Ministry Confirms Tourism Authority To Take Over

August 28, 2013

Government today [Aug 28] indicated that the Bermuda Department of Tourism [BDOT] will be dissolved, staff will have to reapply for positions, and the Tourism Authority will come into effect which will “operate as a private sector entity.”

Tourism Minister Shawn Crockwell said he met with the BDOT staff, and said all the employees will have the opportunity to apply for Authority positions.

Minister Crockwell said: “This Government promised that we would not make any civil servants redundant and we have kept that promise as all BDOT staff that are unsuccessful in securing a position with the new Authority will be offered alternative employment within Government.

The Ministry said that Tourism Authority legislation will be tabled in mid-September, and BDOT staff will continue with their current responsibilities until those activities are transitioned to the Authority.

Minister Crockwell said the Authority will “operate as a private sector entity and will define new positions and the compensation and benefits structure.”

The implementation of a Tourism Authority was a campaign promise made in the 2012 General Election by the One Bermuda Alliance.

In January 2013, local hotelier and former UBP MP David Dodwell was appointed Chairman Designate of the Tourism Authority, with Minister Crockwell saying they set timeline of six months to have the new Authority up and running.

Earlier today Shadow Minister of Tourism Wayne Furbert said that the talk of “imminent job cuts within the Ministry of Tourism are disturbing, especially in light of the OBA’s repeated promise not to cut civil servant jobs.”

“The Tourism Department is comprised of talented, capable Bermudians who, with the few tools they have, are fighting to bring back the glory days of tourism. Now, the halls of tourism ring with whispers of OBA deceit, OBA broken promises and OBA lack of compassion towards Bermudians,” said Mr Furbert.

The full statement from the Ministry of Tourism follows below:

The Hon. Shawn Crockwell J.P., M.P., Minister of Tourism Development and Transport has met with the Bermuda Department of Tourism (BDOT) staff to inform them about critical steps towards creation of the Tourism Authority.

During a meeting yesterday with locally based BDOT staff and New York staff today, with Bermuda Public Services Union representatives present for both meetings, Minister Crockwell advised that no staff will be made redundant.

All BDOT employees will have the opportunity to apply for Authority positions. Should employees not be hired by the Authority, employment opportunities will be made available within Government ministries and departments.

Minister Crockwell said: “This Government promised that we would not make any civil servants redundant and we have kept that promise as all BDOT staff that are unsuccessful in securing a position with the new Authority will be offered alternative employment within Government. My Permanent Secretary will continue to meet with BDOT staff on a regular basis and keep them apprised of progress as we transition to the Authority and work to revitalize our tourism industry.”

Minister Crockwell added: “The rumours circulating in the media today alleging that 40 jobs will be axed is totally false and malicious.”

Tourism Authority legislation will be tabled in mid-September when the Legislature resumes, with passage of the Act also expected in September. BDOT staff are to continue with their current responsibilities until those activities are transitioned to the Authority. The transition will begin once the Act is passed and the transition is anticipated to be completed by the end of March, 2014.

During the meeting with BDOT staff Minister Crockwell explained that the Authority will take over responsibilities for tourism except for licenses and related activities. The Authority will operate as a private sector entity and will define new positions and the compensation and benefits structure.

Minister Crockwell said: “This Government’s election platform promised to remove the day to day running of Tourism away from the political realm and transition to an Authority. We are close to fulfilling this promise. The transition from BDOT to the Authority is a mammoth task that involves a multitude of items, issues and tasks that must be identified, addressed and resolved. We have already compiled a list of more than 100 tasks and are working to resolve these and other staff issues and concerns as a priority. The details of the transition are very complex and a Project Management Office will be formed to manage those details.”

The Authority will employ a Chief Executive Officer that will be accountable for the operation and administration of the Authority and report to the Board of Directors. For the interim period that will conclude once the CEO is in place, an Executive Steering Committee (ESC) has been formed that essentially will be the office of the CEO. Tourism Board Chairman and Tourism Authority Chairman designate Mr. David Dodwell will be Chairman of the ESC.

The ESC role is to

  • Provide overall governance and guidance to the transition process.
  • Approve the organizational design and cost model.
  • Ensure alignment with the strategy and rationale with the Tourism Master Plan.



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Comments (64)

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  1. Gusto says:

    So there will be NO job cuts…just job transfers.

    • Portia says:

      Right – because those jobs in marketing, sales and tourism business development are easily transferable to existing Government positions.

      “The Authority will operate as a private sector entity and will define new positions and the compensation and benefits structure.”

