The Award For Most Outstanding Minister Of Tourism In The History Of Barbados Goes To Noel 'Barney' Lynch

It happened because a man who has a passion for the industry, who is respected by everyone in tourism, at home and abroad, has gone out of his way to work every day, he said

Prime Minister Owen Arthur

This was part of a speech by the Prime Minister when describing Minister of Tourism, Noel Lynch, last Wednesday during at meeting at Villa Road, St. Michael. The Prime Minister went on to describe, Noel Lynch ‘as the most outstanding Minister of Tourism, Barbados has ever had’.

Well! Does the record confirm this?

27 hotels have closed during the 13 years of the BLP administration. Between 2002 and 2004, some 2,000 jobs were lost in the sector. Down from 14,200 to 12,200 and that’s according to the Ministry of Labour. In the first nine months of last year alone over 67,000 airline seats were lost. The stewardship of Minister Lynch over the return of LIAT to a monopoly carrier has decimated Intra Caribbean travel, with all the detrimental economic consequences this has inflicted on the accommodation and ancillary tourism sector across the region. Only now, is The Minister speaking about ‘a strict zoning regime is coming for condominiums’. 27 closed hotels later.

In their manifesto they are boasting a growth in tourism earnings from $2 billion to $4 billion in five years. A growth that they have not even been close to achieve even with rampant inflation! The Prime Minister may be under the illusion. That Noel Lynch is the ‘most outstanding Minister of Tourism’ but I suggest he talks to a red cap, a taxi driver, a hotel room maid, a restaurant waiter or one of the many hotel staff that that have had the working hours reduced during this, the peak winter season. Ask also one of the 10 passengers that flew in on the much heralded Fort Lauderdale flight yesterday or the hundreds of passengers that have had their flights cancelled in recent weeks.

You only have to compare our performance both in terms of tourism arrivals and earnings with virtually all of our Caribbean neighbours to see exactly how we are doing. And no rational person could conclude we have the ‘most outstanding Minister of Tourism’.

Adrian Loveridge

13 January 2008

26 thoughts on “The Award For Most Outstanding Minister Of Tourism In The History Of Barbados Goes To Noel 'Barney' Lynch

  1. Is it not interesting that as a region which is in the throes of CSME and all that comes along with it we have Jamaica embarking on a divestment program for Air Jamaica, while in the OECS/S.Caribbean respective governments continue to dump tax-money in LIAT with no commensurate restructuring to staff, operations etc.

    Shouldn’t the governments in the Caribbean be of one accord on the matter of air transport? This one of the indicators Mr. Prime Minister which we grade Minister Lynch. It cannot simply be about the number of tourists entering Barbados.

    Low-cost air carrier denied J’can licence
    Irish firm told to wait as Air J divestment a priority
    By Al Edwards
    Sunday, January 13, 2008

    The Government has, for the time being, rejected Caribbean low-cost carrier Airone’s formal application to the Civil Aviation Authority for a licence to operate in Jamaica.

    Airone, the brainchild of a group of Irish entrepreneurs, including Digicel’s vice-chairman Leslie Buckley, is seeking to establish a Low-Cost Carrier (LCC) with the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston serving as its hub.

    Last month, Airone Group chairman, Ian Burns, had shared with the Sunday Observer his airline’s desire to operate from Jamaica.
    “We have made a formal application to the Jamaican Civil Aviation Authority under the name Airone Ventures Limited, although this isn’t the name that we will be flying under,” Burns said.

    “We have the potential to add one million tourist arrivals to Jamaica within five years, a huge boost to the tourism industry. The airline will also seek to open new markets and new routes. It will service the Caribbean, the United States and Latin America from Kingston, Jamaica,” he added.

    However, last Thursday, the minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Finance, Don Wehby, and a team of Government officials took the decision not to grant the new airline a licence now, essentially because the Government is in the process of divesting the loss-making Air Jamaica and it was felt that a decision to grant another carrier a licence at this time would adversely effect the divestment of the national carrier.

