Recovery Project to Support Tourism Industry

Submitted by Stanton Carter, Brand Caribbean Inc

I usually enjoy reading Adrian Loveridge’s column but respectfully did not see any substantive suggestions for a new game to support the Tourism industry in the March 23, 2020 posting.

To cut to the chase, the reference to and comments about the September 11th, 2001 disaster, the airlift dependency, the suspended cruise ship sailings, the banks’ credit card incentives and speculation that the resident population could generate opportunities for domestic tourism may have helped to illustrate the economic challenges Barbados could face post Covid-19 but the statements in my opinion appeared to be more reactive than proactive.

What was noticeably missing from the article was the absence of a plan to rebuild and sustain the island’s tourism industry post Covid-19. As no mention was made of a recovery program, presumably expectations are that the virus will “miraculously” disappear and it will be business as usual. Unfortunately, the Caribbean Association of Banks’ statement – “It will no longer be business as usual for the foreseeable future” could be a true indicator of what is in store for the island.

If a new game is required to support the Tourism industry, it will necessitate a combined effort between the Private and Public sectors. These two organizations collaborated before to advance the island’s tourism industry and there is no reason why in unprecedented times they could not join forces again. Perhaps they need to be reminded, they are both working to achieve similar benefits for the destination and that a combination of financial and manpower resources, expertise, and industry contacts could help to sustain and restore tourism to new and greater visitor arrivals levels the island ever experienced.

Any attempt to try to return to a state of normality after Covid-19, will involve dramatic changes. Operating on the premise that if we build, re-brand and upgrade facilities visitors will come, will no longer be the industry’s acceptable standard. The new normal for the Tourism industry will depend significantly on

IT and digital technology. The soft sell approach for marketing and promoting Barbados as a holiday destination will have to be expanded to include social media platforms.

Competition between Caribbean member states for visitor traffic will be fierce and some destinations may not attain previous arrival levels. Those islands whose livelihood depends on tourism will be out in full force globally, utilizing digitalized marketing and promotion techniques to motivate visitors to return to Paradise. Most likely, Jamaica, Bahamas, Dominican Republic and Cuba already have recovery action plans drawn up for implementation on short notice. If Barbados wishes to maintain a competitive edge, it must act accordingly.

The way I see it, for Barbados to regain and maintain popularity worldwide with consumers, a rebuilding program should be developed to allow for joint programming with airlines, tour operators and travel agent consortiums serving the destination.

My recommendations for a new game to support and rebuild Tourism are as follows:

A “DOING BARBADOS” RECOVERY PLAN – This plan should consist of two (2) distinct phases:

PHASE # 1- Maintaining a Presence

The immediate creation and launching of a digital destination campaign to keep Barbados foremost in the minds of global travellers and to inspire consumers to visit Barbados after Covid-19.

On April 03 Jamaica introduced its digital “Escape to Jamaica” program on its @Visit Jamaica Instagram channel. On April 06, Grenada followed suit with its “# Grenada Dreaming” campaign. Bahamas also recently launched its new from “The Bahamas with love” mini digital vacation video. All 3 programs were designed to provide consumers with a virtual getaway to their respective destinations. Content involved music, culture, cuisine, nature and friendly people, the trademarks of a Caribbean vacation. Barbados needs to do likewise  and launch a similar type campaign.

PHASE # 2 – Rebuilding the Industry

Barbados tourism industry like most Caribbean destinations will have suffered immense damage as a result of Covid-19. Rebuilding the industry will be a major challenge. It will take time to attain and achieve previous productivity levels. Future tourism programming will also have to be vastly superior to those of other sun destinations as potential visitors will be searching for affordable value for money holiday bargains. To this end, consideration should be given to launching a 3 year incentive rebuilding action plan campaign.

SUGGESTED REBUILDING ACTION PLAN MARKETING OBJECTIVES

  1. To influence and motivate consumers to select Barbados as their warm weather holiday destination
  2. To grow visitor arrivals to the levels Barbados experienced prior to Covid -19
  3. To improve hotel occupancies, especially the small hotels
  4. To increase visitors’ length of stay
  5. To revisit and reform the Ministry of Tourism and the BTM Inc institutional framework to meet the demands and requirements of the new era tourism

Year #1

  1. The Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. and the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association should convene a meeting ASAP to discuss, create and partner
    a progressive destination marketing recovery program that will span 3 years.
  2. The program should feature a platinum incentive holiday package with add-on items in Year # 2 and #3
  3. The incentive should target market international travellers and repeat visitors. It should be designed to allow the BTMI, the BHTA, airlines and their tour companies, tour operators, wholesalers and travel agents to participate. The probability of including cruise ship passengers in the program should be considered
  4. Local activities programming should involve representation from the BTMI, BHTA, hotels, tour companies, restaurants, taxi companies, water sports operators, entertainers, artists, etc. Consideration should be given to establishing a special task force committee to work on the rebuilding project
  5. The program should comprise of all types of accommodation, especially the small hotels
  6. The program should be supported by social and traditional media platforms
  7. A Public Relations campaign should be launched to let consumers know Barbados is open for business
  8. Training seminars should be undertaken by the BTMI overseas offices in their respective markets to educate travel agents in small group sizes 25-30 on the new program
  9. Educational visitations by travel agents, overseas journalists, travel writers and travel press should be an integral part of the program
  10. Year # 1 programming should be available for implementation at the earliest possible date in the event Covid-19 comes to an early end.

Year #2

  1. Increase incentives and expand activities planned and implemented in Year # 1
  2. Expand target marketing campaigns to include special interest and niche market groups such as Diaspora, Cultural, Foodies, Weddings and Honeymoons and Snow Birds
  3. Advertising and Public Relations campaign expenditures should weigh heavily on targeting consumers to select Barbados as their destination of choice for holidays
  4. Investigate possibility of hosting travel agent evening receptions in some markets
  5. Review, make changes and improvements to the Ministry of Tourism and BTMI Institutional structure to allow for effective involvement in the new era tourism

(a) Review and improve where necessary relations with local hotels, taxis, restaurants, water sports operators, etc
(b) Evaluate external relations with airlines, tour operators, wholesalers and cruise lines
(c) Review and upgrade contractual arrangements with advertising and public relations agencies
(d) Review and evaluate operation and optics of BTMI overseas offices.

