Changes To Barbados Tourism Authority Board

Ralph Taylor replaced as Chairman of the Barbados Tourism Authority

Members of the BU family have been emailing to confirm a shakeup at the Barbados Tourism Authority. The matter was brought to the public at a Barbados Labour Party (BLP) meeting yesterday held at the Ellerslie School by Ian Gooding-Edghill. It has been mentioned on BU that the life of government statutory boards will be expiring and the government and sitting directors will have the opportunity to replace or leave  the boards they serve respectively.

In the case of the Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA) our investigation has confirmed that CEO of Almond Incorporated Ralph Taylor, Senator Peter Gilkes and Michael Yearwood will be leaving the BTA Board. BU believes the BTA Board under Ralph Taylor’s chairmanship, has failed to lend the visionary direction required, at a time when the industry is confronted with numerous challenges. While we may excuse him because his attention was probably held by the rapidly deteriorating financial position in Almond Resorts’ balance sheet, the government should be always mindful of its obligation to operate in the national interest at all times.

Is it unreasonable to hope that the new chairperson will be someone who brings a mixture of enthusiasm laced with the right amount of experience? The national budget for tourism is not insignificant and Barbados taxpayers would demand a BTA Board which can maximize every dollar spent, especially in hard times.

0 thoughts on “Changes To Barbados Tourism Authority Board

  1. Well it is about time something is done. For months & months I have been complaining on FB about the non existence of realistic goals related to our Sugar & Tourism Industry. I had all but given up hope that the present government would wake up & breathe some life into these industries.
    With the rise in Airfares & the extra charges travelers coming out of the UK are now forced to pay, our failing Tourist Industry will certainly die an unnatural death.
    Barbadians need to see this government doing what they were elected to do. Their jobs!
    I continue to watch with baited breath, as the drama unfolds.

  2. Dawn Rollins how is our tourist industry failing when all the stats and indicators are up. Will you liars please bring truth and facts when posting so we can have dicussions based on real situations. Hey Ian Gooding Edgehill dont worry you slated to become Chairman of BTA in 2050 until then chill and say hi to Ronald Toppin another joker.

  3. Bring the facts that tourism is doing so well. Fudging numbers will not help. I have a friend who works at a high end hotel and some weeks she only gets three days, bring the proof.

    Ronald Toppin supplied facts and figures, he gets jeered from the government benches yet they cannot refute what he says. The Dems say the numbers are up but all I hear is that the spend is completely down, Colin Jordan said so at their AGM two weeks ago.

    I hear Calvin Hope is to come back too and didn’t I hear that Hugh Foster is a big consultant there. Dems,eh?

  4. There of course two side to this. You have the numbers side and you have the spending side. To enter /leaving the country you pay taxes this of course is the minority of the tourist spending. The majority of tourist spending is in the accommodation then food/beverage. So there four possible scenarios. the one that been put forward so far is numbers are up but spending is down as said by the bhta earlier in the year. One can hope that spending improves, until then we await word from bhta or central bank.

  5. I thought that Calvin Hope was a Dale Marshall favourite? So he is with Dem now? The Dems had better check his profile, history, and allegiance when he was at the BTA?

  6. Spit it out, David.

    You want Adrian and his proactive, cost effective ideas to replace the useless, expense account induced long talk, we are accustomed to.

    Maybe you’re right, anything is better than merely hoping for an upturn which may (read: probably will) not happen.

  7. @ Hope

    Rather than appoint based on competence it is about allegiance. No wonder we can’t make any progress. The government will continue to shuffle its small pool of ‘people’ from Board to Board until it finally implodes. I have never seen so many Cabinet reshuffles, Board resignations and changes in such a short time.

    But wait, did Irene Sandiford checked Rommell Marshall’s? lol

  8. I still want to know whether fly/cruise passengers are included in the figures. These people spend only the time taken to transit from the port to the airport and vice versa in Barbados. So BTA, are they included or not?

    Oh dear, poor Ralph Taylor. Now his first class junkets with his wife will have to be paid for by Almond shareholders rather than the taxpayers.