      They have no obligation to take on these workers. The legislation hasn’t even been tabled, so under what authority is he doing this?

      We should make Crockwell’s position redundant too – why have a Minister of Tourism if Government is now privatizing it?

      • Terry says:

        You must be Chris Famouss relative.
        Or yah got a good job in Government.

        • Gusto says:

          The TA will lead to a growth in Tourism AND THAT WILL CREATE MORE JOBS.

      • frank says:

        stop the bs the tourism authority will just be another government quengo like wedco the authority will still require government money time for crckwell to go in fact it is time for the oba to be gone they have done nothing but double talk and lie to the people since they have been in the house all part of the secret plan

        • argosy says:

          Oh, right Frank.

          Bring back the PLP & the Doc, including more jaunts to China, India and the Playboy mansion. That’ll fix things!

          And….another secret plan – perleeze….

    • Read carefully says:

      He didn’t say no job cuts. He said no Civil Servants would be made redundant. I assume a number of people who work for the Dept. of Tourism are not Civil Servants, so they may go I guess.

    • William says:

      Who cares this only effects the Kool aid drinkers from the PLP. Go OBA fire all the dead weight.

      • m3ke says:

        As long as the dead weight isn’t ya mama’s job who has a mortgage to pay right??

        William do yourself a favor and STFU.

        • WillSee says:

          mortage or not, dead weight should be fired.
          we cannot afford them anymore.

          • ABM says:

            Economically, if that happens things will get worse. Just think about how that can affect you………..

      • Robert Daniels says:

        Attention private sector. Put a bunch of SKILLED government workers out to the private sector and let me know what you think will happen. I’ll tell what happens. They get hired by the private sector or form their own companies. How many SKILLED people do you know are NOT working at all. Well let me tell you there are quite a few. So what will happen when you add MORE skilled workers to the mix? I’ll wait for your reply.

    • Mazumbo says:

      Vote for jobs. SUCKERS !!! LMAO

    • Out of flight says:

      Such bold actions. Now I wonder what Bermudians really think? Well on the doorstep we are hearing “Be careful what you wish for.”

      • Robert Daniels says:

        my sentiments exactly. Be careful what you wish for.

  2. Bermewjan says:

    Semantics, me thinks.

  3. SoMuchMore says:

    i for one, think this is great news. new people. new ideas. this should help rebuild our product.

    • Portia says:

      It won’t. Our “product” consists of overpriced hotels, mediocre restaurants and a limited industry that only caters to the wealthy traveler – not families or budget-conscious tourists. That is why tourism has been sinking and will continue to sink – too little bang, too much bucks. That is not something that Dodwell and company can fix, because the businesses themselves set their prices – and they price themselves right out of the market.

      • CommonSensenBda says:

        Since Bermuda has so many over priced hotels, mediocre restaurants and a limited industry that only caters to the wealthy traveler – perhaps individuals like you, Portia can re-locate to the south of us like Jamaica, the other islands in the Carribean, and the Turks & Caicos. Apparently it is SOOOOO much better there than being in this Godforsaken Island….Yes?REALLY!?!

        • m3ke says:

          Hand me a green card and I’ll leave this rock tomorrow morning.

          • Logic76 says:

            Put your money where your mouth is. Go to the UK, you don’t need one…

    • frank says:

      well you got a new party but you did not get no new ideas just a lot of trash talk da

  4. Really says:

    Jobs have to go at gomint no money coming in anymore ,it’s the biggest waste of time industry now on this small 20 square miles

  5. Bermuda Boy says:

    Flip Flop should leave it to the experts. Stay away and things will work better.

  6. jt says:

    Keep on privatising.

    • ignorance Is Bliss says:

      I agree. I shake my head every morning as I travel along north shore at the park just before C-Mart. W&E have taken down the bush and are make a simple wall and sidewalk. It has taken a team of many men and machines months to build this very simple project. The wall isn’t straight and unlevel and there is little produced each day. Its a f’n joke and a MASSIVE waste of taxpayers money.

      Id love to get the plans and see what it should cost versus what it will cost, and its not close to being finished yet. I estimate at the rate they are going 2 weeks still. A private company doing the job would have been done weeks ago.

  7. Loquatz says:

    Dude, the PLP also supported the idea of a tourism authority – and the whole point of a tourism authority is that it would be run directly by the industry not by Government, so something like this had to happen.

