Adrian Loveridge Column – We Need a New ‘Game’ to SUPPORT Tourism

In many ways it feels like a reoccurring dream of perhaps better described as a nightmare – taking me back almost 20 years – to when I can graphically recall sitting in the palatial meeting room of our esteemed Sandy Lane Hotel. Surrounded by Ministers of Government, hotel managers, heads of regional organisations and various other ‘big-ups’ in tourism, who all collectively were attempting to mitigate the inevitable consequences of 11th September 2001 (911).

Nearly two decades later as a largely airlift dependent destination – with the added challenge this time presented by many cruise operators decision to ‘dock’ their ships and suspend sailings – it is again time to intensely focus on what we can do to mitigate the current situation. Clearly, we retain a resident population who are now faced with limited travel options, so there should be at least some opportunities to stimulate domestic tourism.

Our’ banks can play a critical role in this objective, by offering ‘local’ incentives.

As an example, one of them recently extended an enhanced cash-back bonus when paying by a specified credit or debit card at on-island restaurants. It was encouraging to read from the Caribbean Association of Banks, that it will ‘no longer be business as usual for the foreseeable future’. Let us hope that this proves to be more than an impromptu mission statement.

There will also be increased pressure on Government to level the playing field for our stand- alone eating establishments, by allowing them the same duty free concessions as hotels, if they have any realistic chance of remaining open and employing existing levels of staff.

St. Lucia has just announced the closure of ‘three major hotels’ among them, The Body Holiday and Rendezvous Resort, until 1st June as reported in TravelPulse.

And perhaps some of our own properties, including those sold over the last few months, will use this doubtful period to re-brand and upgrade.

What will the giants like Sandals do? They have been used to operating close to capacity, if all reports are to be believed*. With substantially reduced airlift, how are they planning to remain open and staffed? Unilateral and unique concessions have already been extended to them, so there can be little further support that can be reasonably expected from the taxpayer.

The smaller accommodation providers traditionally make any anticipated profits during the short winter peak season, if they are lucky, up to and including whenever Easter falls. From many years first-hand experience, that ‘surplus’ carries them through eight long summer months, until hopefully occupancy from December climbs and they return to viability.

Much has been made of the reduction in corporation tax, but sadly unless each business is profitable and generates that surplus at this stage it is purely academic.

Meanwhile, the majority of businesses have been forced to absorb unbudgeted staggering increases in land taxes, water, garbage disposal and a number of other costs, whilst a bevy of additional taxes and levies extracted from our visitors has driven down average spending and possibly stay.

Some may still linger under the illusion that our tourism industry constantly has their hands out seeking fiscal support.  Until ‘we’ find a way to reduce our national dependence on this sector, there frankly is no other game in town that will replace its contribution.

*Sandals and Beaches have since advised that they will close all properties from 30th March until 15th May.

84 comments

  • Fortunately, the Chinese do not fly directly to Barbados.

    The British and Americans are lagging behind the rest of Europe in the epidemic. I estimate that Britain and the USA will not be operational again until autumn. The question is whether the population will want to afford a holiday in Barbados in the event of an economic slump of 5-10 percent.

    My forecast: a few European holiday planes from July. Americans and British with a thinned out flight schedule from autumn. In the next winter season we will have 50 percent fewer tourists. Full recovery of tourism only in two or three years.

    If the USA carries out a regional military strike against China next winter, we will have no tourists at all. Or does anyone here seriously believe that the USA will simply take the plague hatched by China?

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  • @Tron March 23, 2020 1:09 AM “If the USA carries out a regional military strike against China next winter, we will have no tourists at all. Or does anyone here seriously believe that the USA will simply take the plague hatched by China?”

    Good Lord man! You and your foolishness again?

    Military strike what. Can’t kill a virus, not even with nuclear weapons.

    Is the whole of china to blame because some semi-literate peasant slaughtered or ate what he should not have. And it surely was a HE.

    Why don’t you just disappear.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Adrian. Tourism will recover. But it will be a long hand road for the owners of and the workers in the industry. Human beings do not like being isolated. Once things improve people will want to take holidays again. I am already sad that I am unlikely to take a trip that I was planning for June. I will not lick up the money. I Will keep it on-side and go when I can. Very likely most people except those who live in Conspiracy Land will do the same.

    Human beings are social. That is our defining characteristic.

    We love to see new places and experience new things. How do you think that we managed to populate the whole world?

    We human beings have been like this for millions of years. Human nature will not change, because it cannot change.

    Not sure though that Tron is fully human.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Adrian Loveridge Column – We Need a New Game to SUPPORT Tourism

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Been describing one now for years, our Quaker Heritage!!

    Every square inch of Barbados is a World Heritage Site.

    … but it isn’t a game, it is real!!

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  • @Tron

    I believe your forecast maybe optimistic, most economic forecasters see econmoy falling a minimum of 30% and up to 50%. Recover will occur in economic well financed and placed countries, however timeframe will be in years and not months. Estimates are business FAILURES will range from 10% to 8o%. Single economy countries, ie Barbados are not likely to recover due to limited resources and the ability to borrow.

    The world is likely to go into a long duration of fiscal and social unrest, hopefully there are not too many megalomaniac leaders which enact your suggestion. Its been reasonably easy to shut down the world economic model, however it will be excruciating painful to RESRART.

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  • @Tron

    Unfortunately Chinese do fly to Barbados, in the recent past, Barbados has allowed hundreds of imported construction workers in exchange for much needed forgien currency development. Based on COVID 19 situation this may prove to be a BIG MISTAKE, socially and added economic debt with no or limited financial gains.

    Liked by 1 person

  • PoorPeacefulandPolite

    As the populations of our traditional markets age, countries are facing an unprecedented number of senior citizens who will need elder care. Barbados offers a lot of it already on an informal level. By changing our model and message from sun, fun and rum to health and eldercare we are not eschewing the old opportunities – rather we would see more young family members coming to visit their old folk on the island perhaps biannually – and so also we would reduce the impact of seasonality on the economy. No need to change the game, just find the niches there are several out there . . . . and work them in !

