Monthly Archives: January 2013

Aviation expert: Loveridge wrong about LIAT’s aircraft choice. ATR is the answer for the Caribbean.


“The ATR is an airplane that is built for fuel economy. Given that fuel is one of the 3 largest portions of an airlines annual operating budget this is a big deal.”

by PltFlyng

After reading BFP’s “What’s with LIAT’s choice for new aircraft?”, I have to conclude that Adrian Loveridge might be a tourism expert – but he is no aviation expert and that is certain. Let me give you some enlightenment on the aircraft choice here in question.

For one the Caribbean market is a small and fragmented. Experience has shown that the 50 seat size is about the largest size of aircraft that is sustainable on inter-regional routes. Even so there are many routes which will struggle to fill 50 seats. This is why for years LIAT continued to operate 3 Dash 8-100s. With 37 seats they could provide route frequency on certain lower density routes and still maintain high load factors. Any time you are flying around with empty seats its bad for business and flying around below your breakeven load factor just means that segment is losing money and being subsidised by other routes.

Herein lies the inherent problem with the Q400. It is a 70 seat aircraft.

Additionally it is also a turbo-prop designed as a light jet replacement what that means is that yes, while it is fast it achieves this speed by giving up fuel efficiency.  The break even for an industry standard Q400 on the high density low cost Indian and European markets is approximately 57 – 60% It is estimated that in the higher cost operating environment in the Caribbean the breakeven load factor for the Q400 would be in the range of 66 – 70% which means you would need to fill 45 – 47 seats approximately on average just to break even. This would prove difficult in the current travel climate in the Caribbean.

The other problem with the Q400 is airfield limitations. Some airfields in the LIAT network would require the aircraft to be weight limited for departure due to the field length or the proximity of terrain and obstacles or tailwinds. St. Vincent is not the only consideration. This means possibly cutting some services (Nevis for example) and that you would be limited as to how many passengers and bags you can carry out of some places.

For this trade off what does the Q400 bring to the table? Effectively nothing.     Continue reading


Filed under Aviation, Barbados

Where will Burger King Barbados get its beef patties?

Hey… I’m just asking!

And are large food franchises really any worse than smaller operations?

The Guardian: Burger King reveals its burgers were contaminated in horsemeat scandal


Filed under Health

Barbados lawsuit over rally death: 16 years before the courts

Justice Delayed Barbados

Here we are in the middle of an election campaign and we’ve just received a key performance indicator about the last two governments of Barbados: BLP and DLP: Sixteen years to complete a civil trial over an accidental death at a road rally.

Bajans are so used to outrageously low standards that we hardly know what should be ‘normal’ anymore. Sixteen years of hell before the courts and all we can think of is that we’ve seen cases take longer: twenty and twenty two years. So sixteen years isn’t so bad.

Is it?

Read the full story in The Nation here

Rally Club at Fault in Death

A WOMAN whose son was killed 16 years ago when a race car plunged into a crowd of spectators during a rally event has won a law suit against the Barbados Rally Club.

Althea Strickland sued driver of the car Darrin White and the Barbados Rally Club for the death of her son Rodney Strickland on June 16, 1997. Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law

Barbados Tourism Authority ignores Toronto Travel Show: Why?

Toronto Travel Show

The largest travel show in Toronto Canada took place last weekend – Toronto’s Ultimate Travel Show – and the Barbados Tourism Authority was missing in action. The Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Turks and Caicos were there: so was Japan!

How about that? The BTA has an office in Toronto and Lord knows how much we spend in that market – but we didn’t attend the largest travel show in one of our prime tourist markets. Why not?

Maybe there is a good reason that we didn’t attend. Maybe the show is not a good venue? Maybe it is too expensive compared to results generated in past years?

Or maybe we just couldn’t be bothered. Maybe our staff blew the budget on other promotions? Maybe the budget is gone gone gone?

Whatever happened, three readers alerted us to the fact that Barbados was a no-show at the largest winter travel show in Canada.

BTA: Over to you… what happened?


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Barbados election called for February 21, 2013: Integrity legislation, Freedom of Information, Conflicts of Interest rules all dead dead dead

barbados wave flag

BLP, DLP: all the same!

