Monthly Archives: October 2013

Afra Raymond on More 104.7fm – talks about his lawsuit against the Minister of Finance

afra raymond

Afra Raymond chats on the show ’Forward Thinkers‘ with David Walker on 104.7FM, dealing with the CL Financial bailout and my lawsuit against the Minister of Finance to get at the detailed information as to how the $24B in Public Money was spent. 24 October 2013. Audio courtesy More 104.7 FM. Listen here.

Programme Date: Thursday 24th October 2013
Programme Length: 0:45:41

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Filed under Corruption, Freedom Of Information, Trinidad and Tobago

Loveridge on Barbados tourism: The time for remedial action has long since passed

Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner.

Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner.

Even though it has not become widespread public knowledge, September 2013 became the 18th consecutive month of long stay visitor decline and recorded the lowest stay-over arrivals of any month in the last 11 years.

As someone who has invested their life savings and 25 years in the Barbados tourism industry, it give me no pleasure to state this unpleasant fact, but someone has to say it. If only in the interests of survival.

The time for remedial action has long since passed.

“Once again, it is now a case of damage limitation and focusing on what the private sector can do for itself,  to avoid annihilation of the industry as we know it.”

This may at first appear dramatic, but you only have to look around at other businesses on the island to understand that a sector that has been financially drained for a year and a half cannot be immune from the same challenges others are facing.

Not that our policymakers are listening, but I am going to make a few suggestions…

1)   Establish a National Marketing Committee (NMC) in the shortest practical time, comprising of proven professionals with a rotating Chairman, chosen irrespective of any political party leanings.

The existing Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA) board would cease to play any functional part in promoting the destination, or simply be disbanded, based on non-performance.

2)   Place the opposition spokesperson on tourism (regardless of which party is in power) on this committee, to ensure there is true non-partisan participation in decision making and understanding of the current problems. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy

S. Brian Samuel on Sandals in Grenada “I know where a few skeletons are buried…”

beaches by sandals

In view of the recent Barbados Sandals/Beaches deal, we travel to Grenada where S. Brian Samuel presents…

A Case Study of Hotel Investment in Grenada

S-Brian-Samuel Barbados Sandals

by S. Brian Samuel

1. Introduction

I recently published an article entitled “Attracting Foreign Investment to Grenada” in which I noted some of the pitfalls to investing in Grenada. In the article I briefly mentioned the case of LaSource resort, to illustrate the use of fiscal incentives as a way of securing the Sandals chain investment in Grenada.

On reflection, the story of La Source is worthy of a deeper look. The LaSource saga, for indeed it is a saga; with ups, downs and plot twists worthy of any soap opera; is a classic illustration of what that can go right — and wrong — with hotel investments in small Caribbean islands. I guess I am qualified to write the story; for I was there from before the beginning; until after the end.

2. Before the Beginning

In 1990 I was working in Barbados for the Caribbean Project Development Facility, an offshoot of the World Bank. My job was to raise financing for Caribbean businesses, and one of my earliest (successful!) projects was La Source hotel in Grenada, which was being promoted by a local developer called Leon Taylor.

The first time I met Taylor, he wasn’t in a particularly good mood, as he had become frustrated from having to deal with the financing agencies, one of them being the agency I worked for. He fixed his good eye on me and growled “What the f___ do you want?” or words to that effect! But things went steadily upwards from there, and I ultimately ended up raising US$15 million for LaSource, in debt and equity financing from a consortium of development banks. That in itself was a long and winding road; including one memorable day when I finally cornered Leon into going over the final Business Plan for the resort, line by painstaking line – under a coconut tree on Sandy Island, during Carriacou Regatta!

In all my 20 years at the World Bank, LaSource remains my all-time proudest project — and there were quite a few contenders. For a start it reconnected me to Grenada, my home I never knew; and that feeling carried over into a sense of pride in a job well done, when I stood side-by-side with Leon Taylor on the gala opening night of LaSource in December 1993. When I retired from the World Bank and returned home in 2008, I worked as Executive Director of LaSource from its reopening in February 2008 until October 2010. So I know where a few skeletons are buried.  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy, Grenada

Felicia Browne really asks: Are women tough enough for the rough and tumble of politics?

