Adrian Loveridge Column – No Effective Consumer Banking Regulation

While there have been a very few notable exceptions, I believe there is a great deal more our local based companies could do to ‘smart partner’ and create joint promotions to help stimulate our tourism economy.

Those exceptions include one of our banks offering cash back on credit card usage which accumulates during the year and eventually paid back to individual’s accounts each November. Recently a leading wine merchant partnered with a popular south coast restaurant on its re-opening and during an entire month offered a small discount with a complimentary glass of sparkling wine to encourage local bookings.

Despite the most recently announced potentially devastating 32 day non-essential travel lockdown from our main market, the United Kingdom, our Government has steadfastly chosen not to stimulate domestic tourism through fiscal incentives or any other clearly obvious measures, leaving many of our restaurants and ancillary tourism services floundering for survival on their own in apparent discarded isolation.

For some of us, the rationale, or lack of it, is almost impossible to understand.

While any reduction in direct taxation, like the lowering or removal of VAT (Value Added Tax) or more recently imposed additional levies have some inevitable miniscule consequences for the administration, what is the alternative?

If the population at-large do not spend their available funds, then clearly other negative factors will kick-in.

These include loss of employment, business failure and inability to collect other statutory obligations like NIS contributions, land taxes and the VAT payable on certain utilities, supplies and services.

Similarly, if private sector suppliers are not replenishing our hospitality sector at optimal levels, then they in turn suffer possible ramifications, or in the very least will suffer a much longer road to recovery.

Simple examples could include a wine-of-the month, where specific vintners support local distributors to proffer a particular product, which in turn gives the consumer an attractive price across our restaurants, while at the same time increase brand awareness. Other possibilities include notable ice cream manufacturers wishing to grow market share could also follow suit.

None of this is rocket science of course and all it takes is a little creativity and medium to long term vision. It also represents a minimal risk for all involved, at negligible actual cost to those participating.

While one particular bank has been mentioned, others should also play their part. Few credit cardholders could possibly ignore the virtually obscene interest rates for late statement payment hovering around the low to mid- twenty plus percent’s, especially unconscionable during our current economic challenges.

Sadly, there appears to be no effective consumer banking regulation since Governments debt default, so once again, the public is expected to pick up the loss of anticipated profits through higher interest rates and increased fees. This, while experiencing a further reduction, or in some cases, an almost total absence of service delivery and when branches are being closed without any consultation and thousands of customers disadvantaged.


79 thoughts on “Adrian Loveridge Column – No Effective Consumer Banking Regulation

  1. Travel slump
    . . . but global survey reports uplifting news

    PASSENGER TRAFFIC at the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) has been nowhere near normal since it was reopened to international commercial flights in July.
    However, the good news for Barbados is that based on a new survey by the Airports Council International (ACI), of which GAIA is a member, global travellers want to travel.
    The ASQ Global Traveller Survey said people were prepared to travel and expected new health and safety measures to address risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
    The ACI found that global passenger traffic declined by 75.1 per cent in July and 69.4 per cent in August compared to the corresponding months in 2019. Latin America and Caribbean had a decline of 79.6 per cent.
    Statistics released by GAIA show the passenger decline between March, when the country had its first COVID-19 cases, and the end of August.
    Between March and August last year, 532 374 passengers disembarked at the GAIA. However, in the same period this year, the number slumped to 68 547.
    Most of these passengers (57 942) arrived in March.
    Even without the presence of COVID-19, the summer period is usually a slow one, with the winter period of December to April the time when most tourists arrive.
    ACI said a positive for member airports like GAIA was that half of the number of people it surveyed “want to travel again soon, which can be attributed to a strong level of confidence in the environment safety provided by airports and airlines”.
    “The survey found that 48 per cent of travellers considered themselves likely to travel within the next three months but, despite this eagerness to travel, the recovery is dependent on a multitude of actors,” the research stated.
    “Passengers expect that new measures are put in place to address health risks, including mandatory masks for passengers and staff, COVID-19 testing prior to the trip, hand sanitising stations, and the development of a more contactless airport experience.”
    The survey found that in the long term “an overall slight decrease in travel frequency is expected and a shift in the main reason to travel with slightly less business travellers, and more people travelling for personal reasons”.
    ACI World director general Luis Felipe de Oliveira said one of the keys to recovery “will be the aviation industry’s understanding of the changing needs of passengers and ACI’s new survey provides insight into how COVID-19 is affecting passenger expectations and future travel plans”.
    “It is reassuring that travellers are eager to travel again and our survey will help airports make the right decisions in providing the best and safest customer experience,” he said.
    “Airports, airlines and their partners need to continue to increase the level of confidence in the entire passenger journey and provide and communicate the measures they are introducing to keep passengers healthy and safe.”
    ACI, the trade association of the world’s airports, said its data showed that the pandemic “continued to have a dramatic impact on global passenger traffic
    during the ordinarily busy Northern Hemisphere summer peak”.
    In Barbados’ case, the GAIA data showed that more than 3.04 million kilogrammes of cargo was unloaded between March and August last year. This year, 1.95 million kilogrammes of cargo was unloaded.
    The International Civil Aviation Organisation estimates that airports in Latin America and the Caribbean have suffered US$5.34 billion in revenue losses during the pandemic.
    “Latin American and Caribbean passengers have declined by roughly 85 million, translating to an over 60 per cent decrease in capacity and financial losses in the area of US$17 billion,” said ICAO secretary general Dr Fang Liu.


  2. Pfizer’s Vaccine ?

    Boris Johnson’s optimism…

    Monday 9 Nov 2020 5:19 pm The prime minister has told the nation it ‘cannot rely’ on hopes of a breakthrough vaccine to fight Covid-19 and urged people not to become complacent during lockdown. Speaking at a No 10 press briefing on Monday evening, Boris Johnson told the nation that ‘if and when’ pharmaceutical company Pfizer’s vaccine is approved, ‘we will be ready to use it’. But the PM insisted ‘we haven’t yet seen the full safety data’ after Pfizer’s CEO today confirmed their vaccine has proven to be 90% effective.

    ‘I can tell you that tonight that toot of the bugle is louder, but it’s still some way off, we absolutely cannot rely on this news as a solution,’ he added. ‘The biggest mistake we could make now would be to slacken our resolve at a critical moment.

    He warned that England’s R rate is still above 1 and that coronavirus deaths are double what they were a month ago, as he urged the nation to continue following Covid-19 guidelines. Speaking as England is half way through its first week under a second national lockdown, Mr Johnson said ‘we cannot let our enthusiasm run away with us’. He added: ‘Irrespective of whether a vaccine is on the way or not we must do everything possible to bring the R rate down.’ The prime minister said he hoped the Government’s mass testing programme, Operation Moonshot, would be the immediate answer to driving down infection rates. Last week Liverpool became the first city in the country to start a pilot of the scheme, with half a million residents encouraged to get tested weekly even if they don’t have symptoms.