    “We met with representatives of Airone last week and we regrettably were unable to grant the carrier a licence at this point in time,” Wehby told the Sunday Observer last night. “The divestment of Air Jamaica is our foremost priority, and the Government feels that it would not put it in a good light if it were to grant a carrier a licence to compete directly with Air Jamaica. In fact, to grant a licence at this time will not add value to Air Jamaica, and we would be seen as not negotiating in good faith. Our decision does not constitute an outright rejection of Airone. It is just a question of timing.”

    Wehby further added that Airone intends to be operational by May of this year and so the due diligence process would not allow for such a short time frame. He said that Airone had a very good chance of being granted a licence, once Air Jamaica was divested.

    The Government has taken the decision that with losses of US$100 million a year, and an accumulated deficit of US$1.1 billion, the national carrier is a non-performing asset and should be divested as a means of alleviating the country’s debt burden.

    Prime Minister Bruce Golding has appointed Wehby to oversee the divestment process.

    Wehby has said that he is in the advanced stages of contracting the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation to put together an airline package that would value all of Air Jamaica’s assets.

    To date, the Government has short-listed four bidders for Air Jamaica, including an interest from China which is said to be very keen on the Air Jamaica brand.

    Wehby, who said that all the bidders are well-capitalised and have extensive commercial aviation experience, has projected that Air Jamaica will be divested by March 2009.

    Last night, Airone’s director of development, Robert Burns, responding to the Government’s decision, said his firm was disappointed but understood why the Government felt the divestment of Air Jamaica must be a top priority.

    “I studied economics, and I am a believer in an open market economy,” said Robert Burns. “Protectionism and monopolies do not benefit the consumer, the economy or the country. We offered to help protect and assist Air Jamaica, even agreeing not to fly on its key routes for a specified period of time, but to no avail. One only has to look at what the entrance of Digicel did for the telecommunications market in Jamaica.”

    Last night, Buckley, one of Airone’s lead principals, told the Sunday Observer from Hong Kong, “We want to offer Caribbean people a low-cost carrier that will service the tourism industry and the Diaspora.

    We want to grow new routes and help tourism thrive. There must be a way in which we can all survive together – that is, Air Jamaica remains the national carrier and goes from strength to strength and we are granted a licence. If we are unsuccessful in Jamaica we will set up operations in Barbados. If Air Jamaica is not divested in 12 months’ time, then Jamaica would have missed out on having an affordable, reliable carrier that would have been a boon to the tourism industry and Jamaicans living around the world.”

    Jamaica Observer

  2. “If we are unsuccessful in Jamaica we will set up operations in Barbados.”

    So they are going with Owen.

    That statement is a vote of confidence in Barbados.

    Thank you.

  3. Adrian Loveridge the white British foreigner should stop trying to fool Bajan people with his personal vendetta and campaign of hatred against a black Barbadian government minister whose shoes he will never fill. What are the statistics for the tourism DOLLARS? Don’t come with your gimmicks, tricks and lies, Loveridge, I challenge you to tell us how much MONEY tourism has been bringing into Barbados each year for the past 20 years.

    You must think that black Bajans are fools.

  4. Let us compare the two political campaigns todate.

    The DLP have had the blp on the back foot from the outset of this election, theDLP’S campaign has been well thought out and has dealt with the issues facing the people and it is one that has been thought thru by ordinary citizens and the people of this island, on the other hand the blp has been run on replies to the DLP and fear Tactics and hype but most amazingly it is not a campaign that was created by local minds with locals in their thoughts this campaign has been the brain child of one ROY BOYKE who is from TRINIDAD and he the CLOWN JEVAN from RED ADVERTISING my only comment to this is this is a sad display of your professional skills to the two of you.

    However keep the work up it is helping the success of the DLP by leaps and bounds so congrats to you both.

  5. A Vote for Barbados..

    So you think its me trying to fool the Barbadian public?

    Did I say

    ‘90,000’ long stay visitors during the week of CWC Final’


    plus ‘75,000 cruise ship passengers’


    ‘700 yachts’


    ‘absolutely no loan to charter Carnival Destiny’


    ‘Biggest homeport in the world’?

    The BLP prediction that tourism earnings will increase from $2 billion to $4 billion annually within five years is absolutely ridiculous.

