Join Hands Barbados – Connecting the …

Some on the blog remind us ad nauseam the influence global events have on Barbados. Such a global perspective will fail to resonate with people locked to promoting narrow agendas. It is human nature to retreat to a comfort level thinking, a high level of self awareness is required to be situationally aware at all times as it relates to making the correct decisions in thought, word and deed to realize the best outcomes. Unfortunately external factors often conspire to muddle what is theoretically a good thought process.

With the dismantling of national boundaries made possible with the ease of travel, Internet, tourism and other ‘channels’ that permit DNS like attacks on local culture- the burning question is how are small developing states like Barbados with open economies able to execute countermeasures for the good of country.

Dismantling racist tendencies in the world – join the debate if classism more accurately describes Barbados’ challenge – can be dispassionately viewed against the rise of the #blacklivesmatter movement, #windrush revelations, and of recent the #azeemrafiq affair. The world continues to treat with racism and prejudices, it is endemic in all societies. The struggle is real and must continue until humankind ceases to exist…

Barbados is a country overly dependent on tourism and its nexus international business. There was a time the Caribbean was an easy sell to markets across the pond because of our virgin like appeal and other attributes. Today there is fierce competition from non traditional players who promote offers that titillate imaginations of travellers in ways one dimensional Caribbean destinations cannot now compete. A story about the collapse of tourism costing five Asian nations 1.6 million jobs in the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei and Mongolia due to the pandemic emphasizes what we, including policymakers should know. In order to sustain a quality of life for our children, to rely on a fickle tourism product is analogous to building on sand, although possible, fraught with high risk.

What is a lowly blogmaster living on a 2×3 rock saying? It may be too late but our survival depends on Barbadians coming together with the common aim that positions the interest of BARBADOS front and centre. Down with the divisiveness that continues to have a deleterious effect on our society. There is a reason education receives a large junk of the national budget.

143 thoughts on “Join Hands Barbados – Connecting the …

  1. @ Northern

    Yes his timing was unfortunate as was the case with other developers who were caught in the crash.

    What happened after the crash too changed everything, as easy money for investment properties became hard to get. The infamous scam of home equity loans where some bought a house today for say $200,000 and could go in the same bank and borrow $50,000 because the property had magically gone up by that in a week, also came to an end.

    I honestly doubt in our life time we will live to see money that easy to borrow again. Plus the guys with big money lost millions in value over that 8 month period.

    If Cow had broken ground 10 years earlier he would of sold that development off before the crash, but none of us have a crystal ball for sure. In the end I believe the NIS will see a decent return on their money on that investment, based on what is already happening up there over the last few months.

  2. @ David

    Speaking of proposed developments which were to be our salvation when is The Hyatt and Four Seasons starting again?

  3. @JohnA
    fyi…what you speak of happens today in my backyard. And everything if fuelled by debt, the ongoing historically low borrowing rates in a market where demand consistently exceeds supply.
    A sidebar. Just before Thanksgiving, Canada not the US, which is earlier, I found an old amortization booklet circa 1985. As a joke I showed it at TG to my children and their partners. The mere fact there was a book, they have never known anything but an online program or app, amazed them. But the real amazement came when they clued into the fact rates BEGAN at 6%!!! They have never seen 6%!!! That they went from 6% to 18% was crazy.
    Anyway, this past week, one of them asked me to “look at a house” with them. The house sold in March 2021 for $1.3M. The prior sale had been Sept 2013 for $525K!!! Whether to flip or improve, the buyers in 2021 had been ripping out walls, a bathroom etc. Now for unstated reasons, it was ‘back on the market’ and at $999,999 which means nothing, as the intent is to produce a bidding battle, politely called “blind bidding”. My daughter reasoned it must be worth less than March 2021, because it now needed work to restore it to its previous “liveable, but dated” interior. In 5 days on the market it sold for $1.41.
    The sellers, given transaction costs and taxes, didn’t make money, but neither did they lose much.
    The house at the time of the most recent sale had THREE mortgages. The third of $120,000, acquired in May 2021, placed the selling owners equity at less than 6% of the March 2021 purchase price.

  4. JohnA
    isn’t the Four Seasonings (©Hants) property for sale? Reportedly after the Clearwater Bay debacle, the ownership of the property is what the taxpayer is left with. It cost them $124M.
    Hyatt is just a rumour. Not to worry, somewhat confident the Rams haven’t been paid yet.
    Is Sam Lords finished yet?
    The harlequin site?
    The old Ocean View and neighbouring site? (Caribbee?)
    Nuff opportunities, just need the peeples to stay in them.