    Biotechnology progress…

  3. Concern over projects
    BERT Committee worried about fallout from delays
    WITH THOUSANDS OF Barbadians still jobless, the BERT Monitoring Committee says it is disappointed that “several anticipated projects are yet to commence”.
    The economic reform watchdog, which is drawn from private sector and trade union members of the Social Partnership, said Government was meeting its key targets under the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) plan.
    It was also encouraged that the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) staff had agreed with Government’s desire to ease its fiscal targets.
    However, in an eighth public report released yesterday, the committee expressed concern about the potential social fallout from continued high unemployment and project delays.
    “The continued elevated levels of unemployment and expiration of unemployment benefits periods raise concerns regarding social implications that the country may face,” said the BERT Monitoring Committee, which is co-chaired by Barbados Private Sector Association chairman Edward Clarke and Barbados Workers’ Union general secretary Toni Moore.
    “It is critical that the countercyclical measures announced so far to mitigate the situation are implemented as a matter of urgency and the committee continues to be disappointed that several anticipated projects are yet to commence.
    “However, it continues to be comforting that the healthy international reserves position and
    headroom to the ceiling on public debt have positioned the country to meet the challenges from a strong base,” the report added.
    The committee noted that “despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic the Government has continued to achieve all of its performance targets and, in particular, the primary balance surplus of one per cent of GDP and the growth in net international reserves to levels well above the program target”.
    “The severity of the impact of COVID-19 and the resultant significant levels of unemployment, coupled with the shrinking of GDP, continue to be the principal risks to the programme.”
    In its previous report, the body had voiced concern that even with the lowering of the primary balance target, it would be a significant challenge to meet the current targets established for the fiscal year.
    Subsequent to that, an IMF team headed by Bert van Selm met virtually with Government and has recommended to the Executive Board that Barbados’ primary balance target be lowered to minus one per cent.
    The IMF’s directors also have to consider a staff suggestion that Barbados be loaned an additional US$66 million.
    The BERT Monitoring Committee said this would be a plus, “especially as the uncertainty surrounding the recovery of the tourism sector remains significant considering the pandemic second waves being experienced in major source markets”.
    This latest public report was for the period ended September 30 and coincided with the eighth set of targets and fourth formal review under the IMF’s Extended Fund Facility.
    During the review period, Government’s revenue declined, and it spent more.
    Total revenue during that time decreased by $202 million to end at $1.25 billion, while expenditure
    increased by $63 million. Overall spending at the end of September was $1.22 billion.
    Some $24 million of the additional Government spending related to the payment of interest on restructured debt, and $25 million related to “capital expenditure primarily in the ministry of energy and water resources on infrastructure upgrades and in the ministry of health and wellness related to COVID-19 management”.


  4. Sandy Lane slammed
    Hotel apologises to rap star after claims of racial profiling
    ONE OF BRITAIN’S most influential musicians accused Barbados’ most luxurious hotel resort of racial profiling.
    And yesterday Sandy Lane indicated it had apologised to
    Tinie Tempah, a British awardwinning rapper who shot to fame a little over a decade ago.
    The entertainer spent a few days at the Sandy Lane Resort and posted a claim on his Instagram that an employee of Sandy Lane profiled him during his stay in late October.
    The post garnered almost 600 comments at one stage, most of them being negative about Barbados and its tourism offerings.
    Tempah, whose real name is Patrick Chukwuemeka Okogwu, had been in Barbados to celebrate his birthday at the world-famous hotel.
    “I’m not going to let anything dampen my birthday celebrations, but I want to open up about something heartbreaking that happened to me this weekend.
    “While I was staying @sandylaneresort to celebrate my birthday with family, I was racially profiled. While walking into the gym I was stopped by a security guard and aggressively challenged about why I was there. He assumed I couldn’t have been a guest, despite I telling him that I was,” Tempah wrote on his social media IG account.
    The rapper said he attempted to raise the issue with Sandy Lane’s management but to no avail.
    “They were incredibly rude and condescending and took me taking to social media as a threat. I started to record how they were speaking to us because I was so shocked, though they stopped and walked off as soon as I got my phone out,” said Tempah.
    Yesterday, the fivestar hotel indicated it had apologised to the British star and would be reviewing certain aspects of its operations.
    Care for our guests
    “We have welcomed guests to Sandy Lane from all over the world for the last 60 years and every single one of them is special to us. We pride ourselves on going the extra mile to make everyone feel welcome here in Barbados and are so sorry that one of our guests did not feel cared for in this way,” they said in a statement.
    “Our wholehearted apologies were extended to this guest at the time here at the hotel for any misunderstanding or disappointment that was caused during their stay. We are also taking this opportunity to review the impact of our significantly enhanced security presence at Sandy Lane, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ministry of Health and Wellness protocols, along with any effect this now has on how we
    look after our guests – in the interest of their safety, health and well-being on the island,” the hotel added.
    On social media, an eight-second video showed a man wearing a mask, and reportedly a member of management, walking away from a guest at the hotel. The man in the mask could be heard saying “It’s not good enough, though”.
    Tempah said what happened was a stark reminder of what black people continue to face at a time when racial injustices have been brought to the fore across the globe.
    “I know we are incredibly privileged in many ways and count the blessings every day for all that we have. But this was just another sad reminder for me that there are always people who want to shut you out and make you feel low. There are still places where deep down they don’t think you can ever really belong. Every human being deserves to be treated with respect. Don’t spend your time or anything else where you don’t feel that respect. It’s never worth it,” Tempah ended his Instagram post.
    The rapper still appeared to have a grand time on his birthday vacation, however, posting pictures and videos on his Instagram with him and family members swimming with turtles and drinking champagne. Tempah even tried his hand at climbing a coconut tree on the beach.


    • The incident at Sandy Lane reinforces the importance of training all the actors in the service delivery chain.