  9. @ David,
    Here are some excerpts from a piece written by a Rev. Guy Hewitt, whom I believe is the Chair of the QEH Board and may also contest the DLP CCW nomination:

    “There is no question that Mr Arthur is the most remarkable political operator in the history of Barbados. The emergence of ‘Owen Dems’ demonstrated his political skill and the success of his ‘politics of inclusion’. But to what end? The Monday, 17 December 2007 edition of the Daily Nation revealed a side of Mr Arthur that drove fear in me. The report that he had a “determination never to see the DLP hold the reins of power in this country”, revealed the dark side to his ‘politics of inclusion’.”

    “Having read political science and having lived in and worked on two general elections in Guyana, I was struck by what sounded to be the words of a megalomaniac. I heard in Mr Arthur’s assertion echoes of Linden Forbes Burnham, who similarly drunk on power, created a constitutional presidency and then an executive presidency to allow him to remain as President of Guyana until his death.”

    “It was the first time I became suspicious over the political agenda to create a constitutional presidency in Barbados. I always assumed it was part of the ‘politics of inclusion’; to satisfy one woman’s personal ambition. But when I considered the Government’s recent attempt to amend the Constitution of Barbados to usurp powers from the Governor General to appoint civil servants, another component of the ‘politics of inclusion’, I realised this Government has become intoxicated politically to dangerous levels. Where will it end?”

    “Over the years, we have absorbed the crossing of the floor of Parliament and the transferring of political allegiances by opposition members mesmerised by the ‘politics of inclusion’. We have swallowed the use of National Honours to bestow an obscene number of Knighthoods on his party faithful, including the unprecedented knighting of a serving minister of government. How much must we bear?”

    “And when we complained about the cost of living, the Government blamed it on us for buying too much lunch, then on imported inflation, then on merchants for price-gouging and finally, us for our high standard of living. It was never their fault. Only with elections looming have we seen some compassion. And when we asked for help with the price of vegetables we were told to plant our own. But the majority ask, on what land and with what time? Show me the love.”

    After reading, compare and contrast with the actions of the current administration.

  10. If four tourists came to Barbados we should be thankful. The tourist that come to Barbados under the BLP or DLP love Barbados, full stop.
    Ronald Toppin speaks to this issue of tourists like you can go and stick up the tourist and say go to Barbados.
    You can have advertisement programs and all kinds of enticements but if the tourists cannot get money to buy a plane ticket in their land how can they travel.
    Was it fifty million Americans who lost their jobs? Mascoll said that the Canadian economy was not experiencing any recession and we should have marketed there more. The Canadians also know that Cuba, Dominican Republic and Jamaica are closer and cheaper than Barbados. Yuh think the people ignorant.

  11. I was at the airport a few days ago and I saw the cruise ship passengers going into immigration and the same thought came to me, the government is counting these people at the port and at the airport and that is why they can tell you that tourism numbers are up. It does not make sense to fool the people as it it clear that the spend is not matching the numbers projected.

    Wait, Hope, if Calvin Hope is close to Dale Marshall, he should not get a job then? No wonder you all are such a mess. I see the pool of persons to choose from is so small that Monique Taitt is chairman of the NCF and deputy chair at the gymnasium? Are there no other qualified Dems available?

    enuff, thanks for this piece on the fraud that is supposed to be a priest at that church. I wish the press would stop referring to him as a priest at Christ Church. He only comes there occasionally, he does not have any parishioners. He does not go out and minister, he has no time for that. He is a fraud.

    As an Anglican I am so ashamed that a priest could use the pulpit so blatantly to further his agenda. But there again, that is his modus operandi, he was a catholic, was married but wanted to become a priest (for what reason I dont know) so in order to become a priest, he switched and became an Anglican. How convenient.

    I wonder what he is saying today as he reads his owns words. My, my, the very words he used to condemn Owen Arthur rings true of his naked ambition and of everything this government is doing.

    Does not this this government tell people everyday that they should grow their own food? Were they not elected with the promise that the cost of living would come down drastically? I hope he does not complain about the cost of living. I wonder what he would say of the PM and this government defense of one man Leroy Parris. Wow!