  5. I forgot there is also Blue Horizon and the other Gems properties. Are they operational?
    Former BU contributor AL reportedly sold his hotel site after several years. Is that up and running again?
    Sorry due to Covid haven’t travelled much to do my own DD.

  6. @ Northern

    The sad reality of the real estate market here is different. The market fell on average 35% after 2008 and has basically remained under 2008 levels even as we speak. They are also a wash of unsold condos, the exact number I don’t have to hand but they were published in Red Book recently.

    Truth is we were basically overpriced to start with as i would show from one example. Compare the price of a unit with a pier her at Port St Charles to a similar unit at Jolly Beach in Antigua and see the difference. Plus from Antigua you have many islands close by, where as here St Vincent is the closest one.

    My point is we now are facing major competition in the islands at a considerable price difference as well.

  7. @ David

    Some do but let me tell you guys like Sir Keith Richards and others are in Antigua. Plus the level of money that flows in there for Antigua Sailing Week we will never see in a Mount Gay Regatta. Yes we got some with money still coming here and pushing down 3 houses in Sandy Lane to build one, but one swallow does not a song bird make.

    Also all of our island competitors have improved on the ease of doing business scale but us. Money does not like hold ups and incompetence. You ain’t see the courier companies cant even get goods cleared from customs! You think people play to send items by courier so they can wait long for them?

    We have a dam long way to go and quickly if we want to remain relevant.

  8. Unable to add to the post, but have one small comment..

    @John A
    What are you trying to do.
    Postpone delivery of your message until the start of the New year. This is the festive season and no time for a reality check.

  9. @ John A

    What you’ve mentioned about “our island competitors” isn’t anything new. While we ‘rested on our laurels,’ perhaps believing tourists had some special obligation to visit our shores, the other Caribbean islands were gradually and systematically making improvements to their ‘tourism products.’

    Politicians and their tourism advisors seem to believe ‘building a corridor of hotels’ is developing the tourism industry.
    In other words, building more ‘brand name hotels’ = more high class visitors, while ignoring the fact there isn’t really anything else to do or places of interest to visit in the island, other than sit in the sun on the sandy beaches.
    So, over the years, we’ve essentially not really moved beyond ‘the old clichés’ of, ‘Barbados, island in the sun, Barbados, land of the sun and the sun, or Barbados, sun, sea and sand.’

    And, that’s probably one of the reasons why many hotel and beach-bar owners are ‘stealthily seeking’ to privatize the beaches.

    I’m sure you’ve heard about St. Barthélemy (St. Barths, St. Barts). But, have you ever paid any attention to that island’s tourism product and the type of tourist it caters to?

    Barbados is an expensive destination, so too is St. Barts. Although both destinations share a few similarities, such as sun and white sandy beaches, high-end accommodations, celebrities visiting at year-end to ‘ring out the old and ring in the new,’ several significant differences exist between them as well.

    St. Barts also has historical attractions, many high-end restaurants, designer stores, charter yachts and more luxury accommodations.
    The island is often referred to as ‘the go-to place for billionaires who want to party’ and therefore caters to an upscale clientele that can afford to charter a super-yacht for up to US$650,000 per week.

    Tourists could also take one of the ferries or charter boats for a day trip to Anguilla, St. Maarten or St. Martin.

    The reality is, our tourism authorities have been marketing Barbados as the destination of choice for rich and influential people……but, without providing a product similar to what St. Barthélemy provides.

  10. @ Artax

    Yes you are so correct on St Barts. I did go there about 4 years ago for only 1 night to see a client and I was really impressed then at their offering. I only had about 1 day to look around and take a drive, but I would best describe there as attracting the lay back wealthy. Extremely casual caribbean setting and wealth all around you. The hotel rates made ours look cheap too and that was in September if I recall.

    The one thing in St Barts though that gave me palpitations was landing at their down hill runway! Lol

  11. Well perhaps if we had not arrested Mick Jagger’s girlfriend for marijuana or if we still played good cricket, Mick would be still be splurging in Barbados.

    Barbados does need an upgrade.

    I noticed somebody is still taking unnecessary side swipes, suggesting that we don’t want reasonable analysis of anything in Barbados.


