Tourism Plan To Cost $182,365

December 21, 2011

“Despite the notion that the Plan would cost a million dollars to produce, this chosen company will produce the Plan for $182,365.00,” said Minister of Business Development and Tourism Wayne Furbert at a press conference yesterday [Dec.20].

Mr Furbert announced that the service provider for developing the National Tourism Plan is Travel and Leisure Advisory Services, who will partner with local company OBM International.

Below L to R: Tourism Board members Brian Dupperault, Sallie Singleton, Tourism Board Chair Malcolm Butterfield, Minister Furbert, Michelle Smith Managing Director OBM International, Tourism Board members Kirk Kitson and Maxwell Burgess:

Mr Furbert said, “The objective of the Plan is to develop a vision for Bermuda’s tourism industry for the next five to ten years.

“The Plan will include an outline of the way forward to accomplish the Ministry of Business Development and Tourism’s goal of repositioning Bermuda in the global tourism market and to become a year round destination with the required product, services and marketing to support this goal.”

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,

Today I have the pleasure of announcing the service provider for developing the National Tourism Plan. Our Ministry recognizes the vital role tourism must play in growing Bermuda’s economy and creating jobs. Therefore, we believe that this milestone is an important step in our commitment to strengthen the tourism industry.

Ladies and gentlemen, the objective of the Plan is to develop a vision for Bermuda’s tourism industry for the next five to ten years.

The Plan will include an outline of the way forward to accomplish the Ministry of Business Development and Tourism’s goal of repositioning Bermuda in the global tourism market and to become a year round destination with the required product, services and marketing to support this goal.

Ladies and gentlemen, before I announce the name of the service provider, I invite Mr. Malcolm Butterfield, Chairman of the Tourism Board to describe the extensive evaluation process that has lead up to this point.

Ladies and gentlemen, the service provider for developing the National Tourism Plan is Travel and Leisure Advisory Services, partnering with local company OBM International which is represented here today by Mrs. Michelle Smith, Managing Director of OBM International.

The Company has extensive tourism experience in 45 countries and has worked on similar plans in Belize, Manila, and Morocco. It also has experience and expertise in conventions, and conferences and extensive visitor intelligence and research capacity.

Ladies and gentlemen, despite the notion that the Plan would cost a million dollars to produce, this chosen company will produce the Plan for $182,365.00.

I now invite Mrs. Smith to make a few remarks on behalf of Travel and Leisure Advisory Services.

Thank you.

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Comments (36)

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  1. Graeme Outerbridge says:

    Will we be paying for a plan about a plan which will arrive after Tourism is finished???^^

    • Yup says:

      Tru Dat!!!! Shame all amounts paid to foreigners to get the job done cannot be taken off of PLP salaries. We pay PLP to work for us. Not to take our monies and use it to pay for foreigners to work for PLP. PLP does not like Bermudians.

  2. Mad Dawg says:

    The “notion” that the plan would cost $1,000,000 arose because the PLP Government Tourism Minister said that’s what it would cost. Just a reminder.

    • all clogged up says:

      It’s a reasonable amount for an ‘experienced’ and legitimate organization to charge…….compared to Global Huewy.

      • Mad Dawg says:

        It would have been nice though if the PLP had actually developed a tourism plan already. You know, in the 13+ years it has been in charge of things.

        • James says:

          Here’s the sad truth–they did! In 1999 the then Minister of Tourism Commissioned the formation of the Conduit Group which comprised of both Government and Private Sector Stakeholders in the hospitality industry. The groups was charged with developing an overall umbrella strategy for two sectors which would regenerate the tourism industry. This group’s findings led to its evolving into the broader-based Bermuda Alliance for Tourism which has sproduced this omprehensive report to lead Bermuda’s tourism industry into the new millenium. That my friends was the Preamble for the Executive Summary.
          The Plan was completed / distributed in March 2001 and if you haven’t read it, you should, you paid for it (approximately $650,000 to the Monitor Group–not to mention the thousands of voluntary hours provided by tourism public and private sector stakeholders and civil servants). By all accounts this was a first rate Tourism plan.
          The fact that it collected dust is the real story here!!

