Monthly Archives: November 2012

Looking ahead to Barbados 50th Independence Celebration

barbados wave flag

In plenty and in time of need…

For all our current economic problems and the failures of a corrupt political class to provide principled, unselfish leadership over the decades, Barbados on our 46th National Independence Day is still a country and a society to be envied.

Millions of people from countries around the world would get down on their knees and thank God if they were blessed enough to have had their navel string buried in Bajan soil. Stand still anywhere on this island for ten minutes and take it all in: even inner B’town’s worst is only a short walk from the salt water and beauty.

And isn’t that the truth? No matter where you are in Barbados you are only a minute or two from beauty the likes of which people from other countries spend thousands of dollars to see and experience for a few days.

The beauty of these fields and hills though, is nothing compared with the beauty of our people, our children and the ordinary folk who give Bim its character and reality.

It is true that we should be worried about the excesses of celebration for lowered achievements and about some of the youth whose activities could not be more ‘un-Bajan’ – but despite these things, can you not ask for assistance from a stranger on this island and still receive a helping hand? Of course you can!

Try that in New Jersey, or Soho. Been there, “have the t-shirt” as they say.

We naturally focus upon the decades, and our 46th anniversary is an uninspiring number compared to our 45th or our 40th. Remember our 30th? Remember the rains and no one cared? Soaked or not the party went on for three days. A bit different from these last two days, yes?

Admittedly things back then looked a bit brighter economically, but it was more than that: the mood was about us as a nation, about our wonderfully rosy future. About us as a people.

A short four years from now and we will be facing our 50th year as an independent, fully sovereign nation.

The question we should be asking ourselves now is not “How shall we celebrate our 50th?”, but “What do we want Barbados to be on our 50th, and what should we do to reach that goal?”

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Who wants a sweet? They are handed out for free. Tasty! MMMMM… good! Everyone has one…

Barbados Chief Justice SIR!!!! Marston Gibson

SIR Marston Gibson… Can ‘e even find Grape Hall?

THIS COUNTRY’S CHIEF JUSTICE, along with a leading academic, has been conferred with the knighthood, Barbados’ highest honour, in this year’s Independence National Awards.

The Knight of St Andrew has been bestowed on Chief Justice Marston Creighton Dacosta Gibson for his outstanding contribution to the legal profession in Barbados…

From The Nation article Worthy Sirs

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Unelected Prime Minister asleep – Captain Freundel, part III

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Canadian Parliament to re-examine Barbados ‘tax-haven’

Barbados has no Integrity Legislation, no Freedom of Information, no Conflicts of Interest Rules

We stumbled upon an article in yesterday’s Nation that proves all old can be new again. It must have been a slow day in the news room because the news article TAX ATTACK is based on a blog entry from last August and is marketed as new news.

We don’t doubt that much of the Canadian doubts about Barbados and other “Tax Havens” has to do with our lack of proper regulations and laws respecting Integrity Legislation, Freedom of Information and Conflicts of Interest. How can the Canadian Government protect its citizens if offshore banking centres like Barbados do not have the same controls, rules and oversight as Canadian banks?

There is no secret why Canadian and other nation’s banks like Barbados: our “island time” slackness extends to the rules. The Canadian and European banks can get away with things in Barbados that they wouldn’t dare do ‘over ‘home. Canadian tax law permits money to flow through Barbados in many billions – but without any concommitant requirement for ITAL. (ITAL = Integrity, Transparency and Accountability Legislation)

ITAL was promised five years ago by the newly elected DLP government – but they lied.

Here’s a quote from the real story at the original blog source and the link where you can read it for yourself. How does this impact Barbados? That’s easy: tourism is in trouble and if Canada makes offshore investing difficult for Canadians, you just watch how things go ’bout hey!

“A growing share of Canada’s investment overseas is being channeled by Canadian banks into tax havens.”

“The finance and insurance sector now accounts for over 51% of Canada’s total direct investment overseas, more than double its share from 1987, more evidence that a large share of this money is going overseas to avoid taxes.   The Harper government has lauded Canada’s growing investment overseas, claiming it shows looser foreign investment rules (which allowed numerous takeovers of Canadian industry) have been beneficial, but the actual figures show the reality is quite different.  A large and growing share of this money isn’t going into real capital investments that could ultimately benefit people overseas or in Canada; it’s going into tax avoidance that benefits a wealthy few at the expense of the large majority in Canada and around the world.”

