Comissiong Responds to Nation Newspaper Editorial – TIME TO RE-THINK POLICY OF BUILDING ON OUR BEACHES

Submitted by DAVID COMISSIONG, Citizen of Barbados
David Comissiong

David Comissiong

In the editorial entitled “Let’s be fair with Hyatt objections” published in the Weekend Nation of Friday the 2nd of September 2016, the Nation editorial- writer admonishes Barbadians like myself who oppose or have reservations about the proposed 15 storey Hyatt Hotel, to engage in thinking that “represents the national interest and not personal or narrow parochial or political motives.”

The editorial-writer goes on to acknowledge that vacant or available beachfront land is becoming increasingly scarce in Barbados, but then insinuates that the correct response to this situation is for the “regulators” to permit the construction of multi-storey hotels or other buildings (higher than six or seven storeys) on the remaining areas of available beachfront property!

Well, I would like to totally disagree with the position of the editorial-writer, and I would like to suggest that the diametrically opposite position that I hold is actually what in the best long term interest of Barbados! 

My position is that there are already too many hotels and other buildings constructed on the beaches of Barbados,and that the time has come for our nation to pause and to seriously rethink this policy of permitting the construction of hotels and other permanent structures on our beaches — particularly on those beaches that qualify as truly the most outstanding and beautiful beaches or beachfront areas of our country .

As we are all aware, Barbados’ number one industry is tourism, and our number one tourism attraction is the beautiful beaches of our country! Well, isn’t it a fact that we have done serious damage to the natural beauty of a vast number of the most outstanding and prized beaches of our country by permitting the construction of hotels and other buildings on these beaches?

Now, the mile long “Durban beach” in Durban, South Africa is reputed to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Do you know how many hotels are built on Durban beach? Not a single one! All of the hotels are located on the land side of the Durban coastal highway!

The same is true of the world famous Copacabana and Ipanema beaches in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil! Indeed, even Miami beach in Florida has a fairly generous setback limitation from the coast, with minimal tourism construction being permitted on the beach side of the coastal highway.

As a matter of fact, many  countries have prohibited the construction of hotels on their most prized beaches, and several countries have imposed regulations that severely restrict the height of hotels, whether such hotels are located on the beach or on the land-side of the coastal highway!

Aren’t these policy positions that Barbados would do well to seriously contemplate?

Do we really want to see a Barbados in which our prized beachfront areas are inundated with giant 15 storey hotels?

Are tourists attracted to Barbados because of ultra-modern multi storey American-style hotels? Or isn’t it, rather, that they have an interest in experiencing the unique culture, heritage, social ambience and charm of Barbados and Barbadians? (And in answering this question, please refer to the fact that the single most popular tourist attraction in Barbados is the Oistins Fish Fry!)

I, for one, honestly believe that Barbados has had its fill of hotels on its most prized and popular beaches, and also its fill of foreign-owned hotels!

If it were left up to me, future tourism development in Barbados would feature and be based upon locally owned hotels and guest houses that fit snugly into our environment, and that radiate the unique hospitality, culture and charm of Barbados and Barbadians. That , to me, is what real development is all about– Barbadians doing for self and owning the most precious resources of their own country.

These views might differ from those of the Nation’s editorial-writer, but I can assure him or her that they are not based on a desire to “unfair” anyone, nor on “parochial or political motives”. Rather, they derive form a desire to provoke new thinking on what is in the best long term interest of the one nation that we all share in common.

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118 Comments on “Comissiong Responds to Nation Newspaper Editorial – TIME TO RE-THINK POLICY OF BUILDING ON OUR BEACHES”

  1. Heather September 5, 2016 at 9:10 PM #

    @ac where is the Hyatt business model working?


  2. ac September 5, 2016 at 9:30 PM #

    Heather September 5, 2016 at 9:10 PM #

    @ac where is the Hyatt business model working?


    are you serious? get a read of Hyatt port folio that would be indicator of how and why the hyatt business model has worked over twenty years
    The planning involved is massive which goes beyond a commercial marketing strategy but a unique framework which prioritize and appreciated the importance of human value to its success


  3. Heather September 5, 2016 at 9:36 PM #

    @ac I am serious. You did not answer the question. WHERE is their business model working? In the Caribbean?


  4. Prodigal Son September 5, 2016 at 10:14 PM #

    This Hyatt project will end up like the Four Seasons, mark my words. I happen to pass down there today and I am sure having stayed in a Four Seasons Resort, they certinly would not be pleased to see their logo on falling down paling.