Barbadians are going to the polls on February 21, 2013, and as most folks realise, it doesn’t make a lick ‘o difference which party you vote for.

Both parties’ platforms are indistinguishable from each other whether the subject is economics, social programmes, the environment, tourism, offshore banking or any other issue. It just doesn’t matter who you vote for: nothing depends upon it. Barbados will not be one wit better off under either party.

If David Thompson was alive today, he would be facing serious questions about his involvement with CLICO and Leroy Parris. Thompson might even be facing a lawsuit or a criminal investigation about the time when he was CLICO’s lawyer. But Thompson conveniently died and that took care of that.

Owen Arthur? Well, where do we start? All the corruption under the Arthur regime still happened. His depositing election funds into his personal bank account happened. The VECO contract for the prison happened: awarded without tender to a company that never built a prison. When the Alaska Veco scandal broke showing that the company bribed politicians all over the world, the Attorney General Dale Marshall met with company officials for ten minutes and announced, “Not here. Nothing like that happened in Barbados.”

Sure. We believe Dale Marshall… and we’ve got some Florida swampland to sell you too: just like CLICO bought with your hard-earned retirement savings.

What is to be done? Easy… VOTE INDEPENDENT

How to stop this nonsense? That’s easy folks. Go to the DLP and BLP rallies. Sing the songs, chant the chants and don’t do anything different: because you KNOW what happens to those who break the party ranks.

BUT THEN… On February 21st, go to the poll and vote for anyone but the DLP or BLP. Let’s punish them. Let’s remove their legitimacy because of their long record of corruption, lies and profiteering.

Whatever you do folks: on the day, VOTE INDEPENDENT!


Filed under Barbados, Politics

Promoting Barbados as a tourist destination: doing lots with little funds…

Small hotel or 300 people around the pool? Tourists love small!

Small hotel or 300 people around the pool? Tourists love small!

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

Much has been made of the lack of funds available to the Barbados Tourism Authority and reported outstanding debts, severely limiting the ability of the organisation to effectively market the destination. Whatever, the facts are, those of us that have spent almost an entire lifetime in business have learnt, usually from necessity, to do a lot with very little.

There are so many ways that you can raise the ‘brand’ profile, often at low or no cost. TripAdvisor, is perhaps one of the very best examples.

Around 6,000 hotels have recently been awarded the so called Oscars of the hospitality industry, Traveler’s Choice Awards, in various categories for 2013. At first you might say, 6,000 hotels, that’s an awful lot. But when you then consider that those who receive this coveted distinction are selected by the highest ratings in a single year out of over 650,000 listed hotels in 82 countries across nine regions, worldwide – so less than one per cent make the grade.

As you would expect, many individual properties and savvy destinations now go into hyperdrive, using this incredible opportunity to highlight their product with media mentions and press releases at zero cost. The ratings are entirely generated and positions gained by guests personal experiences who have actually stayed in the featured accommodation providers.

What could be a better accolade than reviews and opinions based on the feedback from those who really matter… their guests?

The proof is in the pudding.

I am pleased to report a small number of hotels on Barbados are winners for this year and I would expect  that our national marketing agency will take every opportunity to highlight them, while at the same time growing awareness for the destination. Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

How Harlequin damaged Barbados reputation

Does this look like a vibrant healthy construction site to you?

January 2013: Does this look like a vibrant healthy construction site to you?

“Our government gave Ames and Harlequin the benefit of our country’s reputation – and when the Harlequin house of cards falls, it will be the reputation of Barbados that is harmed the most.”

Barbados H Hotel 3

There are so many Caribbean islands with the same Carib sand, sun and water. So many Caribbean islands with friendly people and special cultures not found on other Caribbean islands. Each island nation has its own cultural flavour, its own beauty and its own special offerings to attract tourists and offshore investments.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll keep on saying it: there are other Caribbean islands more beautiful, more unspoiled, more private and certainly cheaper to visit than Barbados. Why then, do people come to Barbados and keep returning? What is it that we have that brings the world’s elites here instead of some other Caribbean islands?