    • No discrimination here
      Allegations of racism, like the ones levelled against the Sandy Lane Hotel by British rapper Tinie Tempuh could have damaging consequences on the country’s image.
      This was the assessment of Tourism Minister Senator Lisa Cummins who has refused to attribute blame on an alleged incident that unfolded on the sprawling West Coast property.
      But whether true or false, she is distancing ‘brand Barbados’ from any negative perceptions that may have resulted.
      “We are not in a position where we could say that the facts are this or the facts are that, because those things would be specific to the hotel. But what we do have to also be concerned about is the perception of Barbados as a destination, because when these things go from the public space to the international, you’re not seeing a single property. You are only seeing where that property is located, and whether true or false, as a destination, we still have to be concerned about image,” she told Barbados TODAY.
      Okogwu, a 32-year-old of Nigerian descent, accused Sandy Lane security guards of “racial profiling” when they “aggressively challenged” his presence on the property as he was approaching the gym.
      In a lengthy post on Instagram, the Grammy award winner also rapped management for being “incredibly rude” and “condescending”.
      “[The security officer] assumed I couldn’t have been a guest despite telling him I was.
      When I tried to raise this and other issues with management, they were incredibly rude and condescending,” he recalled.
      While pledging not to let the ordeal dampen his 32nd birthday celebrations, the artiste identified the ordeal as a timely reminder that “there are still some places where deep down they don’t think you can ever really belong”.
      Okogwu then reminded his followers that every human deserves to be treated with respect, and encouraged them not to spend their time “or anything else, where you don’t feel that respect”.
      In the midst of a firestorm of criticism from some of the rapper’s Instagram following of over 780 000, Sandy Lane wasted no time in conveying its “wholehearted apologies” to Okogwu for any “misunderstandings” or “disappointment that was caused during his stay”.
      “We have welcomed guests to Sandy Lane from all over the world for the last 60 years and every single one of them is special to us,” the resort said in a release on Monday.
      “We pride ourselves on going the extra mile to make everyone feel welcome here in Barbados and are so sorry that one of our guests did not feel cared for in that way.
      Our wholehearted apologies were extended to this guest at the time here at the hotel, for any misunderstanding or disappointment that was caused during their stay,” added the correspondence sent out by Marketing and Public Relations Manager Re-Shana Horton.
      The luxurious five-diamond resort also pledged to review the impact of its “significantly enhanced” security presence, which the hotel claims was assembled in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
      Cummins, meanwhile, noted that over the weekend, her Ministry, through the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., had reached out to the rapper “to address any concerns that have been raised”.
      She also responded to questions raised on social media about alleged disparities between how tourists of African descent are treated on the island, when compared with their Caucasian counterparts.
      “I can’t say that it is something that you see often, but one time if it presents itself is too many,” she told Barbados TODAY.
      “I think brand Barbados as you have seen is about anti-discrimination of any kind. That includes anti-discrimination on the basis of gender, sex, religion, sexual orientation . . . .
      So that is brand Barbados and that is who we represent at all times and in all spaces,” the Tourism Minister stressed.
      “So Barbados does take a dim view of anything that does speak to discrimination of any kind, wherever it presents itself at any time.”

  5. What about projects?
    WHEN IT COMES to Central Bank quarterly reports of recent years, one gets a feeling of déjà vu every time there is mention of major investment projects.
    Certainly, during the tenure of Governor Cleviston Haynes it has been a case of lamentation after lamentation that these undertakings, largely associated with the tourism industry, continue to be delayed.
    Based on his economic reviews of recent times, the fact that these projects have not started in a timely manner seems to be a source of frustration for the Governor.
    This was the case recently when Haynes delivered his report for the first nine months of this year. For a start, he noted that there was modest activity in the construction sector.
    The economist further noted that with the delay in some of the major investment projects, activity in the sector remained weak over the nine-month period. He pointed to various capital projects Government was pursuing to help stimulate economic activity but added that as crucial as Government’s role was in stabilising this difficult situation, quickening the pace of the recovery also required innovation and dynamism from the private sector.
    Haynes said implementation of large private sector investments can serve to accelerate growth and create jobs, regenerate confidence so badly damaged by the crisis and enhance the island’s competitive position. We share his view.
    With tourism not guaranteed to fully rebound anytime soon, activity needs to be generated locally, including via construction, which can generate jobs.
    In March, when Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley announced a major economic stimulus package in the face of an expected $500 million loss in revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it was outlined that in addition to Government’s own efforts, there were eight private sector construction projects due to spend a further $500 million over the subsequent 12 months.
    Government said some of these ventures had started, including work at Sam Lord’s Castle, The Crane, and Apes Hill. It was pointed out that
    these projects would lose their concessions if they did not start within three months from March. They were also expected to be funded via foreign exchange and so would not negatively impact the foreign reserves.
    We have not heard much since March about the various projects planned, including if they are still on schedule, if further delays are likely, or if there are issues with their implementation.
    With the spike in COVID-19 cases internationally, especially in places like the United Kingdom, the performance of tourism is increasingly uncertain heading into 2021.
    Barbados has a healthy stock of foreign reserves, though this has been largely accumulated through borrowing. This means that we should have no problem paying our international bills and buying commodities, including petroleum products, from overseas.
    The country does, however, still have an unprecedented unemployment problem and is deep in recession.
    So it is crucial that the big projects that have been boasted about get started.
    They are overdue.
    It is crucial that the big projects that have been boasted about get started.
    They are overdue.


  6. Hit in the pocket
    Workers lament loss of income because of court order
    WORKERS AT THE Sandals Hotel site are keeping some noise over the recently handed down court order prohibiting them from working on Sundays and bank holidays and working past 6 p.m. on weekdays and Saturdays.
    A small group who spoke to the DAILY NATION yesterday on behalf of the more than 200 workers on the massive construction site said this would affect them financially and delay the job even further.
    The men lamented that they would lose valuable overtime monies which they were happy to cash in on, given that they were home for 22 weeks.
    Dover, Christ Church resident and attorney Lalu Hanuman filed an injunction last month in the High Court asking for restrictions to be placed on the work hours at the site. He and other residents complained about machinery working through the night until 10 p.m. and disturbing their peace and quiet.
    Last Wednesday, the judge ordered that work take place between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. from Monday to Saturday and none on Sundays and bank holidays.
    Subcontractor Julian Cumberbatch said he had hired men who lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic and he was the only person in his household working since his wife had also lost her job.
    “This job was shut down because of COVID, so men glad to get work to do. I just helped a sportsman get some work out here. People have time now to do what they want to do; some have time to relax. The Bible says the devil finds work for idle hands so people now have time to look at what we are doing here
    and complain about noise.
    “These fellas need to work. I need to work, so let’s not continue with this foolishness,” he said.
    A Guyanese citizen said his family back home was depending on him.
    “I was home for 22 weeks so now we come out and we now starting back . . . . They stopping this work put we under pressure because we’re looking for every extra cent. I got to send money to Guyana for my children, so it gine be rough.
    “I’m just asking the person who deals with this to have understanding and just let the people work so we could finish this project. That is all we’re asking for; just a little understanding because we under pressure,” he said.
    He said there were several categories of workers, such as painters like himself, who could work overtime without noise.
    Lindel Trotman, who erects scaffolding, said while he understood what the residents were going through, the workers should also have had a say.
    “They’ve got to understand that we were in quarantine because of COVID-19 and we now get a chance to come back out.”
    Another worker expressed concern about the delay the restrictions would now cause.
    “The faster we get through, the faster we gine done and less noise gine happen.”
    He said there were some aspects of the job that were “real technical” and required extra time.
    “So we does have to put in a little extra time to get ahead; so if a fella got to work until eight or ten in the night, that ain’t no problem. . . . They had quiet for six months. . . . It ain’t like it is foolish noise – it is people working,” he said.
    A manager associated with Jada Builders, the contractors on the site, said Sandals almost cancelled the job because of the pandemic.
    He said they now had a deadline of January to complete the project but with the court order in place, it may go past that deadline.


  7. Here is a tourism minister sitting on the fence in an allegation against the Irish-owned hotel. In typical Bajan style, she is claiming she is not in a position to know the facts.
    What normal governments do is hold an investigation: talk to Mr Tempah, talk to the hotel, talk to the security officer involved, talk to the member of management involved – and reach a conclusion.
    In the meantime, whatever the outcome, government should be warning hotels and other foreign employers in Barbados that discrimination in any form is not only against the law, but will be seriously dealt with.
    But, as long as the pound or Greenback reigns supreme, then the treating of black Barbadians – and other black people along with them – will remain the norm in a corrupt, decadent and amoral society.

