Hard times coming to Bim. Are you ready?

2013 Almond Barbados

“Booming Bim? Here is the current state of affairs at the Almond Hotel. We were there last week and it’s not pretty.”

… an old friend sends a photo to BFP (click on photo for large)

How many people do you know still waiting for VAT and tax refunds? If you’re like us, you know plenty. The government doan have much money these days.

How many people do you know who were laid off in the last year and haven’t managed to find another real job? Answer: lots and lots.

How many hotels and businesses gone or just hanging on? How many shops in the city are understaffed because they laid off the newbies when the “high season” tanked this January?

Been to the Gap lately? You could have Jamaican gang shootouts on the street and not hurt a soul. Maybe we should rent the place out for that purpose… at least then there would be something happening at the Gap!

And let’s not get started about how many airline seats we lost in the last year with Dallas Fort-Worth, Atlanta. Let’s not talk about CLICO, the downgrades or raiding our NIS pensions to “invest” in doomed hotel projects.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll keep saying it…

1/ Shun debt. Shun expenses. Live as frugally as you can.

2/ Work hard, save what you can.

3/ Look after family and friends as you are able because you might need their help someday.

4/ Learn to grow food, repair your own car, maintain your own home. Repair clothes, repair everything. Don’t buy new anything: let some other fool pay the depreciation!

5/ Smile at the tourists, make them feel welcome but never pressured. Pick up the rubbish where you can and never do anything that takes away from the beauty of Bim.

6/ Thank God for what you do have – then get back to working harder than you ever have before.

We can do this, folks. But it can’t be business as usual.

19 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy

19 responses to “Hard times coming to Bim. Are you ready?

  1. PLANTATION DEEDS FROM 1926-2013 AND SEE MASSIVE FRAUD ,LAND TAX BILLS AND NO DEEDS

    The Crook Govt that takes and never like to give back , Unless its their own or offshore bank accounts , Cant even keep water in the Pool? Ask the 8? that took 60 million to build a building in the name of Water , DLP and BLP dont Bitch is that not who you all vote for ?by selling votes and not voting ,,So soon you all forget. Take a picture it last longer,,
    More Fraud

  2. sith

    Barbados dollar is way over valued. Tighten your belts it can’t be this good much longer. And it just became about 8% more expensive for Canadians to come to the island cause there dollar declined against the Barbados dollar by about 8%. Why did that happen….oh it was a decline against the US$ but we fixed against it so we get caught. The monetary policy we got is 1960’s style when it was all bout “Beautiful Barbados”

  3. yatiniteasy

    Close down the Cash for Gold operators…its easy…they advertise in the press everyday…one even on TV, so we know who they are.They are the main reason we have an increase in robbery of people and homes…
    One of the main operators rents a luxury beachfront villa in Atlantic Shores, with swimming pool etc…that does not come cheap.
    Devaluing Barbados $ will do nothing for Tourism, as 80% of everything we eat and drink is imported…with US dollars paying for it all.Besides, all rooms are in US$, so it wont make it any cheaper for visitors.

  4. Anonymous

    Poor NIS funds getting raped again, I was hopping that the Government would have given Four Seasons the 60 Million. my plan was to book into a room and retire there. NIS could send my pension direct to Four Seasons in stead of the Bank.

  5. yatiniteasy

    I just received this e mail, which is a very sad story and report on our crime situation, especially to Tourists…our main Income earner! FS…wkae up for God`s sake man, and DO something!

    A letter written to The Nation from a guest at Rostrevor whose wife was a victim of a cash for gold robbery L

    From: Trevor Rabjohn
    Sent: ‎04‎ ‎March‎ ‎2013 ‎18‎:‎43
    To: Trevor Rabjohn
    Subject: Barbados: Rising risk to Tourists from gold thefts involving violent assault

    Dear Sir/Madam

    I have today read the report of Barry Alleyne concerning the theft of jewellery from visitors and tourists. I believe the problem is far worse than perceived and is being supressed/under-reported. I am not convinced that the police have any effective crime pattern analysis to know where they should be actively patrolling, advising visitors and undertaking their duty of protection of all people, and especially tourists.

    On Friday 1 March 2013, in Bay Street near Harbour Lights, my wife was violently assaulted, injured and robbed of two valuable necklaces, by two young local low-life, cowardly, vile thugs. The police were less than effective in their caring treatment of my wife and their lack of effective evidence gathering left me less than impressed or confident in they had the resources or ability to gather evidence or investigate crime in a meaningful manner.

    We have walked this route many times having been advised it was safe to do so. It can no longer currently be regarded as safe for tourists.

    The disturbing aspect for Barbadian authorities is that this violent robbery took place in broad daylight, just after nine in the morning, during the rush hour with many witnesses. Some serious questions now need answering by the various Authorities and politicians.

    We have been coming to Barbados for many years since my wife loves the island and climate for her health, and loves the many friends and decent hard-working Bajan people that we have met.