Security and safety is a big issue. Although Barbados has fallen down on the job lately, we’re still a whole lot safer than say, Jamaica, the Bahamas or even Bermuda. We’ve lost some ground, true, but we’re still way ahead of so many other islands in terms of tourist safety.

But the big asset we have that differentiates us and attracts the tourists and investors is the perception that Barbados is a stable society where good laws protect investors, tourists, retirees, and citizens. This is so important, and has been front and centre in Bim’s long term success. Without this perception that Barbados is a land of laws, we are no better and probably worse than some of the competition.

And then came Harlequin.

When Barbados allowed Mr. Ames and his bunch of brigands to sell from plans without putting deposits into a trust account: we allowed Mr. Ames to ride upon our good reputation. We allowed Mr. Ames to collect money based upon the public knowledge that Barbados is a safe society, where people are protected by good laws. Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Consumer Issues

BLP fires up the base with the same old, same old…

Mia Mottley shows off her new body: almost a babe!

Mia Mottley shows off her new body: almost a babe! (according to BFP’s Cliverton!)

10,000 Brave Weather to hear Barbados Labour Party at Heroes Square: BLP need new thrust

by Ian Bourne, The Bajan Reporter

So despite a last-minute cancellation verging on a dictatorial tactic, the Barbados Labour Party took the victimisation and capitalised on it to boost numbers. A check with Police sources indicate attendance that night at Heroes Square from as low as 8,000 or at a peak of 10,000 people! A true meeting, this session drew not just Bees and their supporters but Dems and neutrals – it was a chance to lay out a coup de grace strategy if chosen over the current Freundel Stuart regime…

Instead the public was treated to much of what it has heard since the January 2010 By-Election, with a few exceptions which are listed further on… Kerrie Symmonds used words like “contumacious” or “megalomaniac” now really; are ten-dollar words gonna pull the voters who are undecided and did not spend a long time at school? Now when I use large vocabulary, via Internet I have the option to link the phrase or word in question to various definitions – truly, would the audience be hefting dictionaries with them? Or have such devices in their phones or tablets? Why be on their phone or tablet when they can hear what’s the next move?

It also seems the majority of the Party members are trying to mimic the speech mannerisms of Owen Arthur (Arthur has a tendency with his St Peter drawl to stretch “Man” and punctuate every sentence like exclamation – now so too were most of the men that evening apart from trying to say face it and fix it in different ways, if it is the trademark of him who’s selected as Opposition Leader, then the posse need to create their own catchphrases), they need to leave that for Owen and develop their own clever clichés! There were good speakers that night, but let’s look at the more mediocre of the crew first…

… continue reading this article at Ian Bourne’s The Bajan Reporter


Filed under Barbados, Politics

Would you invest with Jester Property’s ‘Fukemoff Cove’ project?

Barbados Beach Picnic

“Jester also bought some planes! Did they use my money to do that? I don’t know because the accounts were still not published.”

“None of the other resorts were really started yet even though thousands of people had mortgaged their homes to buy into them.”

Contributed by Beggars Belief

For a moment though let’s enjoy a story about an overseas developer called Jester Property. I invite you to comment on how much of this story could be factually applied to a situation in the Caribbean as we find it.

In 2006 I invest in a resort marketed by Jester Property. They promise to build my villa and open the resort at Fukemoff Cove in 2009 so I can enjoy a healthy return on my investment. The terms of the contract allow Jester to use my money, which wouldn’t be held in escrow, to build other resorts. They have trouble with their builders and so things go a bit slower than hoped. I got a bit worried because it wasn’t easy to find out what was happening with my money as the developer didn’t file their accounts.

Lots of other people were investing and some resorts were reported to be nearly sold out. Jester fell out with the next set of builders and I got concerned that they really weren’t in control of this project. I was relieved when they announced that a big multi-national Spanish hotel and travel agency was going to run the resort. Jester said that this company would really help maximise my return because of the global reach and the excellence of their operations. After a while though we didn’t hear any more about this company and I checked the Jester website and all references to them had been removed.