… from the August 16, 2012 Progressive Economics blog by Toby Sanger: Canadian banks use of tax havens keeps growing

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

Arab Spring Freedom: Libya Muslims to mutilate and then execute 12 homosexuals

Barbados backs the right of Muslims to execute gays

By the time you read this the twelve men in the photos taken by  the Nawasi militia group in Tripoli may have been mutilated and then executed for homosexual leanings. Their crime was to be at a private party frequented by (gasp!) gay men.

Arab Spring. What do you think it really is?

Barbados has no problem with other countries executing gays and lesbians. We even defended the executions in front of the United Nations.

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Why does the LGBT community give a pass to Muslim treatment of gays?

“The gay community should be in the avant garde that is fighting for the oppressed members of their community in the Islamic world. There is no minority in the U.S. that is as passionate, as fierce, and as effective as the LGBT community. What they have achieved, in relationship to their numbers, is spectacular and unrivaled. Why would they not apply their same premise of opposition to oppression and discrimination to societies that are abhorrent and monstrous in their treatment of gays? There is no group that I would rather have shoulder-to-shoulder with me, hands down, than this effective, uncompromising movement. And what could be more crucial, and as clear-cut an issue, as life and death?”

Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs says: Pro-Gay Equals Anti-Sharia.

Further Reading

Telegraph: UK Muslim radio station fined for saying gay people should be tortured

BFP: Gutless Barbados “Abstains” From UN Vote Citing Iran For Human Rights Abuses, Torture, Discrimination and Violence Against Women – AND THEN VOTES TO PROTECT IRAN!

BFP: Shame on Barbados: abstains from UN Vote allowing execution for being Gay or Lesbian

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Barbados national tourism marketing efforts yielded no growth in five years

Pray for cold weather in the UK, Canada and the USA, but not bad enough to disrupt travel!

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

With a little more than two weeks before the start of what may become one of the most defining tourism winter seasons in our recent history, many are left just to guess at what will happen.

Yes of course you can draw some comparisons with forward direct bookings, but with a heavy dependence on tour operator driven business for a high proportion of our hotels it is far more difficult to make any accurate predictions.

Clearly a number of factors have negatively affected the industry’s performance, and to put in perspective, I think it’s important to study the figures…

For the four years from, 2008 – 2011, we (Barbados), averaged 546,533 long stay visitor arrivals each year. In the previous four years, 2004 – 2007, the average was 558,632. Simply put, that’s a decline of nearly 50,000 visitors over the comparable periods.

Arguments could of course be made, and have in some quarters, that the average stay has increased – but without directly comparing this over a sustained period it is almost irrelevant.  And it becomes totally meaningless unless average spend has risen faster than the number of nights our accommodation offerings are occupied.

Certainly the steep reduction in arrivals from our largest market, the UK, would not have helped this equation. Without this critical information, it’s simply speculation about the overall performance of the industry and that does absolutely nothing to help devise meaningful solutions.

So perhaps, at least our winter destiny, might be in the hands of climatic conditions, with weather bad enough to stimulate travel, but not to disrupt it. Nor does the possibility of exceptionally cold spells in our source markets give us divine right to expect increased arrival numbers.

Without any coherent ‘national’ marketing campaign in place that directly converts destination interest into solid bookings at desirable rates, the industry is left to flounder on its own using any resources that it can individually muster to make a difference. Of course, an increasing number of tourism partners already practice this policy, preferring at least to try and control their own destiny. Continue reading

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Canadian tourist murdered in St. Lucia beach robbery

UPDATED: Sunday November 25, 2012 11:35am Bridgetown

St. Lucia Police arrest suspect

Sun News: Police arrest man in connection with killing of Canadian in St. Lucia

Colin Peter

Island and Canadian news media provide major coverage

St. Lucian Government, Police, Tourism representatives & citizens express horror and condolences

