It is now a full six months since companies trading under the Sandals Resorts brand were granted unilateral extraordinary concessions never before seen in the long history of our tourism industry. Despite repeated assurances given to the sector, once again implementation is sadly lacking and as we enter the long eight summer months the industry is left floundering to second guess pricing and marketing strategies that will help it survive yet another year.
Criticism is levelled again at some hoteliers for not passively submitting to the prices dictated by tour operators, which ultimately has led to further airlift losses from a market that is especially attractive in terms of average duration of stay. But pray tell me, how can any Government official expect a single accommodation provider to agree fixed contract rates up to eighteen months ahead of arrival date when they have no overall idea on what those rates are based on?
It really has to reflect the height of lunacy when the remarks are uttered by someone who holds the ultimate power together with his cabinet colleagues to return the industry to viability. Until this is done the chance of competing with many other Caribbean destinations at the same level remains a distant dream.
Surely by now our policymakers understand the basics of how the travel business is structured and the timing required to put programmes in place. As pointed out many times before Barbados is an incredibly tour operator dependent destination with many of the larger players being vertically integrated. Regardless of whether aircraft are leased or purchased, ultimately the cost of acquisition and operation has to be factored into the retail holiday offering. Long haul planes like the Airbus 330 have a list price of between US$216-239 million, so the thought of not devising proper utilisation, months if not years ahead cannot be an overly speculative or vague option. Therefore as one of the major elements, if the operator cannot reduce the airline seat cost they have to look for savings in other ways to offer a competitive package.
Government will eventually have to decide what it wants. Tax the industry out of existence or put in place the reforms discussed over decades that clearly have made a significant difference for a solitary player. Or apply them uniformly to alleviate the current national imbalance.
If there is more deliberation and delay by the administration with any yet to be evaluated fiscal benefits from a late Easter, hoteliers and other direct tourism services will go into a cost saving mode. This inevitably leads to further unemployment and all the consequences that brings. Compound this likely scenario with the thousands of job losses in the public service and it is difficult to believe that more business failures over the next few months are avoidable.
The release of arrival figures to the public seem to get later and later each month and up until this column was submitted, some markets were still to be correlated. However all the indications are that March 2014 will be down over the same period last year, marking a decline in 22 of 23 consecutive months!
Adrian Loveridge @ All you prove time after time is that you are dealing with the wrong people , We hope that next time around you support the right people and trust the truth when you hear it.
We know longtime they are crooks , liars, scumbags ,and they are not competent .. Better luck next Elections
I am very sorry to disagree with you but the only industry in this island is corruption, coupled with an incompetent Government leading the charge.
Other players were negotiating to acquire Almond, when Government discovered that Sandals paid an out of court settlement of US $12 million in a criminal case for bribing Government officials in Turk & Caicos, Sandals was invited to take over Almond with these extraordinary tax concessions.
Sandals was not interested in Almond before. Something smells very fishy with this deal. The problem in Barbados is that corruption flourishes with no one being interested in bringing the crooks to justice.
I heard of a case where a Government official deposited all his ill-gotten gains in his mother’s account. The normally penniless mother died without leaving a will and all the official’s siblings claimed part of the mother’s substantial estate. I have named no names and I haven’t said if this is something that occurred in the distant past or if it is a current situation. You know as they say, no name no lock up.
It seems that God intervened here LOL
Harlequin gets aggressive:
On Monday, 28 April 2014, Barbados Underground wrote:
@Caswell “I heard of a case where a Government official deposited all his ill-gotten gains in his mother’s account. The normally penniless mother died without leaving a will and all the official’s siblings claimed part of the mother’s substantial estate.”
A tief from a tief make God laugh.
I bet this hasn’t done anything to improve family relations either.
I don’t know anything about the relationships in that family. I can only speak of the relationships in the Franklyn family, and I can assure you that we take the HIGH road.
It seems we are in an era where low standards have taken root.