Delays kept happening

The delays kept happening but eventually some of the resort was opened but the general manager said that it was losing lots of money every month so it had to be subsidised. That’s strange I thought because the bloke in charge of Jester had told the world a year before that the resort profits in twelve months would be enough to cover my repayments on my unit. This didn’t add up. Although the resort was partially open my unit wasn’t one of them and I was told I may have to wait for a later phase when an international airport was due to open.

Jester then started building other hotels that hadn’t even been mentioned when I invested and the terms of my contract would allow them to use my money to do it. How much of my money was left by now. The second builders had been chucked off now and Jester said that they would finish building it themselves. Jester also bought some planes! Did they use my money to do that? I don’t know because the accounts were still not published. None of the other resorts were really started yet even though thousands of people had mortgaged their homes to buy into them.

OK, so Jester is a fictional company. But would you invest in Jester if they were for real?


Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues

Afra Raymond: Tangled webs of Tobago House of Assembly, BOLT and Calcutta

“…Lindquist and Interpol officers had discovered more than $1billion stashed away in off-shore accounts, arising out of corruption in the airport project…”

Tobago House of Assembly BOLT

by Afra Raymond

by Afra Raymond

With the Tobago House of Assembly THA elections having become a kind of national contest, the issues of governance and integrity loom large.  The two relevant controversial issues, both of which emerged late last year, were the THA/BOLT office project and the HDC’s proposed purchase of land at Calcutta No. 2 Settlement.

Both those projects have given me serious cause for concern in terms of proper public procurement practice, so much so that I see them as being two sides of the same coin.  Both these cases are models of inadvisable dealings in Public Money of a type which no prudent or reputable company would undertake.  I am choosing my words carefully since recent reports are that litigation has already started on the THA/BOLT project and there may well be further legal action on both projects as we go forward…

I do not at all agree with the widespread myth that corruption is a minor thing which adds maybe 10% or 15% to the cost of projects. 

That misinformation is nothing but public mischief which has blinded us to the scale of the theft of Public Money, so it must be completely demolished.  In the case of the 1970s to 1980s ‘Government to Government Arrangements’ the then PM, George Chambers, told the nation that two out of every three ‘Petro-dollars’ was wasted or stolen.  In the ongoing imbroglio over the $1.6Bn Piarco Airport project, we learned from the DPP’s S.34 statement that $1.0Bn of Public Money had been located in offshore bank accounts.

This article deals with the THA/BOLT project, which is a Public Private Partnership. The PPP is a procurement model now being pursued by this government, according to the strategy outlined in the 2013 budget.

The DPP’s S.34 Statement on Wednesday September 12, 2012

“…These cases involve allegations of a conspiracy to defraud the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago of over TT$1 billion by the fraudulent use of bonds and the rigging of the contracts for the various Construction packages for the Piarco Airport Project…”

The DPP’s full statement is here.

Also, from “Cops target MP in $1Bn airport scam” in Trinidad Guardian of Friday 5 March, 2004 –

“…TV6 News reported last night that Lindquist and Interpol officers had discovered more than $1billion stashed away in off-shore accounts, arising out of corruption in the airport project…”


Build Own Lease Transfer (BOLT) is a subset of the PPP procurement method.  Under a BOLT arrangement a client has a facility built by the private sector at their expense – the client makes agreed rental payments so that the developer can cover the cost of building the project and a reasonable profit.  At the end of the agreed lease period, the facility is transferred to the client. Continue reading


Filed under Corruption, Trinidad and Tobago

Harlequin’s Buccament Bay Resort hasn’t filed financials in 7 years! Liable to be struck from companies registrar

Harlequin Resort

Nothing filed with Saint Vincent government since 2005

One of the main hotel resorts which received investment from overseas property firm Harlequin Property has not filed accounts for seven years.

Buccament Bay Resort on the Caribbean island of St.Vincent – the flagship investment of the £200m unregulated Harlequin investment scheme – has failed to file any accounts or financial statements with the registrar of companies of the state of Saint Vincent since 2005.

According to documents seen by IFAonline from the deputy registrar of Saint Vincent, the Buccament Bay Resort is now in “default” of its obligations. As a result it is liable to be struck off the island’s companies register.