    Is it not a fact that under the BLP, this country prospered and people were employed. I have never seen Bajans so despondent as now.

  12. @Prodigal Son: “I was at the airport a few days ago and I saw the cruise ship passengers going into immigration and the same thought came to me, the government is counting these people at the port and at the airport and that is why they can tell you that tourism numbers are up.

    Yeah. Been there; seen that.

    Several times I’ve been in the line to pass by the Outgoing Immigration Officers here in Barbados only to watch bus after bus loads of people who are fed into the queue before those other travelers who have been patiently waiting to face the Immigration Officers.

    The Barbados Airport has a special entry door for those who are traveling by way of tours. It is only opened when the tours drop off their passengers.

    It doesn’t bypass Immigration or security; but it does put those on tours before those who travel nominally.

  13. Taylor’s going


    decision made not to renew the chairman’s contract

    by Shawn Cumberbatch

    Government is set to shake-up the board of the Barbados Tourism Authority even as officials report an improvement in tourist arrivals and increased airlift.

    Investigations by Barbados TODAY revealed that businessman Adrian Elcock was tipped to replace experienced hotelier Ralph Taylor as the chairman of the agency responsible for marketing the island’s main foreign exchange earning sector.

    Well-placed sources said the tenure of the present board came to an end last week and a decision was taken not to renew the contract of Taylor, the head of all-inclusive hotel group Almond Resorts, who has been BTA chairman since the Democratic Labour Party came to office in 2008, a position he retained when the board membership was restructured in March 2009.

    Elcock, who is involved in several business, including male clothing store Praxis, is deputy chairman of Barbados Conference Services Limited, which is responsible for the management of the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

    Barbados TODAY also understands that other board members Michael Yearwood and Government Senator Peter Gilkes are the others not expected to be retained as directors.

    They are likely to be replaced by attorney-at-law and DLP political hopeful Verla DePeiza and well-known musician Nicholas Brancker. Indications are, however, that Gilkes who is also a board member of the National Cultural Foundation and has brought several yachting events to the island “is to take up a consultancy” at the BTA.

    Neither Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy nor Taylor could be reached for comment, but an official at his ministry said nothing sinister was taking place and that “the board’s life has come to an end”.

    The representative also said that an official announcement on the way forward for the BTA board would be made on Friday.

    Suggestions of changes at the state-funded institution were raised on Sunday during a Barbados Labour Party political branch meeting at Ellerslie Secondary School by St. Michael West-Central candidate Ian Gooding-Edghill.

    He said: “Don’t come and tell us about arrivals are up, tell us whether or not you fired the chairman of the BTA Ralph Taylor. I want them to tell us whether or not they got rid of the alleged guru who sits in the Senate, Senator (Peter) Gilkes from the board.

    “I am only asking questions. I want to know if they have appointed a rookie chairman to lead the tourism sector in Barbados and I want them to deny or confirm that what I say is true or I am telling lies on the national platform.”

    Speaking to Barbados TODAY on condition of anonymity, a member of the board of directors whose contracts expired last week said the tenure of those serving was for two years and had run its course.

    The director added that as far as they understood no new board had yet been appointed.

    “You can’t get fired if your term of office has expired,” the official said. “The matter has to go to Cabinet before a new one is appointed, but I expect that will happen this week.”

    In addition to those directors already named, the other members of the reconstituted BTA board announced by Sealy in 2009 included Deputy Chairman Austin Husbands, Denis Roach, Alvin Jemmott, Dr. Kerry Hall, representatives from the Barbados Workers Union, Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association, Barbados Association of Retailers, Vendors and Entrepreneurs and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Andrew Cox.

    News of changes involving the BTA have come at a time when officials have reported increased visitor arrivals and a series of initiatives to stimulate more activity in the sector that has been severely affected by the current economic recession.

