Simmons: “Tourism Is Going To Play A Key Part”

December 16, 2015

MP Jamahl Simmons said that he’s “really glad for the opportunity” to serve as the Shadow Minister of Tourism, as “tourism is going to play a key part in getting our economy moving again.”

Speaking outside the House on Friday, Mr Simmons said, “I’m really glad for the opportunity to serve in this role as Shadow Minister of Tourism. I think that we all know that tourism is going to play a key part in getting our economy moving again, and that’s why we believe that we have to make sure that we as the opposition and the government-in-waiting – it’s all about delivery, accountability, and getting Bermudians employed.

“That is our priorities and I think the past week or so I have been meeting with all the stakeholders that I can; I met with the Hotels Association, I met with the Bermuda Tourism Authority, and working through all of the different groups – the BIU, the Bermuda Entertainers Union – to get a new look at their position on the issues and where they see Bermuda’s needs to head.

“We believe that some of the best ideas are going to come out of our own people, out of our own local Bermudians who, for many, feel that they have not had a chance to have their voice heard and we’re going to try to listen to many of those voices and do all we can to get Bermudians back involved in the industry at every level.”

“One thing I think is critical is the pushing of the smaller properties. I think that it gives an opportunity to diversify our client base, it gives an opportunity to introduce people to Bermuda at a less expensive residence.

“So that I think is critical; a lot of Bermudians have taken this as an opportunity to reinvent themselves as entrepreneurs and that’s something that needs to be encouraged; while we want to also see the larger properties thriving, we also want to see more properties coming to Bermuda.

“If we can get the smaller properties working as a group, I think it’s better for Bermuda, and I think it’s better for Bermudians.

“My priority is never first money; it has to be about people, and I think that we have to be very clear that any moves we make based on money should not put lives at risk, should not put the environment at risk, should not put the future of Bermuda at risk.

“I think that until I see something that shows that our people are secure and safe, we have to look at other alternatives. I think we also have to recognize that Bermuda, with the current changing of the cruise ship industry, the smaller ships are becoming less and less available, particularly for a route to Bermuda; in terms of cost of fuel, in terms of numbers, it’s very difficult to make money with smaller cruise ships.

“So we’re going to have less options and we should be open, but let’s make sure that people living here are protected first.”

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Comments (20)

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  1. Cup Of tea Anyone? says:

    He would make a great tourism minister with his skills using the twitter!

    his tweets are great and would be fabulous for tourism!

    wait……nevermind. sigh

    toodles!

  2. hmmm says:

    Electioneering waffle. Awful at worst and shoddy at best.

    ““We believe that some of the best ideas are going to come out of our own people, out of our own local Bermudians”

    Some of the best, well the best so far has been the BTA, a Bermudian OBA decision…The BTA has been engaging with Tourism ideas, local Bermudian tourism business products. It has been completely accessible to all. So ALL Bermudians can be heard already.

    • somuchless says:

      Not all.

      • CUP OF TEA ANYONE? says:

        Your name describes what you bring to the table. And probably your intelect too.

        Drink more tea, it helps with brain function.

        toodles!

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      “My priority is never first money; it has to be about people, and I think that we have to be very clear that any moves we make based on money should not put lives at risk, should not put the environment at risk, should not put the future of Bermuda at risk.”

      There is a little bit of a chicken and egg situation here… it makes for a good sound bite to say you are about people first, but, how do you take care of the people as a government if you don’t have any money??? Oh, wait, the PLP answer to that is borrow… then borrow to pay off that… how does that policy not “put the future of Bermuda at risk”, it already has.

      While I agree that Bermudians need to be involved in our tourism… there is no way we can create a product otherwise, but we also need to understand who we are selling to… foreigners, and that requires foreigner perspective to help shape the marketing of our product. Thus the reason the BTA is as it is.

  3. serengeti says:

    So he meets the ‘stakeholders’ by which he apparently means the ‘BIU and the Entertainers Union’, and then says smaller properties are the way forward.
    So. Does he think small properties are going to be unionized? And how will that help, exactly?

  4. Triangle Drifter says:

    Ya Jamhal. Blah, blah, blah. Who did you talk to? A couple of taxi drivers outside one of only 2 real big box hotels left? Maybe you said hello to a receptionist or a bartender you know.

    Any workable ideas out of all of that pablum. More offshore fishing pie in the sky stuff?

    So he talked to the Entertainers Union. Do we have any entertainers anymore? Sure, there are some musicians around but entertainers entertain. They don’t play the same dreary stuff every night in the same order. Good entertainers cost money. Good entertainers put in time practicing & learning new stuff to keep fresh & current. The days of good show bands like The Happening BDA are long gone.

  5. O'Brien says:

    Does he realize that he was chosen for the Shadow Cabinet because there was nobody else left in the room?

    • Widget says:

      @O’Brien. OMG I was thinging the same thing. I have no faith in his abilities whatsoever.

  6. Jus' Wonderin' says:

    Ahhh good ol’ flip flip Jamahl!

  7. Strike fund says:

    ” in terms of cost of fuel,”

    Which are at record low levels.

  8. fast forward says:

    The hate is real, wow!

  9. Joe Bloggs says:

    I am really glad for him too. I hope he uses his appointment to try to generate some tourists for us, either in collaboration with the BTA or independently of it, for the betterment of Bermuda generally.

    If he is going to be like some of his party bretheren and only attack the Government for not doing this or not doing that then I am afraid he is no more than a hired mouthpiece and not doing anything for the betterment of Bermuda.

  10. hmmm says:

    Jamahl is in it for Jamahl.

    We all know that.

  11. aceboy says:

    “…..we also want to see more properties coming to Bermuda.”

    How many seats does a property take up on a plane?

  12. smth says:

    when he was in the OTHER PARTY you all was kiss his a** , his with PLP now , your singing a different tune , JACK a**es!!

    • hmmm says:

      Perhaps people there gave him the opportunity and then over time realized what he is about. Jamahl is about Jamahl.

  13. just wondering says:

    enough with the empty phrases – I just read this twice and he didn’t have one single specific thing to promote tourism (I might give him the “lets develop the small properties” comment but even then he didn’t say how) – EAXCTLY HOW do you intend to improve things Mr Shadow Minister?

  14. stunned... says:

    for the good of all perhaps the Shadow Minister should live up to his title and just stay in the shadows while progress is being made.