An elderly Canadian tourist injured in a daylight St. Lucian beach robbery has died. Colin Peter, 75, of Prince Edward Island, Canada, was attacked on November 16, 2012 while walking with his wife at Vigie Beach. Mr. Peter was beaten about the head with a piece of wood and robbed of his wallet, camera and other valuables. He died on November 19, 2012 in St. Lucia’s Victoria hospital as preparations were being made to fly him back to Canada. (The Guardian: P.E.I. man dies of injuries sustained in attack in St. Lucia)

“There aren’t words to express the outrage felt by the government over this incident,”

… Lorne Theophilus, Minister of Tourism, St. Lucia

Two island tourist murders: two different responses

The circumstances of the robbery in St. Lucia are very similar to the 2009 fatal attack at Long Beach, Barbados when Canadians Terry Schwarzfeld and daughter Lauana Cotsman were beaten with a piece of wood and robbed by serial rapist / robber Curtis Joel Foster. Mrs. Schwarzfeld died in a Canadian hospital after an emergency medical flight home. Killer Foster is currently serving 15 years after pleading guilty to manslaughter.

We at BFP cannot help but comment upon the different government, police, and news media responses to a tourist murder in the two island nations. It may be that St. Lucian authorities have learned from the shameful public relations disaster of the Barbados government in 2009, but so far St. Lucia is providing a model response that will go a long way to reassure prospective visitors.

In contrast to the Barbados news media’s silence and cover-up over the Schwarzfeld attack, the St. Lucian print and electronic news media gave full and immediate coverage to the initial robbery upon Mr. Peter and his later death. Government authorities including the Prime Minister, Tourism Minister, Police Commissioner and the VP of St. Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association expressed horror, concern and a desire for St. Lucia to assist the Peter family.

The St. Lucian authorities declared an all out effort to find and arrest the culprits, and to see if any preventative measures would have helped. Police Commissioner Vernon Francois also engaged in some self-criticism of the police when he talked with the news media about the low levels of police patrols on the beaches and the discontinuance of the Beach Ranger patrols some years ago for budgetary reasons.

St. Lucia responded to a tourist murder in a way that the world is bound to perceive as honest, sincere and human – and without a trace of a cover-up.

The story of the tourist robbery and then Mr. Peter’s death continues to receive major coverage in St. Lucia – and that means that St. Lucia cares. During the time following the 2009 Barbados robbery, the Canadian news media were outraged that Barbados news outlets covered up the attack.

The Ottawa Citizen had as a headline: “Bajan Media Ignores Attack On Women. Feisty Barbados Free Press Only Outlet To Speak Out For Schwarzfeld”. What a public relations disaster thanks to the Barbados government and our island news media! Continue reading

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Episode II: Blind Chris Leads Barbados to Economic Crisis

And for your further viewing pleasure: MisAdventures of Captain Freundel and the ‘Eager 11′ – First episode!

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Barbados Police competence, brutality, in spotlight as ‘wrongful’ rape charges explode in worldwide news

Rape victim Diane Davies: “Barbados Police arrested the wrong man!”

“Signed confession after suffocated and beaten by police”

“Rachel Turner, 30, and Diane Davies, 63, are adamant that Derick Crawford, 48, was not the man who attacked them in Barbados.

Mr Crawford said he was overseas at the time of the attacks and signed a confession after he was ‘suffocated and beaten’ by police.

The women and a third British victim, Hillary Heath, have waived their right to anonymity and helped Mr Crawford hire a solicitor.”

… from the Metro story: British rape victims campaign to free their accused attacker

Two rape victims say Barbados Police charged the wrong man

THE EVIDENCE: No DNA testing… only a confession under alleged police torture!

Barbados Police Commissioner Dottin: Welcome to 2012. Nothing can be hidden anymore. Everything is eventual… and everything eventually rises to the cold clear inspection of the public. It’s called ‘the internet’ and it’s forcing news organisations to carry stories they wouldn’t carry before. Once upon a time the threat of removing Barbados tourism advertising was enough to keep the London Times and the New York Times at bay. Now those newspapers and all the others must print stories because to not cover the news would be too obvious.