Women in Politics: Gender Imbalances

press release to Barbados Free Press by Felicia Browne

Felicia Browne

Felicia Browne

Women’s Rights advocate Felicia Browne maintains that it very important that women in politics are respected by their male counterparts. Browne argues that although political discourses may at times become passionate, it ought not to become passionate, differences should be discussed in terms of opinion and political stance, not by bullying because of gender.

Her concern follows from a recent assertion by a male Minister and Parliamentary Representative to a female Opposition Leader here in Barbados. Following from his argument, Browne notes that though he may not have intended verbal abuse his female counterpart, his public assertion reinforces some of the alarming concerns that woman’s activists are raising awareness of, when highlighting the issues on women’s rights.

Browne adds that “The Minister must be fully aware that women are being abused verbally and physically in our societies. We must never allow ourselves to project such impassionate messages to pass as a social norm. We must never allow such verbal abuses to be so easily projected and excused as a “social norm”, particularly by those who should look to garner more respect as representatives of a nation.

These types of norms are detrimental, not only to our women but to our families. The growing trend in Domestic Violence is reflective on the nature of how women are being treated as human beings. We must recognize the long-term effects that those terms can have our societies. Such statements that seeks to dehumanize the woman in sexual; derogatory terms- has not place in national politics or any part of our society.

We cannot continue to believe that these types of abuses do not affect women in general. It is not surprising that women are not encouraged into politics. Women usually exhibit fears due to the fact that such humiliations deter them to contribute meaningfully to their communities and societies. We must also observe that our young children and youths have privy to such information and can lead to a false perception that this type of behavior is acceptable. We must attempt and continue to show respect and gratitude to each other- show peace and understanding- rather look to methods of political discourse that are demeaning or disrespectful to anyone involved.

Felicia Browne is a Feminist Philosopher at the University of the West Indies and Human Rights Advisor. (FeliciaBrowne.com)

Editor’s note: (Cliverton) But what about studies that show that women are usually the initiators of physical violence in relationships even if they come out poorly when violence is once engaged? Huh? What about that?

Let’s not get into victim celebration too much lest the truth out…

“Almost 24% of all relationships had some violence, and half (49.7%) of those were reciprocally violent. In nonreciprocally violent relationships, women were the perpetrators in more than 70% of the cases.”

National Institute of Health study Differences in Frequency of Violence and Reported Injury

“While studies have consistently found that women initiate as much violence against their male partners as vice versa, two-thirds of domestic violence injuries are suffered by women.”

Researcher Says Women’s Initiation of Domestic Violence Predicts Risk to Women

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Filed under Barbados, Human Rights

Bajan Ralph Straker passes in the UK – One of thousands recruited from the Caribbean by London Transport in the 1950s

Ralph Straker Barbados London Transit That’s Ralph on the left!  🙂

Left Barbados for London Transport in 1956

Many of those who came to Britain had expected to stay for a few years, but remained for most of their working lives. They often maintained strong links with home, as well as making new friends at work and in the community.

Ralph Straker, recruited as a bus conductor in 1956, agrees.

He said: ‘I have a house already waiting on me there.

‘But my wife isn’t quite ready yet.

‘She’s waiting on the grandchildren… I am waiting to put my foot on the sands and sip my rum punch.

‘I’m looking forward to the day when we can do that.’

… from a 2010 article in Transport for London (here)

Ralph Straker passed on Saturday October 12, 2013 at 77 years old – which is not that old in Bajan terms, but he’d been living in the UK since 1956 and that fast pace must take a few years off a person. But Ralph and his wifey Monica had been married for 54 years, had hundreds of friends and their children and extended family, so Ralph by all accounts led a good life. He was a verger at his church for 45 years and you can’t call a man like that anything but a bedrock of the community and a true leader by example.

Mr. Straker was one of thousands from the Caribbean recruited in the 1950s by London Transit to counter the exodus of Brits after the war to places far afield like South Africa, Australia, America, Canada and the orient. That adventure alone is worth a read.

Our prayers for the Straker family and friends.

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Filed under Barbados, History

An enforced building code would have prevented this accident and saved a tourism scandal

Court Justice Scales

British court decision could harm Bajan tourism

  • How Briton who walked into glass door in a bikini could push up the price of holidays after winning £24,000 payout
  • Moira Japp, 53, won the claim against Virgin Holidays for the 2008 accident
  • She sued because the door in her room was not made of toughened glass
  • Ruling could mean greater costs for UK holidaymakers

A compensation payout to a holidaymaker who suffered life-threatening injuries after walking into a glass door in her bikini is threatening to leave the UK travel industry in chaos, top judges have heard.