    Why is it that every project Mark Maloney does is on lands belonging to the taxpayers of Barbados? This government would certainly not give up taxpayers’ lands to poor black businessmen to start any project, that’s for sure. Dont we black people have ideas that merit this same sweet treatment?

    Coverley……….our land
    Hard Rock……….on our land
    Highway projects…..on our land
    Grotto…………on our land

    And now…………..Hyatt, on our land.

    When will this nonsense stop?


  5. ac September 5, 2016 at 10:15 PM #

    Heather one in jamaica one in Aruba one schedule which most likely will open in St, kitts the possibility of the ST kitts hyatt opening is real and three in mexico


  6. ac September 5, 2016 at 10:18 PM #

    Prodigal why dont you carry yuh drunken a,ss back to bed talking sh,t all the time nuttin you say in that dumb comment has a solution to the decay of bridgetown Yaddie Yaddie


  7. Money Brain September 5, 2016 at 10:25 PM #

    I was just troubling DC cause I know how much he loves Cuba’s political leanings. Like I said and will stick to until death—it is all about Profit/ visitor being very high, we dont need more people on this island, we need more $$$$$$$$$$$$$. Bermuda and Aruba are smaller islands and I believe they conduct their Marketing efforts in a more strategic way.


  8. Heather September 5, 2016 at 10:36 PM #

    @ac Park Hyatt falls under citizenship by investment programme. It is not owned by Hyatt. Probably some rich Russian.


  9. Heather September 5, 2016 at 10:50 PM #

    @ac this is beginning to sound alot like the Cahill Scam. Was the Hyatt shopping in the Eastern Caribbean for management opportunities? Vision Development ” hear” of this though the government and cooked up this plan?


  10. Well Well & Consequences September 5, 2016 at 11:00 PM #

    What an opportunity for the pimps and yardfowls to fall over trying to out do themselves and each other…kissing ass….lol

    What a collossal waste of taxpayer’s money.


  11. Tron September 6, 2016 at 12:55 AM #

    Good to mention Grotto. I really hope the Hyatt would get a better standard then that crap which is said to be sold for 450,000 BBD each! A tiny third-rate flat for the price of a proper house in Canada or Europe. So, how much is the Hyatt then, provided it should be first-rate quality? A billion BBD? And: how much from the Bimbadim taxpayer?

    I should really start my own hardware store … Of course, not selling this third Chinese rate crap. … First, free A/C for AC ;), second the deal 😉


  12. chad99999 September 6, 2016 at 1:01 AM #

    Wanted to draw attention to the fact that tiny Aruba, which is less than half the size of Barbados, and has just one-third the population, hosts a million stayover tourists a year. Compare that number to the less than 600,000 stayovers recorded last year in Barbados. Aruba relies on a lot of US-branded hotels.
    Support the Hyatt project.


  13. David September 6, 2016 at 4:54 AM #


    You should explain that Aruba like Bahamas has an agreement with US Homeland Security to do pre clearance of travellers to the US. That helps doesn’t it?



  14. David September 6, 2016 at 5:16 AM #

    Barbados leading realtor has a problem with the proposed height of the Hyatt. >


  15. de pedantic Dribbler September 6, 2016 at 6:12 AM #

    interesting remark @ David at 4:54 AM but that’s very much a chicken and egg situation. And in this case I would surmise – in the absence of research – that the egg was the large volumes of tourists who flocked there that hatched the relationship between USCIS/Homeland and Aruba.

    Aruba pays almost every cent for those officers surely.

    And although this is a family friendly site (LOLLLL) I would also quietly add that beautiful, sedate, upscale and exciting Aruba also has the lovely sister island Curacao which ‘quietly’ advertises their ‘Adult Resort Campos’.

    Those locales are the perfect example of pristine family based (dare I say, ruling Dutch white) fun and relaxation coupled with just the right mix of naughty!

    An acceptable but arguably yet disparate comparison to Bim tourism.


  16. Gabriel September 6, 2016 at 7:08 AM #

    Aruba came on to tourism in the 80’s when their oil refining facilities took a hit.They turned to tourism and more importantly CASINO operations.Now if Tom had lived,a certain hotel that is here in Barbados with connections in Aruba,was making moves to establish a casino here with the approval of Tom.Most will recall after Tom’s passing,one of the first things Bree said was there was to be no casino gambling in Barbados because the church had agitated against it.So that the real secret of the success of Aruba,Bermuda and Bahamas tourism rests with the casino attraction and so will Cuba when it gets going again.All this talk about brand name hotels is secondary.Its the casinos that is the drawing card to these locations.
    Bajans need to wake up and smell the coffee.I was in Aruba in the early 80’s and was given the royal treatment when the hotelier heard where I was from.I toured and observed the operation of those casinos.I had no interest in them but the GM of the hotel seem to have thought to impress me was to ‘make straight the way’ for his hotel in Barbados.Hyatt is welcome to Barbados but not at that location on Bay,nor do we need the arrogance of its management dictating outdated employment practices.Sandals is a classic example of loss of foreign earnings from tourism.Butch Stewart is bad news to the Consolidated Fund.


