OBA: ‘Use Half-Baked Results For Political Gain’

November 4, 2012

[Updated] The early release of October air arrival figure last week by the Tourism Minister was nothing more than “an attempt to use half-baked results for political gain,” Shadow Minister for Tourism Shawn Crockwell said.

Earlier this week Tourism Minister Wayne Furbert said that of October 25, 2012 show that 17,472 passengers visited the island, up 5.3%.

A statement from the Tourism Ministry said that Minister Furbert believes that “we are seeing an increase because the Government National Tourism Plan is working and that the new ‘So Much More’ brand push was paying dividends.”

“The Minister however believes that when the remaining figures come in for October, they will show that the recent Hurricane Sandy will have had a negative impact on the final October numbers,” the Ministry said.

Mr Crockwell said: “The early release of October air arrival figure last week by the Tourism Minister is an example of everything that is wrong with the Government’s management of the tourism industry. The release was nothing more than an attempt to use half-baked results for political gain.

“The numbers themselves are meaningless for the tourism industry, which determines how it is performing on the basis of monthly, quarterly and annual results – not three-week, out-of-the-blue ‘preliminary’ results to put a gloss of progress on Government work.

“Questions have to asked:

  • Why would the Tourism Minister for the first time release a three-week preliminary report on October, when the practice is to release monthly reports?
  • Why release the October 1-25 results with the reservation that the 5.3% gain in air arrivals might not hold over the last six days of the month because of Hurricane Sandy?

Mr Crockwell continued: “The Minister says he believes the 5.3% gain is proof that his new “So Much More” marketing campaign is “paying dividends”. But where is the proof that bookings are due to the just-launched campaign?

“If the Minister is so intent on revealing how good things are, where are hotel occupancy-revenue figures? We understand that hotels are heavily discounting their room rates to drum up business – some as much as 50% according to a survey on Expedia. At 50% off, hotels would need to double their occupancy to approach their bottom line targets.

“Political leadership of a business-driven enterprise such as tourism is the wrong track for the industry and Bermuda, and the Minister’s manipulation of arrivals figures shows just how easily politics can take over and drive the system.

“The Minister’s release is an example of the Government putting its political needs ahead of the country’s needs, which in this case is best served by an honest, professional-based assessment of the industry’s performance, not a politically driven manipulation of statistics.

“The time is long past due for the creation of a Tourism Authority that puts professionals not politicians in charge of the industry. The OBA will make that happen,” concluded Mr Crockwell.

Update 6.18pm: A PLP statement issued in response said: “”The OBA is really grasping at straws now. Shawn Crockwell and the OBA want to take advantage of Hurricane Sandy – which caused the deaths of hundreds of people in addition to tourism cancellations – to make a political point. The OBA has sunk to a new low.

“Further, they also appear to be arguing that we should be less transparent and not get statistics out there in a timely fashion. We’re sorry that it doesn’t tell the doom and gloom story that they want you to believe about Bermuda. But, we believe that it’s important for Bermuda to know the truth – that progress is being made and that before the worst hurricane to hit the East Coast of the United States in decades, tourism was doing well.

“The fact of the matter is that the OBA has no ideas and no solutions related to tourism. The only thing we hear from them is to rename the “Tourism Board” the “Tourism Authority” and say that the Governor should select it’s members. That’s not a plan. That’s not a vision. That’s spin from a party desperate for power.”

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Comments (13)

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  1. Family Man says:

    Stop bringing facts into the discussion. It ruins the whole plp/biu fairy tail.

  2. terry says:

    Ewart is gonna do a lot of walking and slapping.

  3. Vote For Me Blah Blah Blah says:

    The reason the PLP are releasing figures now that favor them is because their supporters have short memory’s. “We had to deceive you” that’s what I remember. Their tricks are gonna come back to haunt them at the polls. I will not be voting for them this time.

    • THINK ABOUT IT says:

      PLP are like Codfish Breakfast with all Potato…no codfish!

      • @Think ABOUT IT,

        What would you call the OBA? The PLP does lack substance if you ask me, but I’m curious to know what your take is of the OBA.

        • Come Correct says:

          “If you want to test a mans integrity, give him power”

          Well they aren’t in power yet so I guess we’ll have to be patient and wait to see. We already know the plp fail that test, let’s see if the oba do too…then we’re really screwed, Jynx and andre curtis might actually have a chance then. Mad scientist for Premier! He doesn’t need a GP car, he rocks that pink pedal bike hard, and he’d probably create less debt smoking crack with the public purse.

          • @ Come Correct,

            I have to agree with what you are saying, as I am not happy with the current Gov we have. However to be truthful, I am not sold on the OBA either. I like some of the new faces the OBA have in the party (Young Bermudians), however I see the same old faces from the UBP. You may call me crazy or stuck in the past, but I have a gripe with the people of that party on a particular issue.

            My main gripe is the building of Cedar Bridge High School, and scrapping the old system. The new system was failing in Canada, so I’m curious to know how did they come to this decision of implementing it here. And I wonder if the people making these decisions actually had any of their own children in this new system. I mean, if you truly believe whatever you are putting forward is good enough for Bermuda as a whole, shouldn’t it be good enough for your own (curious to know if any of the UBP MP’s children were in public schools)? I know parents have a major role in their childrens behavior, so I am not putting all the blame on the UBP, but I honestly have to question their motives. I honestly feel Cedar Bridge was and is a failure of the Government, and has played a major role in creating an environment for this gang life to flourish at the high school & middle school level. If anyone has been paying attention, these are the same guys who were running the gang culture at cedar bridge 6 to 8 years ago.

            IF anyone reading has information on this topic, feel free to comment, because I have wondered about this for some time now.

  4. Mut Romknee says:

    What a joke how many spins do the PLP think we can take ,really folks the joke is so over now!

  5. Really?? says:

    Half baked sounds good…

  6. cool! says:

    can we get the auditing done for the unaccounted $8oomillion that has not been completed? zippadeedooda! zipadeeday! can we get that right away! seems like some things are possible to get down as lickety split quick as possible and other priority matters seem to lapse………….?

  7. Ringmaster says:

    The OBA didn’t use Sandy for political reasons – the Ministry of Tourism said that Sandy will have a negative impact on the October figures. So sad the PLP can’t even read what the official Government statement said.

    Since the PLP want to promote more transparency, let’s have all statistics, tourism arrivals; employment and unemployment; Government revenue and Expenditure released on a weekly basis, or at least monthly. Why pick and choose and only release the good numbers?

    • LOL (original TM*) says:

      So the PLP actually used Sandy to score political points does anyone else see their hypocrisy………and to think Dr. Brown used the term “morally bankrupt” while financially bankrupting the Bermudian people……… and they liked it maybe I need to get into politics………..


  8. Jim Bean says:

    PLP = UBP