    Note to Bajan journalists: his name is Tinie Tempah and he is British.

    • What about the other interpretation that these were a few poorly trained employees. Does Sandy Lane have a track record of the behaviour as described?

  8. “What about the other interpretation that these were a few poorly trained employees. Does Sandy Lane have a track record of the behaviour as described?”

    Poorly trained???
    Of course the staff, especially the managers, have been trained to be ‘nice’ to the customers or guests.

    That’s a basic requirement, even a sine qua non, in any part of the hospitality industry.

    It is also called ‘Common’ decency to fellow human beings.

    He is not the first ‘well-off’ black person to be treated that way in the still apartheid little Barbadoes.

    That ‘Uncle Tom’ attitude among Bajan blacks working in the hotel industry goes way back to the 1970’s when black Americans used to visit little South Africa and encountered the same treatment.

    • @Miller

      We have a problem with poor service across the country. It is why NICE was implemented. Do you recall the incident with world famous cricketer Desmond Haynes that occurred at the defunct Barbados Beach Vikllage years ago?

  9. David BU

    I understand where ‘you’re coming from’ as it relates to your comment about poorly trained employees. However, Miller is correct re: “That ‘Uncle Tom’ attitude among Bajan blacks working in the hotel industry goes way back to the 1970’s….”
    Based on my experience, I don’t have any doubts Tinie Tempuh was racially profiled by security guards. And, we’re dealing with Sandy Lane.

    I’ve mentioned on several occasions that Black people roaming hotel properties, sitting by the pool, visiting the restaurants or going to their rooms, always draw some level of suspicion from some hotel employees, especially security guards, because more often than not, they immediately assume they’re not ‘tourists.’ Why? Even to this day, several people are of the mistaken belief, TOURIST = WHITE PEOPLE or any ‘fair skinned individual with straight hair.’ As such, Black guests are often profiled as being on the property to hustle white men or women, sell drugs or steal.

    The BHTA, in association with the Tourism Ministry, should launch an investigation into the matter.

  10. @ Hal,
    We are missing the point with this story. Tinie Tempah with his dark skin is not the type of customer that Sandy Lane would be interested in.

    Irrespective of his fame and money. These type of people are not your “typical” Sandy Lane customers.

    Sandy Lane would never have known that this young black geezer is both famous and well connected.

    This government will have to accept that this story is huge and will undermine Barbados throughout the black world.

    Not so long ago we had an incident with the Nigerian Juventus footballer who was almost imprisoned in Barbados for breaking our Covid-19 rules.

    There is a pattern here: blacks are not welcomed in Barbados.

  11. @TLSN

    Bajans at home are missing the point. It is nothing to do with money, as you point out, but with r ace and skin colour. You know from your London experience the number of muscular black men told by little white girls they do not want black people in their nightclubs and these goons go about the job with alacrity.
    In little Barbados where jobs are hard to come by can you imagine what these idiots will do? Instead of telling the Irish people where to go,
    Having said that, my wife and I were once invited to dinner at Sandy Lane by a UK bank director (he had always threatened to when he discovered I was from Barbados. He was cricket mad and thought Wes Hall was from Heaven). The staff were very polite, but not because of me but because of who I was with.
    My worst treatment was at the cage box that was Almond in Holetown, some short Napoleon type security man. He did not even want me to park in the empty car park. Ten of the guests staying there I had invited to Barbados.

  12. @ TLSN

    I forgot to mention. In future I will actively dissuade any non-Barbadian black person I know from visiting Barbados, unless they arrange their own accommodation.
    It is the new South Africa and they love it. Where is the talkative, photo-obsessed president when she is needed? Is she too busy send a message to Trump, or Biden or Trudeau?

  13. This story is nothing to doubt. Security guards in Barbados have great fun lording it over black people and not just in the hotel industry. In stores, supermarkets, the ports, the banks whites and blacks are treated differently. I have had to lodge complaints on two occasions and the culprits were suitably reprimanded. In two other cases, I put the guards right myself. I simply do not stand for it.

    Always I ask them the question if their attitude would have been different if I were white.

    Some Bajans are brainwashed. They believe whites are superior. It is something we need to work on as we know from whence it came.

    But first, we must acknowledge that we have a problem. The minister has not so far moved us forward towards this end.

  14. @TLSN

    It was at Almond when I saw BDF soldiers armed with sub-machine guns walking on the beach and posing for pictures with holidaymakers without police accompanying them. I mentioned this a few years ago on BU and someone said he did not believe it. I still have the pictures.
    My friends still talk about it, the time when a black Bajan security guard tried to stop me from entering Almond to visit them (all white and English). They still think it was funny.

    • @Artax

      What happened at Sandy Lane is a ‘social complex’ read socialization issue, nothing to do with racial profiling. The blogmaster himself has been subjected to harsh scrutiny when visiting functions at the restaurants and it required a level of confidence to make the matter go away. The clientele of Sandy Layne is mainly high colour people and as a high end hotel there is the job of screening ‘undesirables’ from the compound. In this instance an overzealous security guard got it wrong. The people at Sandy Land responsible for customer service will make sure this does not repeat, it guards its reputation.

      Of course we have the coggers on the blog who sees this as Barbados being racist. BS!

  15. (Quote):
    Some Bajans are brainwashed. They believe whites are superior. It is something we need to work on as we know from whence it came. (Unquote).

    Some??? You mean the massively vast majority!

    Have you ever noticed how black Bajans are so “well-behaved” in the presence of white people compared to when they are cussing one another?

    But what can you expect from a totally brainwashed group of people who believe that some Pagan Jesus is God and is a white man living in the sky?

  16. (Quote):
    The clientele of Sandy Layne is mainly high colour people and as a high end hotel there is the job of screening undesirables from the compound.(Unquote).

    What do you mean by “HIGH COLOUR PEOPLE”?

    Is this another ‘clear’ indication that there people of ‘low colour’ even though there might be filthy rich?

    Wasn’t the black guy a guest of the same hotel and who was received at the GAIA by a luxury vehicle and ‘black; driver, having been checked-in at the Front Desk or Reception Hall in the first place and not viewed as an undesirable intruder?

    • @Miller

      You know what the blogmaster means which is NIT what you are suggesting. People become conditioned if regulars are of a certain ilk. It does not make it right, it calls for better training.

  17. I seem to recall that at the height of the pandemic, there was talk of looking locally and to other islands so as to keep the industry alive. But even during this pandemic, there was the occasional story of someone having limited beach access, unable to rent beach chairs or to use beach facilities.

    How do you determine that someone is undesirables just by looking at them. This is really the problem. One of the plank of screening undesirables is that if you are black you are likely not a tourist and if you are white you are most likely a tourist. Racism, no matter how explained is racism.

    Tourism is an industry that cannot afford negative publicity and everyone, even the ‘undesirables’, have a camera and a Facebook page. Hotel in Barbados cannot just rely on naked racism to be a part of the screening process. Some simple steps like having gyms on the second floor or having to show your hotel room key to access the gym, or billing for gym use to a room and then refunding the cost of the gym use when the visitor is checking out can take the ignorance out of our screening process.

