Tag Archives: St.Lucia News

What Are We Doing Wrong in Tourism?

Adrian Loveridge - Owner of Peach & Quiet Hotel

Adrian Loveridge – Owner of Peach & Quiet Hotel

The bad news is that long stay visitor arrivals have declined in each and every single month over the last consecutive fourteen months. The good news is that in May, the fall was the lowest in that entire period with just 29 less arrivals than the corresponding month last year.

With the end of the only national marketing initiative, Barbados Island Inclusive, we are back again in this massive vacuum of marketing uncertainty. The non-tour operator dependent hotels will now be scrabbling around to see what, if any, additional funds they can spend on promoting their properties.

Up until the end of May, we were already 16,151 long stay visitors down, when compared with the same period in 2012, and that year was down by 31,421 over 2011. Some tourism policymakers are predicting that we (Barbados) will end the year ‘flat’ and hopefully that will be proven right. But sadly, the odds are overwhelming against it. Arrivals would have to average almost 50,000 people each month for the rest of 2013. Especially when you think we have not reached above this target in four out of five months this year, and those included our peak winter months.

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BORROWING to Pay Paul

Prime Minister of St. Lucia Kenny Anthony

Prime Minister of St. Lucia Kenny Anthony

A couple couple news items today has given the BU household reason for pause. President of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) stated that his union will hold the government to its promise not to engage in privatization that will result in public workers going home. One wonders how any government can guarantee anything in a global market which is challenging for service-based economies. Again, one wonders how the NUPW can be so simplistic in their expectations, we shall see. BU’s disclosure is that we wish no public servant to be sent home to suffer the same fate of thousands in the private sector.

The second news item was that the government of St. Lucia has agreed to pay a 4% wage hike to public servants instead of 6% which dropped from 16%. The punch line came from Prime Minister Kenny Anthony when he explained, “As I have explained before, the returns from VAT are below expectations and will not cover the increase in expenditure. We have no option but to borrow this money”.

What are missing here? At a time governments are borrowing monthly to pay wages yet our governments agree to wage increases and guarantee public sector jobs? Is this an ironclad promise that government will protect public workers until NIS funds run dry. If these economies do not improve what are the options?

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EMERA WATCH: Pay Up Or Power Down

Photo Credit: Miles Howe

Nova Scotia Power tacks seemingly arbitrary “security deposit” charge to customers’ billsWatch your meter closely, or you might be in for a surprise by Miles Howe

Having trouble paying your power bill? Be careful: don’t fall too far behind on the wrong day, or you might just find a pricey surprise in the mail. Nova Scotia Power (NSPI), the Emera-owned monopoly power provider to almost all of Nova Scotia’s 921,000 citizens, has at its discretion the ability to add a lump sum equal to up to three months’ service, known as a “security deposit”, to its customers’ power bills.

The decision to add a “security deposit” to a ratepayer’s bill is measured on a vague series of guidelines, which no one at NSPI appears able to explain fully. What is clear, however, is that a customer with errant bill payments has a good chance of being slapped with an added charge worth up to three months of average power consumption.

Receiving these startling bills in the mail has roused some Nova Scotians to take action against NSPI, with mixed results. The following two individuals received added “security deposit” charges on their power bills, and chose to fight back. The reaction of the power provider differed greatly between the two cases.

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On The Ides Of March – BPWCCUL Has 14 Days To Respond!

Terrol Inniss, President of BPWCCUL

The last blog posted regarding BPWCCUL has resulted in the wrongful dismissal of several workers including a very hard-working and honest Finance Manager, the continued harassment of an equally honest and sincere Internal Auditor and a professional and competent IT Manager. It has also triggered the running of two Directors who I’m glad to see the back of and the resignation of the Chairman of the Supervisory Committee. We only hope the Financial Services Commission is taking note.

As a pre-cursor to the Annual General Meeting it is essential to fully ventilate the issues and therefore we shall be posting on a regular basis to try to make sure that what has happened at CLICO does not happen here. In this situation more than fifty-thousand Barbadians would be affected.

This first post is a friendly game of 20 questions but if the Board is not forthright with members then it will be escalated with severely damaging information. Nothing short of the stepping down of the BPWCCUL President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Director Marilyn Mapp, Director Keiva Cadogan, the CEO, CAPITA’s Chairman, Deputy Chairman and CEO will avert this course of action.

These issues have not been raised officially with the Supervisory Committee because that has proven to be 100% ineffective and impotent. Remember, money talks and once Supervisory Committee members are offered trips to attend meetings across the Globe, they forget their duty and chase after a Board position.

So the 20 questions:

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WikiLeaks: No Difference In DLP Or BLP, Dr Ralph Gonzalez Refers To Chastanet As A Castries Mulatto…

¶4. (C) On the subject of Barbados’ newly elected government, Gonsalves stated that he did not expect any significant differences in the ruling Democratic Labour Party’s policies, as both major political parties in Barbados are “steeped in social democracy and committed to regional integration.”

Echoing Grenada PM Keith Mitchell’s comments in the press, Gonsalves dismissed the notion of “winds of change” sweeping through the Caribbean with the recent change of governments in Jamaica, St. Lucia, Bahamas, and Barbados.  According to Gonsalves, Barbados’ two main parties are so similar that “differences will have to be manufactured to keep the party faithful happy.”

¶10. (C) When asked about recent claims in the Eastern Caribbean that the sole regional air carrier, LIAT, was inefficient and guilty of price-gouging, Gonsalves replied that (St. Lucia’s Minister of Tourism) “Chastanet talks a lot of rubbish when it comes to regional air transport.”  Noting the lack of air transport regulation in the Eastern Caribbean, and  in regards to governmental efforts to increase competition in the region, Gonsalves stated, “we’ve been down that road before”, citing the failures of Carib Express, BWIA, and Caribbean Star, among others.  Gonsalves said he was “not against competition” but wants “fair competition.”

¶11. (C) He further criticized St. Lucia’s Alan Chastanet as among “a species of brown people in the Caribbean with money” who are “not loyal to anybody”.  Gonsalves continued by noting that such people, whom he described as “Castries mulattos”, believe they are “oracles” and represent a “break in the social advancement in the Eastern Caribbean.”

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