A Heather Cole Column – Where is the Vision for Tourism?

Lisa Cummins, Minister of Tourism

Two things occurred which were reported in the press on June 30th, 2021 that makes one wonder what the vision for the Tourism Industry is and if there is synchronization of the plans and actions in the various departments of Government. First was an article in which it was reported that the Minister of Tourism Lisa Cummins spoke to the workers of the Grantley Adam’s International Airport about branding. Second was the delivery of the Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Ryan Straughn who stated that government had undertaken debt of $ 80 Million of the Needham’s Point Holdings Ltd which operates the Hilton Barbados Hotel by issuing a new series of B Bonds to bondholders.

These 2 seemingly unrelated occurrences makes one question the leadership at the Ministry of Tourism and the action of Mr. Straughn with regards of the plans for the industry if one takes it as a given that a vision is translated into measurable plans of action or a roadmap to achieve desired goals.

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What are the objectives of the Ministry of Tourism?

Having not seen the written plans of the Ministry of Tourism, there is that degree of difficulty to state the current purpose of that entity. No one knows the purpose of the tourism industry in Barbados as its objectives or goals are not listed on the website which is shared with the Ministry of International Transport. Only the purpose of the Ministry of International Transport is listed.

The vision that should be listed on the Website should be nothing less than to eradicate poverty by a specific date. Tourism should be of service to the people of Barbados and the development of the island, otherwise what is its purpose?

The number one revenue earner in Barbados is tourism. It must serve some development goal of Barbados. Poverty eradication must be the number one development goal of Barbados. Tourism is best fitted as a tool of development to eradicate poverty in Barbados. Some persons believe that poverty cannot be eradicated. Nelson Mandela stated “Poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, it is man-made and can be removed by the actions of human beings.”

With the amount of money that has been earned in Barbados since the late 70’s, there should be no poverty here. A portion of the earnings for tourism must be used to eradicate poverty and the Unit which falls under the Prime Minister’s office should be moved to the Ministry of Tourism. One must agree that the poor housing stock of the lower classes in Barbados is a direct result of poverty and we must set out to change this as climate change may bring hurricanes to our shores each year.

Barbados Tourism Statistics – Historical Data
YearSpending ($)% of Exports
Barbados Tourism Statistics 1995-2021 | MacroTrends

International tourism receipts are expenditures by international inbound visitors, including payments to national carriers for international transport. These receipts include any other prepayment made for goods or services received in the destination country. They also may include receipts from same-day visitors, except when these are important enough to justify separate classification. For some countries they do not include receipts for passenger transport items. Data is in current U.S. dollars.

Government Contracts can be used to eradicate Poverty.

Despite the focus on tourism, the Government of Barbados also has a major role to play in poverty eradication. Its current policy of awarding contracts to a select few Barbadians has perpetrated the existence of the very wealthy and poverty. If wealth can be created by the government awarding of its contracts, then poverty can be eradicated using the system to award the contracts to a company that is owned by the people.

The Barbados Brand

On 30th June, the Minister was reported as asking the workers of the Grantley Adams International Airport to “protect it as a brand of excellence and world class hospitality.” However, all the talk about a branding exercise and creating a new slogan, and now asking persons to protect a brand is meaningless if the intent is not to be translated into a physical component and its use to assist in the development of Barbados.

If Barbados really is a brand as is constantly touted and not just a travel destination, isn’t it time for us to see hotels and other establishments in Barbados bearing the name the Barbados Brand. Isn’t it time that we see the translation from nebulous concepts and costly slogans which have nothing to do with reality in Barbados?

The Hilton brand was started in 1969. Commercial tourism in Barbados predates 1887 when the Crane Hotel was built. Isn’t it time to have a physical brand on the ground?