    The Minister was in damage control. She cannot attack the tourist, she has to be careful what she says about the hotel, and she to protect the industry. Her gentle warning to hoteliers must be commended.

  18. @David November 10, 2020 8:30 AM
    “Of course we have the coggers on the blog who sees this as Barbados being racist. BS!”
    Sadly, it is you who are spouting BS on BU this morning. Hal Austin is correct and you are sadly, utterly wrong.

    Barbados is a deeply racist society. Tourism is the latest incarnation of the plantation social structure, with the Black Sandy Lane security guard being both trained and socialised to play the part of the enslaved Black “drivers” who were the first line of discipline and enforcement on the plantation.

    I am disappointed that you, David, are so blind to something this obvious. But I should not really be surprised, Black freedmen in 18th century Barbados also used to accommodate themselves with soothing words to pretend that their collaboration with the White supremacist power structure was OK.

    I understand why Lisa Cummins has to measure her words carefully to protect vulnerable jobs, but you have no such excuse… just tell the unvarnished ugly truth.

  19. What happened at Sandy Lane is a ‘social complex’ read socialization issue, nothing to do with racial profiling. The blogmaster himself has been subjected to harsh scrutiny when visiting functions at the restaurants and it required a level of confidence to make the matter go away. The clientele of Sandy Layne is mainly high colour people and as a high end hotel there is the job of screening ‘undesirables’ from the compound. In this instance an overzealous security guard got it wrong. The people at Sandy Land responsible for customer service will make sure this does not repeat, it guards its reputation….(Quote)

    Is this real? Black people are not racially profiled at the Ritz, the Dorchester (where the BTA held at least one of its dinners), Claridges, the Savoy or any other top hotel or restaurant in the UK. British racism is more discreet.
    Race-tinged tourism is part of what the chairman calls the Barbados brand; it is part of having in folklore that beaches are opened to the public, when in reality some West Coast hotels cordon off their beaches. Even now the so-called tourism minister cannot offer a proper apology, in case she upsets the Irish owners of Sandy Lane.
    It is one reason why the obvious heritage tourism does not find currency with the authorities, since it means bringing young black people to Barbados, especially those without pedigrees.
    We either live in the real world and admit our limitations, or continue with a putrid, reactionary Bajan nationalism that speeds us on our way to decay.
    Barbados is a failed nation. It will end in tears.

  20. @PLT

    We do not expect the minister to come out like rabble rouser; all she had to do was to apologise to Tinie Tempah and launch an investigation – either by tourism officials or the police. Is that too much to ask?

    • @Peter

      Have you ever heard of Black guests at Sandy Lane being meted with this treatment. The blogmaster knows of what he speaks, dont have to rely on press reports to understand what happened here. Sandy Lane places a lot of resources in training, top class training too. What we have here is an outlier situation.

  21. @Hal Austin November 10, 2020 9:08 AM
    It is not too much to ask, but it is in her interest to make the story disappear from the news cycle as quickly as possible.

    To accomplish this she should have had the BTMI issue a proper apology right away, including thanking Tinie Tempah for bringing the incident to public attention. Then she should have leaned on Sandy Lane to issue a proper apology as well, not the mealy mouthed excuses that they wrote, and twist their arm to include some form of restitution like 2 free nights when Tinie Tempah visits again.

  22. @David November 10, 2020 9:16 AM
    “Have you ever heard of Black guests at Sandy Lane being meted with this treatment.”
    Yes, of course I have. It has happened to relatives of mine.

  23. @David
    This is not rare at Sandy Lane or at many other places in Barbados. It is routine. The only difference with this incident is that Tinie Tempah is a celebrity, so that when it happens to him it is news… when it happens to someone I know it is simply another day ending with ‘y’.

  24. These are just questions
    Is the problems with the hotels or is it the attitude and ideas of black Barbadians towards other blacks as often seen by the hostility directed towards blacks Barbadian overseas.

    Have we educated our tourism workforce about the fragility of the product? Of the effect of dad publicity, disrepect, silly assumptions and increasing crime?

    Are we locked in the idea that every Black American (unless seen on TV) and every African is catching their tail and unable to stay at a major hotel chain? Is it that the stereotypes that we have in our minds are damaging our product?

    I am not a fan of tourism, but as it is the only game in town, I would suggest the following.

    Education: There probably should be a video highlighting what is acceptable behavior towards tourists (in reality towards all people) from the time their plane touch down at GIA until the time their plane take off again. Don’t be too general; make certain that every person who comes in the contact with the tourist is represented.. taxi, zr, valet, desk clerk, maid, Bajan, restaurants …… . Show different races of tourists, not just white faces. Managed the product.

  25. @PLT

    Tinie Tempah was a guest. Or doesn’t that matter? He was a fake? Bajans do not apologise; they obfuscate, find bogus excuses, try to explain the inexplicable, even fabricate. They see an apology as a weakness. It is cultural.
    @PLT in the past I have raised questions about BU and its political and moral misdirections, and this is a further indication that either the chairman does not understand race relations (is he black?) or is fronting for some state body. If he is speaking honestly, then woe betide. Which? You decide.

  26. “Some Bajans are brainwashed. They believe whites are superior. It is something we need to work on as we know from whence it came.”

    @ Donna

    You should’ve included some Bajans living overseas as well. They seem to believe by marrying white women ‘they have arrived’ and it gives them some special privilege to be obnoxious, arrogant and condescending to their own people, while showing contempt for the land of their birth.

    There’s a saying that, no matter how hard one tries, ‘you can take a Bajan out of Barbados, but you can’t take the Bajan out of him.’ So, whether they live here or overseas, a Bajan will be Bajan….. and will exhibit his inherent characteristics where ever he lives. I’ve read on BU where one ‘pseudo psychologist’ fabricated some nonsense they call a composite set of behaviours, to differentiate between their behaviour and that of local Bajans, which, by the way, are similar in every aspect. Surely you’ll agree that attitude could be considered a ‘symptom’ of the so called ‘Bajan Condition.’

    Although WARU and I may be at loggerheads from time to time, she is at times correct relative to how Black people treat their own. It seems as though many of us view life as though we’re still on the plantation, where house slaves, being close to their white masters and mistresses, believe they’re superior to the field slaves. Hence, we view the UK, Canada and USA as the plantation house and Barbados the plantation.

  27. @ The OGazerts November 10, 2020 9:25 AM

    Education: There probably should be a video highlighting what is acceptable behavior towards tourists (in reality towards all people) from the time their plane touch down at GIA until the time their plane take off again. Don’t be too general; make certain that every person who comes in the contact with the tourist is represented.. taxi, zr, valet, desk clerk, maid, Bajan, restaurants …… . Show different races of tourists, not just white faces. Managed the product.”

    Such an education programme has been ongoing since the 1980’s (or even earlier) when the slogan “Tourism is our Business, let’s play our part” was the main chapter in the little red book of Bajan tourism.