    Our tourism earnings have barely kept up with inflation.

    A doubling of revenue in five years could be achieved if they devalue the Dollar.

    Tourism is too precious to me and Barbados for it to be run in such a cavalier manner!

  6. Loveridge,

    Where are the earnings numbers?

    Just produce the dollar figures or shut up.

    We already know that the tourism industry currently brings 2 BILLION DOLLARS a year into the Barbados economy.

    What were the figures for the past 20 years?

    You are such a FRAUD that you will come pushing all sorts of meaningless numbers except the ones that matter.

    You will never DARE to post those on this blog or any other.

    The two biggest numbers that matter in tourism are these.

    1. The amount of money the industry brings into the country.

    2. The number of visitors the industry brings into the country.

    TWO BILLION DOLLARS a year flowing into Barbados speaks for itself.

  7. A Vote For Barbados said……
    Adrian Loveridge the white British foreigner …

    And then went on to say
    You must think that black Bajans are fools.

    You discredit yourself in your own argument by exposing your racial bias.
    Why is it that when you cannot prove a point, the first thing you do is to play the race card?

    In all my short life, the people who have done me the greatest injustices have been 99.9% BLACK. I challenge you to ask yourself the same question…if you can and let everyone know your answer.
    We need to get the chip off our shoulder and respect people for their contributions and not the colour of their skin.

    And yes …I am a young black man!!

  8. I am putting the challenge to Loveridge the white foreigner to post the numbers.

    He knows them just as well as I do but…

    He will NEVER do it.

    I’ll allow him a few hours and if he doesn’t have them ready by 6:00 pm Barbados time I will post them on this blog IF BARBADOS UNDERGROUND ALLOWS ME TO DO SO.

    Don’t pretend that you are a “young black man” now Loveridge, you FRAUD. You are lucky that WordPress comments don’t show IP numbers.

  9. ADRIAN LOVERIDGE is a bloody liar a trouble maker and a total idiot who really needs to just pack his bags and leave barbdos …..NOEL LYNCH is the BEST tourism minister this country has ever had

  10. I am putting the challenge to Loveridge the white foreigner to post the numbers.

    He knows them just as well as I do but…

    He will NEVER do it.

    I’ll allow him a few hours and if he doesn’t have them ready by 6:00 pm Barbados time I will post them on this blog IF BARBADOS UNDERGROUND ALLOWS ME TO DO SO.

  11. Adrian Loveridge?

    It has been over two hours. I am waiting till SIX O’CLOCK and then I will post the numbers I have, hear?

    Tourism in Barbados is a NATIONAL ECONOMIC MATTER, not some grudge you have been harbouring for years against one black Bajan man.

  12. It appears to me the fear of loosing this election has extracted the venom of the worst kind, here it is we have drunken arthur asking the DLP supporters to be peaceful during this election campaign and yet his own are the worst ones for a display of poor manners and racial insults, you are really a shamed bunch.

  13. Sunday Sun Extra – page 4
    13 January 2008

    ‘Minister of Tourism, Noel Lynch, who told a meeting in his contituency Wednesday night that this would be regulated under a new Condominium Act which would reserve the beach front land for traditional type hotels while condominiums would be on the land side’.

    Now skip to page 25a of the same newspaper and see the ‘ad’ for Sapphire Beach, the new OCEAN FRONT development being built on taxpayer GEMS land.

    At yet some of you saying ‘white man speaking with forked tongue’

  14. As promised, please see pages 23 to 28 for tourism statistics for Barbados from 1958 to 2005.

    Adrian Loveridge,

    I asked for tourism earnings and arrivals statistics from you, not any of your personal vendetta crap against Noel Lynch.

    I challenged you to produce it by 6 o’clock and all you did was spout rubbish.

    In 2007, Barbados earned some 1.8 billion dollars from tourism earnings.

    A Vote For Barbados @ B F P E

    Last Updated: Saturday, 12 January 2008, 15:08 GMT

    Taiwan nationalists in huge win

    Supporters of Nationalist Party in Taipei county, 11 Jan 2008

    All parties campaigned up to the last minute
    Taiwan’s opposition nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) party has won a landslide victory in parliamentary polls, official results show.