    However, my duty is to protect my wife from unnecessary risk. It had been our intention to return to Barbados year on year for as long as we could afford it and were healthy enough to do it. We were already booked to come next year. I am now intending to cancel this with great sadness and it is likely we will never return. There are many safer places for tourists. I will be advising my extended family accordingly, as well as writing to the many contacts I have within the UK tourism industry including large Cruise companies, the UK police, Foreign Office and others.

    This robbery, of course, is my main distress, but there are many other visitors who here agree that other serious issues are fast going downhill here and need addressing. This includes dangerous driving, overnight excessive noise, drunkenness, fighting and high speed early morning motor-cycle and car racing in The Gap and dangerous driving and overloading of ZR buses, even with school children on board! Some road-side traders and beggars have been reported as becoming more aggressive and abusive to tourists who feel threatened to buy or give. It is a sad indictment of a Country when you are advised, belatedly, not to carry anything valuable and but always a little something to hand over! There is crime in all countries but that sort of advice is never necessary in my country.

    My impression is that hoteliers, particularly in The Gap, are not being supported as they try to bring the problems to the attention of the authorities. The Sugar and Hal’s Bar (or Hell’s Bar as it is becoming known) need serious bringing to order. How can anyone be serious about drink driving when you have a bar in a car park! These are growing trouble spots. Many tourists are elderly and vulnerable in this area and are no longer safe in The Gap from late evening onwards.

    Trinidad and Jamaica are regarded by many UK people as crime risk areas and only go there into all-inclusive guarded properties, which is not much fun if you enjoy walking, meeting and supporting local people in their businesses. Barbados has always been regarded as safe until now but appears, without intervention now, to be moving in the same direction as these larger islands.

    The authorities, in particular senior police and Government departments, have been slow to acknowledge the problem or to respond to it with a positive action by joint agencies. It has been well known locally for some time and the initial action should have been to warn, in writing, all visitors arriving at the island ports that the problem exists. The warning should state that jewellery, mobile phones and valuable items should not be carried at any time. Had we been properly warned when we arrived it would have given us a realistic chance to avoid the theft and violent assault on my wife. This was a critical initial action that should have and should still be taken whilst undertake other actions to tackle the issue.

    I imagine the holiday industry is vital to Barbados and once lost will be very difficult to retrieve.

    The decent Barbadian people need the Government to act fast in their interests while they have the chance. The problem has been vividly highlighted. Please protect this lovely island and its people.

    We have to deal with the shock and injury suffered but the lost property is replaceable.

    What Barbados has lost is far more valuable and irreplaceable.

    With great sadness and best wishes Trevor Rabjohn

  6. Well Well

    The problem = cash for gold
    The solution = ban cash for gold
    That would effectively shut down the cash for gold that all those jewelry stores in Swan Street and Broad Street are now reaping tons of money from, on the backs of robberies, house breakings, assaults and soon we will be hearing about murders. These stores survived before cash for gold, they can survive without it since it is a very recent additional evil.

  7. wnh

    Very sad. I agree the Cash For Gold business is an evil introduction to the island. I hope the government is seriously looking into this. We see what happened to some other islands let it not happen here by addressing problems immediately before it gets totally out of hand.

  8. Tudor

    Wnh, the Govt is looking into it as it does with all other things with the same result – NOTHING HAPPENS. Time for action but the PM is considering what to do!
    Well Well not sure if banning cash for gold is the answer, the Police told me when my wife was robbed 3 years ago that the thieves take the stolen items into Swan St and certain store owners set a price and the thieves then select what clothes they need.

    Frankly the police force leaves a lot to be desired I referred earlier to my wife’s robbery about a year after the robbery one of daughters kept sending messages to the stolen Blackberry, sure enough she got a reply from the person who had the phone – this reply came along with a photo of the person this was printed out and taken to the Worthing Police station in whose area the robbery had occurred – what happened you guessed NOTHING.Now interestingly my wife has robbed shortly before a certain Lady Senator in the carpark of a popular south coast supermarket (minus the injury) and that crime was solved in less than week – draw your own conclusion.

  9. HELP

    Barbados don’t have any sectors moving, nothing is exported, no more sugar industry and basic materials more expensive that travelling to hell, the problem is this, the baby boomers that came in the 60’s thru the 90’s are home resting and their kids don’t care about Barbados, so coming there for a few weeks, not appealing to them. on the other side of the coin foreigners and locals are reporting robberies left and right, tell me who want to be in an environment of that caliber?. The number one question is how you can get that foreign currency back inside of Barbados, do you print some and find your self in hot water? or move to plan (b) giving incentives which would make sense, i was told as a kid take little and stay afloat longer, this world is getting harder and harder CASH FOR GOLD is just the tip of the iceberg and when a man is hungry you never know what can happen. keep your door close………….

  10. Beggars Belief

    @ YP, well you seem to be more in the know regarding the inner workings of Harlequin so tell us more. You were clearly given access to knowledge about a statement to be read to investors today so that at least seems to be some slender thread of communication between the organisation and those of us who fund it.