On Monday, 28 April 2014, Barbados Underground wrote:
@ Caswell Franklyn:
“Other players were negotiating to acquire Almond, when Government discovered that Sandals paid an out of court settlement of US $12 million in a criminal case for bribing Government officials in Turk & Caicos, Sandals was invited to take over Almond with these extraordinary tax concessions.”
I feel that in Barbados we need to establish standards of credibility for our would-be whistleblowers. Caswell, of all people, should understand that the social dynamics of the very small society, which is all that Barbados really is (and Caswell’s subsequent post illustrates what I mean most appropriately) both truth and fiction can be easily distorted. Indeed, one may ask, like Pilate:”What is truth?” If I waited for an answer the cows would have all come home and found their way into soup, head over heels.
Speaking of soup, has it occurred to you, Caswell that your constant effort to spit in it, runs the risk that nobody will want to drink it> And that is not because there is anything particularly noxious about your spit, which may, in fact be of excellent quality, as spit go. But crying wolf may keep those from the door who we really wish to ward off, as well as those who may turn out to be sheepdogs, in disguise. Should be really take the risks. Perhaps we need a good strainer to save our babies as we let out our bath water!!
I don’t quite understand what you are saying. It is a fact that an anti corruption probe revealed that Sandals transferred $1.65 million into accounts of ruling party (Progressive National Party) and the Premier, Michael Misick. Do you believe that a lower level operative took up Butch Stuart’s $1.65 million and bribed politicians without his knowledge? Misick fled the country but was caught and extradited back for trial.
All I am saying is that Sandals gained easy entry into Barbados after I became known that they were not averse to bribing politicians. Did I say that any politician in Barbados collected a bribe? I never did but they should really check to see who they go to bed with, or did they?
My dear Harper, Barbados is not soup: it is a bubbling cauldron of filth.
Interesting link re Harlequin project at Buccament Bay.
Wondering if anyone has any info on latest status of PURE Beach Resort at Foul Bay.
See 2009 promo at
Perhaps the Attorney General can tell us what has become of the deposits made by purchasers in the project, for which he was featured speaker at the ground-breaking ceremony was held in October 2011.
The PURE Beach project at Foul Bay, could be Barbados’ version of the Harlequin project at Buccament Bay, except the investors have absolutely nothing to show for their money.
Corruption is rampant in Barbados so much so that it is not seen. It is second nature, its natural now. I laugh when I hear Barbados being counted as among the least corrupt.
It is called working smart not hard and the corrupt ones are people who feel that they are smart and tricky when they impose sometimes on people’s good nature and just tief. Everybody knows that they are corrupt but people don’t want to offend them or go against them for whatever reason.
About corruption we can start with the Town Planning Office which reports to the PM.
On Monday, 28 April 2014, Barbados Underground wrote:
There are corrupt individuals in all Government Departments from the the tippy top to the botty bottom. A lot of big houses are built with ill-gotten gains . A lot of fancy cards are bought with ill-gotten gains. A lot of women are supported with ill-gotten gains.
Want a permit, a pass, a place , favour, you better learn Jackie Opel’s song
All good things come to an end. It is a different world than in was back in the 60″s. General Motors used to be number one. Not so anymore. In a similar fashion Barbados used to be a number 1 tourist destination. Not so anymore. If you compare General Motors to Barbados you will see that the similarities are quite close. Over priced, lack of investment in updating product, competitors offering better value, internet search engines allowing comparison shopping, and consumers that have turned in mass to value shopping. The end result for GM was bankruptcy and reorganization into a company that can offer competitive pricing and product but it is no longer number one.
The below links are old and I thought that everyone had seen them, but if you haven’t, form your own conclusions:
So, it appears that after all the “huffing and puffing” and cries of corruption by David Thompson, Freundel Stuart, Donville Inniss, Chris Sinckler and Adriel Brathwaite leveled at the previous BLP administration’s lack of due diligence into entering contracts with SSS to expand the highway, and VECO for building Dodd’s Prison and the Oil Terminal; this DLP administration did not even bother to perform due diligence checks into Sandals.
Then again, they may have done the relevant checks, so we won’t have a repeat of the Turks & Caicos situation. However, it’s left to be seen who in this administration, or their associates, will actually benefit from the deal given to Sandals.
