Barbados Authority Gambles on Sandals Lifeline

Adrian Loveridge - Hotelier

Adrian Loveridge – Hotelier

It is now more than two months since the former Casuarina Beach Resort was re-branded as Sandals Barbados and Government granted the company unprecedented extraordinary concessions, creating probably the single largest unlevel playing field the private sector tourism industry has encountered in its long history.

Timing sometimes can be everything and following nearly two years of long stay visitor decline, the anticipated revenue generated through the critical two week Christmas and New Year period, perhaps has never been so pivotal to the survival of the industry, as we enter 2014.

On reflection it appears to me that there has been a degree of gambling behind the recent decisions made. Few can doubt that the Stewart family has built an enviable hotel empire with all the trappings of success, including a private executive jet, with a replacement value of over US$20 million. Yet it must have been a huge calculated risk to acquire a property that clearly was not up to the standards of other Sandals hotels and so close to Christmas.

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