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  • One of the best reads I have had over the last three years has been J.K. Galbraith’s The End of Normal, sub-titled The Great Crisis and the Future of Growth. However, the author is not John Kenneth Galbraith, the famous Canada-born Harvard economics professor, but his son, James K. Galbraith, the University of Texas professor.
    I found that title and accompanying notes rather interesting and bought the book out of curiosity. It was a good investment.
    Galbraith reminds us that the obsession with economic growth grew out of the Kennedy era, the late 1950s and 6os, and now it is taken as a basic truth of economic policy. He reminds us, particularly at a time like this, ridden by coronavirus, that we should always be prepared for ugly economic shocks.
    He tells us: “Growth became the solution to most (if not quite all) of the ordinary economic problems, especially poverty and unemployment. We lived in a culture of growth; to question it was, well, countercultural.”
    From 1946 to the mid-1960s, the US enjoyed unrivalled progress, it was the nation to envy, from its cultural products, such as Hollywood, to its clothing, such as Wranglers, to its music.
    It was about this time that economists (W. W. Rostow, Robert Solow, et al) invented their theory of growth which has since dominated conventional economic theory. They had concluded that long-term, economic growth depended on population growth, technological change, and savings.
    Let us look at these three key concepts of economic growth, its under-pinning: population growth itself is now seen as one of the main threats to climate change and the future of humanity; technological growth has given rise to a beast called Apple, Microsoft, Google, etc, to artificial intelligence, to the management of meta-data, all of which are now so big they are more powerful than nations.
    And, finally, savings: our financial engineers have invented all kinds of credit and substitutes for money that allow us to enjoy the product s of savings without having to save. In the mid-1960s, if a working person wished to buy a suit and did not have the cash, he (or she) would have to obtain hire-purchase, with referees.
    Then we got the rise of credit cards (Barclaycard and Access), then store credit cards, and on to this day.
    But the nature of economies has also changed, from manufacturing to services and, what manufacturing there is, firms are more assembly lines (progress from Taylorism), driven by just-in-time supplies. The finished item, more than at any time in our history, is now the product of multi-national efforts.
    Despite this changing reality, the economic discipline continues on its own merry way, in the meantime, turning the discipline in to a complex algebraic warren, the final victory of mathematics over common sense.
    Meanwhile, economic policy was left to jobbing politicians and lunching journalists. It took a 16-year-old Swedish school girl, Greta Thunberg, to tell us we have lost our way.
    Galbraith’s read is brilliant, it demystifies the discipline, and in particular the dominant consensus that infects the popular discourse like an out-of-control virus.

    Liked by 1 person

  • William Skinner

    Entire article but not a word about beach vendors , taxi operators, people who rent out chairs , small craft operators- jet skis etc.,small canteen operators, craft people ,entertainers . Are they not involved in making a direct livelihood from tourism too?

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ William

    That was my exact concern here under another article. The displacement of these people is massive. Think of only the taxis that service the air and seaport alone and that will give you an idea. Few of them will be in a position to survive 90 days without money coming in. The industry affected is not just the hotels but thousands who feed off if it as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  • “Entire article but not a word about beach vendors , taxi operators, people who rent out chairs , small craft operators- jet skis etc.,small canteen operators, craft people ,entertainers.”

    @ Mr. Skinner

    It is because in 2020, we have refused to accept these people are entrepreneurs, but prefer, instead, to think of them as nuisances, predators of tourists………. ‘beach-bums, hustlers and drug pushers?’

    I’m sure you remember, ‘back in the day,’ how ‘black coral’ and craft vendors were treated by hoteliers and the police?

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  • @ John A
    @ Artax
    “I’m sure you remember, ‘back in the day,’ how ‘black coral’ and craft vendors were treated by hoteliers and the police?”(Quote)
    I was intimately involved in fighting on behalf of the beach vendors. I know of the hostilities directed at them. Not to mention racism.
    This is the point I have been making on BU for years. As you both have indicated we see the industry through very narrow lens.
    The tourism industry could have been used as an economic tool for progressive economic enfranchisement. Over the last thirty years many small entrepreneurs have been literally forced out of the industry.
    This column shows the thinking of those in the industry. It suggests there must be a new “game”/thinking on tourism but never mentions an entire economic sector of the industry.
    These are the same people that built craft shops in hotels to directly compete with the small beach vendors.
    I say no more for now.
    Those who have eyes to see let them see.

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  • Note the title of the blog came from the blogmaster.

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  • @ Silly Woman March 23, 2020 7:13 AM

    Ever heard of risk analysis? I don’t paint the devil on the wall, I just present potential scenarios. The US and China are headed for conflict. It’s not about disease control in China. It’s about world domination.

    May I remind you that the DLP regime had a military pact with China. All treaties have consequences. Under no circumstances must we allow ourselves to be drawn into a major conflict.

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  • @ Hal
    This is our major problem in public discourse about socio economic issues; it seems that those who are controlling public opinion are oblivious to the dynamic changes within economies that no longer take decades but days , weeks or months. We are still viewing the world by those theories that centered around the two world wars . We need new thinking.
    Seems we are caught in the Industrial Age while the world has moved on to the Technological Age. To all intents and purposes we seem to be in the Twilight Zone.

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  • @ David BU

    In all fairness, the title you gave the article, is irrelevant to the observations made by John A and Mr. Skinner.

    The article succinctly covered some of the salient points as it relates to hotels. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any mention of “beach vendors, taxi operators, people who rent out chairs, small craft operators- jet skis etc.,small canteen operators, craft people, entertainers,” and how the current crisis would inevitably affect these entrepreneurs.

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  • @ Wily Coyote March 23, 2020 9:01 AM

    At least our government behaves rationally compared to many other islands.