Perhaps the best action in term of branding would be to relieve the contract holders of the Hilton Hotel, and brand that along with several of the smaller hotels, B&B’s and guest houses as the Barbados Brand. This is where one can view the services of the Pom Marine coming into play by standardizing the training of these establishments under one umbrella which defines the physical brand. There would be no need for the government of Barbados to pay the Hilton Hotel for the use of its name.

To the Minister of Economic Affairs, does the signed contract between the government and the company which runs the Hilton Hotel align with the actions that you have taken? Needham’s Point Ltd. had 10 years to get their act together and now you have given them 10 more years to reap super profits off the backs of the taxpayers in Barbados. Clearly this decision was not well thought out and it is certainly not an expression of confidence in developing a physical Barbados brand hotel. You should have made the agreement null and void and together with the Minister of Tourism begin the conceptualization of the Barbados brand hotels. What occurred is not good stewardship.

To the Minister of Tourism, there is work to be done! When will you start?

167 thoughts on “A Heather Cole Column – Where is the Vision for Tourism?

  1. A govt that keeps blaming it’s people for the flaws and failures that is happening in the country will undoubtedly breed self hate in the minds of the people
    Govt has now added a stigma which is more deadly than the COvid one which can infiltrate the mind from one generation to another
    Govt must remember that words matter and blame and shaming it’s citizens does not help to solve it’s problem but can destroy the necessary element of unification of a people who are hurting and already feel defeated by all that has happened over the years
    It is past time for govt to govern
    Curfew after curfew and when things go wrong govt points fingers at it’s citizens
    Yet over the past weeks an entertainment travel group called Hay wire allegedly had a series of fete and parties on the island and govt has not released statement or info to confirm or deny
    However when Covid hell break loose the people are first to blame
    Go figure

  2. It is my sworn civi duty to deliver only GOOD NEWS THIS WEEK..

    ….let’s see if the population will allow Mia to determindedly continue to elevate stinking racists in Barbados over Black lives…

    “Lord Simon Woolley, a former Government adviser on race and director of Operation Black Vote, said: “The divisive and dishonest Sewell report into race inequality represents the biggest lost opportunity to effectively tackle systemic racism in the UK.

    “This shadow report, in sharp contrast, offers a number of strategic recommendations which together present a sorely needed comprehensive race equality strategy fit for the 21st century.”

    There must be no safe space for racists.”

  3. A couple of months ago a story broke under the headlines of Haywire
    Much was said in the media platforms on this invite by govt for the Travel Group to host entertainment which attracted visitors and which included parties and fetes
    This local Barbados entertainment industry became out rage and voiced local protest to which the minister of Tourism reacted with insensitivity reminding all and sundry that Barbados was opened for Tourism business
    Fast forward presently the news scattered across barbados indicates that the Haywire event did occur
    Questions are being asked in light of the fact that barbadians are being accused of the increase of Covid numbers
    There is vast objection across social media and elsewhere and begs the question why would govt point fingers in one direction after allowing an entertainment group to enter country during Covid to have a splash bump and grind parties on Barbados shores
    Rightfully questions are being asked and rightfully so

  4. lawd…..racists are truly poison and a stain on our earth… they must be isolated like the pariahs and criminals that they are…

    “Petition to ban racists from football for life passes 1m signatures
    skysports.com 1 hour ago

    A petition demanding racists receive a lifetime ban from football matches has now passed one million signatures.

    It was sparked by England forwards Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka receiving racist abuse on social media following Sunday’s Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy after missing in the penalty shoot-out.”

    “Two men have been arrested after England footballers were subjected to online racial abuse following the team’s Euro 2020 final loss.

    Police investigating a racist tweet aimed at Rashford arrested and released a 50-year-old man from Powick, near Worcester.

    West Mercia Police said the suspect was detained on suspicion of inciting racial hatred following reports of an inappropriate tweet posted in the hours after the game.

    Media reports said the offensive tweet, saying England star Rashford’s MBE “needs burning ya fake” and adding he should return to his “own country”, appeared on the account of a youth football coach, who claimed his Twitter account was hacked.”