You have me laughing, though I know it is serious. This story has been making the rounds on the cocktail circuit soon after the funeral. This is enough to make anyone sick. Stress is a terrible thing! It is so much loot, you mean the person cannot share and care with the family?
You have any idea how much loot. My source never told me. Also, do you know how many siblings are involved?
Based on the BTA’s Chairman’s press briefing, would you draw the same conclusion as I that Petra Roach would not be part of any of the two new companies? She has been brought home (I wonder how she felt about that as we know she loves the London life) to head the BTA in its dying days. The CEO post has been advertised………. so will she apply as the plan is to decimate the overseas branches as well.
I know of a career officer who worked in the UK office, from the time this Richard Sealy became minister, some political yardfowl……..(remember sharing the fatted calf) wanted to be posted to London and the career person was brought back. But guess what? The yardfowl change their mind and went to New York, think these political people easy? No wonder Barbados’ tourism is where it is today.
And Dems, dont tell me that Bees did it too, as I know that will be the retort.
In the 60s Toyota, Honda, Nissan, were fledgling car makers; and Cuba, Mexico, DR, Panama and even Jamaica were new to the tourism game.
Suzuki’s first automobile, the Jimny, was not produced until the 1970’s.
In 2014 Cuba, Mexico, DR and Jamaica are huge.
Unlike the various administrations since 1966, Sir Kyffin Simpson saw the future of the automobile market to be in affordable product, and now controls the sales of Suzuki vehicles in the Caribbean (and the Shell fuel to run them).
Had Sir Kyffin chosen to be in the tourism business, there would be no Butch, and the marketing might in Caribbean tourism would be headquartered right in Barbados.
The amount was not stated suffice to say it was a lot………….this person was getting cuts from day one………..the dead king has gone to his grave with a heavy heart. But there again, they took their cue from the dead king………..this is the dems’ modus operandi………hiding their filthy loot in other people’s name and accounts. The dead king and his wife helped to launder a lot of the CLICO policy holders’ monies through Thompson Associates………….No wonder the final report had to be sealed!
Our constitution must be rewritten. Never again should a political party be allowed to make such grand promises such as bringing Integrity legislation in 100 day, never does it and be allowed to get away with it. After accusing another party of corruption to win an election, my goodness, they fooled the people and feel that they have no obligation to honour their promise. No wonder people are so disillioned!
Caswell and David; re. your 11:24 and 11:27 posts. All I can say is the environment was probably ripe.
Are you really sure that the majority of Barbadians want to know the truth? When, what I consider legitimate questions are asked, the person refuses to answer and calls the questions ‘impertitent’. Rather than support the question, a small group of persons present cheer the speaker, even with the knowledge that HIS company paid over to the TCI Government US$12 million to avoid a bribery and corruption trial.
Bajans ( most of whom can’t afford to be on BU ) want jobs.
Sandals is “renovating” and creating jobs for tradesmen and people selling a bread an two and a malt.
The BLP opposition have to stfu because by the time they win the next election Sandals will be the best all inclusive in Barbados.
I will bet that the BLP fully endorses bringing Sandals to Barbados even if Butch stump he toe elsewhere.
Sandals is going to be great for Barbados.
blp win what next election…when pigs fly…win what next election…….ummm who is the leader,,,,,
David | April 28, 2014 at 1:01 PM |
About corruption we can start with the Town Planning Office which reports to the PM. @ Crook Mark Cummins,
Batman and Robin Culture 007 to the 5th power eating Rice | April 28, 2014 at 12:55 PM |@ Corruption Moved up to 1st Nature from 2nd nature,
Batman and Robin Culture 007 to the 5th power eating Rice | April 28, 2014 at 1:50 PM |@
There are corrupt individuals in all Government Departments @ I see you got the picture. you get 100% on the Barbados Massive Fraud test.