    Imagine if the DLP were in power. If we follow Mariposa, they would have hermetically sealed off the island and probably penned up all stranded tourists, diplomats and expats in some concentration camp them. The lockdown would have left us without new medicines and equipment. A civil war, looting and other atrocities would be the result.

    Our government has so far done many things right in this difficult situation. At least we are already “customers” of the IMF. All other islands will follow very soon.

    I am more concerned about the behaviour of radical evangelical sects in Barbados. They still meet in church services. It is time for the Barbadian military to collect the names of all lawbreakers and evacuate all church members if necessary. I remember that in South Korea the plague also started in one of these sects. The devil knows where he has his disciples.

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  • Barbados country management since independence can be best described as a FLOATY in the open ocean been blown wherever the wind takes it, no paddles, no motor, no captain, just hoping to find dry land to LIME.

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  • @Artax

    The intervention was for clarity. No other point was intended.

    The bottom line is that public commentators will share perspectives opinions through their prism. Others are free to share theirs and or rebut. This is what public debate is meant to bring out and allow for learning.

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  • Adrian, both you and I have witnessed the GOOD TIMES and some down turns, however I suspect this down turn (recession) is going to last decades and will likely out live us both. Our children and grandchildren hopefully are up to the challenge of implementing a sustainable recovery plan. Barbados future is depending on this new generation to think outside the box and come up with a multi generational plan for survival.

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  • @ William

    Part of our problem is that people withdraw from public debate through fear of having their limited knowledge exposed. What they do not realise is that is through discussion that their knowledge improves.
    So we have BERT in Barbados, promoted by Prof Persaud, then he goes to London and sign a petition backing fiscal stimulus. Which is it?
    Or, you get the president, in a three-hour speech worthy of the old Soviet politburo, telling us that they have projections for a 50 per cent fall in tourism, but we cannot see the result of that projection, nor the methodologies.
    What we get is Kerrie Symmonds talking about the future of the tourism sector. Has anyone got a dog muzzle they can spare?
    @ William, there is a food crisis coming down the line. What is the government doing about it, apart from talking about agriculture?
    @William, I am sure you are too, but I live in a society in which people are gearing up for even worse conditions, while in Barbados people appear to be cruising. Maybe Barbadians know something the rest of the world does not.
    We need spare rooms: close the schools down and use one or two to house coronavirus victims; government should take over control of food distribution; allow civil servants to work from home., Protect frontline workers.

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  • @ Artax
    @ William

    Our problem is that we see tourism as hotels and attractions as opposed to people. Many don’t know the amount of returning visitors who carry friends to small places like “Cuz”, a simple small canteen in the carpark next to the Radisson. When Enids was in full swing in Baxters Road nobody knew more tourist than her. The problem is the powers that be don’t want them as the face of tourism. They prefer the Hyatt on our front page. Now tell me what the hell the Hyatt got that indigenous to Barbados?

    What I am asking Bajans is if you want to go and eat at anybody over the next few months, search out people like the above and support them as regrettable they will be the ones to suffer first.

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  • @John A

    Trying to follow your position.

    Why is Cuz heavily frequented by visitors?

    Why is Oistins heavily frequented by visitors?

    There are many examples the type of tourists visiting Barbados in recent years search out local establishments.

    There will always be tension between vendors and the so-called establishment. They need to organise themselves and represent their interest. There is too much dog eat cat approach to managing our affairs across business segments. We are battling a systemic issue.

    We have seen it in the furniture Industry.

    We have seen it in other manufacturing interest.

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  • @ John A

    We have had this discussion before. The Brit s and Yanks have different demands. The Brits want to know the traditional Barbados, that is why Oistin’s is so popular with them. The Yanks want to eat in MacDonald’s or go up market. And the Barbados tourism officials have a fictional view of Barbados as a premium destination.
    Whatever happened to all those tourism studies graduates who studied at the University of Surrey some time ago? Are they employed in the industry?
    Or is work only for the man from the BTMI who wants the government to support a bankrupt restaurant chain?

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  • @Tron

    I disagree that the government is doing a good job, granted they are always there for a photo op and gum flapping. Letting numerous cruise ships berth in Barbados to disperse the passengers was to be commended, however it was a great risk of one of these COVID 19 petri dishes spreading the virus throughout the island, time will tell however initial indications are NOT GOOD. Comparing DLP to present government is not a viable argument, like the apples and oranges arguments.

    Unfortunately being a IMF customer will not get Barbados any favored treatment, as a matter of fact when there is a deluge of bailout requests Barbados will fall to the bottom of the barrel as they already have DIPPED. Do you not understand the IMF itself could very well be in survival mode as countries are unwilling to depart with thier hard earned cash to support(IMF) incompetent countries.

    The FITTEST, BIGGEST and most organized will survive by whatever means.

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  • The point of the headline was to provoke discussion regarding diversification in the sector and options to generate GDP from alternative productive sectors.

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  • @ Artax
    @ John A
    No group has done more to inhibit indigenous products/culture than the same cry baby hoteliers and their reps.
    Let me give you an example. Some tourists were once told by a tour rep that the national dish cou cou can lead to choking. The tourists were taken to a local home and were given the national dish to eat. One tourist said: “we can’t believe she told us that. This meal is so smooth.” I have to say that the rep was not from the majority race.

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  • @ William

    I believe you for sure. The problem our leaders in Tourism have is they want us to have international brand appeal hence Hyatt is good for us. 6 smaller indigenous type hotels serving fish cakes and bakes for breakfast is bad for us.

    Then we say we can not compete with other markets on price. Well then make up wunna mind with regard to what we are offering. What makes a Hyatt in Barbados different to one in Antigua or St Lucia? In other words what are we offering that’s different to others?

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  • @John A

    Are you familiar with the Barbados Intimate Group of hotels?

    Liked by 1 person

  • The rep was both a liar and an idiot.

    Going to eat a little cou-cou and stewed chicken now.

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  • @ Wily Coyote March 23, 2020 12:05 PM

    I know all of that.