Besides… this is one juicy story. Caribbean police arrest innocent man to protect the tourism business! No DNA testing! Two victims spend money, time and privacy to fight for an innocent man!

Woaloss! That is one ‘ell of a story!

Yes it is one hell of a story and the world’s news media are taking it up. See, Commissioner Dottin?… we told you so many times that the potential for a publicity disaster was directly related to tourist safety and the professionalism of the Royal Barbados Police Force.

We told you so, and we told the politicians who starved the police budget until the RBPF was 100 officers short and lacked the money to properly train, equip and retain the good officers we have.

Here’s a few from the hundreds of news stories running right now, world wide. Owen Arthur and Freundel Stuart: this is your doing as much as anyone’s.

We could go on for hours listing the news stories, but this should be enough to make our point…

BFP: Is Derick Crawford the Barbados rapist? Two victims say police arrested wrong man to sooth tourism!

The Independent: ‘Wrong man’ accused of Barbados rapes, say British victims at court hearing

BBC Television: Women defend man accused of raping them in Barbados

Mail Online: British women attacked by serial rapist on Barbados insist island police ‘have got the wrong man’ – and say real culprit is still at large

Daily: Anglesey woman says wrong man accused of Barbados rapes

The Telegraph: How two British women raped in Barbados declared their ‘attacker’ innocent

BBC News: Barbados rapes: Victims say innocent man charged

AOL News: British tourists raped in Barbados battle to free ‘wrongly accused’ man

Daily Post: North Wales woman raped in Barbados says police have wrong man

BBC Specials: Barbados rapes: Diane Davies defends Derick Crawford

Jamaican Observer: Rape victims defend accused

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Former Trinidad Government Ministers run from Colman Commission appearances: Cowards? Crooks? Realistically cautious?

by Afra Raymond

CL Financial bailout – Colman’s endgame

We are entering the endgame of the Colman Commission, so we need to maintain full vigilance.  We must bear witness in a sober manner.

The PNM element

Former PNM Ministers Danny Montano, Conrad Enill and Mariano Browne were recently named by Commission Chairman Sir Anthony Colman as having declined to testify.

“It is noticeable that there has been a remarkable lack of cooperation from others, who were responsible for political decision-taking — to mention a few names: Mr. Enill, Mr. Browne and Mr. Montano in particular — have not offered to come and give evidence,” Sir Anthony said at Winsure Building, Richmond Street, Port-of-Spain.

“It is surprising perhaps that those who were the political representatives of the people of Trinidad and Tobago have not been able to provide assistance to the Commission in circumstances where it might have been expected of them,” he added.

“Colman chides 3 ex-ministers.” Trinidad and Tobago Newsday. October 23 2012.

Colman then named three former Cabinet ministers who had been previously named in testimony at the enquiry in relation to the HCU.

“To mention but a few names Mr (Conrad) Enill, Mr (Mariano) Browne and Mr (Danny) Montano in particular have not co-operated to come and give evidence,” Colman said.

Colman praises Nunez-Tesheira for co-operating.” Trinidad Express Newspapers. October 22, 2012

That refusal to appear before a Commission of Enquiry amounts to a kind of contempt of court, since it is wilful disrespect for a lawful enquiry.  These are PNM Seniors, whose testimonies would have been invaluable in unraveling this series of financial collapses.

Here is why those missing testimonies are so important – Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Trinidad and Tobago

BLP Member of Parliament William Duguid apologises, but not to porn industry profiteer Donville Inniss

Dr. William Duguid, MP

Well this is interesting…

by Passin Thru

Bajan ex-patriot, Canadian immigrant and still-sitting Member of Barbados Parliament Dr. William Duguid went ballistic the other day and shocked the nation with an outburst directed at Minister of Health Donville Inniss. According to Duguid the outburst (which included Rihanna’s favourite ‘C***’ word) was in response to a slur against Duguid’s family.

Duguid apologised to Bajans for his outburst, but not to ‘Pornville’ Inniss. I can’t blame Duguid for that.