    The KMT, which wants closer ties with China, secured 72% of the seats in the 113-seat chamber, beating President Chen Shui-bian’s party, the DPP.

    The independence-leaning president said he was “shamed”, resigning as chairman of the Democratic Progressive Party.

    The elections are seen as a barometer for the presidential poll on 22 March.

    China regards Taiwan as a renegade province that should be reunified.


    With all the votes counted, the KMT secured 81 seats, Taiwan’s election commission announced.

    KMT – 81 seat
    DPP – 27 seats
    other parties – 5 seats

    The DPP got 27 seats (24%), while smaller parties won five seats.

    Under a new electoral system, the number of seats in Taiwan’s new parliament has been cut from 225 to 113.

    The change was adopted in 2005 to reduce corruption and improve efficiency but observers say the new system may marginalise smaller parties in favour of the DPP and the KMT.

    Former Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou campaigns for the KMT (6 January 2007)
    KMT presidential hopeful Ma Ying-jeou has called for change

    A new voting system was also introduced whereby voters cast ballots for both a party and a particular candidate in their constituency.

    Seventy-three seats were contested by a total of 296 individual candidates representing 12 parties, while 34 seats were to be allocated on a party list system. A further six seats were reserved for ethnic minorities.

    Two referendums were held alongside the legislative election.

    The first asked voters to support legislation to force the KMT to return state assets the DPP says were illegally amassed during the 1950s, while the other, tabled by the KMT, called for action against corrupt officials.

    Beijing quiet

    BBC China analyst Shirong Chen says the two main parties concentrated on local issues and shied away from discussing China in the run-up to the vote, a tactic the Chinese government has also adopted.

    Map of Taiwan

    Beijing has learned from its past misadventures during Taiwanese polls that verbal warnings and missile tests would backfire in favour of candidates from the pro-independence DPP, our correspondent says.

    China has been focusing on getting countries like the US and France to oppose Taiwan’s referendum on joining the UN, which will be held alongside the presidential election in March.

    China has also been persuading Taiwan’s diplomatic allies to switch recognition from Taipei to Beijing, prompting the Taiwanese foreign minister to make a futile trip to Malawi to consolidate bilateral ties.

  16. China has also been persuading Taiwan’s diplomatic allies to switch recognition from Taipei to Beijing, prompting the Taiwanese foreign minister to make a futile trip to Malawi to consolidate bilateral ties.

  17. Pingback: » Barbados Elections, BLP, DLP: Which Party Embodies “HOPE”? Keltruth Corp.: News Blog of Keltruth Corp. - Miami, Florida, USA.

  18. I am expecting communist China to invade democratic Taiwan.
    When this happens what will USA and Barbados do? If still in power, will Owen send troops to help his communists friends suppress democracy?

  19. A Vote for Barbados…

    Thank you for confirming my observation and I will repeat it in BIG LETTERS so that you may understand it.
    So to quote that annual tourism earning will increase from $2 billion to $4 billion over the next five years is a wholly riduculous and erroneous prediction.

    Another thing came out of the Central Bank figures, thank you.

    During this Government’s rein and under our ‘most outstanding Minister of Tourism ,’ over the period 1994 until the end of 2005, average stay has remained at 7 nights and average annual occupancy has FALLEN from 58% to 54%.

    Likewise since 1994,
    Hotel beds available are DOWN,
    Hotel bed occupancy is DOWN

    In 1994 Barbados welcomed 52,286 Canadian long stay visitors.
    In 2005 that figures had dropped to 47,690, a fall of nearly 9%.
    Check it out for 2007 and the numbers have continued to fall even with a 30 year high in the value of the Canadian Dollar.

    So what are you going to claim now, A Vote for Barbados, that the Central Bank is lying too and the only person telling the truth is the ‘most outstanding Minister of Tourism’.

  20. I owe a debt of gratitude to A Vote for Barbados for posting the Central Bank figures.

    Due to the reporting period, it has taken a lot longer to draw conclusions from the figures quoted, but there are interesting questions that can be raised.