    As you know, I take on the role of a freelance unit (similar to a secret task force without identification and without papers), because it is an intellectual challenge. It’s so easy to criticize all the time.

    However, I’ll tell you one thing quite frankly: The currency devaluation will come. Won’t it, Miller?

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  • @ David.

    Yes I am familiar with them but my question is post corona what will be our game plan to capture the little trade out there or will it be business as usual?

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  • @John A

    Covid will change how we do business. If it doesn’t we deserve what we get as a people.

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  • @ David

    I think those islands that offer a unique experience will get the business. In st Lucia for example hotels like Jade Mountain and others in the Caribbean like them, will have a card to play.

    To recover we must play cards never played before. There will be no more business as usual.

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  • Britain is entering a lockdown. New legislation to force people to take the coronavirus test; derive people off the streets; Nearly 8000 retired doctors have returned to work, including some members of parliament. Tough new powers on the statute books. The crisis deepens.

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  • @John A

    Jade Mountain is high end read niche.

    Agree with the thrust of your comment.

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  • @ Mr. Skinner

    I agree “no group has done more to inhibit indigenous products/culture than the same cry baby hoteliers and their reps.”

    I know of a case where some tourists were staying at Tamarind Cove and a manager friend of mine offered to take them out on his off day (and you know this is something that’s ‘frowned upon’ or forbidden). He took them to his home for a traditional Bajan meal and later for a drive across the island, introducing them to friends and the Bajan way of life…. even sucking cane. They said it was the best time they had since they began visiting here.

    And, this is one of the reasons why tourists of all nationalities like local events such as the Martin’s Bay Thursday limes, Oistins ‘Friday night limes,’ ‘Q in the Community,’ etc. They want to experience Bajan life.

    Hotels can record losses annually and go to ‘government cap in hand’ begging for subsidies and tax concessions. However, beach vendors incurring financial losses as a direct result of an inappropriate act by hoteliers, cannot do similarly.

    Have you heard if anything was done to compensate those chair rental operators whose chairs were confiscated by Crane Beach Hotel owner Paul Doyle and locked in containers on his property for a few days? It’s obvious Doyle’s actions would have resulted in them losing income.

    We have some hotels charging room rates, for example, of US$500/night, in addition to gains from food and beverages, yet they want to open shops to sell craft or rent beach chairs…. all in an effort not only to deprive vendors of earning a honest living, but to run them off the beaches as well.

    Additionally, peruse any hotel restaurant menus to find out how many of them offer local dishes, other than what is offered on “Bajan Night.’

    As John A correctly mentioned, post COVID-19, “islands that offer a unique experience will get the business.” Barbados does not offer anything that’s unique, instead we prefer to concentrate on ‘pushing’ anything that’s not indigenous to Barbados. It seems as though we’re not too proud of our heritage.

    I remember a few years ago, Princess Hotels & Resorts was set to take-over a luxury hotel at which I was employed at the time. We were shown a presentation of all the Princess Resorts, exchange employment opportunities and the restaurants. What pleased me, for example, was the fact the other resorts offered cuisine that was indigenous to the respective islands in which they were located.

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  • cecil pickering

    this is a lesson BIM can learn from .we have to have back plan we can’t depend on tourism alone. we have to have another 1or 2 industries to keep the country going .chances are this could happen again then what ?

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  • @ David.

    Only used there to draw an example of a unique product. My point is we need to rethink our product going forward. We want to build large pigeon box rooms all in a block, so my question is what makes our product different say to St Lucia going forward?

    It is fair to think that to get the industry going again we will need to price attractively, but we will also need to try and be unique in our offering. In other words put yourself in the travellers shoes and ask what does Barbados offer me the others dont?

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  • William Skinner

    @ Artax
    Community tourism could have earned and saved us millions of dollars in forex.
    Also , imagine that we have to import fish to supply the same tourist industry. A well developed fishing industry could have easily saved and earned us millions in forex.
    As for the vendors being compensated by Doyle, I don’t know but that kind of “ unfairness “ is rampant against small business people throughout the industry.
    We need to learn that high priced don’t mean high end.
    I can price any car as high as I like that doesn’t make it a Bentley or Rolls Royce.

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  • William Skinner

    @ John A
    @ Artax
    As one who managed a small restaurant in the industry; operated a small tour company and know of a few locals who have been rather successful in the industry, I can say without question, that even those locals who succeeded will speak of the unimaginable espionage and blatant discrimination that was directed at them. We can can also talk about how local manufacturers were overlooked but I think the picture can be easily seen.
    We should remember how others fleeced the agricultural industry and then left the plantations to run to grass.
    We need to be careful, we don’t end up with many very pretty white elephants dotting our shores.
    A word to the wise.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Artax

    Ask yourself this one question and it will tell you how ALL parties viewed tourism in a vacuum.

    WHY HASN’T OUR AGRICULTURE SECTOR GROWN AT THE SAME RATE PERCENTAGE WISE AS OUR TOURISM SECTOR?

    After all they got to eat too don’t they?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Unbelievable!!

    Here we are in the midst of the most calamitous global event since the 2nd world war and we are served up stuff like

    “there should be at least some opportunities to stimulate domestic tourism”,

    “Some may still linger under the illusion that our tourism industry constantly has their hands out seeking fiscal support. Until ‘we’ find a way to reduce our national dependence on this sector, there frankly is no other game in town that will replace its contribution.”

    Contrary to all the hand-wringing from the BU commentariat, there will be no major shifts in policy direction viz near total tourism dependence.

    In fact, the Dullard predicts that when the dust settles, Barbados will double down in its pursuit of the ever fleeting tourist dollar.

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  • @ Dullard

    As much as I hate to admit it i think you are right!

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  • @ Dullard March 23, 2020 2:32 PM

    Absolutely right. My verdict: If it’s a banana republic, it should be a really nice banana. Maybe bananas will help against Corona, who knows?