  28. @PLT

    You are right. Seven years and five months ago I took a group of about ten Barbadians – black, Latino and white – to a well known South Coast restaurant, which markets itself as upmarket, in real terms it is a middle market restaurant.
    The manager or head waitress (a middle aged woman that the others were deferring to) avoided my eyes as she brought the menu and wine list and concentrated on talking to the white male Bajan. That was fine, she obviously knew him. The other black Bajans were also well known.
    On my way back to the table from the gents she came up and, uninvited, whispered some rules on table manners. I had to decide whether to tell her to bugger off, thank her, or just ignore her. I chose the latter. Was she nervous in case I embarrassed her?
    Bajan racism comes in all forms and there is an assumption of privilege by association. It has always been the problem with the domestic servant.

  29. @Hal Austin
    BU is just a fragment of the wider Bajan society and so it reflects all of the usual Bajan dysfunctions, sometimes in concentrated form because of the anonymity it affords. Witness the overt White supremacist racism of some who post here from behind the curtain of a pseudonym… witness also the servile obeisance to the same White supremacist racism from several Black people who are regulars here.

    But this is not a peculiarly Bajan problem, it exists throughout the Black diaspora; it is particularly acute however, in those societies with a history of plantation enslavement. It is a very slow process for such societies to emancipate themselves from mental slavery as Bob Marley so eloquently urged.

  30. Artax,

    Anyone who is raised from birth to adulthood in Barbados, especially those from a certain generation would have been presented with the white supremacy view. Some of us were rebels and rejected it instinctively (I am at least third generation rebel) and others would have assimilated it to various degrees.

    Sometimes it requires serious self-examination to determine into which category we fall. Some of us are very mixed up.

    P.S. As a pseudo-psychologist myself, I must defend my “profession”. Much can be deduced by careful observation and common sense. This is probably what was done by the first “psychologist” before it became a profession.

  31. @PLT

    I am not sure how familiar you are with the black diaspora, but your observation is off key. I suggest you do a bit more reading about black Brits, a small part of the diaspora. You were too young when you left.
    That is the reason for the regular clashes between young police and young black people. Neither side wants to defer.

  32. I find myself supporting an industry that I was never in favor of.

    These stories have been with us for ages and cannot be allowed to continue. We are failing to correct known flaws in our product.

    Hotel management can offer apologies, but those who come into direct contact with tourists need to be made aware of how their behavior can impact the industry. The type or traveler has changed, but has our mindset. Perhaps our guards are still chasing “beach bums” and therefore insulting some guests.

    We put all of our eggs in one basket and must now make an effort to protect that egg. We have an uncomfortable bed. We have to figure out how we can get a good sleep in this bed.

  33. @Hal
    I know a bunch of Black Brits… both of Caribbean and African ancestry. I’ve also travelled to Britain for extended periods as an adult. As I stated above, the problem is most pronounced in those places with a history of plantation enslavement, which means it is less acute in Africa, Britain, Canada and Europe, but I still see it in all these places very clearly.

  34. In case it is misunderstood. Tourism, dead or alive, is with us. This is a baby and bathwater issue.

    I am not preaching kowtowing to anyone. I am preaching respect for all tourists, which includes blacks.

    Changes are required. Where do we start?

    Have a great day Barbados!

  35. @Hal
    An interesting non sequitur… almost 10% of early arrivals from the UK on the Welcome Stamp visa are Black Brits, way in excess of the % of Black people in the British population.

  36. TheO,

    I, at one time oblivious to lingering white supremacy, had no objection to tourism. I have since revised my opinion. But until we can do better, and I believe with determination we can, we have to give it our best shot. The plaster has to be ripped off this sore. Now is the opportune time to move forward.

  37. @PLT

    This confirms what I have said about the potential of heritage tourism. I have young people in my family and in-laws who will like to spend a couple weeks in Barbados occasionally, and they do. They also go off to other countries which their friends’ families came from.
    I am afraid the returnees generation is dying out; those who wanted to live in Barbados, already do; those who will like to visit occasionally, already do.
    Our tourism officials have a psychological blind spot when it comes to black tourists (travellers). It goes right across the entire economy.
    There are black newspapers in the UK. I have never seen an advertisement from the BTMI or any tourism body in any of them. Tells you all you want to know.

  38. @ David

    You were subjected to “harsh scrutiny” upon entering the hotel. The difference is, Mr. Okogwu was already on the premises as a guest. You can’t use “there’s the job of screening undesirables from the compound” as an excuse, because security officers are usually stationed at a hotel’s entrance, with officers patrol the beach and compound. Therefore, to enter the hotel, one would have passed security at the entrance. Yet, Black guest are still challenged by security guards patrolling the property.

    This behaviour is not synonymous with Sandy Lane, but several other hotels in Barbados. So, you’re essentially suggesting there are “overzealous security guards” at those properties as well. It is not a customer service issue, but one involving management, including the chief of security.

    I found Sandy Lane’s statement on the issue very interesting and, in particular, the comment re: “The luxurious five-diamond resort also pledged to review the impact of its “significantly enhanced” security presence, which the hotel claims was assembled in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

    What it seems to be saying is, Sandy Lane’s guests are not normally racially profiled. They had to increase the number of security officers as a result of the “COVID-19 pandemic and the Ministry of Health and Wellness protocols.” What occurred was the security guard’s fault because too many of them were on the property.

    • @Artax

      It will be harder to manage in a dominant black population. White people stand out, it makes it easier to make judgement calls. There will always be overzealous employees. We have to discuss the specific incident and avoid conflating with phycho social issues. That said the hotel will learn from this incident.

  39. @David
    It is a monumental error on your part to look for intent in seeking to correct racist behavior. Racism in a systemically racist society like ours has very little to do with intent. Racism is structural and systemic here… it in ingrained into deeply entrenched attitudes and assumptions in both the Black and White populations. If you are just looking for intent that means that you are intent on ignoring more than 90% of racism.

  40. Racism is a psycho-social issue. You cannot discuss racism and be pretending to be avoiding psycho-social issues.

  41. (Quote):
    The clientele of Sandy Layne is mainly high colour people and as a high end hotel there is the job of screening undesirables from the compound.(Unquote).

    Do you notice how there is an ugly thread in our conversation. We need to flesh out exactly what words like “high color” and “pedigree” mean.

    Some still live in our ugly past. We cannot hold security guards and maids to a higher standard than those who should know better.

  42. @ PLT100% correct

    The Blogmaster is singing loudly for his supper today. Trying to snuff out the bad press. He knows fully that these types of occurrences are routine in Plantation Barbados. This is not an isolated incident. But PR must be done and narratives must be shaped.

    David your duplicitous slip is showing, again.

  43. We too love to paint everybody with the racism brush. We are like an alien on some far away planet that knows nothing about planet earth and started receiving the first Planet Earth TV signals all in black and white and believe everything is black or white until years later they start receiving color TV before they realise the truth.

    It’s called Profiling. Sure there is racism out there but every single person whether they want to admit or not has this feeling they can tell just by looking who can afford their hotel or restaurant.

    I have stayed at more topnotch 4 and 5 star hotels in the space a few years during one of my previous jobs than most people on the blog have stayed or will stay at their entire life so I know what I am saying when I state hotel, restaurant and shop staff will always treat you differently until the moment you open your mouth and start to speak because they will hear your accent and tag you as a tourist.