  8. White BOY! says:

    This is a slow erosion program back into the clutches of the UBP. We have seen black front men being controlled by white back men. THe reality is that Dodwell is the Tourism Minister. Now that he has a salary from the Ministry and has money to pay those under him he is in control. Shawn sadly is following the instructions of those above him. He is answering to Dodwell and with the Gaming Proposal he is answering to a constituency who reflect the values of UBP. Craig hired a UBP leader to be his coach in the cabinet. Pat Gordon is minister of Health Gibbons is hiding in plane sight Wayne Scott is another unapologetic UBP man and the list goes on. We have been deceived!

  9. Webster says:

    The OBA, said that was what they were going to do and they have done it …well done…and now we have a tourism authority.

  10. Nuffin but da Truth says:

    MWHhhaaaaa!!!…I saw this coming a long time ago.
    Hopefully they will get rid of the deadwood they have.

  11. Toodle-oo says:

    Wow . What a sweet deal . You apply for and get a position in a government department that should take specialized knowledge , love for Bermuda and commitment . You don’t perform and get transferred to another government department where if you couldn’t perform in the first , you surely wont perform in the second.
    But you STILL have a gov’t job with it’s lovely retirement pension if you hang around long enough.
    All the while , as someone who lost their job , my taxes go to pay for you.

    It seems we’re still a long way from the drastic reforms needed to turn this island around .

    • Robert says:

      Dummy, govt workers pay the same taxes you pay, pin head !!

      • Toodle-oo says:

        Where do you think the money comes from for their wages , pinhead ??

        • Robert says:

          From the same taxes clown !!!!

          • Logic76 says:

            That we ALL pay…except some of us aren’t dim-witted lead weights who suck off government revenues. This country has always had a high level of unemployment, we just called them government workers for the past 30 years. When the money dries up if you don’t make the cut you get let go, end of story. Fire the lot, disband PTB and privatise as much as possible. Create competition and maybe this island will have a chance at a sustainable tourism industry.

            • Robert Daniels says:

              Logic why do you consistently keep calling government workers dead weights. You let me know how many skilled previous government workers that are currently unemployed. Let me know. I’ll bet that you won’t find many of them simply because government workers have a skillset that ANY private sector employer will take on immediately. Who knows they probably become your next supervisor or boss.

              • Logic76 says:

                What was the statistic thrown around? I believe it was 1 in 4 people on this island work for the government. If they “have a skillset that any private sector employer will take on immediately”, then why are we waiting? Let them go fend for themselves in the real world and stop sucking money out of the budget that can be used elsewhere. CUT THE DEADWEIGHT!

    • jt says:

      Wouldn’t be so sure about those cushy pensions – something has to give on that front soon.

  12. Triangle Drifter says:

    Looks to be a bit of ‘back to the future’. The management is going back to people who have direct experience in tourism. We are going back to the days of what was known as the Trade Development Board. Back to an entity that that knows the business & hires energetic people who also know the business.

    We voted for a change in how things are done. We need a change in how things are done. Now here it is. A leaner, meaner promotion machine. All the fat, the friday paycheck collectors at DOT will be gone.

    Can’t see other departments taking them on. Right about now department heads should be starting to think about next years budget. The OBA Ministers will have, or are going to be told to cut back big time. They won’t be taking on the redundant fat from the old DOT.

    Some of them will be wondering if their department will be the next to get a dose of efficiency through privatisation.

  13. Come On Man says:

    Wasn’t people crying out for a tourism authority? Now you have one and your all still crying. WTH

  14. UpsetwithVerdict says:

    The Devil is in the Details…more of this to come.

  15. Jus' Askin' says:

    So does Shawn keep his position and pay?
    OBA is a JOKE ;-)

    • Who knows it feels it says:

      Great question! He does have the Transport Ministry so he still has a job!

  16. smh says:

    So what will the tourism minister do with no civil servants to manage?

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      He gets out & does some of the promotion trips. He is involved with Authority meetings. He is the link between the Authority & Government.

  17. Black Bird says:

    OBA will be a one hit wonder! he! He!

  18. E$ says:

    PLP still got no ideas. LMFAO

  19. Been There Done That says:

    Up next !! The Department of Airport Operations. Talk about an overbloated and inefficient Government Department that spends twice as much as they earn in revenue. The old Department of Civil Aviation ran the airport with half the staff and more than twice the number of daily flights.

    Currently each deparment head has an Assistant Manager who has an assistant and no one is responsible for getting anything done.

    A private enterprise can can operate that airport with half the number of staff with experienced and knowledgable management capable of running the airport at a profit.

