The Adrian Loveridge Column – Let Barbuda be the Model

Robert De Niro

For the vast majority of us we can only imagine the heartache, despair and hopelessness that many of our neighbouring islands are still enduring after the passing of Hurricane’s Irma and Maria. Purely, from a tourism perspective I was recently asked to participate on the Antigua based Observer Radio’s current affairs programme, Big Issues to discuss the devastation and rebuilding of Barbuda.

One of the panel participants was a gentleman named Everett Christian, who according to his current LinkedIn profile is a Project Manager, Revenue Reform at the Ministry of Finance, Economy and Public Administration with the Government of Antigua and Barbuda. Prior to this he was a Country manager at ABI Bank Ltd, Corporate Relation Manager at First Caribbean International Bank and holds an MBA in Management from the University of the West Indies.

What impressed me the most about his contribution was that we should see this as an opportunity to re-build, in this case Barbuda, in the most responsible and eco-friendly way possible. While he did not specify all aspects of this suggestion, my interpretation was to use solar energy, water conservation, like grey water systems, planting of sustainable vegetation, incorporating enduring building materials including hardwoods like Greenheart and architecturally ensuring rebuilt structures are more hurricane resistant.

Barbuda holds a very special place in our overall regional tourism offerings, and will never, thankfully, become a mass tourism destination, so it is absolutely critical to its economic survival that any regeneration is done properly.

Many talk about other sectors, but according to data, agriculture only accounts for around 2 per cent of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of Antigua and Barbuda and other sectors like online gaming and offshore banking have been under severe pressure for several years.

Recently Hollywood actor Robert De Niro and Australian billionaire James Packer (son of Kerry) announced they were willing to invest a quoted US$250 million into redeveloping the former and now abandoned K Club. With around five decades of history and association with Barbuda, Mr. De Niro clearly has a deep affection for the island and this would seem the basis of an economic marriage in heaven that could be negotiated.

And clearly he is willing and more than able to assist, according to a recent CNN Money videoed interview. While understanding there are land ownership issues for the entire population yet to be legally settled, it would be an imperative that widespread local involvement is a prerequisite, so that there is a common objective.

While it is easy to envisage a truly luxury five star resplendent 50-100 unit hotel with all the associated trappings, maybe there is also a unique opportunity for residents to own and manage five to ten full service boutique properties to compliment the ‘main’ accommodation choice.

Clearly any rebuilt and expanded tourism offerings will require staff and a myriad of supporting services. This could easily provide the bedrock for sustained economic recovery.

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17 Comments on “The Adrian Loveridge Column – Let Barbuda be the Model”

  1. Andrew Simpson October 9, 2017 at 9:07 AM #

    I’ve already suggested that Barbuda be incorporated. Citizens would own shares in a fairly designed cooperative that will enjoy new investment, mentorship and good governance.
    This is the chance to do the right thing, a model for other small island developing states.

    Like

  2. Wily Coyote October 9, 2017 at 9:52 AM #

    @Adrian

    Which planet you from ?

    This is the exact premier development thinking that is/has doomed Barbados. Barbuda has a small possibility to re-invent the island, that is if a realistic approach is taken. Proposals like yours would surley doom the island to Hatian status.

    Like

  3. Hants October 9, 2017 at 11:17 PM #

    Hurricane fallout
    Barbados losing as a result of Barbuda impact

    https://www.barbadostoday.bb/2017/10/09/hurricane-fallout/

    Like

  4. David October 9, 2017 at 11:53 PM #

    @Hants

    Not sure why this would be happening, the US BTMI office should have been communications blasting. For weeks now.

    Like

  5. Tron October 10, 2017 at 1:07 AM #

    They have De Niro, we have Don Maestro.

    Like

  6. Hants October 10, 2017 at 1:20 AM #

    @ David,

    Many times I have had to give Canadians a “geography” lesson. Some have asked me if Barbados is “part of Bahamas “.

    To be fair I bet the majority of North Americans did not know of Barbuda until it was destroyed this year.

    The BTMI has a lot of work to do.

    Like

  7. David October 10, 2017 at 4:53 AM #

    Comparing De Niro to Del Mastro is an asinine comparison. De Niro has a solid reputation and has been living visiting the island of Barbuda for many years.

    Like

  8. David October 10, 2017 at 4:55 AM #

    @hants

    The opportunity is there for the BTMI and government to design programs that leverage the power of Bajans in the Diaspora. Look at Jamaica and the Bahamas as examples of how they always promote the brand.

    Like

  9. Vincent Haynes October 10, 2017 at 8:01 AM #

    The answer is already here………….

    Grenada urges Barbados to follow its Airbnb formula | Barbados Today
    Grenada urges Barbados to follow its Airbnb formula
    Barbados is being urged to embrace homestay programmes instead of viewing them as rivals of the hotel sector. The advice comes from Chief Executive Officer of the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA)…
    barbadostoday.bb
    https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.barbadostoday.bb%2F2017%2F10%2F09%2Fgrenada-urges-barbados-to-follow-its-airbnb-formula%2F&h=ATOQMNmKFPJB1ahSbQ8PikV39IcHGfHcIFmhvN4xeQ7mqq7Dtpk7oPvMlqoTn0nPpnVvcOIueyuAavbFAN-FQuKwQqGRlKq0c1OiVEF79Rh6US84bdj9g1zurHPk3MnwF0jYdiYyh81iUVIwWQyNzUml2R8rjEm0tmpqxFpyQqCJ6wzreDo_ZwKoIRj0kguIXaeIQ401ncMjZ8rOmYQYEB-VTvh9Vd6Ejtxdq5ppXArP78l4HPVKU7LcGPp6ZIrkL8UoNcMtbztd18UdLXdN0pE3Q-yNLctH

    Like

  10. Hants October 10, 2017 at 9:02 AM #

    @ David,

    Bajans in Canada have been proudly “advertising ” Barbados over the years as a great place to vacation.

    The one thing the BTMI could do is increase TV and radio advertising. Doing an Advertising “blitz” for one week should be effective.

    Did you hear the MP in the video of the Canadian parliament refer to Barbados as The Barbados?

    We pay Ad Agencies millions so surely they can find a way to show that Barbados is NOT Barbuda, The Bahamas or ( THE Barbados ). lol

    BARBADOS!

    Like

  11. Hants October 10, 2017 at 9:06 AM #

    The video I referred to is in the Time to remove vat blog

    Like

  12. Chad99999 October 10, 2017 at 9:39 AM #

    If Sandals can afford to promote Barbados (and Jamaica, Grenada, Antigua, St.Lucia, and The Bahamas) on North American TV, why is the BTMI unable to do the same for this island?

    Like

  13. Chad99999 October 11, 2017 at 3:39 PM #

    Trinidad just sent a barge with mattresses and building materials, including 2,000 sheets of galvanize, to Dominica.

    Anybody using galvanize in Dominica for anything other than fencing, should be whipped senseless.

    Like

  14. David October 11, 2017 at 4:06 PM #

    @chad99999

    Galvanize? You sure? That is low respect!

    Like

  15. Hants October 11, 2017 at 4:33 PM #

    @ David,

    Some people in Dominica will need to use galvanize sheets to repair some roofs.

    Unfortunately there are some who will have to REPAIR until they can afford to rebuild.

    Like

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