Health Minister Inniss, of course, has had some pretty shocking behaviour himself in the past – but the Bajan and wider Caribbean news media keep mum about it. As documented in a series of stories at BFP, Inniss profited from a worldwide online pornography business that involved teenagers, pregnant women and other vulnerable people performing sex acts on video for money. And not to be too blunt about it, some of the other ‘performers’ that Inniss profited from made sounds like “Baaaaaa” and “Moooooo”. Check out some of BFP’s articles on the subject and visit the Inniss-associated website “orgasm.com” for some samples.

But don’t forget: it’s William Duguid that needs to apologise to Bajans!

Hey… I just telling like it be!

Apology from Barbados Member of Parliament Dr. William Duguid

“The Parliament of Barbados, the third oldest in the Commonwealth, has a rich and proud heritage. The BLP has steadfastly followed our Parliament’s noble traditions and over the years we have distinguished ourselves by our exemplary conduct as MPs.”

“On Tuesday 20 November, I fell far short of those traditions and standards. During that sitting, I made an outburst which I instantly regretted, and for which I now humbly apologise to my constituents and to the wider public.”

“That outburst was the result of the most grievous of provocations which came from the mouth of a DLP parliamentarian. It would be improper of me to repeat the insulting words used but I will say that they constituted the gravest possible insult to my wife and children.”

“Notwithstanding that, I now humbly apologise to my constituents and the wider Barbadian public. No matter the provocation, I am certain they must all be disappointed in me.”

“I intend to tender a similar apology to the Parliament on the occasion of its next sitting.”

Continue reading

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BFP’s Cliverton: I quit my job…

Did too so!

Some time ago I walked into the big boss, smiled and handed in my resignation. I have nothing but honey, honey all the time, to say about the place I was working, my “job”.

It was time to go, so I went. I wasn’t going ‘to’ anything, just going ‘from’ something that wasn’t me.

I hadn’t seen this video but a friend sent it to me after I quit. This video could have been made for me. Let’s see if I’m still as happy a year from now…

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Canadian firefighter criticises lack of Barbados Tourism promotion in Ottawa, Canada

“Every Saturday the newspaper travel section comes out and there are trips everywhere except Barbados.”

Dear Barbados Free Press:

Thirty years ago I met my wife in Barbados, and the one promise I made was I would get her home every year if she moved to Canada. So you can imagine I am always watching the newspaper travel section about flights or packages to the island. Every Saturday the travel section comes out and there are trips everywhere except Barbados. What does your tourism authority do in Canada????

Ottawa is where we live and your embassy is should be ashamed of the lack of promotion of probably the best island in the Caribbean. When the average firefighter in Ottawa earns over 180,000 Barbados dollars a year, is this a market to be overlooked? The time is past for only name recognition to keep people coming. The Barbados Tourism Authority must be actively pursuing new tourists. That’s what the BTA are they paid for!

name withheld by BFP editor

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Rihanna’s audience: Right for Barbados tourism?

Scenes from Rihanna’s Boeing 777 on Tour

Rihanna is one of the biggest names in show business right now, and she’s from Barbados.

They say there’s no ‘bad’ publicity and I guess that could be true. What do I know about that?

I do have doubts that Rihanna’s audience is the one we would choose to target, but it could be I’m wrong there too. I thought we were targeting upscale adults with Rihanna’s help. Maybe we’ll hear some statistics later on about the success of the Rihanna Barbados campaign… but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Is the campaign worth it in terms of direct returns? I don’t know. Future returns? Nobody knows ’bout that fur sur!

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Barbados Member of Parliament uses Rihanna’s pet phrase

Better audio but no video…

Dr. William Duguid calls out Health Minister Donville Inniss “Carry your mother c–t”

contributed by “S” with takes from The Nation

Tempers flare in Parliament – William Duguid

BY: GERALYN EDWARD

Tempers flared earlier today in Parliament when debate degenerated into a verbal assault on a Government MP, while an Opposition member was barred from continuing his presentation and threatened with further sanction.

The drama unfolded during the post-lunch session of debate on a resolution to grant $614 000 from the Consolidated Fund to support Government’s National Summer Camps Programme.

During the session St Michael Central MP Steve Blackett accused the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) members of behaving as though they did “not liking poor people” because of their refusal to support programmes such as the free summer camps and free bus rides for school children.