(e) Review Community Development and Tourism activities

Year #3

  1. Continuation and expansion of activities and incentives utilized in Years # 1 and # 2
  2. Introduce joint BTMI and BHTA overseas promotional tours
  3. Conduct BMTI and BHTA meeting to review continuation of the recovery plan or the introduction of a new and different campaign for rebuilding and supporting Barbados Tourism Industry
  4. Evaluate and consider the possibility of establishing a destination tour company

Finally, the one thought which has been constant in mind while creating this proposal is Robert Burns’ quotation on planning – “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”. There is much food for thought in his message. New challenges will crop-up during the planning stages and they should not be ignored. One item top of the list is airlift. Barbados alone cannot kick start the rebuilding of its tourism industry. It will require airline assistance, preferable from carriers with scheduled services and their own tour companies. These will generate a mixture of visitors – package holidays vacationers and F.I.T travellers – and allow for a wider distribution of product sales.

Hopefully the Ministry of Tourism and the BTMI have already recognized this need and are conducting negotiations with the airlines serving Barbados to provide airlift at reasonable promotional rates for post Covid-19 travellers.

The above recommendations are not carved in stone. They can be changed, upgraded or deleted. The whole idea was to provide a guideline on how to deal with the current and post Covid-19 environment.

184 comments

  • @Hants

    You know how much an Air Ambulance costs? NO like most of us travels with his own private insurance that will cover the cost of an Air Ambulance.

    @NO

    My wife also nixes long term stay because of the same fear, so we usually spend a month at a time.

    Liked by 1 person

  • NorthernObserver

    @Hants
    YOU think I am rich? I never said so, though on a relative basis, what is rich?
    I may have a little money, but that doesn’t make me stupid. An air ambulance is $40,000 and that is to the USA, I have experience. Why risk having to spend that, when Florida offers me warmth, golf, health care and a host of other amenities, including an excellent selection of rum and wine at half the price of the lcbo? Like you I know how to cook cou-cou, flyish fish and dolphin, eddoes and all the food I like. All of which is easily found in Florida. The climate isn’t as good, nor the beaches. Life is about choices.

    Liked by 1 person

  • de pedantic Dribbler

    @PLT, re your “AirBNB will also have to change operational details such as enforcing more rigorous cleaning and disinfecting between occupancies, and this will change the profitability calculations for property owners.”… That is ONLY theoretically true.

    Currently any AirBNB owner is consumed with cleaning for the arrival of their next guest.. a bad review on that front can be like kryptonite to the super-host(ess)… So nothing particularly different there…. also the life of the virus on surfaces is well publicized so unless you have an immediate turn over you should be able to manage a proper cleanse of the property.

    Moreover, for years most (sensible) travelers always were careful with cleaning surfaces on arrival at even the best properties… those with very young minors (my case then anyhow) used a military style defcon 3 level of awareness (5 lowest level) and over time a casual ‘wipe that off’ defcon 5… but post covid that will raise to a defcon 1 for EVERY traveler … the war has been waged and there in absolutely no excuse for being caught unawares!

    (Remember as well that for some folks things like bedbugs and lice in hotels were a real concern).

    In that regard, the additional expense to an operation like AirBNB should not be burdensome or even a direct liability.. unless there was much publicity of a guest contracting the virus in such a community spread situation … and that would involve so many issues of linkage, accurate causality etc etc that it seems unreal to me.

    But all that said… yes, people will be wary and the AirBNB model, like WeWorks (for different reasons) or Hair Salons and many other direct-contact business operations will endure many problems until we get a better handle on this virus.

    Liked by 1 person

  • NorthernObserver

    @Sarge
    We all buy insurance, and “think” we know what it covers. The proof of the pudding is when it comes time to draw upon it, and you quickly learn about the ‘terms and conditions’. You basically have to be at death’s door before insurance will pay for an air ambulance.
    recently, insurance told the ‘lot of us’ Return to Canada. For some, well within the period insurance was purchased. I haven’t seen my refund yet? And inquiries have suggested none is coming either.

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  • NorthernObserver

    @PLT
    agreed on overall health care.
    Most of the truly monied folks do not LIVE in any one place, for several reasons, including they usually own >2 properties.
    Americans may retire TO Fla, or Arizona, Texas etc. Canadians may own property there, but stay 6 months less a day, to keep their health benefits intact.
    And you have to get to such folk EARLY. By age 50, most already own multiple properties, and it is the SOCIAL, which keeps them going back.
    IF you want Canadians, the easiest way, like the 82 offshore deal, is to “tie” health care benefits together. Bigger challenge, because health, unlike tax, is not federal jurisdiction.

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  • We agree the call the action to target this group is COME to Barbados, your home away from home in a COVID Contained paradise isle

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  • PoorPeacefulandPolite

    An air-ambulance service is just another investment opporunity for Barbadians, Northern Observer !! Improved and increased hospital capacity is par for the course. We are still going to be refusing to think outside of the box ? Such a retirement and assisted care sector is not going to target low-end markets. Do you mean it’s beyond our Pride and Industry mission statement?

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  • @ NorthernObserver and Sargeant I haven’t travelled since 2010.

    Was hoping to go to Barbados this year but covid 19 has changed that.

    Hopefully next year will see things getting back to normal

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  • For those interested this discussion was picked up by TripAdvisor UK – BarbadosForum.