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  • @ Silly Women March 23, 2020 7:13 AM

    Why couldn’t it be a woman?

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  • @ Wily Coyote March 23, 2020 12:05 PM

    Looking back, the owners of Cin-Cin have done everything right. They anticipated the Chinese Plague and closed their business in time. I can’t wait to see when Sandy Lane and the Hilton close.

    I hold Verla De Peiza (and certain commentators on BU fully) responsible for this, because she is stirring up panic against her better judgment. It is well known that 80 percent of economics is psychology.

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  • “WHY HASN’T OUR AGRICULTURE SECTOR GROWN AT THE SAME RATE PERCENTAGE WISE AS OUR TOURISM SECTOR?”

    @ John A

    Perhaps it’s because we’ve never considered an inter-sector relationship between agriculture and tourism. Promoting a greater collaboration for the development of the agricultural and tourism sectors by promoting more local cuisine.

    Hotels employ expatriate chefs, most of whom are experienced in international cuisines, for which they write menus. Then we have the all-inclusive resorts that have European, Asian, US restaurants, etc, offering cuisines, the ingredients of which, have to be imported.

    How about local chefs adding a Caribbean flair to everyday meals by using local produce and promoting local cuisine?

    For example, we could give tourists an option of having grilled local steak, prepared with local herbs, spices and served with grilled breadfruit, sauteed onions, mushrooms, peppers and a thick, spicy golden apple, mango or tamarind flavoured BBQ sauce.

    Or, roast black belly lamb, served with local vegetables and a light, delicately flavored dunks wine.

    Spiced pork tenderloin, served with local cherry, thyme and parsley sauce.

    Chefs would have to be a bit more innovative…… and I’m sure we’ve seen such innovation on Chef Peter Edey’s “Junior Dueling Chefs” and “Caribbean Dueling Challenge Competitions,” where students are given local ingredients to make their dishes.

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  • fortyacresandamule

    Hal. Nice reading on Galbraith. I took one elective course in mathematical economics at my university back in the day, and reaslised the field was one big pretentious endeavor. Today’s financialisation of markets have gotten way out of control. Even a PHD in finance is not enough to keep up with the rapid evolution in products and services.

    On a much more deeper fundamental level, the world’s economic system, which has been dominated by the financial sector, has basically become one big casino mostly ruled by the shadow banking sector.

    Liked by 1 person

  • William Skinner

    @ Artax
    I noticed recently that our chefs have been making dishes and attaching Spanish names. Once more we prefer to sound like anything but Bajan.

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  • @ Fortyacres

    Thanks. Financial economics is in a mess, and so is the wider capitalism. As in 2007/8, when the irresponsibility of banks led to serious debt, and that debt taken on to the public sector balance sheet, the coronavirus will also lead to an expansion of state power, some of it irreversible.
    It will reinforce the death of the nation state. As we are, the President of Barbados is out of her depth. She clearly does not know what to do, having spent all her political career making vacuous speeches. Cometh the hour, cometh the man (or woman).

    @ William

    Another of Barrow’s post-independence policies coming home to roost – the ban on having domestic animals in certain districts. He thought that was being modern. Instead of raising chickens to give us eggs and provide family dinners, we had to buy from foreign-owned supermarkets. MADNESS..

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  • So you are blaming the banks now and not the regulators? Make up your mind will yah!

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  • fortyacresandamule

    @David. In developed countries, even the most robust and well-endowed regulators can’t keep up.The actors\players are always find way to get around the system. Financial markets, with their endless derivative products, mutate just like a virus.

    Liked by 1 person

  • William Skinner

    @ Hal
    I think at that time it was thought that some rather unhealthy habits had crept into the exercise. It was thought that having all the animals killed at the abattoir would have reduced the risk. I don’t think that people were stopped from raising chickens in their backyards.
    However as the heights and terraces increased doing such things were considered as threats to those neighborhoods.
    People were still raising pigs in the other neighborhoods but they had to be slaughtered at the abattoir.
    The major problem with keeping large amounts of chickens was the stench affecting those who lived down hill of the “ farms”. In recent years I have not heard of any major complaints. It’s far easier to control odors from pig farms than those from chicken. Pigs are relatively clean animals.
    BTW, I opposed allowing gas stations to sell food stuff . They should have been restricted to auto industry related products.The rise of American styled gas stations knocked many small variety shops out of business. We got caught up in “ moving on up” and tried too hard to copy everything that was going on in the so-called developed world.
    One of my hobbies is watching , listening and reading our academics trying to reinvent the wheel arguing about archaic economic models. It beats any comedy show/program.
    In many cases we threw out the baby with the bath water.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Just think about it for a minute, and put in into perspective..Why does a 15 oz. can of sweet peas cost $2.99 to $3.25 BBD, when in the US it cost $.62 cents US..In most states sales tax runs about 8.25 %, which compared to VAT is the same. But, in the states there’s no tax on food, only prepared food. So ask yourselves where is the profit going? The same is for automobiles, TV’s, Appliances and so on. The island is an island of the rich & famous, and even they don’t patronize the high level market because they expect everything to be given to them, such as an entitled child.

    Barbadians need to take there country & culture back. The answer has been long overlooked: diversification! Thru government, con men, and old white bajans progress has been stymied at every level. Its upsetting how the country is being ripped off.

    Like

  • You must read my posts: The Barbados dollar is totally overrated. The true value is somewhere between 1:5 and 1:10.

    The 1:2 value is just for some Barrow nostalgics to get a kick out of it. It has nothing to do with economic reality. Therefore the businesses do not cheat the local masses with the apparently high prices at all. The prices correspond to the economic reality, not the badges of honor that local dignitaries pin on each other’s nipples.

    Like

  • @William

    I knew an old lady, a wonderful old woman no longer with us, lived in Christ Church where there are some ‘wild’ chickens. Every time they laid eyes she would pour boiling water on the eggs. But, she would then ask people to buy eggs for her from the local shop. In this part of Christ Church you would be amazed at the number of ‘wild’ chickens, which are ignored by the locals, who would then steal breadfruit from neighbours..