    Now see, that there is the problem I have with you.

    I am lying on my couch watching the most negative thing I have encountered today, the painfully racist closing arguments in the trial of the three men who chased an unarmed black man through the streets up your side, put their gun in his chest and blew three big holes in it.

    And we all await the verdict on the edge of our seats, unsure that black American lives matter, even with video, we still wait to see if the slave patrol laws are still valid.

    Worry bout dat!

  12. Artax
    You said it well. Others have improved. All in search of the elusive upscale tourist dollar. And comparatively, Barbados flat lined. Things like airports, communication and other infrastructure, minimal crime, better health care etc etc it always had a historical advantage over many of the smaller destinations.
    Donna mentions Jagger, but his place was in Mustique, he just passed through. Like Hillfiger and the Queen’s late sister.
    And we shunned the ‘two T-Shirt tourist’,(TTT) those who didn’t have the big spend. Yet, these make up the bulk of travellers. The ones who flock annually to Cuba, the DR and Mexico. And the TTT tourist today, may not be tomorrow? Yet you cannot break the emotional bonds they have to some area in Mexico where they have memories. And connections.
    It is the luck of the draw who makes it big from the mass of TTT’s, but as the late Mr.Lewis reminded us weekly on TV as a boy, if you don’t have a ticket, you don’t have a chance. Barbados appeals to the ‘old money’, it is the new money they have stiff competition attracting.

  13. “I noticed somebody is still taking unnecessary side swipes, suggesting that we don’t want reasonable analysis of anything in Barbados.”

    Out of curiosity, is there another side swiper. I don’t think I made any…

  14. I’m much into that sorta thing. But I do know that the who’s who of entertainment used to pass through and often return. Don’t know who bought property. Not sure that is what we want either.

    Look, there has got to be a better way to do this!

    At sixteen my son was making US dollars online. Not enough for a grown man but it’s getting better.

    See… he always thought outside of the box. I never could picture him in one and never tried to force him into the traditional.

    Every report came in with the comment from the teacher, “He needs to focus.” He was always looking out of the window.

    So, I asked him, “When you are looking out of the window, what are you thinking?”


    Not true. He was thinking of plenty and counting down to graduation. Thought he was wasting time. Boy had plans and was already working on them.

    A good thing I set his father straight who wanted a doctor for his collection. Setting my baby up for failure! Hell no!

    We need to redesign our educational system and unleash and embrace all of our children’s talents. I do not want to hear how costly it will be! How costly will it be to NOT redesign it? I suggest that the non design will be costlier than the redesign. And what sense is it to throw good money after bad as we do now?

    That is the key to our future prosperity. Not selling our land to Richards and Jagger as much as they are my favourite old men.

  15. @Hants
    that is the place of the fella who owned JCB equipment I think…..Bamford.
    And you trace back to much of Bim the horseracing connections, cause Bamford is also part of that ‘horsey’ set. Ronald Tree-Sangster-Magnier-Smith-Stewart-Arbib and on and on.

  16. @Donna
    eddyukation is always a good start. Particularly to understand diversity, not just as it applies to black vs white or male vs female or straight vs lgbtq, but to understand all those areas in which a young mind can be educated, and not slot them into some predetermined package which is targeted early at specific careers that some 60 year old thinks is the way to go.

  17. NO

    Sixty year olds are usually living in a world that is on the way out.

    It was my son’s schoolmates who set him on this path.

  18. Hi Mia
    This is how good governance is executed to help.the people

    Gov. Ron DeSantis visited Florida’s largest gas station on Monday morning to announce a proposal to temporarily waive the state’s gasoline tax next year to offset soaring fuel pump prices.

    The waiver, pending approval by the state Legislature during the annual session that begins Jan. 11, could take effect in early 2022.

    “What we’re going to be proposing in the next legislative session is over a billion dollars in gas tax relief for Florida families,” said DeSantis at a press conference held at the massive 104-pump Buc-ee’s gas station in Daytona Beach. “We’re taking over 25 cents from Florida and we’ll basically zero that out as long as we can.”

  19. “Hi Mia
    This is how good governance is executed to help.the people”
    Howling with laughter.
    You are now promoting a Ron “lil trump” Desantis policy?
    So MAM cuts back revenue and then borrows to replace it, and then you are yelling about the level of borrowing and debt.
    (whisper) fla gubernatorial elecs are Nov 8 2022, a year out. MAM still has a few months, 2023 is further away!!!
    btw…do all the poor and needy Bajans own and drive cars?

