The OBA, the media and the anonymous commenters on websites “spit upon Bermuda at every opportunity” which is hurting our competitiveness, Business and Tourism Minister Wayne Furbert said this evening [Aug 26].
The Minister said “its not just the anonymous commenters” that they are “worried about,” but also statements made by the OBA’s Bob Richards and Craig Cannonier.
“The OBA, their friends in the media and their army of anonymous commenters keep talking down Bermuda at every opportunity,” continued the Minister. “They don’t talk about the good things that are happening here. They don’t talk about the expanded social safety net that includes FutureCare and DayCare which are helping families during these tough economic times.”
The Minister said that he recently received an email identifying tourists who were considering visiting our island, but passed after reading the negative stories in the daily and in anonymous online comments. Bernews has asked both the PLP and the Tourism Ministry for a copy of the email referred to, and we will update once it has been provided.
Minister Furbert’s full statement follows below:
Today, Minister Wayne Furbert revealed that the constant attacks on Bermuda that you read in the newspaper, particularly coming from the opposition and anonymous online commenters are hurting Bermuda’s ability to attract tourists.
The Minister revealed that he recently received an email identifying tourists who were considering visiting our island. They passed after reading the negative stories in the daily and in anonymous online comments.
According to the Minister, the potential tourists said, “After some discussion and monitoring the newspaper from Bermuda we have decided to pass on vacating there next spring. The environment on the island seems to be negative.”
This doesn’t appear to be an isolated incident. When Minister Furbert posted this news on the facebook forum Bermuda Election 2012, Mr. Quency Phillips commented, “I’ve had numerous conversations with friends that have said the same thing to me as it relates to no longer wanting to visit the island.. I hope it changes soon.. for the record, I’m not Bermudian.”
Another commenter, Bermudian Linda Trott said that it also affects her business noting, “This is not good – and has been said many times before. I am in the recruiting business and time and time again, I am faced with convincing future employees for hard to fill positions NOT to read those blogs and negative comments attached to many stories. Some former expats and residents are also reconsidering Bermuda as a vacation destination because of the changes they see via they media outlets. They post about it sometimes before we hear it. Our only daily newspaper in my opinion does more harm to our community than it empowers us!”
In response to this troubling pattern, Minister Furbert noted, “I have read some of the most vile and disgusting comments made anonymously on online forums. I even read one comment that said that black Bermudians should, and I quote, “for those who blame white people for the situation they are in… don’t… you should blame YOUR ancestors, they were offered a chance to go back to Liberia..they didn’t go.” That is an unedited quote!”
“What do you think a visitor would think of our island if they read that or any of the other vile and anonymous comments posted? But, it’s not just the anonymous commenters that we’re worried about. Bob Richards telling the world how much better the Cayman Islands is than Bermuda is doing us no favours. Craig Cannonier preaching his gospel of doom and gloom doesn’t attract business or tourists to our shores.
“We live in a connected world – and, the world is listening. The OBA, their friends in the media and their army of anonymous commenters keep talking down Bermuda at every opportunity. They don’t talk about the good things that are happening here. They don’t talk about the expanded social safety net that includes FutureCare and DayCare which are helping families during these tough economic times.
They don’t talk about the EEZ and tax concessions for small businesses that are helping Bermudian owned businesses create Bermudian jobs. They don’t talk about the Incentives for Job Makers Act which is attracting and retaining international business in Bermuda. No. Instead, they are constantly negative.
“The OBA offers no ideas, no plans and no solutions. The OBA, the media and the anonymous commenters instead just spit upon Bermuda at every opportunity. It’s hurting our competitiveness. And, I, for one, have had enough. If they were serious about bringing this country together, they would be having a debate over ideas and vision – not just spewing constant negativity.
It’s time for the OBA to stop spitting upon Bermuda and tell us what they would really do so that we can have a debate over ideas. Bermudians deserve to know who is really standing strong for them during these tough economic times.”
Update: Aug 27 12.20pm: Yesterday we contacted both the PLP and the Tourism Ministry requesting a copy of the email the Minister said he received, however it has not been provided at this time.
We have repeated our request to both entities today and assured them we will not print the name of the person this email is said to be from, and will update as able.
Update Aug 29, 7.55am: We asked for a copy of this email multiple times for three consecutive days, however it has not been provided to us.
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Articles that link to this one:
- Kim Swan Responds To Minister Furbert’s Claims | Bernews.com | August 27, 2012
- OBA Responds: Furbert’s “Secret Troops” Allegation | Bernews.com | August 27, 2012
- Full Speech: Baldwin Spencer At BIU Banquet | Bernews.com | September 4, 2012