    In 1994 we welcomed 425,632 long stay visitors.
    By 2005 that number had increased to 547,501.

    A growth of 28.5% over 11 years or an annual average of 2.6%.
    If numbers equated to actual visitor spend, then we would have just about kept up with inflation over that period, but experienced no real growth.

    During that 11 years we lost 27 hotels.
    Average stay increased slightly from 7.075 nights in 1994 to 7.35 nights in 2005.

    Hotel BEDS available fell from 11,495 in 1994 to 11,237 in 2004 (the last date mentioned in the CB report).

    Hotel BED occupancy (which includes A class and B class hotels, guests houses, apartment hotels and apartments) fell from 56.7% in 1994 to 50.4% in 2004.

    And overall hotel ROOM occupancy fell from 57.95% in 1994 to 53.95% in 2005.

    To to make any sense of the Central Bank figures and to give them any credibility, the question has to be asked, with reduced room
    capacity and reduced occupancy levels, where did these 105,394 ‘extra’ visitors actually stay?

  21. Please read the concerns about LIAT which the Prime Minister]od Grenada expressed yesterday.

    Grenada’s prime minister expresses his concern over LIAT
    By Linda Straker | Jan 14, 2008

    ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada (eTN) – Prime Minister Keith Mitchell told LIAT’s CEO on Thursday that he is committed to the success and survival of the airline but had serious concerns about the way the service is being operated.

    During a meeting at his office in Grenada, Prime Minister Mitchell told LIAT CEO Mark Darby that the current monopoly arrangement which LIAT enjoys was not necessarily working in the best interest of the traveling public.

    According to a statement from the prime minister’s office, Mitchell identified the unavailability of flights, the unreliability of services and the sharp increase in fares as the main problems passengers were facing. He told the CEO of LIAT that Grenada was being badly affected by this problem and recounted tourism figures, which showed a significant decline in intra-regional travel to Grenada in the last year.

    “I have consistently raised this point with my colleagues at the Heads of Government Meetings. If we are serious about integration we have to provide a cheaper and more reliable means for our people to travel the region,” Prime Minister Mitchell remarked.

    He said that people across the region were suffering and were being placed under severe stress because of the rigors and hardships they faced while traveling with LIAT. He related stories told to him by vendors and traffickers, small business persons, and sports men and women in Grenada after having to spend countless hours stranded in Barbados or Trinidad with no arrangements made for accommodation.

    According to the statement, Prime Minister Mitchell gave the government’s commitment to assist in making LIAT more reliable and is prepared to invest in LIAT once assurances could be given of improved service. “We are prepared to work with LIAT in finding a solution. I am sure that if we can make flights cheaper and more available between Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago and others, this will greatly ease some of the burden our people are experiencing,” he said.

    In response, according to the statement, Mr. Darby told the prime minister that several factors including higher oil prices had caused the increase in air fares and the airline was working on outlining a plan to improve its service. “This decline Prime Minister Mitchell noted was coupled with a 200 percent increase in airfares in the corresponding period,” Dr. Mitchell said, while pointing out that LIAT’s poor service was having a negative effect on the regional integration movement.

    The prime minister ended the meeting by asking Mr. Darby and Tourism Minister Claris Modeste-Curwen to look at options and solutions that could improve the service to Grenada.

    * airline monopolies
    * Caribbean & Central America
    * Caribbean aviation
    * LIAT
    * Mark Darby
    * Prime Minister Mitchell

  22. Adrian L:

    It’s difficult to eat cornflakes when grinning so broadly isn’t it?

    Respect to you sir, for your single-mindedness, and not wilting under the pressure.

    Democracy in action.

    No matter what complexion, Barbados needs every person who can stand up and be counted when the country’s best interests are at stake.

  23. Straight talk..

    Thank you.

    We have a new Minister of Tourism and democracy has taken another step forward.

    I wish all the best to Mr. Richard Sealy, certainly in my limited experience with him, he listens and formulates an intelligent response in a very short time.

    I hope that he will surround himself with people that fully understand this industry and bring some new young fresh minds onboard.

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