  17. Tron September 6, 2016 at 7:24 AM #

    Barbados is 40 years behind other Caribbean islands and the rest of the world, when it comes to tourism. The island only offers sand, sun and rum. Nothing else. No gambling, no water park, no theme park. Simply boring for tourists.

    So, the church was against a casino. What is the church in Barbados doing to improve this country beside hot air and outdated hollow speeches? Nothing, exactly. The pastors still live in the 1950s.

    If this goes on, we end up with 10 all-inclusive-hotels and 50 burger-restaurants where the masses work for 5 dollars the hour after university to pay off their debts. The politicians will call it success, I call it postcolonial misery.

    The destruction of this country starts at the airport where tourists come in. Have you ever been at the immigration at airport? Feels like North Korea. Waiting 15 minutes in the line. No warm welcome, but officers obviously pissed off by tourists. Welcome in Barbados!


  18. Money Brain September 6, 2016 at 7:50 AM #

    The real problem is Government DAMAGEMENT!

    All problems have solutions waiting to be implemented.
    Church does not like gambling—-place gambling for tourists only ie like Singapore U MUST have your foreign Passport to gain entry! My wife and I tested this on many occasions. Cameras will moitor this just as they do in the casino for “cheaters.”

    Tom loved playing Poker, tis true.


  19. David September 6, 2016 at 7:50 AM #

    Anyone who disputes your assertion should check the local media where head of the BTPI is quoted that our product offering is tired.


  20. Bush Tea September 6, 2016 at 8:04 AM #

    When we have reached the stage where the debate is about how much more of our asse(t)s we should be putting up for sale ….we KNOW that it is already to late for us…

    Not satisfied with the ‘sea and sun’ segment of ‘tourism’, and not getting enough of the ‘lonely rich women’ seeking a compliant beach bum..
    We now need to go after the compulsive gamblers..
    How about the growing ‘gay’ travellers?
    How about those who want to do their drugs without fear of the law…
    …and at what stage will we seek out the big money launderers?
    …and wonder what a big-wig underworld target would pay to hide out here..?
    What a straight and wide road to disaster…

    It is CERTAINLY easier than the narrow and winding road of having to pool our limited resources, put our most talented people forward, and INNOVATE and CREATE successful products and services to ensure our survival …and to create a legacy for our children.

    The problem with getting deeper and deeper into prostitution is that the path back to respectability is increasingly overgrown with massive obstacles…..


  21. Artaxerxes September 6, 2016 at 8:13 AM #

    @ Gabriel

    Excellent contribution!!!!!

    You have exposed chad99999 as the “semi-literate millennial” and “irreverent novice” he is.

    And you also provided a perfect example of how an island was able to successfully diversify its economy, moving from oil to tourism.


  22. David September 6, 2016 at 8:30 AM #

    We still have Nude Beaches as an option.



  23. Well Well & Consequences September 6, 2016 at 8:40 AM #

    Of course Paul Altman will voice his concern, though it’s not genuine…he wanted to build shite in the sea to accomodate the jews he was planning to flood Barbados with… create the same damage and destruction they are allowed to get away with in Palestine….to practice their system of apartheid….racism and nastiness.

    Paul Altman and Peter Harris are close business buddies….there is business competition between them and Bizzy and Maloney to see who could rape the island thh most.

    All of that flies way above the heads of the educated illiterates sitting in the people’s parliament. ….they are too impressed by the local white collar criminals and want to be too much like them….to even understand the plays.


  24. Well Well & Consequences September 6, 2016 at 8:45 AM #

    “…and at what stage will we seek out the big money launderers?”

    The Bushman…ya already got the medium size money launderers, some named above…..that ain’t enough for you….lol

    What “path back to respectability” what….that usually takes over 200 years and even then…..someone would have written it down somewhere, or save the information on a memory stick. …as a lesson learned for the next 6 generstions to read.

    The US can tell ya all about that.


  25. Well Well & Consequences September 6, 2016 at 8:51 AM #

    “I call it postcolonial misery.”

    And that is exactly what it has been for 50 years….it now has nowhere to turn….it has been exposed.

    The churches in Barbados started out hypocritical and when they are forced to close their doors one of these centuries….they will close them as hypocrites.