Most getting the picture , that is a good thing,
Barbados have good ranking in fraud ? Is because one person own mist of the land on this Island Beatrice Henry and they look at her as on victim , If they look at her as far as per LOT or Plot it may move up to number one in fraud on the chart ,
Lawyer hide the cases , and the police not reporting nor charging people to keep them out of the news and then allow them with a good police letter to get visas to leave the country.
When all is revealed there is be over 180,000 land fraud plus business cases, The crime scene will be the Archives back up by the Land Registry ,, which will lead you TOWN and COUNTRY PLANNING .moving on to LAND TAX supported by the Land Surveyor’s on to UDC < NHC and every lawyers office , While the Police COP hands are tied by the DPP to the AG to the PM , News Papers not allowed to report or Print or you will be like Morris at the Nation , Set up to Fail moving him from Barbados TODAY for giving the C.U.P coverage,Against the CROOK LIAR and Scumbag Prime Minister Of Barbados,and his Crook AG Bath- waste.
NUMBER ONE IN FRAUD IN THE WORLD BARBADOS , LOOK IN TO IT,
VOTE BETTER NEXT TIME .
@Artaxerxes April 28, 2014 at 3:09 PM “However, it’s left to be seen who in this administration, or their associates, will actually benefit from the deal given to Sandals.”
Is is not so much who will benefit from the deal given to Sandals, but who will lose. If as stated “HIS company paid over to the TCI Government US$12 million to avoid a bribery and corruption trial” then the company or its owner has to recoup that US$12 million from somewhere. That somewhere is the pockets of quite ordinary Bajan taxpayers whose government has granted this company huge concessions.
Like many ordinary Bajans I did my tax return this Heroes Day, the tax bill is more than $25,000. and that is not counting how much VAT I paid last year.
When the big boys play WITH OUR MONEY, the small people pay, and pay, and pay.
And we have idiotic members of Cabinet telling us that we have accustomed to too much freeness.
My question: What freeness?
When I was paying taxes in Barbados the Stuart’s/Stewart’s were still peeing their mother’s beds.
And nobody gives me concessions.
@ Adrian Loveridge
“Are you really sure that the majority of Barbadians want to know the truth? When, what I consider legitimate questions are asked, the person refuses to answer and calls the questions ‘impertitent’. Rather than support the question, a small group of persons present cheer the speaker, even with the knowledge that HIS company paid over to the TCI Government US$12 million to avoid a bribery and corruption trial.”
Hants | April 28, 2014 at 5:35 PM |
“Sandals is “renovating” and creating jobs for tradesmen and people selling a bread an two and a malt.”
“I will bet that the BLP fully endorses bringing Sandals to Barbados even if Butch stump he toe elsewhere.”
With comments like the above coming from ardent supporters of this DLP administration, what else do you expect?
“Final defendants in Alaska corruption case plead guilty
BY YERETH ROSEN
ANCHORAGE, Alaska Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:30pm EDT
(Reuters) – Two former state legislators were spared further prison time on Friday after pleading guilty to charges stemming from a long-standing federal investigation into political corruption in Alaska.
Former state Representative Vic Kohring, 53, pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy to commit bribery for federal government programs and former state House Speaker Pete Kott, 62, pleaded guilty to one bribery count in separate proceedings.
“I think we need finality,” U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline said when sentencing Kott. “I recognize the need to put this long state nightmare to an end.”
The pleas closed a five-year-old federal probe that targeted VECO Corp, then Alaska’s largest oil-services company, the late U.S. Senator Ted Stevens and several other Alaska politicians and prominent businessmen.
Beistline called the scandal a “dark moment” in Alaska political history.”
These DLP supporters are the same people who accused the previous administration of “selling the family silver” and voicing “emotive sentimentality” when they sold BNB shares; that accused Owen Arthur of acquiring the land in Weston, St. James, where John Moore shop is located, for his own benefit; that cried corruption when VECO was given the contract to build the Dodd’s prison, while accusing Mia Mottley, Owen Arthur and Dale Marshall of receiving draw-backs from the company.
But now, their government has been found to be doing something similar, instead of condemning it, their retort is the deal will be “creating jobs for tradesmen and people selling a bread an two and a malt.”
…..don’t take Hants seriously.