    • pebblebeach says:

      I agree with you….such Cog-wash from the Minister as if to imply…hey look at me, “I Wayne Furbert, Minister am saving you the taxpayers money because you the taxpayer (“despite the notion”) said it would cost a $1,000,000″…

      The Cog-wash spin becomes tiring after a while….I’m Just Saying…

  3. Triangle Drifter says:

    Here it is December, when the marketing strategy for next year should be all worked out, & the PLP has only just hired a marketing firm which has never had any dealings with Bermuda before.

    2012, another tourism year written off. 1999-2012, year after year of PLP fail.

    Had enough yet?

    • Allen G says:

      Triangle Drifter please do your homework on OBMI before spitting damage …they are a company that has a location in Bermuda, BVI, Antigua, Trini, Europe, US and others I cant remember. They even have Bermudians on staff. My friend is a young Bermudian director of one of their departments in the US. Very encouraged as OBM has done similar work in Dominican Republic and Cayman and I think Belize.

      • Mad Dawg says:

        Allen G, you have less than half the story there. Triangle D is right.

        Travel and Leisure Advisory Services is based in Barcelona. It provides consultancy services for tourism and leisure. It is a firm with no Bermuda experience.

        OBM, the ‘local partner’, describes itself as being the “premier regional provider of architectural and interior design services”. There is nothing in OBM’s website to suggest it has expertise in tourism or management consulting. It is an architectural firm.

        So let’s hope this was a wise choice, and not more time and $$$ wasted on a dead end.

        • MinorMatters says:

          “OBM, the ‘local partner’, describes itself as being the “premier regional provider of architectural and interior design services”. I can’t seem to wrap my head around how this makes sense; that this OBMI company is positioning itself like a remora on a shark and more people are not outraged by this blatant maneuver.

      • Triangle Drifter says:

        Allen G, we seem to be talking about two separate companys sharing the same initials but having very different business services.

        The thrust of my comment was the much delayed timing of hiring a new marketing firm.

        • Allen G says:

          Ah, in that we agree Triangle Drifter. Mad Dawg…the work that my friend does directly deals with forward planning and project management to develop niche tourist destinations to make them more marketable while keeping them in synergy with the cultural and economic plans of the jurisdictions. Hope that helps.

      • OBMI is a local Bermudian company with offices on Gorham Road, Pembroke.
        The early years
        A young architect from Montreal named Valmer Bouchard arrived in Hamilton, Bermuda on the passenger cargo ship Lady Nelson at the invitation of Wilfred Onions to join him in partnership. Onions and Bouchard had graduated together from McGill University in 1932 and had worked together in London at the prestigious Company of Lutyens Associates. The two set about developing the architectural practice of Onions & Bouchard, formalizing the partnership in 1936 and going on to establish themselves as the pre-eminent residential architects of Bermuda. Their partnership was marked by major contributions to Bermuda’s architectural heritage, including establishing the residential image as unique and worthy of preservation by law.

        Wil Onions was known as the Father of the Bermudian cottage style of architecture. Just before his untimely death back in 1959, the partnership took on a new partner, John McCulloch, and a new name: Onions Bouchard & McCulloch.

        Caribbean invasion
        McCulloch brought a new perspective to the company, offering architectural design services for commercial and civic buildings in Bermuda, subsequently adding interior design to its lines of business. Then, in the late 1960s, the company ventured into the Caribbean region, opening the first office in the BVI in 1967. Offices in St. Maarten, Antigua and St. Kitts quickly followed. These offices also carried out projects in Turks & Caicos Islands, Anguilla, Jamaica, Montserrat and the US Virgin Islands.

        McCulloch’s vision was instrumental in the firm’s influence on economic development throughout the Caribbean. Vital to our success in the Caribbean was the ability of design professionals to integrate the heritage and culture of each region into their design. Moreover, sustainability was always a core value, even before there was a term to describe it. We worked in fragile, untouched places and our founders instilled the importance of recognizing the fragility of the environment. Today, we continue to express our creativity while respecting the natural landscape and the architectural typologies of the region and making best use of modern advancements like eco-friendly materials and alternative energy sources.

