“Despite the open hostility frequently directed at hoteliers on Barbados, the general public forgets that Government is in fact already the largest single owner of accommodation room stock on the island.”
Over the last few weeks I have been following the various views expressed, vested or otherwise, comparing the merits of proceeding with the stated non-binding Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Sandals group of companies and Government or allowing the current operator of Almond Beach Village to take over the entire property. What appears dismally lacking is any comprehensive analysis detailing the potential financial benefits of both options for the short, medium and long term.
With Sandals now closed at least until December, the majority of fiscal activity will be generated by construction, where virtually all materials used are imported and require foreign exchange to pay for them.
Even with just 160 rooms out of a total of 396 currently open, Almond St. Peter will continue to earn somewhere around BDS$2 million per month at 85 per cent occupancy. With all rooms fully functional that amount would increase to approximately BDS$6 million. Meaningful employment would not only be retained but substantially grown year round increasing NIS and tax contributions to Government. And on the subject of tax, the current Almond ‘managers’ still pay VAT and from what I understand largely source the majority of consumables locally. Continue reading