  20. Northern observer November.23 2021

    Howling with laughter.
    You are now promoting a Ron “lil trump” Desantis policy?
    So MAM cuts back revenue and then borrows to replace it, and then you are yelling about the level of borrowing and debt.
    (whisper) fla gubernatorial elecs are Nov 8 2022, a year out. MAM still has a few months, 2023 is further away!!!
    btw…do all the poor and needy Bajans own and drive cars?
    I am also howling with laughter at your piss poor attempt to defend Mia piss poor policies against DeSantis well executed policy to help the people
    A policy which serves purpose of putting money in the people’s pocket
    Money which in turn would be spent in other areas of the economy
    A trump supporter or not DeSantis understands that an economic policy designed to help the people in long run is a encompass a win for him at the polls
    Meanwhile Barbados have a PM using taxpayers money to buy Chinese houses which places money in the Chinese economy
    Pray tell how such an execution of taxpayers money is an initiative to help the millions of barbadians whose livelihoods encounters rising food and gas prices
    For what it is worth every Floridian that owns a car are not wealthy but understand the necessity of having a vehicle which can.take.them from point A to B in a faster period of timrv
    The same can be said of barbadians who have to endure long hours waiting for a bus and a less efficient transport system
    Btw public transportation was free during COVID for Floridians
    So far DeSantis has executed policies which have been favourable to the people of Fla
    Can’t say the same for Mia whose policies to (favour )where mostly for the rich in debt forgiveness to the treasury

  21. “A policy which serves purpose of putting money in the people’s pocket”
    explain how a person who does not own and operate a vehicle which consumes such products as covered by the tax reduction, benefit?
    Do you think the trucking firms will immediately lower their charges, and the consumers of these, those using their transport services will immediately pass these savings onto their customers, SOME of whom, may not own and operate their own vehicle. Do you expect to see delivery operations drop their fees? Or both the publicly or privately owned personal transport entities reduce their fares?
    Is this trickle down economics you are promoting?
    You really need to learn to decipher between a ploy to earn voter support and one which actually benefits whom you think it does. And since Thanksgiving is the largest gathering in your adopted home, what better a time to announce such ‘forthcoming’ benefits?
    and did I see you promoting something Pompeo said?
    I feel you couldn’t support Trump for fear of the backlash, but actually agree with Republican policies. Albeit, when you dig down, the personalities aside, they can be very similar to the Democrats. Or vise versa.

  22. NorthernObserverNovember 23, 2021 5:16 PM

    “A policy which serves purpose of putting money in the people’s pocket”
    explain how a person who does not own and operate a vehicle which consumes such products as covered by the tax reduction, benefit

    The person who does not own a vehicle usually a car
    Takes public transportation at a limited cost
    Most who are elderly and as previously stated many riders have benefitted already from a policy of free rides whicj meant putting money in their pockets while those who.owned vehicles had to pay at high gas price
    Now DeSantis has raised the bar where the owner of the vehicle benefits
    No sense in you trying to use a little stick to knock down a big tree
    Yuh too short to reach the top of the tree anyway
    Do a few cartwheels spin around and try again

  23. You have explained nothing, other than how a previous policy of negating public transport charges were a benefit.
    And how the pending fuel tax annulment will benefit (assuming the retailers reduce their prices accordingly) the vehicle owner.
    How many do you see being lifted from their poverty and struggle?
    And given your new found understanding of debt and borrowing, how are you thinking the State of Florida is planning to cover the lost revenue? Increased productivity? More visitors? More debt?
    Are you telling us come the gubernatorial elections in Nov 2022, you will be supporting the Jacksonville Juggernaut Ronny D, and not his opponent, whose based on early predictions, may indeed be another long time Rep party member, this time posing under the Democratic banner.
    Whatever happened to the Gainesville Messiah of mayor fame in the state Capital who came, oh so close to beating Ronny D last time around.

  24. @Hants
    You are correct. I was incorrect. Greensleeves a.k.a the TetraPack house is owned by the family who founded that product, while the Ronald tree house heron bay (he also built the original Sandy lane) is the Bamford property. Greensleeves is at the southern tip of Gibbs bay, while the northern end is dominated by the Arbib Estate where multiple beachside properties were converted to one.
    The film is slipping with age…lol

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