He does talk a lotta shiite when the wife don’t let him go fishing….
I never heard it called fishing before.
We have had a few high profile deaths in the South Caribbean recently, does this impact brand you think?
Now we are on the topic of corruption, David Thompson revealed the following on September 20, 2008:
“PRIME MINISTER DAVID THOMPSON is convinced that millions of dollars “bizarrely spent” during the previous Barbados Labour Party (BLP) Administration are now stashed in foreign bank accounts.
He did not call any names but he made it clear that he hoped one day to be able to track down the bank accounts and expose the culprits.
“Week after week in Cabinet, we unearth horror stories of how millions and millions of dollars were spent in the most bizarre of circumstances,” Thompson said as he addressed the Canadian branch of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) in Toronto on Saturday night.
“This is 2008 and it is not easy to tap into a person’s personal bank account and find necessary deposits, but I am saying tonight that the money that was spent so recklessly in the past 14 years has not all dissolved into outer space, although much of it is not in Barbados.
“It is somewhere hidden and I intend to find some, if not all, of it,” the Prime Minister said.
“We are not talking about a few hundred dollars here. We are not confusing ourselves with petty cash or other fine change. We are talking about millions and millions of dollars that could otherwise have gone into social, infrastructural and economic development policies and projects for the benefit of Barbadians,” he charged…”
Was it a gesture of patriotism and love for one’s country or the goodness of Leroy Parris’ heart that the then Prime Minister was using CLICO’s executive private jet to travel? If we juxtapose this to the $10M given to CLICO, Thompson’s refusal to place CLICO under judicial management and Parris being made chairman of CBC, what conclusions can made made?
During a CBC news report on February 21, 2013:
“Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is concerned about reports he is receiving of people buying votes. He expressed this concern after casting his vote at Bayley’s Primary School this morning.
Prime Stuart arrived to cast his ballot at the Bayley’s Primary School just after eleven this morning without much fanfare as voting at the polling station was reduced to a trickle. But he did say from what he had seen and heard people were voting with what he called robust determination adding that he expected a respectable turnout.
The prime minister told reporters however he was concerned about a bad practice that was reportedly creeping into general elections.
The Prime minister says the right to vote is a process many people have fought very hard for and the idea of people disrespecting it makes him very uncomfortable.
He says throughout the day he has heard stories of people exchanging money for votes. The Prime Minister said this is an ugly practice which digs at the roots of democratic structures.”
It’s approximately 1 year and 2 months since the 2013 election, and after all the grand-standing by Stuart and Adriel Brathwaite, what have they done to prevent the occurrence of “vote buying”?
On page 47 of its 2008 “Pathway to Progress” manifesto, the DLP: “The DLP administration’s attitude to accountability will be based on the understanding that as servants and representatives of the people there can be no secrets or matters to be hidden from the population.”
In this manifesto they promised: “Immediately [on becoming government] introduce integrity legislation requiring: a declaration of assets by public officials; a Code of Conduct for Ministers; a New Freedom of Information Law; amendments to the defamation laws and new constitutional provisions to rationalise the power of the prime minister”
A lack of funds due to the current economic recession has been blamed for the non-implementation of many DLP’s promises. In fact they blame the recession for almost everything. It is very important to note that this is April 28, 2014, approximately 6 years after the above were promised, AND IT DOES NOT TAKE A VAST AMOUNT OF MONEY TO IMPLEMENT THEM. So they can’t blame the non-introduction of integrity legislation on the recession.
Was it a gesture of patriotism and love for one’s country or the goodness of Leroy Parris’ heart that the then Prime Minister was using CLICO’s executive private jet to travel?
NO. NO. NO. NO.
If we juxtapose this to the $10M given to CLICO, Thompson’s refusal to place CLICO under judicial management and Parris being made chairman of CBC, what conclusions can made made?
That David Thompson was as corrupt as hell?
listen Bush Tea. Nobody can stop me from gine fishing especially at this time of the year.
You and Artaxerxes can continue to highlight the evil actions of the DLP and hopefully you will also suggest ways to create jobs for the many who need them.