For more, see IFA Online’s article: No accounts for Harlequin Property resort since 2005


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Latest election-call quote from Prime Minister Stuart cut short in Nation article

Freundel Stuart Barbados

What the Nation reported Freundel Stuart said…

“Ready yourselves because you will be hearing from me very shortly and when that time comes we go into the battlefield with our loins girded and with all the breastplates of political righteousness.” (Get ready!)

What he REALLY said…

“Ready yourselves because you will be hearing from me very shortly and when that time comes we go into the battlefield with our loins girded and with all the breastplates of political righteousness and it is really too bad that our promised Integrity Legislation never made it into law just like Barbados Free Press predicted. Don’t worry, jus give us another five wonderful years with our hands in the cookie jar and we’ll pass that into law next time. Honest.”


Filed under Barbados

Report: David Ames and Harlequin under investigation for dodgy condo project in Thailand

We wondered why the hit-o-meter was going wild from the UK on our Harlequin articles and then we discovered the reason why: a bunch of Brits purchased condo units in Thailand from Ames / Harlequin

and… and…  Guess what?

Money gone, no condo…. that’s what!

One has to wonder just when this house of cards called Harlequin will finally run out of people willing to trade their cash for a promise that never arrives…

Is Thailand’s Attorney-General Moving Against Dodgy Developers?

Emerald Palace Visited By Police – Sensation

A controversial condominium project in Pattaya linked to a British company, which has taken billions of pounds for property projects, which have never been built, in the Caribbean and Thailand, was yesterday (Wednesday) visited by police and Pattaya Consumer Protection Officers.

Emerald Palace on Pratamnak Hill, Pattaya, initiated by David Ames of the British company ‘Harlequin’, could be described to have been raided but that may be stretching things. The visit was long overdue.

The project is a classic study on how foreign property companies in Thailand can rip off unsuspecting clients.

First of all some buyers, mainly British, but also some Russians, a Canadian and other nationalities, were sold units and were never even allocated one.

Secondly all the remaining buyers found that, when they came to occupy their rooms in the project which came in three years late, they had all been mortgaged to Thailand’s Kasikorn Bank. (One buyer found that his allocated unit was in fact occupied by the mistress of a bank official.)

And thirdly the original sellers, the people who took the cash, quietly removed themselves as directors.

And their company, which actually owns the project is not the company with which the buyers were actually dealing.

Emerald Palace was initiated by David Ames of Harlequin U.K. based in Basildon , Essex. Ames is a formerly bankrupt ex-double glazing salesman.

Read the rest of the story at Andrew Drummond’s blog.


Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law

A reminder about that massive pension increase for Cabinet Ministers

From our “Worth reading again” department, here’s a little sample from the ePressBarbados article by Caswell Franklyn posted on February 13, 2011. The link will take you to the full article:

Massive Pension Increase for Cabinet Ministers

On the other hand, if the amendment were applied to the Retiring Allowances (Legislative Service) Act the picture would be quite different and alarming. That Act makes provisions for the pensions of Members of Parliament. Like public officers the allowances are not taken into consideration when computing the pensions of retired parliamentarians. The table below shows the effect on the monthly pension entitlement of the Cabinet and parliamentary secretaries at current salaries.

Post Current         Entitlement $      Proposed $          Increase $
Prime Minister     11,287.53             14,334.11              3,046.58
Deputy PM             9,595.02             13,481. 61             3,889.59
Minister                  8,465.67              11,129.23              2,663. 56
Parl. Sec.                 8,218.13                9,969.03             1,750.90

It is interesting to note that the politicians qualify for their pensions at age 50 after serving a minimum of 8 years to qualify for half of their salary. They qualify for ⅔ of their salary after serving 12 years. A public officer qualifies for a pension of ⅔ of his salary after serving 33⅓ years.

Call me naive but I believe that these massive unconscionable increases in monthly pension entitlements would be unintended consequences of the Budget, despite the emerging pattern. In 1991, just prior to the 8% cut in salaries, parliamentarians gave themselves an increase of 10%. Also in 1991 Government reduced the severance payment entitlement for all workers except Constituency Assistants. I am left to wonder what next?


Filed under Politics

Tourism stats not all doom and gloom: but what’s with LIAT’s choice for new aircraft?