    Everyone needs to be clear that if Harlequin don’t engage meaningfully and convincingly with very reasonable investor questions then things will only go from bad to worse.

    Previous meetings for investors run by Harlequin have been little more than stage managed sales opportunities with virtually no time afforded to questions from the floor. This approach will no longer satisfy reasonable people who have invested life changing sums of money.

    I do understand that some of the more OTT posts on here could be interpreted as a lynch mob mentality and this would do nothing to encourage HP to appear today. This is why I think the next meeting should be chaired by an independent third party with some standing. An MP would seem like a sensible choice.

  11. Beggars Belief

    Sorry. Wrongly posted on this thread!

  12. Well Well

    Knowing how the government and authorities work in Bim, they will probably want to hold a few inquiries and studies, at the taxpayers expense, on what to do about the cash for gold monster. They will do nothing until a few people are killed, they are too worried about hurtng the feelings of the jewellry store owners who are funding the cash for gold crimes, while they will continue to blame the victims, brazenly telling them they should not wear gold.

  13. Bajan Abroad

    Tourists will wear their jewelry – they just wont come to visit……..When will the morons in charge realize that Tourists do not HAVE to come to Barbados?

  14. just want to know

    I walked passed there a couple weeks ago while visiting Speightstown, and it is such a shame that the administration in Barbados allow a beautiful place like that left to go to ruin. The place is over run with bush, and the swimming pool and buildings are being dismantled. This country is just being ruined, and this administration doing nothing to stem the tide of destruction.

  15. Mark Fenty

    What makes Barbados anymore different than the some two hundred odd countries in the world today, with respect to the Worldwide Recession? The America some people in the Caribbean once envision, no longer exists I’m affraid to say. This economic- crisis has forever changed the dynamics of the American way of life in fundamentals ways. In virtually every community in America, the small business man is being suffocated by the larger corporations such as Wal-Mart and the likes. Abandoned building by the donkey-loads, now embellished the scenery where there once were shopping- centers and small malls. Post-Offices throughout the country no longer deliver mail on Saturday, as a cost cutting measure instituted by the federal government. The amount of forecloures throughout every community in America are too numerous to count. Welfare lines have now sky-rocked at astronomical rate, in the America of today. The forty hour work week has now been slashed in haft, as a ploy to avoid paying employees healthcare- benefits. To pay a phone bill in America today, you now have to call China or India to do so . It is virtually impossible these days to find commodities in the grocery- stores that reads, “(Made In America)”. And to avoid layoffs some companies are asking for “Give-Backs”. Increase salaries and cost of living increase no longer exist in America these days. So we can obviously take comfort in knowing that Barbados is not alone during this long economic crisis.

  16. Mark Fenty

    @ Just want to know
    Sir, don’t worry yourself; America is experiencing practically the same economic conditions as Barbados or worse. You can’t travel around this country without seeing: abandoned shopping- malls, dilapidated buildings where there used to be productive businesses, gas-stations by the boat- loads unoccupied alone the highways, potholes every few feet, and empty lots where there used to be car dealerships, etc.

  17. just want to know

    I am not interested in what’s happening in America, I am interested in what’s happening in Barbados. This is a small country, & more can be done to get our country on the move. We have a sleeping P. M. a porno M. P. and many others who think if they bury the opposition they will be able to run our country. One only have to listen to The Minister of Finance to know he hasn’t a clue what to do about putting this country on a track forward. The Minister of Tourism is a total failure. The people who can’t pay their electric bill will continue forever to go to the Welfare? This is really so pathetic that 40% of the population have to depend on welfare. Tax payers hard earned money, while they enjoy the benefits.

  18. just want to know

    What’s happening with the CLICO debacle has that gone to sleep as well?

  19. Mark Fenty

    @ Just want to know
    You ought to be more circumspect with respect to what goes on in America these days. Because whether you want to accept it as Fiction or Fact, the gas that fuels the Barbadian economy is pumped directly from the United States of America friend. Some people obviously aren’t aware of the kind of influence United States of America usurps on the Barbadian way of life. Now, Let’s us assume for a moment that America issues a bulleting, advising all American citizens to avoid Barbados as a vacation destination. I can assure you that the Barbadian way of life would probably experience a complete downturn overnight, and it almost did happened during the Bush administration. Bush was seriously contemplating the idea of downgra ding the Grantley Adams International Airport. Because the Barbados government refused to be complicity during the Iraq invasion.

    Nonetheless, you probably think that comparing United States to Barbados is the psychological equivalence of comparing Oranges to Apples right? But I see it quite differently my friend. The size of a country has relatively no bearing on its ability to provide the enabling means to sustain it people .
    In any case, I’m not quite sure that I buy the argument, that the size of a country determines its ability to ennobles its people. Canada is much greater in landmass, but smaller in population when compared to America, yet Canada is in no way as prosperous as America in terms of its material development. Let’s take Japan as another example, Japan is of no comparison to China with respect to its landmass and population. But, Japan enjoys a relatively higher standard of live when compared to China in many respects.