Lawyers have warned that an award to Moira Japp, who was hurt during her stay at an exclusive Caribbean hotel, will ‘create great difficulties for the tourist industry’ by expecting ‘far-flung exotic places’ to comply with British health and safety standards.

Mrs Japp had been relaxing on her balcony at the Crystal Cove Hotel in Barbados when she heard a phone ring inside, and accidentally walked into the closed French windows which led into her room.

The glass shattered and she suffered deep lacerations all over her body which, according to her lawyers, could have been life-threatening.

In October last year Mrs Japp, 53, from Worthing, West Sussex, sued trip organisers Virgin Holidays Limited and was awarded £24,000 damages.

However the company are now asking the Appeal Court to overturn that decision.

Read the full article at the Daily Mail

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Crime & Law

Barbados offshore banking: meet rock and hard place…

tax cheater Barbados

submitted by Blackman

Few working class Bajans really understand the connection between our offshore banking / corporate industry and high quality tourism visitors. The downturn of mass tourism (or tourism for the masses, including cruise ship spend per passenger) is only a part of the story.

Another segment of our long-stay, high spend per visitor tourism industry is under assault because of international (primarily American) pressure to report our offshore banking clients to foreign governments.

It looks like the Barbados government is rolling over on this issue, but to be fair, what else can we do? Barbados: meet rock and hard place…

Barbados Eyes Inter-Governmental Agreement With US on FATCA

Barbados has signaled its intention to the United States of concluding a reciprocal Inter-Governmental Agreement to apply to the US’ Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart said Thursday.

The Prime Minister said Barbados was “aware that an atmosphere of certainty was needed for domestic and international operators in our banking sector and other entities which met the criteria of foreign financial institutions under FATCA to thrive.”

“I look forward, therefore, to being able in the coming weeks to announce formally that the US is favourably disposed to negotiating a reciprocal Model 1 inter-governmental agreement with us,” he said. “And from our end, we will be working towards concluding agreement by year-end.”

The law requires the automatic exchange of US taxpayers’ foreign banking information. That places it in the same policy space as exchanges under the OECD, he said.  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business & Banking, Economy

Ralph Dungan: Aide to President Jack Kennedy passes in Barbados

Ralph Dungan Jack Kennedy

(Photo: Ralph Dungan in Barbados, and in 1962 with Kennedy)

Another old man dies in Barbados – and takes his secrets with him

That old man in St. John’s? Quite the walking piece of history until he couldn’t walk anymore an de smiling lady wheel him about. Went for surgery and he is gone now…

Here, here and …

Ralph Dungan served as aide in Kennedy White House

By Bruce Weber / New York Times News Service

Ralph Dungan, a prominent aide in the Kennedy White House who was later caught up in tumultuous Chilean politics as an ambassador and bitter university politics as New Jersey’s first chancellor of higher education, died Saturday at his home in St. John Parish, Barbados. He was 90.

The cause was complications after surgery, his niece Molly Rowley said. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, History

‘Political Terrorism’ is not too strong a phrase…

Flag-Trinidad-and-Tobago

Is this debates commission playing power politics with our elections?

by Phillip Edward Alexander

How could the debates commission in all good conscience include the ILP ‘one man party’ and the MSJ ‘not yet a party’ in the electoral debates and exclude the COP which has seats and corporations under its control?

See why I continue to say that the Chamber of Commerce could NEVER be trusted to handle the debates fairly and without attempting to control outcomes through underhanded moves?

This is an outrage of epic proportions. I am incensed and every Trinidadian should be as well.

And I am no supporter of the COP or its leader; but right is right and if you can include David Abdulah’s imitation ‘wanna be party’ you are morally obligated to include this country’s third largest political party or the entire debate would be a sham.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COP Demands Equal Access to Local Government Debates
Calls on Debate Commission to Reverse Outrageous Decision Restricting Access to Key Public Dialogue
Continue reading

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Filed under Politics & Corruption, Trinidad and Tobago

Barbados tourism stalwart Bob Verdun convicted, barely avoids jail. Oh My!!!

Bob Verdun Barbados Tourism

A Canadian Court has sentenced former newspaper editor and Barbados tourism promoter Bob Verdun to 90 days of house arrest and other penalties for violating a court injunction prohibiting his commenting about Robert Astley, the former Clarica Insurance executive.

Verdun was a fixture in Barbados for a few years as he tried to push the aborted Four Seasons project and other developments. He became a bit of a hot topic in Barbados when he gave a speech that some folks took as racist. Up in Canada Verdun got hit with a $650,000 judgment for defamation. Wuhloss!

What does this mean for Barbados and Mr. Verdun? Does it matter? Mr. Verdun was all about resuscitating the failed Four Seasons Hotel project and that is not going to happen.

While we at BFP are all for free speech and get into furballs with the government ourselves, the Canadian court says that Verdun crossed the line.

Did Verdun really cross the line or are there other factors at play? Did the court hear all the evidence or was some proper and true evidence left out because it wasn’t printed on the right colour of paper? We at BFP are not so quick to condemn Mr. Verdun for speaking out. Then again, it’s not us doing 90 days of house arrest. According to Wikipedia, Verdun has been a strong supporter for shareholder rights and a positive influence upon Canadian law.

Will Verdun return to Barbados? Does he have the money to make the trip? Does anyone care now that the Four Seasons is dead, dead, dead and dead again?

Here are some past BFP stories about Mr. Verdun…  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Freedom Of The Press

Cruise ships and their passengers: Asset or liability to Barbados?

Barbados Cruise

Cruise Ship family spends a total of $25 for a day in Barbados!

submitted by a reader who wishes to remain anonymous…

This article on the Royal Caribbean blog says it all when it comes down to the poor contribution of the cruise industry to the Barbados economy.

This family spent $25 for mum and dad each, kids free, and got an island tour, free water, beer and rum punch. They also enjoyed free wi-fi, free recharging of electronic devices, seating facilities in an air-conditioned office and probably bathroom facilities at the cruise port terminal.

They had breakfast on the ship before they went on the tour, went back to the ship for lunch, and stayed all afternoon on the ship, before having dinner in the evening, on the ship.

Barbados Cruise Ship

About the cruise terminal they had this to say:

“After getting back to the ship we walked through the shopping plaza at the pier.  Of course, it’s tourist trap stuff and given its lack of air conditioning, I can’t say it’s worth more than a walk through.  However, there is free WiFi provided there so I guess I can’t slam it too much.  If you happen to be there, go to the Barbados Tourism Office because it’s air conditioned, has the best WiFi signal and has chairs for you to sit down (and electricity to charge your devices).”

Where is the profit for the ordinary Bajan in this? We are happy to have visitors from all over the world come to Barbados, but the cruise ship passengers barely covered their costs for a day of pleasure, touring and entertainment in Barbados.

Where is the benefit to our economy? A few taxi fares to pay for a cruise ship terminal? Good Lord!

Jewel of the Seas Live Blog – Day 6 – Barbados

Today is our last port day and it’s always a bittersweet day for me (well, not as much as tomorrow will be) and we are in Barbados.

As per usual, up at 7am, in the Windjammer at 8am and off the ship at 9am.  The crowd at Windjammer at 8am versus 9am is incredibly different and 8am is much better.  I think I’ve said this in past cruise reports but I’d like to see more variety in breakfast.  Unlike lunch and dinner, the breakfast spread has been exactly the same every day.

We got off the ship a little before 9am for our tour we had booked with Tyronne Griffith tours, which was coordinated by people on Cruise Critic.  Because we all booked as a group on Cruise Critic, we were able to get the per person rate down to $25 per adult (kids free) and free water, beer and rum punch.

continue reading this blog: Jewel of the Seas Live Blog

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy

Sad days for Barbados Tourism: Double standards by government, American Airlines cuts direct New York – Barbados flight.

American-Airlines-Dallas-Barbados

It’s official… American Airlines will no longer operate a direct flight from New York to Barbados.

Management and Accountability absent in Government handouts to tourism businesses

Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner - now selling!

Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner – now selling!

From a tourism perspective it was quite a revelation to read through the five newspaper pages of ‘indebted’ individuals and entities listed by National Insurance Board recently – especially when you realise that many of them either in the past and/or currently benefited from substantial taxpayer subsidies, grants or soft loans.

It seems almost incredible that, at least in some cases, limited if any due diligence has been practised between the various Government agencies involved before the monies were advanced.

Take the (TIRF) Tourism Industry Relief Fund as an example. I understand that this was purely intended to assist qualifying tourism businesses to maintain employment. I never saw it as a source of ‘free’ funds to assist in the avoidance of statutory obligations. Yet, well over a Million Dollars in TIRF monies was paid over to one named hotel alone.

Others were allowed to access preferential interest rates through the Enterprise Growth Fund, and perhaps most alarming of all, several are currently benefiting from taxpayer-subsidised Barbados Tourism Authority promotions like the Barbados Island Inclusive promotion.

For the many enterprises like ours, who have frequently struggled to pay our bills on time, it makes a mockery of those trying to do the right thing.

Almost anyone in business could contest that at some stage they have experienced some financial problems or challenges, and this is clearly understandable. But, as the Barbados Social Security clearly states the list applies to those ‘who have not made satisfactory arrangements to liquidate the outstanding debt (or) have not adhered to arrangements made’.

Again, if this disparity is allowed to continue ‘we’ are just allowing the goalposts to be modified one more time and disadvantaging others who are fighting to keep trading legitimately.

It also calls into question why is there not more communication between the various Government agencies in terms of compliance. Why is it possible to access public funds without an NIS clearance certificate, while it is a prerequisite for a licence to operate a hotel or restaurant?

Goodbye American Airlines NYC direct flight

It’s official: according to their website from 15th January 2014, American Airlines will no longer operate a direct flight from New York to Barbados. Continue reading

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Trinidad: Invader’s Bay payday?

invaders bay Trinidad (click image for large)

“Ministers of the Government and others employed in the various Ministries must begin to appreciate that laws are there to be followed both by the Government and by members of the public alike.”

Expediency must never be allowed to take priority over principle.

by Afra Raymond

by Afra Raymond

Invader’s Bay has re-emerged from the shadows via PNM Senator Faris Al-Rawi’s budget contribution (PDF) on Monday 23 September 2013 (pp. 168-175).  The twists and turns in this controversial proposed scheme are detailed at the Joint Consultative Council for the Construction Industry – JCC’s webpage here.

Invader’s Bay is a 70-acre parcel of reclaimed State land off the Audrey Jeffers Highway – just south of PriceSmart & MovieTowne – in the western part of Port-of-Spain.  Its value was estimated by the State in 2011 to be in excess of $1.2Bn, so these are prime development lands, possessing these attributes –

  • Water, Electricity and all urban services are readily available;
  • Flat/gently-sloping terrain;
  • Direct access to Audrey Jeffers Highway;
  • Waterfront location.

Before proceeding to the latest revelations, it is important to restate the main objections raised by the JCC and others with respect to this proposed development –

  • The Request for Proposals (RFP) was published by the Ministry of Planning in August 2011 seeking Design-Build proposals for the development of these lands and specifying an entirely inadequate 6 weeks for submissions;
  • There has been no public consultation at all, so the public has not been involved in this, the largest proposed development in our capital in living memory;
  • The RFP was silent as to the other three, extant strategic plans for the POS area, all paid for with Public Money.  Given that the RFP was published by the Ministry of Planning, that is a tragic irony, to say the least;
  • EIA – The RFP is silent as to the requirement for an Environmental Impact Assessment in a development of this scale;
  • The proposals were to be evaluated against the “Invader’s Bay Development Matrix and Criteria Description”, which was only published after the closing-date for submissions.  That is a clear breach of proper tender procedure, which renders the entire process voidable and therefore illegal.

The key points Al-Rawi was advancing seemed to be based on certain leaked Cabinet papers, but not having seen them, there is little detailed comment I can give.

Al-Rawi stated that the Government has agreed to lease parts of the property to two developers – DACHIN Ltd (Derek Chin, the MovieTowne man) and Invaders Bay Mariner Development Company (Jerry Joseph).  He also claimed that those leases are to be granted at the land value quoted by the developer/s’ valuer -$74psf – which is a small fraction of the valuations obtained from the Commissioner of Valuations – $511psf – and PricewaterhouseCoopers, the independent consultant retained by the State – $436psf.

According to Al-Rawi –

…The developers are saying, “Hold on, you need to look at this from a residual valuation approach”, and on a residual valuation approach they are saying, “Remember we have to do infrastructural work, we are only going to get a residue of this land coming into our hands, therefore, we want a residual value approach…   Continue reading

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Filed under Consumer Issues, Corruption, Politics & Corruption, Trinidad and Tobago

Trailer: A Handful of Dirt

Russell Watson’s A Handful of Dirt  revolves around a peaceful plot of land that threatens to tear a small family apart.
The film was awarded the ReelChoice Audience Award at the Reel World Film Festival in 2011 and was among the nominees for Best First Feature Narrative Director at the 2011 Pan African Film Festival  in Los Angeles.
From the film’s facebook site:
Archie Redman is a middle aged man chasing a fading dream. Obsessed with holding on to his failing hotel, he has sacrificed everything – his marriage lies broken, his son estranged and the bank is poised to foreclose. Ben, his bitter father, ignores his pleas for help, unable to forgive an act of betrayal committed twenty years ago over a parcel of hard-earned land.
Thousands of miles away, Archie’s son Jay struggles with mounting challenges of his own. He is stuck in immigration limbo, jobless in a cold and unforgiving city and involved in a demanding relationship.
Just as an unwelcome piece of news further complicates Jay’s situation, he is presented with an opportunity to resolve his problems, but to take it he must choose between securing his own future and repeating the sins of the past.

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Filed under Barbados

Barbados tourism performance worst of 25 Caribbean Tourism Organisation members

rihanna_vagina_naked 2

How is the Rihanna tourism campaign going? Not well at all.

Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner - now selling!

Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner – now selling!

When you read such emotive statements as ‘In two months we would have reached the enviable target of over one billion earned impressions on our digital properties supporting brand Barbados’  you perhaps cannot fail to be left in a condition of awestruck wonder.

But then, reflecting on the words, what does this actually mean and how does it impact on our current tourism performance?

It’s quickly realised that while the less informed may get blown away with the flowery phraseology, certainly in the last seventeen consecutive months it has not had any positive effective on driving increased long stay visitor arrivals.

We are also now in the third year of the quoted multi-million marketing arrangement with superstar Rihanna and ten months since her long delayed campaign video has been aired. When I last checked YouTube, it had received over 450,000 views. On reflection, at least the inclusion of a ‘call to action’ or proven method of monitoring the level of booked holiday conversion ratio, would have demonstrated any cost-effectiveness.

Surely, by now, we should have started to see some sort of return on ‘our’ investment.

Other promotions like the $11 million Barbados Island Inclusive initiative have clearly not made up for the dramatic decline. This now stands at over 61,100 ‘lost’ long stay visitors from April 2012 until August 2013.

September tourism figures this year, have yet to be disclosed, but indications point to the continuation of a dismal performance.

Yes! we know that ongoing national tourism policy direction is largely led by Government agencies, but if the same scenario was being experienced by a private sector company or corporation, how much longer could it afford to go on losing market share, month after month?

While those in control of directing our tourism industry continue to function in a flagrant state of denial, it is very difficult to know, if this persists, what more can be done to address the crisis.

The facts speak for themselves. In 2012, of the 25 reporting Caribbean Tourism Organisation members, 19 reported positive stop-over growth.

4 recorded a fall of 1.8 per cent or less and only one, Grenada, approached anything like the 5.5 per cent fall experienced by Barbados. Simply put, of the 25 countries submitting their arrival data, Barbados had the worse performance.

Yet right up until a few days ago, the media is quoting excuses like ‘some destinations may argue have seen growth, but usually they are emerging destinations which results will reflect, but they are not a mature destination such as Barbados’.

This continued facade of delusion must concern us all; and the longer we go on denying there is a problem, the path to recovery becomes more arduous and prolonged.

After all, what other practical choice do we currently have?

Barbadian tourism marketing prowess used to be the envy of most of our regional neighbours.

Nowadays, ‘we’ have almost become the laughing stock in the Caribbean, when plan after plan are proclaimed publicly, then months and sometimes years later, the majority fail to materialise in reality.

Adrian Loveridge

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Rihanna

What the hell does New Zealand want with Barbados?

Barbados New Zealand

New Zealand sends ambassador to Barbados – for good reasons!

How small the world is today, and how wonderful it is when one can have friends on the other side of the globe.

I couldn’t figure out why New Zealand would bother putting an ambassador anywhere in the Caribbean, so the recent announcement puzzled me. Then I started reading some of the news articles and press releases in New Zealand (thank you internet!) and I understood immediately. None of the Caribbean news sources made the connection: It’s a big chess game at the United Nations where no card is too small to count.

Barbados might be a small card – but we count big time where our vote can push national and international campaigns over the top. That’s why New Zealand is interested in little Bim – they think we can help them to be elected to the Security Council at the United Nations.

New Zealand people are typically called ‘Kiwis’, and from the few I’ve met I can tell you that if you thought Aussies were friendly, loud and largely out of control… you ain’t seen nothing yet! I know from my time drilling out rivets in the Middle East that there is no finer, more loyal friend than a Kiwi. It’s in their blood. Let’s hope that’s true on a national scale too.

And another thing: I think those Kiwis are going to love our rum.

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Filed under Barbados, Politics

“Better to be poor and in control of my own life”

A few wonderful pieces from our old friend Ian Bourne at The Bajan Reporter.

That man has a nose for news and a belly for a story. A pity he’s not in charge of CBC’s news department…

“Your Condo does not impress me much!”

Money dictates the quality of life that you live, and without money you cannot survive: that in itself is a true statement. Unfortunately, a lot of times we make less money -even though we might do the same quality, and quantity of work as a man in the workplace.

This then leads you to perhaps marry for stability, to ensure that you will live comfortably. Money does not make you happy, so don’t ever throw in the towel and settle with a man just because he is financially stable. Great if you find, and love someone who is wealthy and you two have decided to make a life together. However, succumbing to fear and marrying for money while you stare at your dwindling bank account is not the answer.

Read the entire article at The Bajan Reporter: Your Condo does not impress me much!

Dido elizabeth belle

Belle – Illegitimate mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral

Based on a true story, Belle follows the story of an Dido Elizebeth Belle, the illegitimate mixed race daughter of Royal Navy Admiral Sir John Lindsay and a Jamaican slave woman known only as Belle. Raised by her aristocratic great-uncle Lord Mansfield and his wife, Belle’s lineage affords her certain privileges, yet the color of her skin prevents her from fully participating in the traditions of her social standing.

“Dido Elizabeth Belle was born around 1761. She was baptised in 1766 at St. George’s Church, Bloomsbury. Her father, John Lindsay, nephew of the Earl of Mansfield, was at the time a Royal Navy captain on HMS Trent, a warship based in the West Indies that took part in the capture of Havana from the Spanish in 1762. It has previously been suggested that her mother was an enslaved African on board one of the Spanish ships captured during this battle, but the dates are inconsistent and there is no reason why any of the Spanish ships (which were immobilised in the inner habour) would have had women on board when they were delivered up on the formal surrender of the fortress. Dido’s baptism record, however, shows that she was born while Lindsay was in the West Indies and that her mother’s name was Maria Belle.”

Thanks to Ian Bourne for pointing us to a new movie about this fascinating bit of Caribbean history.

2 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Human Rights, Jamaica, Race, Slavery

Still News: Rayside Construction lays off 60 workers as Barbados Government defaults millions owed for completed work

rayside Construction logo barbados

Now tell me the truth…

Almost a month ago Rayside laid off 60 workers, with the Barbados Government hiding the fact that Rayside is owed millions for completed government projects.

But Rayside is owned by CLICO, and CLICO went under but was bailed out by the Government to cover up the fraud pulled off by then Prime Minister David Thompson and his faithful leader, ah… what’s ‘is name? Oh yeah… Leroy. Leroy Parris.

It’s all too complex for ordinary folk like us, and doubly too complex for the local news media who haven’t touched the story since they published this little ditty. There were a few little pieces of roadwork handed out to Rayside but just enough to keep them alive, and not enough to call back more than one out of every three workers. Don’t you believe that stuff about $35 million dollars in new road projects… that’s a pipe dream that will take 10 years if ever.

But hey… what’s a couple a dozen million dollars between friends especially if government owes it and can’t pay? Not that newsworthy, ya know!

60 laid off

TUE, SEPTEMBER 24, 2013 – 12:06 AM

ANOTHER MAJOR CONSTRUCTION company is sending home staff.

Effective today, about 60 workers of Rayside Construction Ltd will be off the job. Continue reading

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