  26. Sargeant September 6, 2016 at 9:06 AM #


    Are you saying that a decision by a PM who held Office for approximately 1year still holds currency in a landscape and market place that is constantly changing? Did none of his successors think to review that decision? Barrow disestablished the Anglican Church I hardly think that he would be afraid of the opinion of the Church when it came to casino gambling.

    BTW If Castro and his cohorts remain in charge of Cuba it will be a cold day in hell before they permit Casino gambling after all they blame casinos and mobsters for some of the ills that befell Cuba before the Revolution.


  27. ac. September 6, 2016 at 10:10 AM #

    With the invasion of the drug culture and the recent spa of drug related crime. The last thing any govt would permit on the island casino gambling


  28. Gabriel September 6, 2016 at 10:13 AM #

    It was hilarious when Tom reminded Harold the Dane that the plot on which his cathedral is built was purchased with ill gotten gains.Harold was among the chosen who was critical of the bandits and guess what.Tom put him in charge of a commission to look into gambling and to make recommendations.Later,Errol made a remark in response to having a church service at Harold the Dane’s cathedral and his response was words to the effect that he wasn’t going in there to listen to any mambo jambo.


  29. Gabriel September 6, 2016 at 10:41 AM #

    On my tour of the casinos in Aruba,I was in awe of the expense and the artistic woodwork in mahogany that went into those buildings.My tour included the sanctum sanctorum where the beans are counted.It was ultra taste in furnishings,lovely ladies in waiting,well groomed and classily clad with just a hint of daring.Drinks,smokes,food all complimentary.Lovely well endowed old ladies and their other half enjoying a pastime of their choice in super comfort.
    Another strategy that the tourism planners in Aruba brought out and implemented was the introduction of their own airline Air Aruba which I was told on a subsequent visit to Aruba in the 90’s was directed by a young Barbadian highly skilled in Marketing.That carrier chose its target markets intelligently and flew to those cities to facilitate its business plan.
    The idea of pre checking passengers should have been implemented here ages ago.Bahamas has had it years.I speak subject to correction but I think Haiti also.The lazy officials here are all about talk and eat-a-food mentality pounding their chests……’man, I is a minister man,you cahn tell me nutten dat I en know’……Meanwhile unless Barbados is categorized as grade 1 according to the DOT they will not get pre clearance facilities.The only country which had pre clearance was Trinidad during the days of Bwee when carnival traffic between the 2 countries was big business.


  30. Gabriel September 6, 2016 at 10:43 AM #

    Trinidad’s passenger pre clearance facility was with Barbados.


  31. Tron September 6, 2016 at 12:17 PM #

    Aruba: Yes, look at it closely. Still a Dutch territory, but also local parliament. So everybody has a Dutch passport. GDP (ref.wikipedia): $28,924 per capita. Any questions?


  32. Old Baje September 6, 2016 at 1:12 PM #

    @ WW&C

    Your mention of Jews at 8:40 AM is gratuitous and does not help your case.
    Where is the evidence that Altman’s idea of islands off Barbados has anything to do with Jews?

    I think that your desire for change in Barbados is well intentioned but your posts lately have been laced with so much hate that I (and probably others) have been skipping over them.
    As I said, this does not help your case.


  33. ac September 6, 2016 at 1:37 PM #

    The window of opportunity for having Casinos is closed for barbados. No govt would entertain such an idea in 2016. Maybe in the late eighties and nineties pursuing would have been much easier again barbados missed the goal and passed the ball to other countries who could not help but say Thank You.
    Keep harping on Sandals as a negative for barbados is political poppy cock.


  34. Well Well & Consequences September 6, 2016 at 2:49 PM #

    Old Baje…ya shoulda skip ovr this one too.

    Look..again, nothing those parasites on the island do affects me….it does however affects you, who live there, this is not a popularity contest so obviously you will not be seeing me tell you what you want to hear. I skip over most posts, so why do you feel someone skipping over my posts would bother me.

    As to the hate….do you know how many of my relatives are jewish.

    As soon as someone posts anything with an inkling of truth, yall fowls get ya panties in a twist, so tell me Baje..why was Altman not granted permission to build manmade islands in the sea off Barbados….as a matter of fact…you should tell me why would Altman want to build islands in the sea off Barbados…while ya at it you should tell me why Altman built that big old laundromat called Limegrove down Holetown where no one can afford to shop….. on land that does not belong to him.

    Ya sound just like those lowlife jews in NY who are slum lords, ecstaty pushers, money launderers, organ harvesters, land thieves etc….as soon as people talk the truth…ya antisemitic.