  5. Does govt understand the meaning of transparency and Accountability
    I don’t think so
    Reason being that issue after issue the stench of pR messages lingers long enough for the asking of the truth

    The pictures of a Haywire event attracting crowds not even wearing mask begs for truthful answers

  6. “My memory is fading, but I seem to recall a few that did not leave the island had an American accent.”

    Grew up hearing a particular elderly gentlemen speaking with an American accent and he drove a left hand drive car. Immediately assumed he lived, for some time, in the USA.
    Found out later in life that he never left Barbados’ shores, not even off the coast on a ‘Jolly Roger’ or ‘Bajan Queen’ cruise.

    I know there are several examples. Can’t list all of them here. One or two would at least serve the intended purpose of ‘jogging your memory.’

    My experience growing up and going to primary or secondary school with children who came from the UK is quite different. I recall two personal mates, ‘KB Kleen’ of VOB 92.9 FM fame and ‘Fred.’ Can’t remember anyone “mocking” their accents. ‘In fact,’ they were popular, especially among the girls………. they loved to hear them talk.

  7. When we have a country over stressed frustrated displeased seeking answers and all that is not resolved is condemnation and blame on its people
    The end result is lays very close to anarchy
    Hoping one day that Barbados would be blessed with leadership that understands
    Govt for the people
    Govt of the people
    Govt by the people
    Govt of today are mesmerized by what directs selfish interest

  8. “There must be no safe space for racists.”

    with wicked sellout black face politicians/ministers/lawyers, maybe they will find sanctuary in Barbados…but we will FLUSH THEM AND THE TRAITORS OUT…and make them worldwide famous….

  9. Miller….Pacha…lawd, anything can turn on the head of a pin at any time…

    … racist slave society Barbados will be famous..

    gravy Halsall…gravy…lol

  10. AND …yall ain’t taking the racism and slave society against the Black majority UNDERGROUND either, cause everyone will be on the lookout for that…..lawd…

  11. As long as they know, when ya can’t pay back the chinese, they pick up things, the airport, the seaport, the whole damn island…lol…cause yall had the money to rebuild the stadium 5-6 billion times over and YA TIEF IT…


    as for the Nigerians, i can’t think of a better people for the local criminals pretending to be business people.. to outfox…😂😂🤣🤣

  12. Govts ruled by democratic process is answerable to the people
    But not in this 166sq
    When relevant questions are asked as to why businesses are not name where the outbreaks occurred
    Govt brings out its propaganda machine to squash and distract the questions
    Haywire enters Barbados govt says all protocols must be followed
    Yet video after video shows bus loads of Haywire fun seekers doing as they dampleases
    Yet PM had the audacity to tell bajans not bout hey
    Is that pig Latin or what

  13. Leave them, when ya DISRESPECTFUL TO YA ANCESTORS and to the Black/African descendants/surivors…….setting up thieves and racists to rob the continent will get ya KARMA…

  14. So far a big Steupse from Lisa Cummins to those who dare ask questions about Haywire dancehall bus party
    Only bout hey

  15. Artax,

    The girls only mocked my accent for a short while. It was annoying, that’s all. The boys did not mock but only pulled my hair.

    I do not remember feeling belittled or ostracised like TLSN.

  16. All knows that when a story pushes govt in a bad light govt is quick to retract and make clarification
    Not so with the hundreds of stories running across social media about Haywire maskless fetes and bus parties
    Could it be that the Haywire Barbados videos speak to a truth and fact which govt cannot deny

  17. Lisa Cummins open her mouth and spoke a truth
    The only problem with that truth is a truth as what plans going forward does the tourism industry has for recovery absent of govt help
    Or will govt plans accepts mask less fetes and parties from outside travel organization as a fight against the fear of the virus given how Haywire shown disrespect and disregard for govt portocols on the party bus

  18. I hit the like button in error Angela…

    so none of yall will tell the UNCOUTH SWINE in Barbados’ parliament…that WE are the INHERITORS OF THE CONTINENT ..the SURVIVORS…and WE HAVE SAY…

    so much say that we had NO choice but to let the continent know what THIEVES and RACISTS they are…since they have NO MANNERS and NO RESPECT…mf..