        World expansion
        In the early 1990s, after Bouchard died and McCulloch retired, the reins of command passed to Ruth Burgess. Two year later, the stewardship of the company was transferred to William “Bill” Bissell as President, with B.W. “Jordy” Walker, Wil Onions’ nephew, as Chairman. Under this new leadership, the company adopted the trade title of OBM International (“OBMI”) and commenced a series of strategic planning activities directed at repositioning the organization to take advantage of business opportunities.

        It was decided to open a Miami operations office, and subsequently the administrative headquarters, in 1998 to pursue business opportunities in the global marketplace. Upon the retirement of B.W. “Jordy” Walker, Bill Bissell became Chairman and led the company to great success in the design of hotel/resort projects throughout the Americas, Europe and the Middle East.

        OBMI today
        After the unexpected death of Bill Bissell and retirement of Jordy Walker, OBM International’s Board of Directors took on the directive to honour their visionary leaders and continue our drive for expansion. Today, we have nine offices around the world and projects in more than 30 countries on five continents. Their vast professional portfolio ranks us as the premier full-service design consulting firm of Bermuda and the Caribbean. We are also among the leading hospitality design experts in the world. We have been acknowledged as such by global publications such as World Architecture, Hotel Design and Hotel & Motel Management, among others.

        OBMI’s longevity in the industry can be credited to relationships with a long list of multinational clients and the ability to design beyond the traditional realms of architecture. From France to Oman to Tanzania, the firm specializes in capturing the indigenous characteristics of the project location and incorporating them into the design—something that was learned right here in the Caribbean. Sure, we benefit from our global expertise, but it is our strong local identity that is the secret to our success. We deliver global skills with local sensitivity.
        Seven decades of design innovation, expansion and prestige are credited to our ability to tell our client’s story using four basic “storytelling” tools: quality of design, service, heritage and environment.

        Our dedication to delivering superior quality and service, while respecting the tradition and environment of where we live, work and play, has propelled OBMI to become one of the leading design firms in the world. The firm’s commitment to the highest standards in design and customized architecture are also factors that have been instrumental in its achievements during these 72 years. Our success is deeply rooted in the values instilled by our founding fathers, Onions, Bouchard & McCulloch, and I believe they would be extremely proud of their firm today.

        • Rick Rock says:

          So…you’re agreeing that they’re essentially architects, right?

  4. Rockfish#1 says:

    The question is,how did Minors arrive at the 1 mill+ figure in the first place? Did she pull it out of a hat, or did she use the Brown method ?
    Looks like the ex-UBP leader is showing the PLP the way!

  5. Bermyman says:

    That tourism board really looks full of fresh, modern and new ideas! Lol!

  6. 32n64w says:

    Isn’t OBM International an architectural firm?

  7. Balanced Scorecard says:

    Ok so help me out here, what did Patrice Minors MP JP Minister of Business Development and Tourism do for the 1+ year she was in that Ministry, if I had time I would find the quotes where she talked about a plan and we are only just getting around to awarding a firm the contract to write the plan, a firm which on the face of it has limited experience in this type of market situation

    Where is Patrice, busy giving away 10 year work permits to everyone who calls I expect

  8. star man says:

    I’d like to know who else bid for the Bermuda account.

  9. Just Me says:

    For a Government that is pushing so hard to keep money on the island, they seem to have no problem spending it overseas! Surely there has to be a Qualified Bermudian or Bermudian company that knows Bermuda better and can put together a very viable tourism plan to suit Bermuda, especially having inside knowledge of Bermuda and her strengths and weaknesses.

    • Lady Scribbler says:

      Exceelent point………..why not a Bermuda firm?

      • Triangle Drifter says:

        Umm, that might be called a Tourism Authority formally known as the Trade Development Board.

        A good idea. Unfortunately the PLP is not known for liking good ideas or any ideas that worked under the UBP days or earlier.

    • PEPPER says:

      I think Tony Brannon, knows bda and could put together a viable plan for tourism..why the hell is this gov always going overseas to get consultants ?

