Currently before Parliament are the Barbados Tourism Product Authority and Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., bills. Not surprisingly, considering the protracted time it has taken so far getting these long promised changes in legislation to this stage, many industry partners may have forgotten about them altogether.
Given the infrequent holding of Parliament, the late starts, early finishes, extended lunch periods and volume of none constitutional subjects discussed, whether it is now realistic to have the required readings of these bills in both houses and passed into law by the stated 2nd April 2014 date seems rather ambitious.
The Barbados Tourism Authority as we have known it will cease to exist and be replaced by the two new entities. What does this mean in reality?
Will some current employees be severed and if so how many? Government’s stated moratorium, ‘no new hiring’ will surely limit staffing the new statutory corporations – so what is the plan?
Reading through the documentation contained on the Parliament’s website, it would also appear that all the substantial debt of the present Barbados Tourism Authority will be transferred to one or both new companies. How will this impact on budgets and spending?
Are there now to be two boards with two Chairman, two Deputy Chairman, two Presidents/CEO’s, two luxury SUV vehicles, multiple first class travel allowances, two administration offices etc., and what will become of the current ‘consultants’ employed by the BTA after the transition? Will either or both organisations be mandated to operate on performance based criteria and obliged to publish their annual audited accounts on a timely basis?
So many unanswered questions! Continue reading