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  • peterlawrencethompson

    @NorthernObserver April 28, 2020 12:05 PM
    “Most of the truly monied folks do not LIVE in any one place, for several reasons, including they usually own >2 properties.”
    +++++++++++++++++++
    That is why I am not focussed on “truly monied folks” at all. Certainly not billionaires or even multi millionaires. In my experience I have found that many such folks are ethically and morally compromised, so I’m not inviting them to be my neighbor.

    I am aiming at the upper middle class who can either work from home, or who have just retired and want to LIVE in paradise, not just visit. I want in particular to appeal to relatively young people— those in their thirties or forties— simply because their domicile in Barbados will be potentially much longer. It’s basic business… if it costs you $x to recruit a customer, then you want to focus that $x on the customer who will be your customer for longest to maximise your return on investment.

    I want Daniel, a 33 year old computer programmer earning US$150k per year who is spending US$4k per month on a high rise apartment in Brooklyn and cannot even afford a decent condo because that costs US$1 million and it will take forever to save up the downpayment. He lives with his girlfriend Emily, 29, who is a freelance graphic artist making US$60k in a good year, less when the economy tanks.. Since COVID-19 Daniel works from home completely and his employer loves it that way because they stand to be able to downsize their overpriced commercial office space overhead. So they even pay a small premium to those employees who agree to work from home. The weather sucks for almost all of the year, the bars and concerts and nightlife have all petered out with the pandemic restrictions which by this time are a year old with no clear date for a return of the city life that New York used to be famous for.

    I want Daniel and Emily to come to Barbados as permanent residents and bring the US$200,000k annual income with them. They can get one of those nice condos that Greg Hoyos is building near St. Lawrence Gap for only US$500k, half the price it would cost in Brooklyn. They join a credit union and have no problem getting a mortgage because they have the proof of income. Greg introduces them to a young lawyer who helps them incorporate a Barbadian company that benefits fro the double taxation agreement that the USA has with Barbados so they now pay taxes in Barbados on their US income. And those taxes amount to only 5.5% of their income, because that income is under US$500,000. So their standard of living goes up in every conceivable way. They are walking distance from the beach. They buy health insurance from Sagicor who have configured new types of packages to cater to this market, and it costs less than what they paid for health insurance back in the USA.

    This is the face of Barbados’s new International Resident economic sector.

    Liked by 1 person

  • NorthernObserver

    @PP&P
    isn’t that the beauty of living in Barbados vs Cuba? YOU, and any other person, can target any market YOU think will work for you. It’s the sum of all these, which creates an economy.

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  • peterlawrencethompson

    @David April 28, 2020 12:08 PM
    We agree the call the action to target this group is come LIVE in Barbados, your home in paradise.

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  • NorthernObserver

    @PLT
    excellent, more narrowly targeted market.
    I have encountered similar couples in Barbados, and elsewhere, over the years. And each will have their own goals and desires. My limited experience, is this seems to attract a more “transient” person. (ie) B’dos is but one stop in their life plan. It makes sense, for beyond the financial and climatic reasons, a sense of adventure to move beyond the known, is key.
    PS….the gay/lesbian couple sans children are generally prime targets. Acceptance of their lifestyle is frequently a major factor.. Depending on your ‘ethical or moral’ composition you may not wish them as neighbours.

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  • Info for all: The European holiday planes will definitely not return before the end of June. Until then the island has to survive without tourists.

    I could personally even imagine that the first holiday planes will not arrive until October or spring 2021.

    Have fun in the fight for survival. Charles Darwin would be delighted 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  • Critical Analyzer

    Medical Tourism is a perpetual gold mine.

    Government should build a surgical hospital with more operating theaters than we need to perform surgeries for US citizens at a much more reasonable rate than they get at home.

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  • @ PLT

    Excellent suggestions – though not new.

    There are a several countries that have structured, established programs to attract freelancers, solopreneurs and location independent workers. Places like Chile, Thailand and even more established places like Germany, Portugal, Spain and France have fairly mature programs.

    If Barbados could get its act together it should be able to compete in this space. But it needs to improve things like quality and range of healthcare provided, costs of data, etc,

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  • This could negatively affect Barbados offshore business. Canadians for Tax Fairness not happy.

    Loblaw Companies Ltd. is off the hook for $368 million in taxes, after the Federal Court of Appeal overturned a 2018 ruling that found the company used a Barbados bank as a tax shelter.

    https://business.financialpost.com/news/retail-marketing/court-of-appeal-sides-with-loblaw-in-368-million-barbados-bank-tax-evasion-case

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  • @PLT,

    man, you cant go into such details on social media. next thing you know you will see the same ideas being put into practice in St Lucia for example

    Liked by 1 person

  • Critical Analyzer

    Medical tourism is an untapped gold mine.

    Government should build a surgical hospital with more operating theaters than we need for our locals. US residents would flock here to have their surgeries done here as a much cheaper rate once all the standards and regulations are in place.

    Like

  • NorthernObserver

    @CA
    Yes. And Barbados has a very successful (I am told) fertility clinic, and has/had similar for plastic surgery.
    But please, don’t beg the GoB to build or run one sh!!te. Let them focus on running efficiently and effective what they have.

    Liked by 1 person

  • The question NO is who in the private sector will promote and run with the ideas to be facilitated by government.

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  • NorthernObserver

    Flip it around…why AREN’T they.
    Go and ask the decision makers in the private sector why they are building and investing elsewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  • The foreigners or Bajans.

    Liked by 1 person

  • The Ministers and the minister in the ministry of….have a diminished workload.

    Hopefully they are developing progressive ideas for a post covid 19 economy.

    The Private sector should also be doing forward planning.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Hants

    There has to be collaboration.

    >

    Like

  • Critical Analyzer

    @NothernObserver April 28, 2020 1:57 PM

    I agree GoB can’t run nothing properly but it is practically impossible to fail with this venture. All they need to do is figure out the size and services they will offer and headhunt a competent CEO to run the place.

