Monthly Archives: April 2011

Lessons from GEMS Hotels & Resorts Limited: Government is always bad at business, corrupt Government is worse.

Hotels & Resorts Limited product is so bad, the Barbados Government is having difficulty exiting the business

by Nevermind Kurt (with Clive & Marcus)

Barbadians have no idea how much money they poured into the doomed-to-fail-from-the-start attempt to nationalize the hotel industry known as “GEMS”, Hotels & Resorts Limited. When you include the “free” air subsidies and “free” marketing support from the Barbados Tourism Authority it is surely a billion dollars poured down that hole and probably much, much more.

Not to forget that all the while the other hotels on the island were having to compete with a heavily subsidized nationally-owned chain. And Owen Arthur wondered why no investors wanted to build new facilities! To compete against government subsidized hotels? Cha! What… you think foreign investors are crazy?

Corruption, Foreign Bank Accounts, ZERO Accountability

Then there was the matter of the supply chain for GEMS Hotels. For many years everything for all the hotels ran through central suppliers. Yup, sourced out of Miami and New York probably through a few little “handling” companies that took 5% of everything and forwarded the profits to the owners’ foreign bank accounts.

The goods never went through Miami though: only the invoices and payments. Continue reading



Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business & Banking, Corruption, Offshore Investments

Connection between drinking and leadership now proven! :-)

I couldn’t help myself, folks… just had to post this smile for you!

The Guardian article is interesting too…

Lurking on the Caribbean island getaways of St. Kitts, Nevis and Barbados are a group of illegal aliens with a taste for alcohol. In their quest for alcohol, they’ve learned to steal booze from local bars and sleeping tourists. The end result is predictable.

from Alcohol can make a monkey out of us


Filed under Barbados, Health

No money to fund Barbados Investment Development Corporation, so shut it down!

A suggestion to save taxpayers’ money

by BFP reader “C” in St. James

As a small business owner over the last nine months I have found it increasingly difficult to contact a Business Development Officer (BDO) at the Barbados Investment Development Corporation (BIDC). It would appear that as the financial situation of the country has declined, monies form the BIDC has been diverted to other Government bodies, accordingly BDOs aware that there is no monies to undertake programs have taken to not answering their telephones or emails in the hope of avoiding having to break the news to their client companies.

My money saving idea is that until the BIDC is fully re-financed at least 90% of the BIDC personnel, including directors and the CEO, should be sent home without pay until such time as there is something for them to do.

I see no reason why we the tax payers should pay for these civil servants to sit and twiddle their thumbs when it is self evident that there are no funds available for them to undertake any meaningful programs to assist local companies. As soon as the funds become available they would of course be re-hired.

This lesson in reality would perhaps also help to give the CEO, BDOs and ancillary staff empathy with the harsh financial realities that companies operate under every single day in trying to maintain a business and employment in Barbados.

Yours Faithfully,

St James


Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Economy, Offshore Investments

Medical tourism under scrutiny in the Barbados Sparman Ishmael case

Canadian medical tourism study team arrives in Barbados

A team of researchers from Simon Fraser University (SFU) is spending the next week looking at medical tourism in Barbados. Professor Jeremy Snyder and his colleagues will talk with medical professionals, patients and representatives from our government and tourism industry. The researchers will tour some of the private medical facilities in Barbados, but we don’t know if they will be touring any of our public health facilities, including the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

We hope the SFU team does tour our public health facilities,  because we believe that part of their report should be about the impact that private health care facilities and medical tourism have upon public health resources – in a country with no conflict of interest laws.

You see folks, many people on this island are concerned that public resources paid for by the taxpayers, are being diverted from public health care to private health care facilities. There are also rumours that some elected and appointed government officials have interests in private medical facilities – but without Freedom of Information laws it is impossible for Barbadians to know.

We don’t even know the amount of government support being given to the private “medical tourism” facilities, or in what forms it is given and received.

And, of course, without conflict of interest rules and integrity legislation it is no crime by public officials to divert public funds to private facilities in which they, or their close family members, are part owners. We might very well have public support flowing into the pockets of the same government officials who dispense the tax dollars to the private clinics!

So to our friends from Vancouver Canada’s Simon Fraser University, we say  “This is normal on de rock. Welcome to Barbados, folks!”

Dr. Ishmael punished for speaking about medical standards, conflicts of interest Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Health, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

REDjet winning Facebook war over Caribbean Airlines, LIAT

No doubt who is #1 for this REDjet employee!

Facebook ‘Likes’ Stats: REDjet vs Caribbean Airlines

REDjet = 16,991

Caribbean Airlines = 7,078

LIAT? (Couldn’t find a Facebook page for LIAT)


Filed under Aviation, Barbados Tourism

Bajan Reporter removes Jesus cartoon… Why?

About a month ago, the Bajan Reporter blog published an article critical of Barbados Free Press. We’d love to refer you to the article but the link is dead and the Bajan Reporter article with the “Jesus giving the finger” cartoon (copy above) has been removed from the internet.

We at Barbados Free Press would like to know why the Bajan Reporter removed the article “Barbadian Tabloid Blog under heavy fire by Religious Leader who Objects to Denigration of Beliefs.”

We assure our readership that BFP had nothing to do with the removal of the article. In fact, BFP embraced the Bajan Reporter article and expanded upon the BR’s published cartoon of Jesus giving BFP the finger.

Enquiring minds want to know: Why did the Bajan Reporter remove the Jesus cartoon without so much as a word to let folks know? Is the editor frightened that Christians will turn violent over a cartoon of Jesus? Does he fear for his safety? Have there been threats from Catholic or Pentecostal congregations? Perhaps a rogue Seventh Day Adventist faction delivered an ultimatum?

At this point, we’ll leave it to the editor of The Bajan Reporter to let folks know the simple truth that Bajans deserve to know. We at BFP believe that the Bajan Reporter is a vital and worthy contributor to the discussion of all things Bajan. We hope that BR respects their readership enough to address this issue.


Editor in Chief (when sober)

Barbados Free Press


Filed under Barbados, Religion

Barbados Tourism Authority should hire Tahir Quraishi NOW!

Tahir has a track record of success, and he’s headed for Barbados

That happy guy in the hat, sunglasses and holiday shirt just happens to be one of the best managers in the 238 store Ryman Stationery chain. Tahir Quraishi is jetting to Barbados in mid-May to meet with Chairman and Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis and the other top store managers.

It will be a week and a bit of fun and sun, but Tahir and his companions will also be advising boss Paphitis on how to make Ryman Stationery better and drive traffic and profits north on the little charts. Tahir is an expert in making those arrows go up and that’s why he’s invited to Barbados.

You see, Tahir and his friends have each proven with their individual stores that they are the best, they know their business inside and out and they are capable of providing the advice, leadership, knowledge and example to take the entire organisation where it needs to go in these challenging times.

That’s why Ryman Stationery is treating Tahir and their other top performers to Barbados all paid for. Management knows that if they want the company to improve and grow, they have to listen to the best: those who have proven their worth hands on in the trenches.

Contrast that with the Barbados Tourism Authority. Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism