“Only time will tell if it is either desirable or healthy for any Government to own more than one in five of the entire hotel room stock in a tourism dependent nation.”
When Government completes the acquisition of the former Almond Beach Village and Silver Sands Resort, it will become the single largest hotel owner on Barbados by far.
In fact, the Barbados Government will own more than double the number of rooms than any private sector company does: Hilton (354), Almond Beach Village (ABV) (396), Silver Sands (130), Blue Horizon (120) including almost 50 abandoned rooms that were never upgraded under the GEMS project, Pommarine (21).
Still to be explained is whether the purchase of Casuarina (280) will be funded by Sandals companies, using their own money.
Even without Casuarina, already that’s over 1,000 rooms!
This number could climb to over 1,500, as and when ABV is demolished and re-built. All acquired and/or built with subsidised taxpayer monies.
Only time will tell if it is either desirable or healthy for any Government to own more than one in five of the entire hotel room stock in a tourism dependent nation.
I cannot think of a similar precedent in any other Caribbean country and if our policymakers are suggesting ‘Government should consider owning more hotels’, can they point to this model working anywhere else? Continue reading