    Dont get me started. .ya not talking to ya average docile bajan.


  35. Well Well & Consequences September 6, 2016 at 3:01 PM #

    You do know Baje that the land Altman’s laundromat Limegrove is on is in litigation….right.


  36. Old Baje September 6, 2016 at 3:28 PM #

    @ WW&C

    You sure Altman was refused permission? Or he just couldn’t convince potential investors?

    Tell us about the Limegrove land litigation. Don’t be selfish.

    Talking about getting panties in a twist. This Hyatt thing is a storm in a teacup. Edghill and Maloney do not have that kind of money and are yet to attract a significant investor.


  37. Gabriel September 6, 2016 at 3:38 PM #

    I recall two known west coasters telling me a couple years ago that the grove was losing money and what a great pity it was,such a fine concept etc so there might be more in the mortar according to your post.


  38. Well Well & Consequences September 6, 2016 at 4:08 PM #

    Baje…that’s just it, none of them have the money, Altman, Maloney, Bizzy the few millions they got stashed, they aint about to take and drop into a hole of a failur……so if they can find some mook with deep pockets….hallelujah….ALL of them are looking to dupe investors AND SELL YALL…as bonus…lol…they are looking for anoth bilionaire like the dude from Florida Bjerkham had, but he croaked.

    I will send you to research who owned the Lascelles plantation along with 4 other plantations on the island….I am surprised that the Barbados ministers got the nerve to want to do business in Panama….many descendants of bajans still live there and would know it’s the government in Bim betrayed the bajans who worked on the canal, stole the plantations they bought and sold them to any lowlife who smiled at them.

    Gabriel….the biggest question is…why would you build such a monstrosity and cater only to the people who visit the island a few months a year and most of whom cannot afford to shop at Limegrove……and…neither can the 275,000 people who live on the island.


  39. millertheannunaki September 6, 2016 at 4:18 PM #

    @ Old Baje September 6, 2016 at 3:28 PM #
    “Talking about getting panties in a twist. This Hyatt thing is a storm in a teacup. Edghill and Maloney do not have that kind of money and are yet to attract a significant investor.”

    You are right about that one Old Baje, the gullible Bajans are indeed getting their knickers in a twist about this Hyatt malarkey. Many of them are carrying the impression that Hyatt is going to build the hotel the same way they have been fooled into believing there would have been a Four Seasons resort.

    The issue at hand is where the money coming from. I would really like to see those investors who would take up that sort of money and build a tower in a growing shanty town in a sector of an industry that is fast approaching its sell-by-date. There is very little of attraction about this tower to justify the large investment. What is the ROI for this project over an expected 10 year horizon in a most competitive industry that largely depends on massive government concessions to achieve even the minimum profitability?

    Since the Hyatt project is not designed to attract the modern eco-conscious, environmentally and culturally savvy tourists would the government be expected to grant the investors and the hotel management the right to operate a casino aka private gambling club or even a nudist beach barricaded to keep out the riffraff, beach-bums and the pretentious voyeurs hiding behind the cloak of religious hypocrisy?

    Hyatt would be fine for Bridgetown if the intention is to turn it into a mini Amsterdam.
    Pornville should definitely lend his support to this idea if Bim is to save its sorry tourism ass from the phoenix called Cuba.

    But then again there might just a lot of dirty money out there looking for a home including Greenverbs Parris millions.


  40. Well Well & Consequences September 6, 2016 at 4:53 PM #

    Miller…is only the retards ACs believe Hyatt is taking their billions to build a hotel, filled with controversy, on Browne’s beach….maybe Dumbville believes it too…maybe Maloney told Dumbville so…

    You ain’t see the lotta zeros the ACs been quoting about Hyatt this and Hyatt that…and they richer than god…lol.

    Ya dealing with idiots.


  41. David September 13, 2016 at 1:20 PM #

    Interesting information that the Chief Town Planner resigned from the Heritage Committee or whatever it is called. More interesting is to read the comments of his replacement read he is not answering any questions about Hyatt and to ask the CTP. As Chairman of a Heritage UNESCO Committee one would have thought he had a lot more to say.


  42. Due Diligence September 13, 2016 at 2:59 PM #

    millertheannunaki September 6, 2016 at 4:18 PM #

    “Hyatt would be fine for Bridgetown if the intention is to turn it into a mini Amsterdam.”

    According to a story in the Nation, Charles Lewis, the owner of Charlie Spice Experience says there are 2,000 to 3 000 girls working in the adult entertainment industry in Barbados at any point in time.

    So there is a trained labour already in place to turn Bridgetown into a mini Amsterdam if it it not already there.


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