    Last month officials, led by Taylor, reported that in January this year the island welcomed a record 53,000 tourists to its shores. This included a 10.4 per cent increase in arrivals from the United Kingdom. BTA President David Rice was also recently reported as saying up to the middle of this month the island’s arrivals were up by 9.2 per cent, including double digit increases in the UK and US markets.

    Officials have also said they expected increased airlift of 41,000 airline seats this year.

    The most recent of this was by JetBlue Airways, which announced yesterday that during the upcoming summer season it was adding twice-daily nonstop service to Barbados from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

    This new second service will operate from July 14 to August 29, and is part of the efforts by tourism planners to attract more American visitors during this year’s Crop-Over Festival.

  14. @Prodigal Son

    As an Anglican I am so ashamed that a priest could use the pulpit so blatantly to further his agenda
    Well he is the second Anglican priest that you are critical of, I wonder what they have in common…. They dared to criticise the BLP and/or Arthur looks like you will have to forsake the Church.

    I read once that Barbados had the largest concentration of churches per square mile of any country so there must be something for you

  15. Please do not patronise me. Do you want me to go to the church with the other fraud David Durant. I will stick to the Anglican, Hewitt is not around too often, he uses the church for his personal ambitions.

  16. Come to think of it, Guy Hewitt could go to contest the 31st constituency the Dems are about to create. He should have no competition there for the nomination.

  17. Good! This should make it easier for Neal & Massey to get rid of this clown who treats people like dirt. Maybe then he’ll get to spend all of his time in the giant swimming pool in the living room of his Westmoreland palace wining and dining on his own dime for a change.

  18. Let’s Get Real,

    Ralph Taylor’s wings got clipped when the Trinidadians took over Almond.
    He can no longer travel first class nor so often. If he wanted to travel first class whilst on Almond’s business, he would have had to pay for the upgrade to first class out of his pocket. If not, the only first he would have still be flying is out of the BTA.

  19. The other Priest whom you wrote critical comments about was Dean Crichlow (Ret) after he made a statement the effect that the people were right to elect the DLP.

    You BLP folk take criticism really hard.

  20. You didnt answer Dawn Rollins because you dont have answers, tourism smashing the record numbers set in 2008 and with the APD freeze UK shall continue robust increase, spendid news for Barbados economy, bad news for your divided BLP.
    Back on the farm in St. Joseph and St. Andrew your worst nightmare Rommell Marshall gunning for George Pain and his minion Gail Marshall. The smart money is on Rommell to catspraddle dem two with Senator Irene as a deserving winner.
    Stay tuned.

  21. RED ALERT .

  22. KK,

    I am puzzled ‘tourism smashing the record numbers set in 2008’.
    Long Stay Visitors totalled 567,667 in 2008 which was down
    from 2007.
    2010 amounted to 532,180, so we have to be up by more than 35,000 in 2011 to have any hope of ‘smashing the record numbers’.
    Cruise passengers also represent an area of concern. Roughly 745,000 in 2009 spending the same as 480,000 spent in 2006.
    There is really no room for complacency or lack of direction!

  23. Dean Emeritus is going senile, we in the Anglican Church know this. The GG is only helping him out to get a pension, poor soul!

    Soon he will change his tune, remember he preached against Barrow in 1986… remember Plastic Bag’s song… They publish it…. He used the pulpit of St Michael’s Cathedral to bring down Barrow. He will use the Senate again to bring down the Dems. Be not afraid!

    Guy Hewitt used the pulpit of Christ Church to help out the Dems. The Sunday before the election, he invited the whole Christ Church DLP candidates to church and during his welcome of them had the nerve to say that he had nothing against Owen Arthur and the Bees, they could come too. In fact many of the parishioners think that he is a real fraud.

    He will not be able to use it to get the Christ Church West Constituency nomination. I saw in Monday’s Nation that he said he will ask the Bishop to allow him to step down if he enters the race. I think he should do do right now.

  24. I just know that the government has been spiking the tourists numbers to boast that they are doing better than the Bees and to make the lazy, disappointing Minister.

    Common sense will tell you that if you are claiming that the numbers are so high over previous figures, the spend will have to be more notwithstanding that things are tight but people still have to spend money on food, drink and travel.

