Submitted by Anthony Davis
Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy is hitting back at critics of the decision to build the multi-million dollar Hyatt hotel on Bay Street, the city. “In his contribution earlier this evening to the debate on the 2016 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals, Sealy defended the international hotel chain, which he said would enhance the island’s tourism product while generating employment. “I know the Member for the City (Jeffrey Bostic) doesn’t agree with that (opposition to the hotel); he is the biggest supporter of Hyatt and I am the second biggest supporter. I am all for jobs, I am all for tourism coming to the people of St. Michael – page 6 of Barbados TODAY dated 17 August, 2016
Dear Mr. Minister of Tourism, it is said that the last shall be the first, and the first shall be last. So, let me start with the last paragraph of your noise first.
I find it a puerile reason for wanting a hotel in St. Michael, just because there are hotels in the two parishes which you mentioned. It reminds me of a child who asks for something just because his parents have given his sister/brother something. Also, Mr. Minister, for your information, there are already three hotels in St. Michael, and all within walking distance of each other. They are: the Island Inn, the Radisson and the Hilton – which is a Government entity – and so you should at least know about that one. The Hilton is on Needham’s Point and I don’t think that that has moved. The Island Inn and Radisson are in Aquatic Gap.
Re your ” he (Jeffrey Bostic) is the biggest supporter of Hyatt, and I am the second biggest supporter” statement.
Mr. Bostic himself has declared that he is for Hyatt, but there’s a fundamental difference of your attitudes towards that project. You want it at all costs, whether it would be detrimental to the environment or the social fabric of this island, whereas Mr. Bostic is of the opinion that progress should not come at any and every cost. He stated that in his position on planting of that monstrosity on Browne’s Beach., he wants various things looked into first – including an environmental impact assessment, and a social impact assessment.
As far as I know, it is no longer good practice to build hotels on the beach, but on the land opposite the beach, which is being practised in the USA, and other tourism-oriented destinations. That is why I would like to know why Hyatt is coming here to plant a hotel on one of our favourite beaches, and one to which those tourists who return year after year go.
How do you start building if you have no planning permission?
How can such a 15-storey twin-tower colossus blend in with the Bethel Methodist Church, and the St. Paul’s Anglican and Catholic churches?
Would Hyatt be allowed to build a hotel on any beach in the USA now?
Why are we allowing a hotel conglomerate to build here, if all of the top personnel will be foreign?
That smacks of bigotry.
How can you allow that to happen, Mr. Minister?
Seeing that Barbados is a water-scarce island, and so many people are being already deprived of that commodity – although paying high water rates – from where will all of the water come?
What about the waste?
Will it have it’s own water source, and waste disposal?
It is a sad state of affairs when any government can railroad such plans for the benefit of a foreign entity.
UNESCO is very strict when it comes to the stipulations which it gives to those countries which have World Heritage sites. I fear that if the stipulations for maintaining Bridgetown and its Garrison as a World Heritage site are breached then it will revoke the World Heritage site designation of the above, and we will be left without an important tourist attraction!
Also, Barbados is one of the most expensive tourism destinations, and it will now be more expensive since the tax collector has added a new levy to his taxes which in effect brings the VAT to 20% when, as he hiked it to seventeen and a half per cent, he promised to return it to 15% within a year.
However, promises mean nothing to this Government.
WE, the populace of Barbados, DO NOT WANT THIS HOTEL, NOR ANY OTHER, ON BROWNE’S BEACH!
The beach belongs to the populace of this country – not to any government!