    The reason government has to build and run it is
    1) This project and costs are far too large for local investors to undertake
    2) Any private/foreign investors will only get richer while the country collects a few taxes.
    2) We need the foreign exchange profits come in and stay inside the country and not stay offshore or get shipped back out.
    3) Take alot of the pressure of the QEH. A private facility will not do that for our population.

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  • NorthernObserver

    those LOCATED there. Those who LIVE there.

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  • @Hants

    Was in Barbados twice last year and once this year ( I returned just before WHO declared a pandemic). I also spent a week in another Caribbean island and visited a few European spots (one trip). I go to Bim every year for family reasons and try to visit the US every year but unless there is an emergency of some sort I will be on backyard beach.

    Liked by 1 person

  • NorthernObserver

    @CA
    The reason government has to build and run it is
    1) This project and costs are far too large for local investors to undertake
    2) Any private/foreign investors will only get richer while the country collects a few taxes.
    3) We need the foreign exchange profits come in and stay inside the country and not stay offshore or get shipped back out.

    4) Take alot of the pressure of the QEH. A private facility will not do that for our population.

    I have renumbered them

    1) not accurate.
    2) even the private local have offshore setups, they are perfectly legal. However, with the newer tax regime the impetus to do this is less.
    3) A good point. Why is Fx the driving force behind so much, and what are the options? there was a whole back and forth recently on devaluation, and not once, was dollarization mentioned. It removes the need to hoard and evade/avoid. Politically a nightmare, for they can’t print more, and a challenge to our ‘sovereignty’. And they would have top pick one, so I use dollarization to mean any of the world accepted currencies.
    4) another political nightmare if they have two facilities with different standards. And they cannot run it like the QEH?

    BUT, I will grant, if properly packaged, you could sell this to politicians. Especially now.

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  • William Skinner

    @ DPD

    “I would be keen to see how you would manage the distribution of those leases and the re-gigged IDC style coop shared buildings (in modern parlance a WeWorks setting) … man, you would have lots of friends if you were the Minister in charge. 🙂“ (Quote)
    There are two ways I would suggest after securing the leases. A Farmers lottery to be supervised by a reputable audit firm. Qualifications will be open to those who currently own no land but can demonstrate by a series of interviews about their involvement in some area of agriculture and crop management. Should they now be employed privately or even in a family oriented agriculture business consideration will be given if they do not own outright more than two acres of agricultural land. The lottery will be televised nationally and will not involve any government official.
    2. We can look at those currently involved in managing at least three acres and can provide proper records regarding how they market and or sell their produce. We can also investigate their relationships with their customer base if they directly sell to supermarkets , hotels, restaurants etc.
    We also have the choice of a combination of 1 and 2.
    BTW The new Farmers Cooperative will be owned and managed by the farmers and a number of administrators will be drawn from within the pool of citizens knowledgeable in management in the sector. There will be little contact with political office outside of required start up funding and requests for technical and other assistance.
    Like I said if we are going to succeed in the post COVID-19 era , we must seek to use state funds for the development of a new cadre of entrepreneurs in all economic sectors. To rid ourselves of political nonsense we must be prepared to do things differently.
    PS. I took a while to reply because I was engaged in discussion with persons with a keen knowledge of Cooperatives and agro management .

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  • I agree with Tron Barbados deserves more Darwin awards than they are getting

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  • Long-stay well offs want villas and condos and associated activities golf included! So I am waiting to hear the talk about land sales vs leasehold, beachfront, gated communities, selling out Bdos, piece ah de rock etc, etc; unless the BU majority has had a damascene moment. Why do I feel like I am back where we were pre-2008 and the Thompson debacle? #evidenceoverfeels

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  • @ William

    Any skills training? What are reputable audit firms? E&Y, PwC, DeLoitte, KPMG, BDO, Grant Thorton…..et al? What about working land in Guyana or Dominica?

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  • peterlawrencethompson

    @Enuff April 29, 2020 9:55 AM
    … and associated activities golf included!”
    +++++++++++++++
    You need to go back and reread what I wrote. I emphasized a demographic which chooses their Playstation over the wasted water and space of a golf course. It is the Mark Maloneys and Bjorn Bjerkhams who are selling out Barbados to build useless Hyatt white elephants to blight and despoil our beaches. You (and they) are still stuck using yesterday’s logic.

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  • de pedantic Dribbler

    @Skinner, thanks for the discussion updated at 9:39.

    You have suggested that the points are based on input from those in the field (literally and generally) so all good. I’ll admit though that I shudder to think that they perceive that some accounting firm will provide the needed transparency … sounds wonderful in theory but colour me skeptical..

    The key of course is the criteria for selection and the combination of 1 and 2 is more practical to me with an emphasis – as you aim – on bringing new entrants with a viable track record or those already producing but doing so on a smaller scale into the fray.

    How exactly you ‘best practice’ that process is the key and any good management ploy can be as practical as another good one… despite my skepticisms.

    One final comment however: It is virtually impossible “to rid ourselves of political nonsense”. … In life its more practical to attempt to neutralize its pervasiveness as any attempt to eradicate it is futile and wasteful …as it will simply resettle later and undermine your best laid plans. …

    Thus accept it and carefully plan mitigation strategies (have opposing sycophants on your coop board to cancel out each other’s noise, for ex)… Life is politics, politics is life… to rid oneself of life is to seek death… to rid ourselves of the politics of life courts essentially the same on large scale projects such as this.

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  • (Quote):
    It is the Mark Maloneys and Bjorn Bjerkhams who are selling out Barbados to build useless Hyatt white elephants to blight and despoil our beaches. You (and they) are still stuck using yesterday’s logic. (Unquote).
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    That riposte should be strong “Enuff” to put the man with his binoculars focussed on the tourism development past on the canvass for a while.

    We keep telling the economic planning myope that the future of tourism does NOT belong to those who keep looking at the mirage called Hyatt for directions.