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

Whether you attribute the now infamous saying, “there are three kinds of lies; lies, damned lies and statistics’ to a former British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli or American author, Mark Twain, its perhaps even more true today, than it was then. In the current silly season I am sure we are going to witness many examples. I would prefer to, as they say in the popular CSI TV series, ‘follow the evidence’, for those few people who still watch television.

When you look at the long stay visitor arrival figures, it is not all doom and gloom, and I wonder if we can learn from it.

Take Canada, our fourth largest source market. Between 2004 and 2007 we welcomed 199,894 Canadians. For the four years 2008 to 2011, that number grew to 265,390, a rise of nearly 33 per cent.

While the numbers are yet to be released for the final month of 2012, up until the end of November, 63,053 Canadians came to our shores, compared with 71,953 for the whole of 2011.  So if December turns out to be a strong month, we should not be too far behind the previous year.

Sadly, it does not negate the losses in other markets. The introduction of a second carrier, WestJet, of course has played a vital role and that contribution will almost certainly become greater once their Q400 turboprop fleet is introduced later this year, enabling more connecting possibilities to the Barbados-bound flights. Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Barbados business community prepares for National Strike – talk or no talks. “Don’t discipline any Trade Union employees”

Freundel Stuart Barbados Leader

The talks are on for today, Friday, between Prime Minister Freundel Stuart (above in a past life) and the BWU Barbados Workers Union – but that’s not stopping a few memos from circulating in the business community. Somebody sent them to BFP…

Here they are:

Memo #1


Dear Member:

Given the current state of Industrial unrest, the following recommendations are being made to all employers. Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Economy

Minister of Health Donville Inniss to speak Friday January 18, 2013 – Lunchtime lecture series


Health Minister Donville Inniss is delivering the lecture “Beyond Errol Barrow – The 2013 Elections” in the Unity Bar lunchtime lecture series.

We don’t know if The Bajan Reporter will be covering this important event, but we wouldn’t bet against it!


Filed under Politics

An embarassing moment for Police Commissioner Dottin

Clinton Norton: Sand in nostrils and mouth shows he didn't die indoors at the burglary.

Clinton Norton: Sand in nostrils and mouth shows he didn’t die indoors at the burglary.

Every once in a while the Nation or the Barbados Advocate or the CBC run a “feel good” story about our Royal Barbados Police Force – usually after some scandal that brings international attention to the failings of our understaffed, under-trained, under-paid bunch of temporary workers charged with keeping people safe on this rock.

“Of course Crawford confessed to a particular knowledge of the crime, who wouldn’t? How long could one man tolerate a serious beating at the CID?”

BFP reader Mark Fenty on Commissioner Dottin says accused rapist Derick Crawford confessed

The last big scandal was an innocent man Derrick Crawford jailed for two years waiting for his trial for the rape of two Brit tourists who said he wasn’t the rapist. Before that the scandal was the police covering up the “apparent murder” of Clinton Norton who was tortured to death and found with blood in his lungs and sand in his nostrils and mouth – dead inside a store burglary with no sand on the floor! Then there was the finger rape of Jamaican tourist Myrie and the Terry Schwarzfeld and Colin Peter murders and attending police foul-ups. We could go on and on but you get the message: our police aren’t exactly world class.

Let me translate that for you…

Now in the wake of the Derrick Crawford foul-up where the only evidence against him was a “confession”, Police Commissioner Dottin is in the papers telling police to “avoid over reliance on confessions to solve crime,”

The real meaning of the Commissioner’s message to his officers?  “Stop beating confessions out of people.”

And of course in the news article there is the obligatory mention that videotaping of all confessions is coming “soon”. Sure! LOL!  Like it was coming “soon” 10 years ago!

Further Reading

Have a look at Barbados Today’s Uncouth SSU Cops, then…

We encourage our readers to go to the website of The Nation to read this news story, but we have to print the whole thing here because that paper has a history of changing the news. Read No need to rely on confession

No need to rely on confession

STRESSING the need to avoid over reliance on confessions to solve crime, Commissioner of Police, Darwin Dottin, has urged lawmen to remember the importance of science, technology and the collection of evidence. Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Police