market every year?

    Could someone in the industry look at everything and determine a net loss or net profit per Japanese visitor?

    Looking at our own situation where the BTA has spent hundreds of millions over the years without any concern about cost-effectiveness or return on investment, it would be interesting to see if the Jamaican travel ministry could produce such figures.

    Without a Freedom of Information Act, Bajans have to accept whatever the government people say, so we’ll never know how OUR money is spent and if it is being spent wisely.

  8. Bad man saying nuttin

    100,000 visitors in 15 years. Give me the cost of 15 years of marketing and subsidies and discounts to that market. tell me how long they stay and then tell me the net benefit now, imbecile!Do you have any idea of the cost of maintaining an embassy? let alone TV penetration in a foreign culture? do you think 100,000 visitors over 15 years can make that profitable? That’s the problem with national tourism marketing in the West Indies. There is no correlation of cost to benefit. Then people with a vested interest in keeping their high paying jobs trot out a few worthless figures and idiots like you are only too happy to swallow. Learn to think critically.