I am very heartened at the news that Barbados has succeeded in receiving record numbers of tourists for the month of January. This is significant given all of the other depressing news that surrounds the uncertainties associated with what is occurring in the UK and USA notwithstanding that Canada is holding its own.
Nevertheless, the good news is tempered by a concern over the issue of revenues and distribution in terms of any spending with the stakeholders. Am I to believe that with our gains in recording statistical data, we still prefer attractive sound bytes rather than getting to the detail. Hence, a few questions that Ralph Taylor or the Ministry of Tourism may wish to consider.
- What is the actual or projected revenue from the record 50, 000 plus visitors in January?
- How many of these arrivals were classified as (a) cruise ship; and (b) hotel?
- How many of the major or small businesses have indicated any significant improvement of their earnings in January 2011 as compared to January over the last 5 years?
- To what extent has the tourist industry since January been able to reverse the trends of unemployment or reduced work schedules in that industry as a direct result of the January numbers?
There is no intent on my part to bash the current administration or any of the agencies supplying the welcomed news. However, if Barbados is going to be on the ball, then the information fed to the public has to be as thorough as possible; and the information has to be meaningful in the overall context of the current state of the economy.
I hope that those with the relevant information would advance the pertinent information at the soonest; this so that Barbadians may have a more lucid account of what is the significance of record numbers of tourists arriving in January. Anything less is fodder for those who have political agendas that are inevitable within the existing political divide. The people must always count as the political class’ first base and ultimate priority.