    @Fortyacres

    Sometimes it is better to let certain things go by since no matter how much you try to explain it some people will never learn. To use a cricketing metaphor, let it pass outside the off stump. One of those for some is the transfer of private debt to the public balance sheet and the role of regulation.
    Sometime ago on another site I had this discussion with a Bajan, and to prove his point he pointed out he had an LLB in law and a diploma in financial regulation. I could have responded, but chose to ignore it. That said it all.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @fortyacres

    Do not disagree. Wanted to make the tongue-in-cheek remark we cannot cherrypick blame. It is the nature of the market place nowadays.

    Like

  • Robert B MacDonald

    Certainly a large number of comments, one thing I have noted it doesn’t take long on these posts for the topic to veer from the original subject.
    My observations and opinions. The dollar is overvalued.Barbados needs to diversify its industries. The tourist will be suffering as much as anyone during this Pandemic, and although they will want to vacation after it is over, it may be on more modest scale than before. A suggestion, perhaps the government could allocate to those interested a plot of land in order to grow vegetables in an attempt to be more self sustainable.

    Like

  • @ Artax March 23, 2020 5:12 PM
    “Perhaps it’s because we’ve never considered an inter-sector relationship between agriculture and tourism. Promoting a greater collaboration for the development of the agricultural and tourism sectors by promoting more local cuisine.
    Hotels employ expatriate chefs, most of whom are experienced in international cuisines, for which they write menus. Then we have the all-inclusive resorts that have European, Asian, US restaurants, etc, offering cuisines, the ingredients of which, have to be imported.
    How about local chefs adding a Caribbean flair to everyday meals by using local produce and promoting local cuisine?
    For example, we could give tourists an option of having grilled local steak, prepared with local herbs, spices and served with grilled breadfruit, sauteed onions, mushrooms, peppers and a thick, spicy golden apple, mango or tamarind flavoured BBQ sauce.
    Or, roast black belly lamb, served with local vegetables and a light, delicately flavored dunks wine.
    Spiced pork tenderloin, served with local cherry, thyme and parsley sauce”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    You sound like a town crier with a clarion call for Carmetta Fraser to be given the posthumous status of ‘National Hero.

    A woman of the sharp vision to foresee the vital linkage between agriculture and other industries especially the local hotel and restaurant sectors.

    Even our own former blogger “Island Gal” who has inspired our current “Donna” would jump for joy in singing your praises.

    This ‘viral’ bomb dropped on the tourism industry offers the golden (and last) opportunity to local hoteliers (and other stakeholders) to reshape the industry in a more indigenized image much more beneficial to those locals whose toil and sweat (like the dying sugar industry) built the foundation of the current ‘hospitality’ industry.

    As you have suggested, why not turn the Covid negative impact into the opportunity of positive change to make the hotel and restaurant cuisine reflective of the ‘natural’ flavours of the locally produced ingredients and methods of preparation?

    Not only would there be significant savings to the already scarce pot of foreign exchange but also a game-changer in attracting more locals (interested in their health and well-being) to those ‘hospitality establishments serving ‘fresh and organic’ food not tarnished or tainted with synthetic slow poisons.

    Like

  • @ Tron March 23, 2020 12:31 PM
    “As you know, I take on the role of a freelance unit (similar to a secret task force without identification and without papers), because it is an intellectual challenge. It’s so easy to criticize all the time.
    However, I’ll tell you one thing quite frankly: The currency devaluation will come. Won’t it, Miller?”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    What Covid is doing, in its viral of form of change, is setting the economic recovery clock back to pre May 2018.

    Not even that numerate-challenged moral pathogen dubbed Stinkliar would have the viral capacity to inflict so much financial harm as that about to descend on poor Bim.

    So what are your betting odds against the financial germ called the Big “D”? 5:1 or go the 10: 1 route of social and economic mayhem?

    Clearly the 5:1 is the route to go given the massive economic challenges ahead with their implications for dystopian-like uprisings when Bajans cannot afford imported processed foods.

    As you are always contending, if MAM is able to keep Bim from sinking into the quagmire of Currency Devaluation then Barbados ought to ‘crown’ Her as a national hero(ine) and issue a $1,000.00 currency note in viral format in recognition of her Herculean feat.

    Poor Red Queen Bee of Hearts Mia, she was dealt a hand of hardship bordering on economic and financial meltdown. Now only to have on her hands this ‘black’ jack of clubs card of global misfortune.

    It would appear that this Covid spoiler has put a spoke into the stuttering wheel of republicanism for Barbadoes as Old Queen Lizzie (without Her consort) prepares to give Her farewell speech from the ‘diamond’ throne of 68 years of meeting and greeting her loyally royal subjects, in person and living flesh.

    Would ‘wooden’ Charlie 111 become the first King of Automaton or would Willie be virally crowned King to reflect the technological esprit du temps?

    Like

  • Miller,

    If we’re gonna devalue, let’s do it right. We have to do this in a controlled way. I repeat, controlled. Let me put this without my usual polemics. The first step would be to sync up with the XCD. If that doesn’t work because of wasteful consumption, then we take another step to 1:3 and then 1:4. 1:4 would still be a political, not an economic exchange rate. The real value is somewhere between 1:5 and 1:10. Only the market could decide that.

    It is therefore a stroke of luck for Barbados that we are currently living in a one-party state. Only in this way can the government carry out the long overdue reforms without resistance.

    Mia’s status as a future national heroine does not depend on whether she avoids currency devaluation (which would be as nonsensical as asking to change the moon’s orbit), but on whether she manages the changeover in an orderly fashion.

    All those like Piece the Legend, who offended Mia so badly just a short time ago, will soon kiss her feet because of her hands-on manner. Mia is an excellent communicator. She creates great trust nationally and internationally. A real Mottley. We must not forget this despite the weaknesses of BERT.