    • Robert Daniels says:

      The airport does operate at a profit. Lol I see you mentioned DCA. Oh the good old glory days. But ‘Been there done that’ that is just what got the airport here in the first place. Ya ran it into the ground. Obviously you must have not run it as efficiently as you had thought it should. Stop spreading rumors. You know very well that you had and relied on ‘Uncle Sam’ to help you run it. But when the Navy left you had no idea how to maintain the infrastructure here at the airport. this is why it is in the state it is now. But I see you hiding behind a fake name. Come outta de trees bie. I challenge you. :)

  20. Victor says:

    Buses and ferries next please Minister Crockwell.

  21. Accurate says:

    - $300 million
    - $300 million
    - $300 million
    - $300 million
    - $300 million
    Minus Three Hundred Million Dollars

    This is what our government statement is showing at the end of every year currently. What is hard to understand about this?
    Changes will have to be made – I hope this one saves AND earns money. Without both we are doomed. How does 50 cents on the dollar sound for a Bda-US exchange?

  22. Robert Daniels says:

    Let’s see what happens if you put a bunch of skilled civil servants within the workforce. Those in the private sector knows what happens. They often get snapped by private companies. So lets just say you take lets say 1500 of the 5000 government workers out on the streets/public. Do you honestly think they will sit and wait for handouts? Many of them will be hired by the private sector because of their skillset. The others will form their own companies. Now government work and infrastructure will still have to be maintained and managed. Those private companies that have benefitted from years of government contracts will suddenly have competition from the very same people that hired them. Oh YES we are government workers but don’t get it twisted. WE are SKILLED and resourceful. We as GOVERNMENT workers understand government POLICY and PROCEDURE like no other. Yes I do believe government needs to become more efficient, but based on some of the comments I often see in forums and the like many peeps in the private sector want heads to roll. Be careful what you ask for.

  23. Norris Alvin Williams says:

    One thing is for sure with the continue down sizing of and cut back of Bermudian jobs by this Anti-Bermudian one term government OBA government
    next time Bermudians will not be so careless and politicaly naive about where thier political interests Lie. They will run to the polls to get rid of this anti-Bermudian one term OBA government. Just imagine this is a government that does not feel it has to hide the dagger. It is quite clear that it wants to down size government workers; but yet it will tell the workers of tourism that even though you no longer have jobs with te government tourism board; we will find jobs for you elsewhere in government? Naked double speak. I feel for thse workers in foriegn countries who may have thier families with them. On the eve of a new school year they are being told by this government that they no longer have jobs. How crude is that by a government that never hid the fact that it cares more for the interests of the migrant/foreign worker than the interests of Bermudians.

    • Double Standards says:

      Pretty sure it says that they will be relocated to other Goverment departments and thus they will lose no job nor no income.

      But lies are much more easier to spout your hatred, inna Alvin?

      Comes as no suprise though, as your lies have been exposed one after another. Signed back up to the Media Council yet? Don’t answer as you will prbably just spew another lie. Par for the course really.

      And I love how you view a Government who issued more work permits than any other previous Government and oversaw the demise of the blue collar Bermudian job as being “pro-Bermuian.” Hopefully ne day you anti-Bermudian, partisan loyalists will act like a Bermudian for once. Unlikely though as your loyalty is to a Party as opposed t oa country.

    • Double Standards says:

      So Mr Williams, where was your “voice for the workers” when the PLP issued more work permits than any previous Government? I mean these work permits were being granted for what you would label as blue collar jobs?

      So, why didn’t the Bermudian workers matter to you back then? Why do you all of a sudden care?

      Would hate for you to come across as a hypocritical individual. I mean lying is bad enough, right?

    • Double Standards says:

      Oh and one last question Alvin.

      Where was the outrage from you when your mate, Dr. Brown, fired a whole DoT team and replaced them with the foreign firm Sales Focus?

      Why weren’t you advocating for Bermudian workers rights then and labeling the PLP “anti-Bermudian.”

      Strange that yuo remained so quiet despite your so called “pro-Bermudian” stance. Guess you only care about the workers when your Party is not in power.

      Hypocritical and typical.

  24. SoMuchMore says:

    i can’t seem to find it anywhere. anyone know if they are going to keep the overseas offices active under the tourism authority?

  25. Confused..... says:

    So my questions are: does the New tourism authority get funding from Government? If not then where will they get it from?

    Does this mean that all Tourist based businesses have to pay license fees to the Tourism authority to operate? Taxis (tours), PTB Buses, Beach concessions, Moped rentals, Glass bottom boat & cruises, etc. Can someone please explain how it will operate and how this affects the way things have been done. This seems well played and still needs to be further explained. I am pretty sure they are spoon feeding information. There is more to come.