Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner
One of the most difficult and painful decisions I have ever made was to cancel our last re-DISCOVER the Caribbean Show some years ago, which had become a highly successful annual event spanning over seven years.
As well as highlighting and driving new interest in Intra regional travel it was also used as a catalyst to build trade between the islands. It also brought almost around $1 million of foreign exchange into Barbados, filled scores of hotel rooms, generated significant car rental business and helped keep our multitude of restaurants busy, during a traditionally quieter off-season period.
If you were among the thousands of people who visited the show over the two days it took place each year, you would have met representatives from up to 22 participating territories, from Surinam in the south to Jamaica in the north and almost everywhere in between.
What finally prompted the final resolve to stop co-ordinating the show was the reduced funding by the then Barbados Tourism Authority, which even at its peak, represented less than 10 per cent of the actual cost…
Plus the sad realisation, that they could not find two or more of their staff to ‘man’ a stand for the duration, out of what were then over one hundred employees. Continue reading
Drug dealers, corrupt politicians and bad cops
Who made this list?
Sheri Veronica, that’s who. And she ties it to vote buying in Barbados elections.
That woman has stones.
And she’s pretty too!
Sheri Veronica’s blog: Barbados: Bad cops, Corrupt politicians and drug lords
Labour Action a result of no pay for a year
Contributed anonymously by Rotten Cotton
Our 2015 cotton crop is in danger of rotting in the fields as fewer than 10% of last year’s 150 registered cotton pickers are willing to work, and this year the crop is almost double the size of 2014.
The problem is that the Government of Barbados hasn’t been able to pay the pickers for the work they did a full year ago, picking the 2014 crop.
Guess what folks? You promise to pay agricultural workers a certain amount for each pound of cotton and you don’t pay them for a year… what happens is that nobody shows up to pick the next crop.
Got that Prime Minster Stuart?
It’s a simple and basic concept that this government hasn’t grasped I know. The government can put off paying suppliers, contractors and government employees when the money can’t be found, and those people will hang in waiting for the government to catch up on payments.
But you can’t do that to poor agricultural workers for a year or they walk and that is exactly what has happened.
“How bad is the financial situation really when the government puts the whole 2015 cotton crop at risk because they can’t pay workers their 40 cents a pound that has been owing to them for a year?”
The newspapers and television are full of cotton stories with politicians, Agricultural Ministry officials and industry spokespeople hyping the value to the economy and the doubling of fields planted over last year but hardly anyone is talking about the growing sense of danger – some say verging on panic – that is spreading throughout the cotton community. Continue reading
Shocking behaviours by those entrusted to investigate corruption
by Afra Raymond
This column sets out my reasons for seriously questioning the motivation and priorities of the Integrity Commission. Despite my doubts as to the way in which successive Commissions have operated the Integrity in Public Life Act (IPLA), I have continued to offer suggestions as to how their work could be made more effective.
The continuing Code of Silence on the CL Financial bailout, the sharp attack, from many quarters, on our substantial national institutions and the very doubtful history of the Integrity Commission are clear signs that the Public Interest needs to be safeguarded with utmost vigilance at this time.
In relation to the Commission’s history, we need to note the shocking details unearthed during Dr Keith Rowley’s litigation against them. The Commission had made certain findings without giving Rowley the opportunity to respond, as recommended by its advisers and in 2009 the High Court made an historic finding that…
“…The Court declares that the Integrity Commission has acted in bad faith in relation to Dr. Rowley and is guilty of the tort of misfeasance in public office…”
At Para 45 (i) of the 2009 ruling –
“…The Court does not accept the Integrity Commission’s explanation as to why it wrote to the Honourable Prime Minister on the 19th October, 2004, to ascertain whether an inquiry was to be undertaken and if so, the names of the persons to man the enquiry and their terms of reference. The Court notes that the Integrity Commission is an independent constitutional body which ought to act independently pursuant to its constitutional and statutory powers and duties…”
The entire Commission resigned immediately as a result of that High Court ruling.
… continue reading this article at Afra Raymond’s blog Integrity Reflections
Innovation pays off for re-Discover programme
Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner
I am frequently surprised and occasionally humbled by some of the people who read this column. Out of the blue a couple of weeks ago, I had a call from a senior executive of the Illinois based third largest credit card issuer in the United States, with a quoted 47 million card holders.
He had been following some of our tourism initiatives and wanted to see how we could ‘partner’ to help increase their brand awareness and acceptance on Barbados.
Of all our major markets the United States has, for the last decade, been one of the most challenging. Until the 2014 figures are published the industry at large can only speculate about any real recovery last year.
But what we do know though is that 2013 recorded the lowest number (120,584) of long stay American visitors over the past 11 years.
So clearly, there is work to be done and I am sure with the recent restructuring that has taken place, we will start to witness increased numbers in the not to distance future; especially if we wish to sustain any added airlift.
So what is finally being negotiated with DISCOVER is a win-win scenario that will hopefully achieve their objectives, while at the same time help to raise our destination visibility in US market, again at minimal cost.
With help from the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc (BTMI) the new branded re-DISCOVER DISCOVER lunch and dinner voucher will be mainly distributed from the BTMI office in the arrivals hall of Grantley Adams International Airport. As we know, the vast majority of passengers have to pass this office after clearing immigration, baggage collection and before clearing customs. This will be critical in the possible success of the promotion. Continue reading
by Peter Binose
In a speech on national television, Venezuela’s president Maduro reports that the air defense areas of the country have been expanded beyond the Windward Islands all the way up to St Maarten. President Nicolas Maduro, said that his country has the right to defend itself in the skies above the Dutch Antilles.
Venezuela is already a bully of the seas claiming areas that it does not own, now it appears they are trying to bully the airspace.
We have to remember how PM Ralph Gonsalves supported Venezuela’s sea grab of Bird Island. Just what kind of betrayal was that?
The yellow area shows the Venezuelan Economic space, with the effect of Aves Island/Rock.
Under the International Law Of The Sea Aves Island is classified as a rock which does not get the 200mile economic zone, however Venezuela hasn’t signed the UNLOS treaty. This rock effectively removes a significantly removes most of the OECS’ economic zone.
… from Notes from the Margin article How Venezuela Controls the Caribbean Sea
“St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said the OECS had accepted Venezuela’s sovereignty over Bird Island and that he would not allow anyone to dictate whether or not he should put pressure on the Government of Venezuela in relation to the issue”. Speaking at a press conference at the Caricom secretariat, Gonsalves said, “Nobody is going to tell me which questions are important.”
When public support for this type of Venezuelan communist regime wanes at home they try and turn public attention from local matters to the international theatre. Continue reading
“Financial advisers who recommended clients switch their pensions into self-invested schemes heavily exposed to investments being marketed by embattled overseas property group Harlequin are legally liable for losses, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme confirmed…”
… from the Financial Times article Advisers are liable for Harlequin pension transfer losses
Do them. Do them all. Lead them away in handcuffs and beat them on the way to jail.
Lives ruined. Pensions devoured.
Barbados politicians played a pivotal role as enablers for David Ames and his gang. Do them all.