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  • Critical Analyzer

    Is Hyatt now a dead project at least for the time being? I anticipate alot of previous investors pulling out their money.

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  • Again I ask the fundamental question.

    Lot’s of brilliant suggestions but who is the national project or program manager that will corral these great ideas into ACTION. Who? Who is the turnaround Czar? It won’t just fall into place or happen….wanting does not equal doing. The problem with SIDS is always around implementation not the solutions

    Until we solve and answer the Who question…well you know what changes…NOTHING.

    Just a reality and I am not saying it can’t change. But implementation deficit has always been a problem so must be addressed.

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  • PLT
    I hear you with your playstation crew. Whether hotels like the Hyatt (which deliver a far greater level of optimal land use) or spread out villa development/Sagicor villages, there will be buildings to “despoil”–either agricultural lands in St George or coastal plots in St.James. The fact is that it comes down to design.

    Miller
    On what past am I focused? My position is sound. You keep focusing on the Hyatt, what is more myopic than your behaviour? I keep telling you I don’t talk, I do and the Hyatt is small fish. But I thought you said the future is Ecotourism? FYI I have Hector Ceballos Lascurain on muh bookshelf….a long time now.🤣🤣🤣

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  • @BajanAbroad

    The prime minister promised a different way. We will see if she is able to deliver to contradict the past.

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  • @ Enuff April 29, 2020 12:57 PM
    “On what past am I focused? My position is sound. You keep focusing on the Hyatt, what is more myopic than your behaviour?

    I keep telling you I don’t talk, I do and the Hyatt is small fish. But I thought you said the future is Ecotourism? FYI I have Hector Ceballos Lascurain on muh bookshelf….a long time now..”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    And it shall remain that way! The Sun is now fast setting on that brand of tourism based mainly on sun, sea, sand, alcohol and wukking up.

    In spite of your constant reference to Hyatt as a development model for tourist/visitor accommodation (as you have done in your recent post above) we are disappointed that you doing a Simon Peter denial or Pontius Pilate washing of hands about the viability of Hyatt.

    So Hyatt is “small fish”, these days?
    You were once a leading fan of the project with your projection of its estimated great economic contribution to Barbados, especially generating jobs for city residents.

    What has happened, Enuff? Covid has gotten to you?

    BTW, we are still expecting a lifting of the curfew next week to facilitate the resumption of certain big item construction projects.

    We just hope that the Maloney principal will be keeping his commitment of a May 2020 start to your Hyatt hotel to turn it from a pipedream of a mirage into a real spectre of an economic saviour.

    The political games and bullshit are up. It’s now time to show us the money.

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  • William Skinner

    Hal Austin April 29, 2020 9:56 AM

    @ William

    “Any skills training? What are reputable audit firms? E&Y, PwC, DeLoitte, KPMG, BDO, Grant Thorton…..et al? What about working land in Guyana or Dominica?“Quote

    @ Hal
    I don’t know about the firms mentioned above but we must have a reputable audit firm in the country.
    As for “ skills training”, this is required in all activity on a continuous basis. The project will of course attract people with an interest in Farming.
    As a regionalist if the model could be executed in Guyana or Dominica ,I see no problem.

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  • peterlawrencethompson

    @EnuffApril 29, 2020 12:57 PM
    “On what past am I focused? My position is sound.”
    +++++++++++++++
    You are focused on 2019. That is a past era that is never coming back. COVID-19 has changed everything. Go read the Economist, read the Financial Times, read something for heavens’ sake.

    By the way, the design of the Hyatt is execrable. It is so bad that it defies belief… not only aesthetically, but sociologically. It is as ugly as sin— it presents a fortress-like 3 story un-windowed facade to the public along Bay St., one of the premier city thoroughfares. Then it commits the unpardonable sin of relegating all the space for local artisans and souvenir shops to a back alley. It’s among the worst hotel designs I’ve come across anywhere in the world.

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  • The design of the Hyatt WAS to facilitate prefab cement construction.

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  • PLT
    But I never said a thing about Hyatt’s design. I said whether a tall hotel or low density development to support our tourism, design is key. Appearance is only one aspect of design. I gine take your advice though and read the FT and the Economist…more I guess, but right now I am busy: trying to figure out how Covid is affecting project viability, especially expected revenue; negotiating the future decarbonisation of an energy strategy; and awaiting colleagues’ research on how last mile logistics may change post-Covid and how the land market will respond. I guess I am focusing on 2019. Thanks for the advice. By the way, you did your degree in Architecture or urban design when?

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  • @ Enuff April 29, 2020 10:54 PM

    “…..but right now I am busy: trying to figure out how Covid is affecting project viability, especially expected revenue; “
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    PLT has really put you in your rightful place.

    And while you are at it try to do some research about the importance of project funding to the success of any investment proposal; especially in a post Covid environment where money will no longer be attracted to white elephants tethered in the type of investment tourism market which has approached its sell-by-date.

    Why not offer the Baloney fella some good advice on how to get his Blue Horizon refurbished hotel project off the ground and into the morning light of reality? That’s more within his investment pay-packet and your intellectual pay-grade.

    Never let your political bias which you wear on your shoulder like a ‘Red’ badge of honour get in the way of sound business analysis and intellectual thought.

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @Enuff April 29, 2020 10:54 PM
    Instead of “trying to figure out how Covid is affecting project viability” of the projects that were on the drawing board in 2019, we need to conceptualise what kind of projects will be viable in the post COVID-19 economic and social environment. Do you understand the difference I am making here?

    The projects conceived before 2020 are all square pegs; the post COVID-19 social and economic environment is all round holes; “trying to figure out” how to fit the square pegs into round holes is exactly what Peter Drucker was talking about as acting with yesterday’s logic. We need instead to conceptualise round projects that actually fit round holes.