  19. When ya know WHO YOU ARE….and HOW MUCH power you have, real power not the shite for political power that never seems to be enough to do ANYTHING FOR AFRICAN PEOPLE …ya don’t fcuk around..

    but that’s only when ya know who ya are..

  20. Like it or not expect more tourist carrying variants into the country
    BTW what is this all about
    Maybe they can use a couple pigeons at no charge to get the job done
    Effective immediately, the acceptance of letters and parcels for posting to the United Kingdom and the United States of America has been suspended.

    The Postmaster General advises that this is as a result of unforeseen challenges being experienced with airlift.

    However, the co-branded Express Mail/DHL service offered at the General Post Office counter remains available to all destinations.

    Any inconvenience caused by this disruption in service is regretted.

  21. oh…and ah told them all about ya gun running, drug trafficking indian, syrian and white minorities that ya think ya can allow to TIEF our future generations’ birthright……that you nasty nigas allowed to steal ours….

    how dare you sit your wicked sellout asses down and plot and plan to allow racist, murderous, thieving minorities who show HATE and DISRESPECT to Black people in Barbados, and steal from them…to believe they have some entitlement on the continent….


  22. More Lockdowns expected 108 isolated
    Govt open up Hay wire came in govt blames its citizens
    Govt ought to give full explanation where the source started after opening up the country

  23. israel vaccinated ALL THEIR PEOPLE and threatened others who refused, yet their covid rate is rising rapidly…and the ignorant parliament negros can only see selling out and dependency tourism as their only options..

  24. Barbadians are subjected to stN Home parties
    Meanwhile tour travel agency Hsywire was giving the go ahead to party up a storm
    Investigation is required

  25. When is the government going to admit this COVID strategy is not working and everyone is suffering. I bet more people have died or nearly died from these COVID measures than have died from COVID. Why doesn’t the government publish death statistics and the causes so we can compare.

    A vaccine, especially one that does prevent infection, has never been the solution to any previous pandemic and is not going to solve this one either.

    When are they going to finally realize we need to start reading the studies for ourselves and fully embrace the cheap treatment protocols proven to significantly reduce the chances of hospitalization and get back to normal instead of waiting on WHO, CDC, PAHO and which ever lettered agencies agenda we choosing to follow because need to not embarrass them so we can continue get their loans and go deeper in the hole.

  26. How I see it…
    It is not that the covid strategy is not working. We can think of Barbados as a reservoir and “tourists/travelers” as incoming water from an infected pool.

    Even before reservoir is cleanse, we introduce more contamination.
    The job is never done. The chance of an outbreak is always there.

  27. Govt chastise the people for letting their guard down
    The same can be said of govt while govt eyeball the money from Haywire
    Haywire crowd eyeballing the fun

  28. The wicked negros believe they are fooling someone, the sandy lane racists have international insurance for business interruption and STILL TIEF the employees salaries……..and the traitor government helped them all ROB the vulnerable employee’s of salaries and severance..

    “she also noted that on Wednesday, the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport started discussions with insurance industry stakeholders “about redefining what business interruption coverage looks like”.

    Pointing to the interruption in the tourism sector caused by Hurricane Elsa almost two weeks ago, the ashfall from the erupting La Soufriere volcano in St Vincent in April, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Cummins said it was critical that hoteliers have their businesses covered for all eventualities.

    “So, on that basis, I have asked the industry to look at what is required for us to see new innovative insurance products that meet a more resilient sector where we need to go,” she said.”