  10. Eastern says:

    Why are we paying out more money to foreign companies to tell us how to get tourists here. Thirty or forty years ago we were the leaders in this industry and now we are going to give more money away for these people to tell us what they think we want to hear.
    I worked in the hotel business from the seventies and into the late eighties and currently operate a small guest house. You want to know how to fix tourism, I’ll tell you at no charge to the tax payer.
    No.1. You want to save tourism and help the hotels? Let the large hotels operate casinos. Please do not put a casino on Front Street as this will not do anything for the hotels.
    N0.2. Support guest houses and B&Bs as these not only provide accommodations at a reasonable cost, but the visitor receives a better experience and has much more interaction with locals. Give a land tax credit to locals that turn former apartments rented to international company personel into visitor rental accommdations.
    No.3. Form a Tourism Authority run by the hotels/guest houses, airlines and tour operatators. These are peaople that are in the business and know the business well. They know it better than any so called expert that doesn’t make their living directly from the visitor. You will get a lot more bang for your buck by forming a Tourism Authority as the airlines, hotels, tour operators already have advertising companies in place and funds channeled to them will only increase advertising of these companies. The Department of tourism really doesn’t have any impetous to succeed as it is the only job where the worse you do; the more funding you’ll get to do more of the same. While private companies are in business to make a profit and satisfy their shareholders, therefore there is a lot of pressure on them to perform.
    No.4. Let the cruise ships open their casinos in port after 10 pm. The passengers rarely come off the ship at night anyway, so what difference will it make?
    No.5. Re-Open St. George Golf Course as a proper golf course with golf carts and all. It was only closed to protect Port Royal. (Public courses are not designed to make money, but to allow the public and visitors an inexpensive means of getting a round of golf in.)
    No.6. We must, I repeat, WE MUST stop the violent crime in our community, as this will be the death of Bermuda. Not just for tourism but for all forms of business. Without money entering the island from outside we are dead ducks. We’ll all be fighting over the last “slippery dick” and last potato to eat as our money will not be worth the paper it is made of.

    Good luck Wayne Furbert, your going to need it!!!

    • PEPPER says:

      Sir you should be our tourism minister …Eastern you sure have a handle on how tourism should should run in Bda, PLEASE call our U.B.P. ex opposition leader ( Wayne Furbert ) what needs to be done regarding tourism !!!!by the way what is a “slippery dick”?

      • Eastern says:

        A “Slippery Dick” is a fish that is considerably easy to catch, but small, slippery and probably wouldn’t satisfy your appetite!!!

  11. Silly says:

    Why are we marketing to the young spring break crowd? Don’t we want rich people who will come and spend oodles of cash? Why are we targeting people with little money? Also, they won’t want to come back after going to the beach in Feb. It’s freezing! Why don’t we work on keeping our international businesses happy as they provide us with lots of high paying jobs? Instead we’re pissing them off and they’re heading off to Zurich.

  12. Questionable says:

    First rule of making up bulls*** costs is to pick a really really random number so that a lot of thought appears to have gone into the number’s estimation. That’s 101 folks.

    • Codfish and Potatoes says:

      You are right. That $5 on the end is suspicious.

  13. Boom says:

    So how much in addition to the 182,365 are we going to have to pay OBMI. I sincerely hope that they are not going to get the architectural or project managment jobs from this, otherwise it will be more PLP unethical behavior. All that MUST go out to tender.

  14. Reform says:

    isnt the Board supposed to be formulating the strategy? if they are too busy then replace them? why do we outsource everything and then complain when the strategy is full of “you will need to now give status to Tourists to make Bermuda attractive” both PLP and OBA perpetuate a national culture in simplicity, the days of exploiting the intellect or labour of a foreigner are past we must own our destiny to make the next generation of Bermudas youth confident and able to take decisions

  15. Codfish and Potatoes says:

    OK, the Government still has no clue as to how to run the country. Hire outside experts to do it for you. Why don’t we hire foreign politicians to run the country? Two birds, one stone.

  16. Joe says:

    Some talent, agreed. But the future of tourism in Bermuda? We are a bunch of fools.