  25. David

    Jamaica’s tourism planners are miles ahead of their tourism counterparts in Barbados. (The target ministry and tourist board in Jamaica, have on board effective leaders. They are business savvy ( Strategic and Technical). The findings of the Central Bank of Barbados, latest Economic Review, which reveal – slower growth in Barbados when compared with the region and the world is supporting evidence!…hopeful the Barbadian leaders driving tourism development will wake up soon!!

  26. Effective Leadership | March 30, 2011 at 12:18 PM |
    The spend for each visitor to Jamaica is a pittance of what

    Barbados receives per visitor, deal with it.

  27. Can Jamaica’s tourism planners also boast a 47 % returning vistor rate ??

    And can the Jamaica’s tourism planners boast about the safety and relaxed feeling that their tourist feel while in Jamaica ??

    Their Tourism intake in persons is greater than that of Barbados but is it not better to have less use of plant and surroundings but be earning more than what they earn from their tourism arrivals ?

  28. A lot of you are going to be disappointed but this year the economy and the Tourist Industry will continue to struggle.

    There is still no economic boom in Europe and North America.

    You will all have to work harder and smarter.There is no magic pill in Bim.

  29. Replacing one idiot with another is suicidal. What can this person bring to the table? Illumination?

  30. His big ego! I am surprised that he got this pick, I thought his whole family were Bees and Dems do not give Bees picks. Maybe, he is a Dem!

    Shuffling chairs on the Titanic deck! Ralph Taylor’s ego must be really bruised!

  31. Is this the same Verla DePeiza that was appointed a Director of the BTA yesterday?

    What a great example. Jobs for boys and girls irrespective of their knowledge or integrity. Why time and time again we have forgotten of the need to perform efficient due diligence? Why are spending so much money on educating out people? To what end?

    To be fair to her she has been an advocate for the enactment of FOIA.

  32. @ Enuff
    Guy Hewitt’s undercover political ambitions are revealed,now we know his “dark side”It is o.k. for his party to make the same arguments asthe BLP which he refers to in his article Hypocrisy knows no religion.I had an uncle who was an Anglican priest so I grew up around them,and know them pretty well.I could give you a history about Edward Gatherer and Bishop Wood!!!

  33. @ Prodigal Son
    I agree with you on Guy Hewitt.As a former member of the Christ Church congregation where he serves(when he comes).I was at church the Sunday he preached the sermon(before the last election) about the winds of change blowing from St John in the east all the way to the city.Someone described him as a fraud,maybe they are correct.

  34. David wrote “Is this the same Verla DePeiza that was appointed a Director of the BTA yesterday? ”

    Even if it is her, she is innocent until proven guilty.

  35. @islandgal246 | April 1, 2011 at 3:23 AM |
    “Replacing one idiot with another is suicidal. What can this person bring to the table? Illumination?”

    Careful with that “illumination” talk Island Gal. Adrian Elcock has his expertise in lightbulbs. That’s a far different illumination than illumination of the mind. Everything gine just be more confused.

    Ever hear about “the light that was dark?”

  36. Truthman LOLLL that was what I wanted to know. Ever hear bout a light at de end of the tunnel? Dat is someting peeping out someone behind I tink. LOLLLLL

  37. It would be interesting to know the total tax avoidance of these individuals, I still owe the Gov’t here $1100.00 from 2009 and when I completed my return for 2010 I will have to add $1700.00 to that figure. Looks like I will have to crack open the strong box and give the Gov’t its money

    What’s that again? Nothing is certain but Death and Taxes.

    Any way I am kinda perplexed, If the Gov’t is willing to take court action against individuals for not filing taxes why is it willing to forego millions in arrears owed to BWA?.

    The Gov’t should do like other Gov’ts, give these people a final deadline to file their taxes and if it is not met use the courts as a last resort. The last thing that Barbados needs is cases like these clogging up the courts.

  38. ive been to almond a couple times and i love it,we in america dont care what you do,just keep the water blue,the sun shinning and the drinks coming,we will be there

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