  29. Want to hear from the Head of the Barbados vendors association on this one
    Wow govt takes only four weeks to build a fence around the lower green bus stand and shuts out the vendor
    Team work working together to place knees in the necks of a black person



  30. Sounds like Lawson…including “a quarter black” something or the other…lol

    “A football coach who has been arrested for allegedly racially abusing Marcus Rashford was married to a woman who made the headlines after attempting to scam a £33million Lotto jackpot.

    Nick Scott, 55, was one of four people arrested for racial abuse following England’s penalty shoot-out defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020 final on Sunday.

    And it has now emerged that he got married to ‘Lotto Gran’ Susanne Hinte in 1999, who herself got in trouble in 2016 when she tried to claim the £33m fortune by faking a ‘winning ticket’ which she said got put in the washing machine.

    INTERENET PICTURE Nick Scott and ‘Lotto Gran’ Susanne Hinte got married in 1999
    But she was rumbled when the true winner came forward, and died of a heart attack a year later.

    A tweet to Rashford was sent from Mr Scott’s Twitter account just minutes after the Manchester United forward missed his penalty which read: “Marcus Rashford that MBE needs burning ya fake. Pack them bags and get to ya own country.”

    He has since apologised, and has asked Rashford for forgiveness for his actions.

    He told The Sun : “I was hammered at the time and don’t remember doing it. But if I did I want Marcus to know that I’m truly sorry and I apologise sincerely.

    “After everything he’s done for my kids and all the other kids in the country with the free school meals. He’s absolutely brilliant. He’s helped my family and I can’t thank him enough.

    “I’m a quarter black South African myself and I was married to a German.”

  31. or..he was married to a Black German, there is evidence that Black people populated Germany first.,,so long ago, that they are only now finding African remains.

  32. Don’t Panic
    How is all this happening in two weeks and the media not persistent in asking govt official questions


    #COVID-19 cases continue to mount, including children at three primary schools and employees at a bank, but health officials assure Barbadians there is no need for panic.
    Subscribe now to our eNATION (https://buff.ly/2LT9CeU) for the full story. For the latest stories and breaking news updates download the Nationnews apps for iOS and Android. #MeAndMyNation #YourNewsYourTimeYourWay #TheSourceMatters #NationBarbados #Barbados

  33. The possibility of a third wave on Barbados shores cannot be overlooked as govt official shifts through data and models for assistance
    How in the world can this be outside of a reality that having open borders and travellers from other countries allowed to enter
    Is Barbados portocols at the borders secure enough to detect travellers coming through the borders with faked documents

  34. Is this co incidence that on the heels of the Hay wire events hundreds of bajans are infected all in two weeks
    Investigation states that some business employees now infected worked within the environment of the event having to deliver goods to the event planners and visitors
    Govt tight lip on this ongoing story begs from accountability and transparency

  35. Medical professionals across Barbados are currently analysing data from the latest COVID-19 statistics that will determine whether the country is currently in the throes of a third wave of the deadly virus.

    And while wunna at it find out the truthfulness of the source of the variants
    Don’t allow govt to form a narrative blaming the people for the outbreak solely

  36. Just a reminder a bus load of haywire visitors
    Half naked women bumping and grinding
    No mask being worn and their make counterparts without mask as cheerleaders
    Hard not to believe that that crowded bus could not have played a part in being the source of the hundreds of bajans now infected
    Given that employee contact could have taken the virus to any place including churches and home
    This is not the time to bury heads in the sand but to advocate for truthfulness and facts

  37. Oh btw a lot of people might be frustrated and irritated by my comments
    But that does not bother me
    Standing in gladiator territory is a good feeling
    Meanwhile being estatic that my opponents can not say a word of defense because King David put their mouths on lockdown
    Nevertheless I rally for the cause laughing out loud at my opponents

  38. I saw Auntie Mia paddling her own canoe in Barbados waters
    Nevertheless swimming against the political tide
    Great shot