However, when Christ Church West MP Dr William Duguid took to the floor, he charged that the entire Summer Camps Programme was a grand design by the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) to win the next general election.

What did Duguid say to Inniss? Continue reading

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Health and Transport Ministers no-show at World Day of Remembrance for Traffic Victims

Barbados still without breathalyzer laws

Transport Minister John Boyce – Zero action on breathalyzers, road safety laws.

Health Minister Donville Inniss and Transport Minister John Boyce continue to send a big message to the Barbados Road Safety Association and all Bajans. That message is that the Ministers and their staff members don’t care about the deaths and ruined lives that happen because our governments have failed to implement modern anti-drunk driving laws and testing equipment.

The Ministers’ “I couldn’t care less” attitude to traffic deaths and injuries was again reinforced by their failure to show up at the World Day of Remembrance for Traffic Victims memorial service. Inniss and Boyce and the Ministry personnel didn’t even bother to respond to the invitations.

Given how important our tourism industry is to our economy, and how tourist safety is a big factor in destination choice, one would have hoped that our government would act to reverse the slaughter on our roads. After all, Barbados road deaths happen at a rate 240% greater than in the UK.

“I am very disappointed that both ministers did not feel the need to have an authoritative figure at two very special events. This is their people; it is our brothers and sisters that have been killed on the road. The families of these people are still hurting.”

… President of the Road Safety Association, Sharmaine Roland-Bowen, quoted in The Nation Absence noted

Further Reading

Links to past BFP stories about the need for breathalyzer laws

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Prime Minister of Grenada puts Barbados tourism officials to shame

Grenada scores tourism victory as Prime Minister lands Sandals

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

Prime Minister of Grenada, the Hon. Tillman Thomas, recently described the purchase of the former La Source by Sandals as ‘a potential game-changer for our tourism industry’. He went on to say that the entry of resort company Sandals to Grenada’s market is ‘a tide that could lift all boats’.

I think he is right, perhaps in more ways that we can initially anticipate.

What is remarkable about this ‘deal’ is the timing, which must make it at least a candidate for the quickest hotel acquisition ever in the Guinness Book of Records.

It was reported that La Source only closed around the 19th October, when 150 workers were laid-off. Yet, within three weeks the Government of Grenada ‘facilitated their (Sandals) investment with a package of incentives’.  While other administrations around the region hesitated, procrastinated and some may even imply, might have adopted a form of hibernation akin to prolonged sleep.

Perhaps galvanised by the negative consequences of revenue and employment losses and the danger of possibly losing airlift, someone picked up the phone and made the move.

Among the immediate benefits of the arrangement are, massive media destination awareness coverage, reaching millions of people worldwide without it costing the Grenada Board of Tourism a single cent. With a projected re-opening date of 15th December 2012, it will give a huge boost to the upcoming critical winter season. Many loyal Sandals clients will also want to sample the brand, in a new and exciting location. And as PM Tillman so astutely observed, was pleased at the ‘promise of the transfer of skills to Grenadians and an improvement of service in the industry’.

Sandals founder Gordon “Butch’ Stewart has indicated his intention to take the re-named Sandals La Source Grenada Resort and Spa from its current 100 rooms up to 265 guest rooms, private cottages and bungalows over the course of the next ten years. Many of which will be concierge and butler level including the brand’s signature Rondoval suites. As this happens, employment will grow and there will be a positive trickle down effect on the entire local economy.

Mr. Stewart wasted no time with an announcement and images already posted on the corporate website for the travel trade and consumers all to see around the globe. It appears a total win-win situation for everybody and kudos should naturally go to all those involved who made it possible.

A comparison with Barbados Almond Beach Village closure

It is difficult not to draw a comparison with the Almond Beach Village situation, where seven months after closure with the loss of nearly five hundred jobs, no happy conclusion seems to be in sight. Already we are suffering the negative effects of reduced airlift and as further time goes by it will become even more difficult to re-open the property in its rapidly deteriorating condition.

If it gets to a point where upgrading the existing plant becomes unviable, we all know just how long it would take to re-build and open a superior alternative. For those who can recall, Almond Casuarina provided a classic example of that scenario.

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