    Like

  • A F T E R
    Every country around the world has been hit by the coronavirus pandemic and once this comes to an end the tourism related destinations will all be robustly vying for visitors to return to their shores, restaurants, hotels, museums, taxis and other services. When the crisis subsides every destination will start marketing initiatives and naturally those with the bigger budgets will make the most noise.

    What can Barbados do?
    One does not know exactly what the Barbados Government will do during the crisis to help its citizens and companies survive but whatever is done will ultimately be costly. In this regard much money may not be available for sparkling TV, radio or media advertising by the BMTI.

    In this regard I suggest a simple and cheap method that ever Barbadian both at home and overseas with an Instagram or Facebook account can do to help brand Barbados.

    #chooseBarbados
    #Feel thewelcomeinBarbados
    #Barbadosnow
    #festiveBarbados

    The BMTI should design 25 mini ads (min 800 X 500 pixels) using gorgeous images of the island and suitable inviting text (both serious and humorous) that can be downloaded by anyone from their site and used on their pages. The pictures used in these ads should be beautiful and inviting.
    All Barbadians both at home and abroad should be asked to post to their pages and encourage their friends to share which will make the circulation of Barbados as a destination even greater.

    I M A G E & I D E A S
    May I suggest also that we tweak the Barbados Tourism image and way of doing things a little.

    All hotels should offer new arrivals a small glass of refreshing frozen lemonade or local juice along with a cold scented towel before check in. The scent can be lime, bay leaf, orange etc

    Hotels should be encouraged to provide B & B rates whether they are hotels or apartments and offer clients freshly baked coconut bread, banana bread or local cinnamon rolls for breakfast.
    The name of the game will be more personal service to our clients.

    At the airport, the immigration and customs officers should have more festive uniforms. The 2 lines at customs (red/green) should be flexible instead of constantly 2 green desks and 6 or 7 red. The immigration card should be minimized and be able to be completed online similar to Aruba & Curacao.

    Taxi drivers serving the airport should all wear a festive shirt. Let visitors fell the welcome.

    Institute a changing of the guard at The Parliament one a week with full Defence Force band and military guard.

    Create an elite Harbour Police unit. This should be a great PR image for the police and used at the airport, in Bridgetown & Holetown. My friends who served in this segment of the police force many years ago were not only great swimmers & water polo players but some of the most extroverted people.

    Create a treasure hunt map showing restaurants and rum shops in each parish that welcome visitors. Any rum shop identified must agree to provide a safe environment with bathroom facilities along with suitable chairs, tables etc and free WiFi.

    Let us help each other to get Barbados’s tourism up and running quickly. Instead of critique feel free to offer any other suggestions or ideas that may be used to sway a potential visitor away from The Maldives, Hawaii or Jamaica to Barbados is welcomed.

    Like

  • To add, Sandals and Marriotts should be brought on board to leverage their brand and marketing experience/expertise.

    Like

  • @ Andrew Nehaul March 24, 2020 1:49 PM

    Our government has been promoting the island since the first day of the crisis.

    Barbados is de facto still open. We have evacuated the cruise ships and tourists from all over the Caribbean via Barbados as a hub for Middle America. We have even picked up stranded Trixis.

    Now every tourist knows that he might possibly croak during a holiday in Jamaica or Tobago if the tribes there go crazy with panic. Conversely, every tourist now knows that an evacuation under Barbados works even under the most difficult global circumstances. The government of Barbados has acted very decently and rationally.

    American and European tour operators already know this. If our government has to do something, then simply point out these facts internationally.

    Like

  • Robert B MacDonald

    Flights continue from Canada albeit on a reduced schedule. On weekends in April.

    Like

  • All Barbados has to do now is to put international advertisements in America and Europe that Trinidad and Tobago will not even take back its own helpless citizens. That will permanently destroy tourism there and bring us new tourists.

    Like

  • Placing ads in international papers will not help the dying tourism cow. Prices will have to come down. Barbados is the 12th most expensive destination in the world. You cant get the same in Barbados and more in other islands. Apart from the caves there is not much to see or do in Barbados.

    Like

  • @David March 24, 2020 1:57 PM

    What makes you think Sandals or Marriott are going to survive this COVID 19 induced financial crisis. Most economists are suggesting that from 30 to 70% of business’s will fall if recovery last beyond the third quarter. This situation is GRIME for all business, however its not survivable by a significant number. Under performing countries such as Barbados will no doubt fall into the higher business failure bracket.

    Barbados needs to declare WAR on say USA, Russia or China and hope one of them will take over and rescue the country.

    Like

  • Ya just shot a Canadian citizen and killed a British national. I am afraid a few upscale ads and covid is not going to erase that. You have to go the way of cancun and Dominican Republic to get the cash flowing because after this passes money is going to be tight.

    Like

  • @ Silly Woman March 23, 2020 7:19 AM
    “We human beings have been like this for millions of years. Human nature will not change, because it cannot change.
    Not sure though that Tron is fully human.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    You, Silly woman, (we half-human BU males would not dare take the risk like René François Artois from Allo! Allo! and say ‘Stupid’) are always demanding of (some) other bloggers like the same Tron evidence to justify their claims, even as outlandish as yours above.

    Now where is your evidence to substantiate your claim that human beings have been around in their ‘natural unchanging state’ for millions of years?

    And if you still stand by that assertion then you will have to concede that you do indeed subscribe to the theory of evolution and, by ‘scientific’ correlation, ditch your belief in the Adam & Eve Creation fable.

    So what will it be, “Silly Wo(e)man”?

    Yahweh’s six days diddly-squat botch job or Darwin’s earth-shattering theory backed by eons of geological and anthropological evidence?

    Like

  • Cecil Pickering

    Dame Bajans, your right. my friends always tell me they would love to go to BIM for a vacation . an i would ask them whats stopping you . the answer is always BIM is two damn Expensive .i would tell them may be your right but you can walk any part in BIM any time of night or day chances are no one will attack you compare to the other cheap destinations . hmmm i wonder if i can still say that now.