    Dress like the locals and keep your mouth shut and see what happens. They usually treaty you like no one special and try to be careful around you until word about you gets around about if you have money or not. I used to have fun playing the is this guy a guest or con trying to pull a fast one in their place and pull out the tourist accent when they started to look scared.

  44. @Crsitical

    Your experience seems very limited. Where are these top notch hotels you stayed at where you were profiled?

  45. Sandy Lane should train its managers and supervisors on how to treat black people who visit their hotel.

    Management should have adequately addressed the situation after Tinie Tempah was stopped by the security guard.

  46. @ Hants

    Barbadians should think seriously of expelling the Irish from the island. Let them go back to their potato farms and drink their Guinness and eat their boiled beef and cabbage then vomit all over the place.

  47. @Hal Austin
    It is limited compared to persons like you and PLT and a few others but more varied than most persons.

    I have been to most countries in the Caribbean except Jamaica and places on the US eastern and western seaboard both big cities and small towns. None in Europe nor UK thus far and I don’t think I will see them either since I don’t see myself doing that type of job again as I can’t stand to travel anymore.

    I don’t recall any racism against me as far as I could tell. My personal observation is they classify you as one of three types
    – this person like they can easily afford the bill
    – behaves like they accustomed to this type of lifestyle
    – has no business being here.

    How they classify you and the policy of that business towards people that don’t belong shapes how they treat you.

  48. (Quote):
    Sandy Lane should train its managers and supervisors on how to treat black people who visit their hotel. (Unquote).

    Why black people? What’s so different about black people that requires special training?

    The staff at that hotel have received the best training (top notch) available to satisfy the requirements of the clientele of that 5-star hospitality establishment.

    Money has No Colour but carries a large symbol saying ‘Only the Best will do’.

    The man should have been treated just like any other guest who can afford such an expensive hotel.

    The managers and security workers involved should be fired immediately.

  49. @ Critical

    You are right. I travel in the Caribbean on a Barbados passport, and every country I visit they say ‘welcome’ you are at home – with the exception of Barbados.
    My experience in the Bahamas, both Nassau and Grand Bahama, can be the reverse of the Sandy Lane Irish experience. Sometimes I have to ask the staff to serve others.
    On one occasion I was staying on Paradise Island and told a member of staff I was from Barbados and she ran off to the kitchen and brought out the chef to say hello.
    In Barbados it is a different experience. All they want to know is where you are staying and when you are leaving. On a couple occasions I said on arrival to the immigration officer ‘I am at home’, and asked what do you mean by leaving and they drift in to a Bajan strop: “Man, answer the question.”
    It is a level of sophistication found at Sandy Lane and Almond and at Cave Shepherd. I no longer shop there.

  50. @Hal Austin November 10, 2020 3:59 PM
    Nothing can compare to Paradise Island, that is an out of this world experience based on the massiveness of the whole place alone. I went over for lunch and they have by far the largest buffet I have ever seen with food as far as the eyes can see. I’ve never been to Las Vegas or Dubai but my guess is only places like that rival the Paradise Island experience.

    We have to learn that unless you know for sure somebody does not belong, you treat everybody the same way until you know otherwise and if you are unsure, treat them as if they look lost and not someone skulking about the place looking to do mischief. Goodness knows I have gotten lost and wandered around too embarrassed to ask and could have used a ‘Sir, you look lost’.

  51. @ Critical

    I love the Bahamas. Have you tried the street conch? Years ago we had conch in Barbados and, like the sea eggs, we over-fished them until they all vanished.

  52. @Hal Austin November 10, 2020 4:38 PM
    I not a big seafood person and I could not stand it for too long, Bahamians know nothing bout seasoning and all they do is squeeze a little lime on it when they eat it. They do love their conch bad. We love for fish from street fish can’t compare.

    The cultural idiosyncrasies is also extremely interesting. When you travel, interact with the local people and get to understand and compare histories to see where all the differences come from.

    That is why I say that if done right, the future of tourism is the AirBnB type accommodations where you get to directly interact with the locals on a much more natural level than the hotels where they wants to control the experience.

  53. @ Dullard November 10, 2020 8:11 AM

    There is a pattern here: blacks are not welcomed in Barbados.

    If I may add “at most Hotels on de Island”. We are so dam stupid it’s pathetic.

  54. @ Critical
    You are right about the culinary cultural differences between the various English-speaking islands. It is one of my frustrations that our academics and journalists do not explore these differences more. I now see Trinidadians claiming cou-cou.
    Even differences across generation within single islands, ie Barbados. One of the first ones that hit you in visiting various Caribbean restaurants in the UK are even the terms used. Some say rice and peas and others say peas and rice; a small difference, but interesting. Rot is also differ.
    In Barbados we put sugar in our dumplings (in fact, Barbadians put sugar in sugar, thus the high type two diabetes rates), in other islands they do not. Even the way we cook and bake differs from previous generations. It is a part of our evolving cultural history I will like to see explored.
    I remember when a Trinidadian called Mr Chow first started selling these exquisite dishes called rotis in Nelson Street back in the 1950s, now rotis are considered part of our national dish.
    Like you, I am not keen on Bahamian cooking, but they are very sociable people and that makes up for the shortcomings in the kitchen.

  55. Tourism ‘not down for the count’
    THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC has floored tourism, but the sector is not down for the count.
    That was the defiant and unified message from some leading players in the industry, who asserted that “tourism will be back”.
    Roseanne Myers, general manager of Atlantis Submarines Barbados Inc., said that with key markets, including the United States (US) and United Kingdom (UK), still battling COVID-19, Barbados’ recovery hinged on theirs and “that’s going to take a while”.
    Myers, who is a former Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association (BHTA) chairman, challenged other productive sectors, such as international business and agriculture, to help drive the economy while tourism tried to rebound.
    Her optimism about the industry’s future was shared by current BHTA chairman Geoffrey Roach and Renee Coppin, the general manager of the hotels Pirate’s Inn and Infinity On The Beach.
    The trio participated in an Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados virtual discussion on the topic Beyond Staycations on Tuesday night. It was held as part of Accountants’ Week 2020.
    Myers, whose company gets 60 per cent of its business from the cruise industry, said that sector was unlikely to recover until the last quarter of next year.
    Despite this challenge, she was still hopeful of a major turnaround for tourism, and predicted that “ Crop Over 2021 is going to be the biggest and best, it is going to be phenomenal, and when the cruise ship season returns in November 2021 we are going to have the best and the biggest and the most bumper season ever”.
    “I think Barbados would have positioned itself and we would have had the time to negotiate additional business. That’s what we need to focus on, we have to play the long game, we have to be in for the long haul,” she said.
    “Don’t look at this winter, don’t look at what’s going to happen in December and January, it is too early to expect an explosion of people….So I think we have to set correct expectations. Don’t expect the season to be what the season used to be, give us a little chance. We have to do it . . . safely but the business
    will come back,” she predicted.
    Roach said he was “extremely optimistic” that tourism would bounce back.
    “The truth is that tourism has gone through many crises before and has always rebounded, and this one will be no different. From all of the conversations that I have had with the tour operators in the UK, the US, Canada – in all of these markets there is pent up demand for Barbados,” he said.
    “Just this morning we were on calls where that was the common thread again: people want to come to Barbados.”
    Coppin said she was “optimistic that we can survive this and that we can come out stronger than we were before”.
    “The thing that I think we need to be cognisant of is that the reality of when this industry will turn around, when COVID will resolve, and when things will return to normal are still very much unclear. And so it is important that we continue to focus on the things that we can control,” she said.
    “People are very happy to say, ‘Let’s look at other options, let’s do away with tourism’, but the reality is that even if you are going to do that, it’s not going to happen overnight.” (SC)

