Case of Implementation Deficit in the Tourism Sector

Adrian Loveridge - Owner of Peach & Quiet Hotel

Adrian Loveridge – Owner of Peach & Quiet Hotel

I make no apologies of staying with the subject of implementation, or rather the lack of it this week, because I feel it remains the single biggest impediment to returning our tourism industry to viability and restoring previous levels of long stay visitor arrivals.

What prompted these latest thoughts was scanning through various media coverage quoting several named Government officials and politicians, stating that by the end of the year, Grantley Adams International Airport would receive Category One status. The trouble being that the press articles referred to were printed in 2007. Here we are six years later, with the same proclamations being made in the same publications.

Of course, it’s not just the aviation issue, but the much vaunted Tourism Master Plan, the restructuring or the Barbados Tourism Authority, an all-embracing Hotel Refurbishment Fund and so on and on. According to the organisation charged with the responsibility of making the new St. Vincent and the Grenadines airport a reality, the International Airport Development Company (IADC) state on their website, that ‘the new Argyle Airport is expected to come operational in 2014’. Just months away from opening and I wonder what impact , especially financially, it will have on any plans there may be for our own airport (GAIA Inc.). Already GAIA Inc., has been negatively affected by reduced passenger arrivals and the use of smaller aircraft into Barbados, resulting in diminishing revenue generation. Not only directly, but for it’s tenants, concessions and service providers.

Direct flights into Argyle, a reduction of double-drop flights to our neighbours and a dramatic fall in available airline seats to Barbados will further add to the woes. By now, I am sure those responsible for tourism in SVG have gone into hyperdrive to see which airlines can be enticed to use the new airport. This will be partially determined by the category afforded to Argyle, but SVG’s membership of the Organisation of Caribbean States (OECS) appears to make this just a formality. If, after inspection and certification, Category One status is granted, then this could well open up new gateways into the United States.

My thoughts too, are that SVG will reach out to co-operate in the fullest extent with some of it’s neighbours, especially, St. Lucia, to see how they can smart partner to jointly build new routes and markets. The final cost of the construction of the new airport is still being debated, but an amount of US$240 million has been mentioned frequently.  This is according to an excellent article that appeared recently in the Baltimore Post,

The SVG Government is offering significant tax concessions and other benefits for investors to develop a number of sites throughout the thirty two Grenadines chain. These include Mount Wynne (a 400-acre site for a hotel and 18 hole golf course), Young Island (13-acre site for a 30 room boutique hotel), Saint Hilaire (45-acres) and Park Estate (600-acres) both on Bequia, Isle a Quarte (376-acres), Balliceaux (320-acres), Chatham Bay near Union Island (99-acres) and Frigate Island (16-acres).

Even in a recessionary period, greatly improved air access will heighten interest in any of these new developments and those in progress like Canouan, which includes a 150 berth yacht marina, reportedly costing US$150 million alone.  How much longer can we go on watching the world, or in this case our regional competitors pass us by?

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77 Comments on “Case of Implementation Deficit in the Tourism Sector”

  1. The People's Democratic Congress August 18, 2013 at 1:29 PM #

    David,

    You would realize that when you said that ‘it is a civil service that was not designed to process quickly accentuated by a political directorate who are spineless.’, that the negative implicitly referenced in your argument makes it a tad weak since the same negative ( not designed ) is NOT the CAUSE of this implementation deficit disorder.

    There has to a series of casual positive relationships between the variables, to have caused this disorder.

    And given that this issue of an implementation deficit disorder has never until relatively recently in Barbados been a serious issue in the public domain ( and if at such times in the past there were any other names by which such non-actions could possibly have been subsumed under hitherto we are still sure they would still have had the same meaning), it is eminently reasonable to conclude that the bigger the government sector has over time become or has sought to become in the whole lives of the people in the various social commercial and other sectors of the country, the more the expectations of many members of the general public that those decisions that would have been made by government officials and that would have been helping to make government bigger would have been implemented by certain times and especially when certain time frames for the commencement of the implementation of those decisions would have been given by public sector officials.

    Well, the more these decisions are not implemented, the greater the disappointments frustrations infuriations by those who might otherwise have been the beneficiaries of those decisions – which may very well be associated with present day claims from some persons in Barbados, that the government is suffering from a serious bout of implementation deficit disorder.

    Just look though at the Cabinet system of government in Barbados – with there being elements of collective democracy involved at times, and where there are several ministers and their respective ministry officials that have to be involved in the making of one decision or a set of decisions and the other internal customers that must be involved in the execution of that decision those decisions. Just look at the great moderate amount of time that may be consumed in between the announcement of those decisions and the bringing of such people – the relevant private sector public sector people, if so, together, for such decisions to be made and implemented.

    So, David, the question is not one of the designs of the type of government sector the country has had (for those designs do not make the decisions or series of decisions) but is one of such of the nature of it (the different people of government sector, with similar or different motivations rationalizations, with similar consensuses or dissensuses ) or parts of it, that when these decisions are made however whenever , the amount of time ( which in this case is autonomous of any kind of structural designs – but still in this case is a product of functional behaviour) and that itself passes, for whatever reasons, before implementation is done, and the factors that help give rise to such a deficit.

    And what about the law of marginal diminishing returns as it applies to government and such decisional policy making implementation processes themselves??

    PDC

    Like

  2. David August 18, 2013 at 1:59 PM #

    @PDC

    Implementation deficit disorder has always been a problem. Why is appears to be an issue in the current environment is that we have breached our capacity to accommodate wastage/leakage.

    Like

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