    You “said whether a tall hotel or low density development to support our tourism, design is key.” The mistake you make is embedded in the structure of that sentence… of course design is key, but the role of a hotel is NOT to “support our tourism” industry. It is instead the role of the tourism industry to support socio-economic development in Barbados; tourism is solely a means not an end. We should never be trying to support tourism; we should only be trying to support Bajan socio-economic development. When tourism is the best means, then tourism… when tourism is not the best means, f+ck tourism.

    By the way, my first degree was in Civil Engineering in 1982.

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson

    PS Enuff, lest you or anyone here get the wrong idea, I admire Ms. Mottley’s intellect, energy, and considerable skills. I voted for the BLP candidate in my constituency in 2018, and I continue to support the current administration.

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson

    I have put some of the ideas that I worked out in the discussion in this BU thread into an article called “Barbados Beyond Tourism” on my blog at http://wunnuh.org/ and it is getting more interest than anything else I have ever written there: 5,000 distinct visitors in a single day.

    So thank you to BU and to everyone who spends time arguing with me.

    Like

  • Good morning Barbados.
    Have a Great Day
    —*—
    @PLT
    Keep posting positive solutions/suggestions. If they are honest then you may ruffle a few feathers (but who cares)

    I like that feathers comment; realized how it can be interpreted only after I wrote it.
    –*–
    Have a Great Day Barbados
    HAGD

    Like

  • @Peter

    Your contribution to this blog discussion has been good. Continue to do the job of trying to make Barbados a better place.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Today could be a good day for the Governor of the CB to bury bad news.

    Let us see if he will focus on the long needed stimulation of agriculture, local light manufacturing goods and renewable energy projects (despite the price of oil falling to the bottom of the crude barrel).

    Why not project them as fields of economic activity badly in need of resuscitation as a means of national survival post Covid instead of continuing to put all the future forex-earning eggs in a highly fickle and vulnerable Covid-infected basket carried with blind faith in a god called tourism.

    Like

  • @Miller

    Is the Governor of the central bank a creature of the government or not. What he says later will not be out of step with what the government has been saying.

    Like

  • @ David April 30, 2020 8:24 AM

    Yes, indeed, just a behemoth of a “creature” the Bajan economy can no longer afford to feed.

    The CBB in its present form is becoming more and more anachronistic and unsuitable to the future Bajan econmy.

    If the Guv is simply a ventriloquist dummy why not let the MoF programme a piece of sophisticated ‘AI’ as a signal to what lies ahead for the ‘lying’ art of 20th Century economics?

    Like

  • @iller

    To dismantle establishment structures will take ‘balls’.

    Like

  • @PLT
    PS Enuff, lest you or anyone here get the wrong idea, I admire Ms. Mottley’s intellect, energy, and considerable skills. I voted for the BLP candidate in my constituency in 2018, and I continue to support the current administration
    +++++++++++++++
    I am not sure why it was necessary for you to get your bone fides out there, one can support a politician or a Gov’t and still be critical of some aspects of their polic(y)ies. That statement reeks of pandering and seems to be out of line with what I considered to be your independent line of thought.

    Liked by 2 people

  • @ David April 30, 2020 8:45 AM

    LOL!!
    You mean ‘Ovaries’, don’t you? Or is that lost in translation given recent operational procedures?

    Here is what can be said without fear of contradiction from those who think that government revenues can be found printed on paper locked away in the vault of the Bajan Central Bank.

    Those ‘approved’ Estimates of Revenues & Expenditures ought to be thrown in file 13 and replaced by a cadre of old-time housewives armed with a few coppers and a shopping list marked:
    ‘It’s Time that Bajans and their government learn to cut and contrive, i.e. live within your Covid cut down to size mauby pocket’.

    Oh, how we miss the Bush Tea (and the Gibberts)!

    Like

  • @PLT

    I must join in. Your apology goes right to the heart of your integrity. Once you know you are being honest, right or wrong, you do not have to explain yourself. It is for your critics to prove your lack of integrity, not for you to prove it.
    I too never questioned your integrity, even if I sometimes (often?) disagree. That is the nature of intelligent debate. We do not want to know your qualification or who you vote for.
    That is why voting is in private. Just tell us what you think. Free market of ideas. Ignore the anger. Only Fascists execute people for having opposing ideas.

    Liked by 1 person

  • The stimulus programme contains the usual mess, i.e. alms for the naive masses, many building contracts for the High Whites, but no restructuring of the public service and no measures to increase productivity. People should also not forget that this program will not generate any economic growth at all, but will only minimally cushion the deep recession.

    There are also some sky castles like the Hyatt. Can someone explain to me why, with a maximum hotel occupancy rate of 60%, we need even more hotels?

    Liked by 2 people

  • @Sargeant

    PLT outlined his credentials and support for PM Mottley and her government as any good job applicant or consultant would…he he

    I don’t blame him and he has my vote for the appointment as the BERC – Barbados Economic Rescue Czar

    Godspeed PLT

    Liked by 1 person

  • PLT
    “The mistake you make is embedded in the structure of that sentence… of course design is key, but the role of a hotel is NOT to “support our tourism” industry.”

    I am talking bout infrastructure here, the industry does not exist without accommodation. But since you mentioned socio-economic benefits, who was on BU talking about extracting maximum public benefits (social and economic) from tourism development and development period through legal agreements long before Covid? Not pie in the sky, highfalutin talk but workable solutions. There is no need for a disclaimer about Mottley as I am not here to defend or promote her. I am not even here to promote myself. BUers assume too much. And NO the projects I am referring to are not dead, not one! You have your opinion and I have mine. Anyhow, who laughs last laughs best and we’ll see if tourism is dead or not. If Hyatt will be built or not and if built if it will fail. I am sticking to my original position, human behaviour+technology will triumph.

    Like

  • @ Tron April 30, 2020 10:35 AM
    “There are also some sky castles like the Hyatt. Can someone explain to me why, with a maximum hotel occupancy rate of 60%, we need even more hotels?”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Your ‘red’ shipmate (but presently shipwrecked) Enuff needs to see the light and jump in the lifeboat to save his soul from ‘drowning of’ further embarrassment.

