The Adrian Loveridge Column – How Will Displaced Tourism Workers Vote?

Adrian Loveridge

As someone who has spent most of their life in tourism it would be disingenuous not to dedicate this week’s column to all those persons surrendering their quality family time to ensure our cherished visitors receive the best possible holiday ever over the Christmas and New Year period. Not of course forgetting those in the essential services who make the same sacrifice to keep us all safe and sound.

While many people take this for granted, spare a thought for those dedicated workers who fully comprehend that while tourism remains the only game in town that can even remotely return the country to economic viability, they are paying the price, to ensure it happens. I salute you, and I hope that our politicians fully understand what you are giving up for the sake of our nation.

As we rapidly approach another new year, I expect many of us will have a wish list, but 2018, will in my humble opinion, not be about hoping things happen, but making them happen. It has to be abundantly apparent that one of ‘our’ glaring deficiencies is implementation and this is not limited to the public sector.

With the end of my personal working life in tourism in sight, on reflection, one of the biggest disappointments will remain the inability to persuade more sector partners to work closer together in the common destination objective. From a national perspective this could change in 2018, with third, fourth and maybe other political parties vying for power and influence.

Amid the widespread, if not overwhelming disillusionment with our governance status quo, the defining focus could well all change, if these parties secure any number of seats in Parliament. I believe that I am not alone in declaring that I have never joined a political party anywhere and have tried desperately hard to avoid the ego’s, power plays and entrenched blinkered doctrine associated with the existing players for three decades.

What seems inescapable is that we usually have just one opportunity every five years, to hopefully elect representatives who will steer the country on the right course. And that these people, when placed in power, have the ability to make illogical decisions that could easily destroy all the work and aspirations that those in the private sector have strived for over generations and severely devalue their investment.

I read very carefully the recently quoted impassioned pleas by one of our leading hoteliers, having spent decades building a successful local business, which is now continuing with dedicated family members, stating that this investment is now in peril. Not due to bad management or inefficiencies, but simply down to the granting of unilateral unique concessions to a single operator, who largely avoids banking the majority of their earned revenue here at all.

Compound this with Government selling off taxpayer owned hotels at far below their stated value and the scenario painted by Gordon Seale ‘would essentially run local hotels out of business’ begins to take on a credible face of reality. What is the administration thinking? If this prediction actually happens, who would the hundreds of displaced employees and their dependents vote for?

11 comments

  • Underworld Whistleblower

    They don’t care, all their thinking of is lining their individual pockets in the event they are voted out.

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  • Your sentiments seem to be from the heart and your years of experience must have taught you much.

    Just to add to these sentiments, my experience leaves a bitter taste, for want of a better system of that which currently thinks only of it’s profits.
    Currently the system is designed to pay minimum wages, reduced salaries or work offered on yearly contractual “agreements”. That service charges are now replaced by incentives given at the whims and fancies of management, hearing of PRODUCTIVITY BONUSES” yet to date any have not benefitted from such. Christmas bonuses are meagre and sometimes not given, yet exceptional services are promised to clients , expected of workers, under poor working conditions/ treatment and remuneration thwarting delivery of good quality services and experiences.

    What if the current perception of management is changed by a different perspective to management ?

    Offering the best remunerations to attract the best qualified, best skilled and experienced will go a long way in product development and services instead of working a below par ideology. of slavery. At present the value of workers contribution is way undervalued and exploited.

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  • When will minister Richard Sealy get it through his thick skull that the real measure of the performance of the tourism sector is average dollar spend. Didn’t former tourism minister of the Bahamas Vanderpool advise? This is made the more relevant if all accept there is significant leakage in the sector.

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  • I have been reading this man’s contributions.

    If we had more professionals who were as dedicated in this area as this man is to his, the island would be paradise.

    Keep on trying Mr. Loveridge.

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  • ‘this area” = their areas of expertise

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  • CANADA in a deep freeze.

    Hope the BTA in Canada hard at work promoting BARBADOS hot hot hot weather.

    https://www.theweathernetwork.com/ca/weather/ontario/toronto

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  • A shame that another young man is dead but being related to a superstar will bring a lot off attention to the island not in a good way

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  • i own a rental property in bim, i have given all employees a weeks pay as xmas bonus,plus a raise of t least $50 a week. i have done this for 13yrs. all employers should be willing to share a little more with the people that keep them in business.

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  • We know how the hotel workers on the South Coast will vote don’t we?

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  • People smoking pot on south coast should not be charged since it is covering the sewage smell

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  • In a related story…

    How the hell the whole fleet of CAL’s ATR are grounded? Media, you have a job to do here to inform the nation, to expose the corruption and mismanagement, whatever political parties involved. WHO bought these planes? when? cost? maintenance contract? training? why is this fleet grounded? how much extra is it costing the citizens to deploy CAL’s other planes to service Tobago?  etc etc

    CAL, Petrotrin, other corrupt & useless State companies, we cannot afford to subsidise these monstrosities? It is evil and heartless to pressure the struggling poor & middle-class to subsidise this wanton waste, corruption, and mismanagement!  We have to junk the false nationalistic pride and false ego so we can logically decide what we can now afford and what we can’t. Airlines globally are making record profits after years of low fuel prices, consolidation, and cut-throat competition, but here we are stupidly wasting billions on an airline that can’t even service a 20-mile 15-minute air-bridge and flying tourists from N America directly to other Caribbean islands but not to Tobago! Do we need a national airline costing billions per year of scarce funds or merely a basic Trinidad to Tobago airline? How after decades of Independence & tens of billions on tertiary education, we still cannot manage & operate a 20-mile ferry and airbridge service?

    CAL planes giving trouble

    Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL)’s entire fleet of five ATR 72-600 turboprop aircraft have been down for the last three days, forcing the airline to press into service its fleet of Boeing-737-800 jet aircraft to alleviate the backlog of stranded passengers.

    This was revealed by an aviation source. Tempers flared at the Piarco International Airport on Thursday after scores of passengers were forced to wait hours for flights to Tobago which were cancelled and they joined Tobago House of Assembly Minority leader Watson Duke in a sit-in protest.

    http://www.guardian.co.tt/news/2017-12-31/cal-planes-giving-trouble

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