I am a vocal supporter of the DLP so you should not be too perplexed by the shiite I write but like it or not Sandals will be employing nuff Bajans whose priority is to continue eating.
But Hants you was the star boy on Barbados Free Press highlighting “the evil actions of the” BLP… six is half dozen…..
Four Seasons in Black Rock, Harlequin Merrick Resort in St. Philip, Pickering Housing and Town Centre Development in St. Lucy …….. “will be employing nuff Bajans whose priority is to continue eating” too.
@ Caswell Franklyn
“My dear Harper, Barbados is not soup: it is a bubbling cauldron of filth.”
And you, dear CF seems to enjoy swimming in it!!
Just to refresh your memory, BS bought the Paradise Beach property circa 1991, from Cunard Trafalgar, I seem to recall, at the same time that he bought a Hotel (La Toc?) in St. Lucia. He mothballed PBH for a variety of reasons, and they were a number of legal disputes, and other issues before it was finally sold to the people that started the Four Seasons venture. [What kind of paradise can one ever hope to find on earth so close to the Psychiatric Hospital, unless you think that such can be found eating mullets caught off Jenkins Shit Pipe!!]
The real problem seems to have been that operating in the particular high-price, high-risk, and low-return environment of Barbados would have presented Stewart with difficulties which he thought he would not have encountered in pursuing other options that he had. So the deal that he struck with the GOB nearly twenty-five years later, which, incidentally the Government was prepared to offer, having eventually come to its senses in the post RHOSA, bubble bimeconomy, that Barbados now is, finally allows bajans to put on their Sandals.
My friend, if you go looking for corruption you will find it! Everyone (as well as everything) has a price – thats what economics teaches us. Some prices are just higher than others, and my cheap corruptees go around saying: “Ef uh hadda known!”
Anyway keep tryin to do yuh best fuh de poor worka, the unemployed an
unemployable befo we all guh to hell in a wheeled-Barrow!!
Due Diligence | April 28, 2014 at 12:07 PM | @@
1ST Question , Where did they get the land from ? Where is the DEED? How much was paid for it ? Do they have a Clear Title for the land?
FOUL BAY? If the investors ask theses questions and an out side lawyer check they will see the PONZI Fraud being done , The AG Dumbwait may have to get the DPP to charge HIM . A lot of long talk a lot of money and no PLANTATION DEEDS AND SELLING OUT ,
BRING YOUR MONEY AND PAY ME OFF AND WE CAN MAKE ALL THINGS HAPPEN . welcome to Barbados SUCKERS
Now that Top Gear’s Clarkson has landed himself in hot water how will Barbados tourism officials respond?
We are a Black dominant population of course and the world is watching:
Artaxerxes wrote “But Hants you was the star boy on Barbados Free Press highlighting “the evil actions of the” BLP… six is half dozen…..
And you Artaxerxes are one of the many BLP the star boys on BU doing a great job highlighting the actions of my party.
Are you Royal Rumble / Sylly G ?
Well….. whad’ya know a veteran hotelier who is running a successful business and is not afraid of competition lining up in support of “Butch”
An outlier cannot ever be representative of the sample.
You can call him an “outlier” I prefer to call him a member of the silent majority.
Bloomberg says investors are regaining confidence in Barbados’ government debt
one thing i can say for govt ,,they kept their word for six years fighting against all odds to keep the masses employed ,,when others were calling for the public servants to be out to pasture,,,,,,,after having to face a decision of having the country taken over to their debtors or letting the public servants go,the choice of letting the workers go although being a hard one left the govt with no other option to turn to,,now with that decision being put in place and implemented,,,,the govt is free and in more control of bringing down the debt,,….exploring new and open markets who seem to be receptive and approving of the path this govt is heading,,,and one more point of interest the groundswell of doom and gloom seems to have been swept out by high tide,,,,,leaving a few ripples oby the sea shore on which some diehard blp yardfowls can used for surfing..that brings me to the question… Where is PRIVATE…MR. PRIVATIZATION MILLER the annukai,,,