    At least you, Tron the Trojan horse, are able to see the beacon of false hope emitting like a mirage from the Hyatt Ziva (Lighthouse) which has undergone more reiterations and reincarnations than Sinckler’s 7 year plan for the short, medium and long term restructuring and transformation of the Bajan economy.

    The Blue Horizon is a much more realistically suitable tourism investment project for the current playing field than any pie-in-the-sky sand castle in rat-infested Bridgetown.

    Even the present lot of monkeys handling the guns of the economy don’t get it.

    You cannot transform an economy based on an unsustainable model of imported conspicuous consumption without significantly overhauling the engines of production to pay for that level of consumption presently financed, primarily, by borrowed foreign money. Not even Midas would succeed in such a Sisyphean task.

    But there is hope beyond Covid.
    Even the Governor in his confessional mood of despair has stumbled on the idea that a dollar of forex saved is a dollar of forex earned.

    Where else should one place a Bajan piggybank than in the counting houses of the poor cousins of agriculture and renewable energy which currently absorb very large slices of the forex consumption pie in the form of processed foods and ‘refined’ oil?

    It’s time these two poor relatives come in from the cold and make their mark on the rising of the new Covid-created sun.

    Liked by 1 person

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @Enuff
    you point out that “the industry does not exist without accommodation” but let us be perfectly clear; at the moment the industry does not exist at all, it is currently completely dead. All we have is a bunch of potential accomodation and some caretakers; that does NOT constitute a tourism industry. There are no guests, no cashflow, no arrivals, no flights, no sailings, no service, no industry.

    All you are talking about are your hopes and dreams for a future industry. That’s all you have: hopes and dreams. Are these hopes and dreams based on rational analysis? You clearly imagine that they are based on past history. I am telling you that they are not because the future will not look like past history… the pandemic is an historical discontinuity… a point of inflection where past trends tend toward zero and force us to devise a new equation.

    Like

  • PLT
    Why persists? You’ve made your point. If you’re so convinced sit and wait, or as in my case, just do.

    Like

  • @ peterlawrencethompson April 30, 2020 2:53 PM

    With your rationality and impartiality you will never become a government advisor, special ambassador or the like. In a job like this, you are expected to tell yourself the numbers, even if the predictions turn out to be null and void year after year.

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson

    I persist in order to figure out the truth ¯_(ツ)_/¯

    Like

  • @ Tron

    I am perplexed and need some clarity before discussing the content of the stimulus. Is the president still on sick leave or is she officially back at work? She mentioned that doctors have told her to take time off work, but she is often kept informed of developments. Is this officially working?
    Has the CoVid economic council been fully appointed, if so who are the members? If not, are the people she name checked in her speech all members?
    Apologies for having to ask you these question as most people seem to think them irrelevant.

    Like

  • @ Hal Austin April 30, 2020 4:28 PM

    The individual names of the COVID Council are not so important. What is important is to take the opposition into joint liability. Our leader here is once again light years ahead of the rest of the island.

    As far as Mia Mottley’s current status is concerned, a distinction must be made: According to the classic understanding, i.e. the historic constitution, she is not currently actively holding the office of prime minister. Under revolutionary constitutional law, however, she enjoys the position of a supreme leader. This office is firmly connected to her person. She cannot resign from it and is solely accountable to the fate of our nation. Only death could end this office, but not a sickbed.

    All the details of the ministerial order are therefore basically just academic history. The emergency act is our new constitution. Other great leaders like Castro, Jesus or Mohammed did not care about outdated norms either. Or watch Trump: He successfully interprets the US Constitution in a very different way than usual. Unlike Obama, he is not only president, but ruler, commander and leader of state, party and people. This should be an example, refreshment and encouragement for us.

    Like

  • how does PM’s current status or the composition of any council relate to .
    please explain

    Like

  • relate to THE CONTENT of the stimulus

    Like

  • @ Tron

    Thank you. I just want to know the aetiology of the policy. Are you saying the CoVid economic council did not meet to decide this policy? Was it decided by the Cabinet? If so, did the president participate in the discussions, or just announced it?
    By the way, I like your concept of joint liability. She is far sharper than her rivals. She ties them up every time. Why can’t they say “prime minister I do not want to join your committee, but you have my full support/”

    Like

  • Had you listen to the Prime Minister (Sk) last night with an honest ear you would have heard her say that the plan she announced was the effort of her team i.e. Bradshaw, Cabinet, Director of Finance et al. She went on to say she chaired ONE meeting with the Jobs and Investment Advisory Council and their report with recommendations how to REBUILD and TRANSFORM the nation is expected shortly. Obviously the committee has been given a brief to inform strategy in the longer term.

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @Hal,
    Here is the Jobs and Investment Council

    Former Prime Minister, Professor Owen Arthur, chairs the Industrial Transformation group of the Jobs and Investment Council, which is looking at ‘How to create 20,000 jobs in 18 to 24 months.’ (BGIS Library)

    The Jobs and Investment Council has been established, and the members of its eight committees are hard at work undertaking their mandate of preparing a guide for the survival and transformation of Barbados.

    A wide cross section of persons has been called upon to serve on the committees, including Barbadians in the diaspora.

    Former Prime Minister, Professor Owen Arthur, chairs the Industrial Transformation group, which is looking at How to create 20,000 jobs in 18 to 24 months; while Professor The Most Honorable Eudine Barriteau chairs the Services and the Creative Economy one, examining How can we train everyone to world class standards in the delivery of goods and services?

    Dereck Foster is chairing the Retail and Commerce committee, which will undertake How can we guarantee food on everyone’s table? and Senator John Rogers chairs that tasked with Securing Food for Every Table.