    Like

  • @ Wily

    I agree a high rate of business failures is inevitable, unfortunately most businesses are weak now after 10 years of zero growth. Many have used up a considerable amount of their retained earnings just keeping their doors open over the years, hence there is little for them to now fall back on. To try and weather 6 months of sales at 50% say of their normal revenue is just not possible.

    Liked by 1 person

  • William Skinner

    @ Hal
    @ Greene
    @ David
    @ John A
    @ Robert Lucas
    @ Silly Woman
    @ PLT
    We talk about marketing , consistency etc. I have recently been looking at a local product , out side of rum, that is consistent. I believe in our case it is the Shirley biscuit. Just wondering what others think. I have introduced this product to many people of different backgrounds ethnicities etc and they are always amazed.
    A little food for thought.

    Like

  • Shirley biscuit is exported but we need many more products like it to move the GDP/forex generating needle.

    Like

  • @ William

    My wife loves them. She buys them nearly every week. If we are going to talk about a dynamic economy, we must not only think outside the box, but return to some of the things we have abandoned, or do not know how to develop.
    The most obvious of these is rum, the black belly sheep, then our industrial sector. Why can’t we return to shrimp fishing? How about a small dry dock? Nearly all our citrus fruits come in from US-owned central American plantations. Why?
    We need food scientists, first rate engineers, such as those we used to have at the Central and Barbados foundries, men with Germany type skills; we need Acme to go back to making vehicles, etc.
    Like most subjects, we have been here before. One sector that puts a smile on my face is the private police sector, headed by Group 4, with its men (they are mainly men) with guns strapped to their sides. Group 4 is a UK company and in the UK they could not even carry gutter perks.
    Why can’t some of our retired senior police, army officers and prison officers form a security firm and take that work off Group 4?
    They do not have to do the actual work; all it calls for is some imagination.

    Like

  • @robert lucas March 23, 2020 4:00 PM “Why couldn’t it be a woman?”

    Men are generally perceived to be more adventurous,

    Like

  • @Hal Austin March 23, 2020 6:27 PM “Another of Barrow’s post-independence policies coming home to roost – the ban on having domestic animals in certain districts. He thought that was being modern. Instead of raising chickens to give us eggs and provide family dinners, we had to buy from foreign-owned supermarkets.”

    I don’t recall that this had anything to do with being modern. Dr. GP and Dr. Lucas can correct me if I am mistaken, since I am their peer in age if not in brains. But my recollection that the ban on backyard chickens and pigs was because it is well established that viruses, including some as potentially dangerous as this current one easily pass between poultry, pigs and humans, and people were discouraged from keeping poultry and pigs, especially poultry and pigs in the same yard for very valid, still valid, public health reasons.

    Note that this current virus came out from a live animal market.

    Liked by 1 person

  • cecil pickering

    that’s all we have Shirley biscuits @ the north pole sell very fast . you will see PLUS every blue moon. but you better be there when it show up otherwise you will be out of luck . i’ll say with in a day or two it’s gone . banks is another big seller but you hardly see them @ the beer store . Bim have a lot of good products that will do very well outside of bim. to me i’ll say they don’t push these products do anyone have any idea why ?i’m listening

    Like

  • @Hal Austin March 24, 2020 3:32 AM “I knew an old lady, a wonderful old woman no longer with us, lived in Christ Church where there are some ‘wild’ chickens. Every time they laid eyes she would pour boiling water on the eggs…But, she would then ask people to buy eggs for her from the local shop.”

    I don’t know why she was a lady and wonderful while I am a silly woman, but you do swwm to choose some realy strange associated. This, in your opinio, “wonderful lady” was a genuine idiot, destroying perfectly good eggs, to buy eggs whose provenance she could not be sure of.

    Idiot indeed.

    I have 4 yard fowl eggs in my fridge right now, and i am sure that when i go to my other place there are at least half a dozen waiting for me.

    And yes my grandchildren, barely of elementary school age also eat and enjoy yard fowl eggs.

    I’ve said this to Tron many times over the years, and I’ll say it to you now. You really need to choose better quality associates.

    Liked by 1 person

  • The Banks beer brand is not owned by Barbados. This has been discussed.

    Like

  • @ William Skinner March 25, 2020 4:10 PM

    We could try exporting people. Not as slaves, but as voluntary emigrants who transfer a monthly sum of money back to the island.

    Example: The government pays a family of civil servants 7500 USD for a shipping container to Canada, 10000 USD starting money and takes care of all the formalities for the emigration. In return, we save two civil servant jobs, a place for the children to study at UWI and lots of social benefits. In addition, the family has to pay 500 USD per month as emigration money to our government for 10 years.

    We invest 20000 USD, receive 60000 USD emigration fees and save at least 1 million USD in salary, pension for the civil servant position and another 500000 USD for social benefits over a period of 30 years.

    The profit for the export of a family is thus at least 1.5 million USD. If we do this 10000 times, Barbados will be completely out of debt.

    Like

  • William Skinner

    @ Cecil Pickering
    You are right about Plus-I have never had drink of similar taste.
    We don’t believe in ourselves. I wonder how many hotels used Shirleys on their menu.
    Kentucky, Macdonald etc were all small ,very small, businesses that became billion dollar enterprises.
    Products such as Shirleys , Plus should be earning us millions in forex.
    I remember a gentleman making golden apple wine back in the 70s.

    Like

  • cecil pickering

    hmmm now you mention golden apple Wine I haven’t seen it in years . please don’t tell me there’s no more golden apples . @ the north pole I see so many products from the other Islands .years ago Windmill Pepper saucer was the King of the north pole .now I don’t see it any more . now we have a lot of copy CATS that don’t even come close to the Windmill Pepper sauce. come on BIM we can do better than that wake up and smell the ROSES . and thanks W.S

    Like

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