  56. Hoteliers told: Face race issue
    Concern over treatment of Bajans
    TOURISM VETERAN Roseanne Myers is urging hoteliers, and others in the industry, to face and fix concerns that they do not genuinely roll out the welcome carpet to Barbadians.
    The former Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association (BHTA) chairman, who noted that the recent accusation of racial profiling at Sandy Lane Hotel could hurt the country, also felt the sector should address issues of race and colour as they related to locals and visitors.
    She was responding to a question raised during an Accountants’ Week panel discussion on Tuesday night.
    It suggested that hoteliers did not truly want Barbadians to patronise their properties, and were only offering staycations now because their overseas business plummeted during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    The general manager of Atlantis Submarines Barbados Inc. said: “There are more of us who embrace Barbadians than the ones that don’t”, but added, “we cannot keep hearing the same comment and not address it”.
    Cannot run from it
    “I have been in tourism a long time and . . . the fact that we have not created a system where Barbadians feel comfortable in all properties is something that we cannot run from and we have to address,” she said.
    “And it’s not only in hotels. We have it sometimes in restaurants, . . . and it is something that we have talked about and it really requires perhaps some across-the-industry standards and agreements in terms of how we treat Barbadians.”
    Myers said it was unfair to generalise since there were “some properties that have been always at the vanguard of offering that kind of receptive service with their lunches and dinners, and buffets, and when you go in, you really feel like the staff have gone the extra mile”.
    “But we have some of our West Coast partners, we can’t hide . . . that it is not necessarily the same feel when you walk into the property. That’s just the reality of it. That at the end of the day, you get good service when people know who you are sometimes in certain places, and that shouldn’t be so,” she added.
    Myers also said tourism businesses must be sensitive about issues of colour.
    “I can tell you, at Atlantis, I am very, very sensitive to anybody walking through our doors as a black Barbadian, especially, . . . It is really about a black Barbadian not feeling comfortable and confident that they can walk into a property and be accepted and be embraced,” she said.
    “I take that personally. So my perspective to the staff is you have to go the extra mile, you have to try harder. When you see a Barbadian, a black-skinned person walk through that door, because there are these preconceived notions, you have to try harder.
    “You have to go out and you have to make sure that you go above and beyond because it is a perception that you are fighting even if the reality they are not going to see here.”
    Myers’ advice to tourism industry colleagues was that “there is room for us to do better. We have to acknowledge that there is some truth to the comments that are made and we have to get together and say, ‘How can we have an open discussion about race, and the matters of race and colour in the tourism sector without getting emotional to the point that we can’t have a decent discussion?’” (SC)


    “The minister said tourism now requires cross-disciplinary teams and skills development that transcend marketing, hospitality and hotel management.

    Cummins disclosed that Government was planning to launch a new virtual marketplace with the aim of taking full advantage of the tourism industry.”

    I think the Minister understand a part of the problem as she is willing to increase the use of technology in the product. However, in all of her pronouncements that I have seen so far she has never addressed the deficiencies often mentioned when our tourists are not “white”.

    It seems as if the tourists have changed, but our notions of who is a tourist remain constant. As part of the transformation she needs to try to change our fixed mindset about tourists. GOB should create a video which deals with all stages of interaction with a tourist from port of entry to port of exit, from the lowest hotel employee to management level, from passers by on the street to restaurant, banking, zr vans, taxis, beach vendors… a re-education for every Bajan.

    Our videos are often filled with white images which is a part of the problem; Let’s have a variety of tourist faces in the video.

  58. CUT IT OUT!
    BWU accuses some hotels of exploiting workers
    By Sheria Brathwaite
    Hotel workers in Barbados are being exploited and the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) will be having none of it, says deputy general secretary Dwain Paul.
    In an exclusive interview with the SUNDAY SUN yesterday, Paul accused some in the tourism sector of major industrial relations breaches and said he was requesting an urgent meeting with Minister of Labour Colin Jordan, Minister of Tourism Senator Lisa Cummins, the Chief Labour Officer, members of the Social Partnership, and other stakeholders in the industry to thrash out these issues.
    Paul said there were a number of hoteliers committing injustices to workers and breaking labour laws, but he stressed the union was not letting them get away with it.
    Referring to two prime resorts, in particular, he said the union was prepared to go to battle for the workers who were being left in the cold.
    “There are policies and laws as it relates to treating industrial relations, and we are still finding that properties are not holding up their end of responsibility in dealing with that. They are not following the law and it seems that they are getting away with it,” he said. “We are reminding employers that although we are in COVID-19 times the processes of industrial relation laws have not been set aside, and we need Government to make sure that we move to some form of greater reinforcement.”
    Addressing salary cuts and reduced working hours at the Sandy Lane Resort, Paul said those workers were given an ultimatum to accept the cuts or be laid off, but the union was intervening and had set up meetings with the hotel’s management.
    Worst case
    Identifying the situation at Sandals Barbados as the worst case he was dealing with, he said some standard labour procedures were disregarded.
    About 500 workers were being laid off for a period of time unknown to them, Paul said, and they were only given about 72 hours’ notice. He deemed worrying the fact that the method of selection of those workers was unknown to the BWU.
    What made the situation worse, he added, was that management held a meeting with staff and when workers brought their union representatives to the meeting, the meeting was rescheduled and the company called the workers individually and informed them that their services were no longer needed. That rescheduled meeting, he said, was cancelled.
    Paul said this matter was now before the Chief Labour Officer and the union was awaiting an urgent meeting.
    He said most of those workers were previously laid off for 22 weeks and had a maximum of four weeks left to claim unemployment. He said those workers were yet to receive holiday pay, which was outstanding beyond what the law permitted. He added that Sandals was also refusing to pay those who applied for severance.
    “The BWU is reaching out to the Minister of Labour to request an urgent meeting to discuss the issues at Sandals. We hope our plea to the minister is responded to as a matter of urgency to address the issues there as well as at some of the other properties. Sandals has the largest workforce but when we look at the hotel sector, there are other hoteliers in the same precarious position.”
    The BWU deputy general secretary said the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) was also contributing to the many issues in the sector.
    “The NIS is overwhelmed at being able to respond to the workforce in terms of processing benefits, whether it be severance or unemployment benefits, in a timely manner, and this is a huge problem in Barbados. The BWU would like the director of the NIS to give the public an update about exactly what they are doing to improve the situation. There seems to be a disproportionate way in which the benefits
    are being received. Some individuals are getting cheques and others are not getting cheques and are out to sea for months.
    “This situation is being exploited by employers [who] are telling workers to take this (condition of work) or sit down and wait on the NIS system. We want to meet with the NIS management to thrash out what is happening there too,” he said.


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