  39. Ok where was I when I left a,minute ago
    There is another story which should be of concern
    One which the Child Care board should be having a hands on approach
    The story involves a fourteen year old girl whose name is more often than not in the media relating to her constant runaway episodes
    Speculation after speculation abounds as reason
    Many such speculations give hints of a child in dire need of help
    Leave that one there

  40. Other social media outlets are not giving up on voicing opinion on the Haywire event
    Neither will I
    Deal with that
    The only way to shut down boisterous opinions is to bring the whole truth
    People are beginning to draw a narrative that points govt decision to loosen portocols along the same track as the haywire event
    Don’t forget a picture is worth a thousand words
    No mask worn enough said

  41. Bajans Constitutional rights is about one step closer to being taking away
    Yet we see videos of tourist masquerading feteing and partying on a Haywire party bus and govt haven’t said a dam work
    Wuh happen to the word example that govt used as a bully club to knock local entertainers over the head a few weeks ago
    Are the tourist and fete organizers given different rules
    Wuh happen

  42. Blacks folks beware
    Govt goes against the WHO warnings on a grave concern about mixed doses of vaccines
    What did govt do u ask ?
    Well get this!! govt officials skins their bootsies in WHO face and tells WHO ” we don’t care ” we need the tourist dollar end of discussion
    They all are welcome to Barbados
    At first I thought it might be a fake story hoovering over and around social media platforms
    However when investigative reports came to my attention then I believed the story
    But tell me this
    Didn’t this govt always said to be firm and in agreement with WHO directives
    Wuh happen now
    I tell yuh

  43. Well with tourist becoming more sophisticated armed with faked travelling documents
    Questions to be asked
    Does govt have an efficient and we’ll planned and prepared started to detect false documents
    There is an ongoing war between antivacciers and WHO with both sides wanting to win
    As they saying goes the proof of the pudding is in the eating

  44. Questions that needs answers excerpts from Mia Herald column

    Now this country is on another effective pause, which has been blamed on the intrusion of the COVID-19 virus throughout the population. 40 cases one day, meant that action was taken. In the case of public health, we need to be made aware of why this change to protocols announced by the Minister of Health and Wellness did not make it into the Parliament for debate. These pronouncements have a familiar theme – blame locals.

    The virus had to be brought here. By air or by sea and the spread has coincided with the return of tourists in larger numbers to this island. We have to get serious and look at the ease of transmission of the disease, especially the Gamma and Delta variants. The manifestations were seen in the church and the business, but where did the virus originate? Some contact would have to have been made between carriers of the new variants and the infected and of course the spread took place.

    What is being done to address the latter? We only hear about the end of the chain of contact, but what about the origin of the chain?

    The media takes safety seriously. Using selfie sticks to attach recording devices or microphones all help but the primary concern of Editors, would be to keep workers safe. Making the most of limited time within controlled office spaces, had to be used to fashion protection from this disease.

    Using networking sites like Microsoft Teams, or Zoom for interviews, cell phones, home phones, emails, text messages had to become front and centre to keep the information flow going. As things improve, information flows, still need to be cognizant of the disease still being here.

    I noted a press release from the Prime Minister’s Office regarding a discussion with Chinese President Xi Jinping. I noted the reference to a potential loan related to the South Coast Sewage Plant. I have asked for months for information related to this project and have been met with silence for the most part.

    How is it that this country’s citizens have paid a tax on water bills monthly for three years and part of the monies collected were forthe South Coast and Bridgetown projects, yet precious little has been communicated on it? Why if Government is seeking a loan, is a tax still being collected monthly? What is the costing for this project since any loan request must have parameters, specs and timelines? We need information!

    The fight continues for information

  45. GP is a master of words. His ability to construct alliterations remains peerless. Could someone please interpret for me what Minister Cummins is trying to say.

    ““How do we integrate Barbados as a tourism destination, into an economy that becomes the flagship for the business of tourism? “We now have to treat to the opportunities for expanded growth for jobs, expanded growth for linkages into the wider economy, and then the development initiatives that would have to go along with that.” (SB)”


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