    Dodridge Miller chairs the Finance and Insurance group, which will address How can we fuel investment for the next 18 to 24 months? while Tony Hoyos is chairing the Housing and Infrastructure committee, which is looking at What facility can be used to leverage the capital in the Housing Credit Fund to provide low-income houses?

    The Digital Transformation committee, which is chaired by Dr. Annalee Babb, will examine How can we use technology and innovation to solve common everyday problems for Caribbean people? Former Minister of Finance, Christopher Sinckler, will chair the Trade and Logistics group.

    The Job and Investment Council met last week, and according to Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, the members are expected to report back to Government within two to four weeks, depending on their areas of concentration.

    sharon.austingill-moore@barbados.gov.bb

    https://gisbarbados.gov.bb/blog/jobs-investment-council-set-up-working/

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson

    The government is beginning to pay attention to my advice to replace short term holiday-makers with digital nomads as a sustainable way for the tourism industry to evolve.
    https://gisbarbados.gov.bb/blog/twelve-month-barbados-welcome-stamp-for-visitors/

    I presented the idea to government, both officially through Invest Barbados, and through a devious back channel by getting Tony Hoyos excited about the prospect of selling condos to digital nomads. He then asked me to draft a memo which he gave to his partner Santia and said she would pass it on to Mia.

    I birthed and developed the idea here on BU, so all the people arguing with me about it also played a hand in improving government policy.

    Like

  • Well done Peter!

    >

    Like

  • Good job!

    Like

  • @PLT

    Well done.

    Like

  • @ peterlawrencethompson July 2, 2020 8:10 AM

    Thank you for your input. Our government should indeed encourage the global top performers who bring the most foreign currency to Barbados. They are the true guardians and patriots of Barbados. It’s good to know that our government is coming around. However, the bureaucratic-free one-year visa should only be the beginning.

    We need citizenship by investment and tax exemption for all land, villas and mansions of our beloved expats. Furthermore I plead for special zones without any tax. In fact, I already have a plan in place. The government should simply declare all gated communities as special economic zones following the Chinese model. 90% of our distinguished local and foreign top performers live there. With this policy we could revive Apes Hill plantation, for example.

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @Tron
    Your satire keeps us amused and honest…

    Like

  • @peterlawrencethompsonJuly 2, 2020 12:32 PM

    This is hard lobbying, no fun! I’m just trying to help my friends.

    Like

  • @ peterlawrencethompson who wrote ” through a devious back channel ”

    devious ? lol

    Good to see the effort you are making to help Barbados.

    Like

  • @ peterlawrencethompson July 2, 2020 12:32 PM

    I’m NOT joking at all. The masses of Barbadians have been lived on overpriced tourism. That’s the end of it.

    The tourists now know that the governments in the Caribbean close the airports for commercial flights for about a year because of a ridiculous cough. That can happen any time again. Hence, many tourists will stay away from the Caribbean forever.

    But the expats are much more choosy than ordinary tourists. PLT, the locals have to pay the expats something, not the other way around. The situation is that Barbadians without tourists starve to death after 12 months. Not the other way around! You must finally get rid of the mindset that Barbados is the centre of the world.

    We therefore need permanent tax exemption for expats, including for local consumer goods that they purchase. Not to mention the land tax.

    Like

  • (Quote)
    The government is beginning to pay attention to my advice to replace short term holiday-makers with digital nomads as a sustainable way for the tourism industry to evolve. (Unquote).
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    It seems as if the previous administration had already ‘conceived’ a ‘similar’ proposal which the current one might just deliver and develop into a 20/20 reality to make that vital difference to the forex earning engines currently sputtering with inertia in the International business and tourism sectors.

    The problem is not one of a lack of ideas but the determination and capacity of the administration at the wheel of governance to implement and guide those proposals to fruition.

    Here is what was proposed in the August 2013 Budgetary presentation:
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    (Quote):
    At present foreigners who own property here are often given permission to enter the country for periods shorter than they would like, despite their clear ability to sustain themselves while on the island for the periods requested. Despite instructions to the contrary the entry periods permitted to such property owners have continued to be inconsistently given. As a result these visitors have then to apply at the Bridgetown Office of the Immigration Department for extensions of stay. Thus the ability of these visitors to stay for the periods of time they wish and can afford has been rendered subject to unnecessary bureaucracy in a Department that is already finding it difficult to manage the large number of applications it has to handle.

    Therefore effective from 1st September 2013 a Special Entry Permit valid for five years at a time will be available to foreigners who own substantial residential property or investment in Barbados. Investment would include rental real estate, property development projects, manufacturing, tourism, bank deposits, mutual funds or bonds or any financial instrument.

    The value of the property or investment to be used to qualify an applicant for Special Entry Permit status should be US$2 million or more and the investment must have been purchased with funds sourced outside Barbados and not be subject to any mortgage on it.

    As with High Net Worth Individuals, foreigners who make such investments in Barbados and seek Special Entry Permits must meet the criteria of a clean police certificate of character and valid health insurance.

    Thirdly, foreigners who have special skills needed in the country as determined by the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Human Resource Development, acting in concert with the respective Ministries with oversight of the sectors where the special skills are to be employed, and who wish to live in Barbados will also be eligible for Special Entry Permits.

    The fees for the two new categories of Special Entry permits will be the same as those for Special Entry Permits for High Net Worth Individuals. The spouse of a person who has been granted a Special Entry Permit will be entitled to a special entry permit on payment of the fee for a Special Entry Permit, while their dependants of minor age given student visa status for the life of the Special Entry Permit, on payment of the application processing fee.

    All persons who hold Special Entry Permits will be issued with a Barbados Identification card, as is done for work permit holders, suitably coded to identify their status so that they will be able to obtain Barbados drivers’ licenses and otherwise conduct business in Barbados. (Unquote).

    Like

  • @ Miller July 3, 2020 9:18 AM

    Thank you for pointing that out. We’ve had about a thousand announcements like that. Nothing ever happens. Barbados remains unfriendly to investors. As always.

    Like

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