Kim Swan: ‘We Want To Be #1 Again’

October 30, 2012

[Written by UBP MP Kim Swan] Growing up in Bermuda and working in the hospitality industry, it was commonplace to tell our visitors that “Bermudians are the friendliest people in the world” but also believe it to be so.

To see this Forbes survey which list Bermuda the 8th friendliest place behind Cayman (#1), USA, Canada and others suggest, in my mind that we need to ‘up our game’ and strive to be #1 again.

Our only export in Bermuda is our smile and naturally friendly demeanor and it is our best interest to recognize the worth of that trait and work collectively to ensure that we pass on that great reputation to future generations.

Notwithstanding, the social challenges that our country has endured in recent years and the current frustrations of the prolonged economic hardship being felt throughout Bermuda it behooves us as a people to understand the value of a good attitude in our everyday life, within our family, at work &/or in the community.

Several years ago as Shadow Tourism Minister, I participated with then Tourism Minister Hon. Dr. Ewart Brown in a promotion that traveled to the schools to emphasize the importance of Tourism to our young people and the role that they play. This type of positive reinforcement is forever necessary and must be sustained.

The impact of polite schoolchildren offering adults a seat on the bus or well mannered adolescents voluntarily engaging tourist helps to establish a positive reputation for our small island that makes the job of promoting Bermuda much easier.

Let this survey be a reminder that the world takes note and if we are to remain competitive in both international business and tourism how we are viewed externally matters.

People make countries friendly, therefore, let us as Bermudians strive to be the friendliest jurisdiction in the world again.

Read More About

Category: All, News, Politics

Comments (37)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. pebblebeach says:

    How can we be No 1 again when we have 2 people sitting on the hill representing a now defunct political party, makes absolutely no sense to me as there isn’t a thing in this world as a member of this now defunct party that you can do to help our Bermuda…quit deluding yourself Kim…

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      To reword you comment a little, how can Bermuda be number 1 when we have number 2 people voted into Government time & time again?

    • Portia says:

      pebblebeach – would you also categorize the independent candidates as “defunct”?

      Just wondering.

      • theothersidebda says:

        defunct is not the correct word; irrlevant (not because of the individuals, but because of how our political system works) is the better word for independent candidates. Harsh but realistic.

    • Goose says:

      Kim and Charlie Swan are doing exactly what a third party should be doing, and that’s raising issues that are important to the country and electorate while the parties that are more likely or able to form a Government spend all of their energy electioneering and attacking eachother.

    • frank says:

      kim when are you and your mate are going to wake up out of your coma togather you both can not make any changes to the horizon of bermuda the old stupid ubp is dead let it die unless you old boys are going to field a full team walk away now kim walk off into the sunset and join the golf tour and enjoy the rest of your life .five loaves 2 fish you only have 2 fishhmmm

    • elementary says:

      I guess he’s trying to say that the two of them can do better than this current government and the other party put together…he’s probably not far from the truth judging the way things have deteriorated over the past decade!

  2. non partisan says:

    I think he meant Bermuda and Bermudians when he said “we”. More people need to start thinking this way. This “us” and “them” is not helping.

    • We in this Country need to really learn to hear the message and not attack the messenger without good cause,Mr Swan & Mr Swan may be the last two standing when it comes to the former United Bermuda Party but I dont look at them as that but in fact Real Bermudians that are concerned of the fact that we have lost our way and the things that once made us great is our core values and our Biblical standards not just in moral living but in our daily living that also included Biblical principals of Economics.

      To many people look at the Bible as a Holy book that only tells you how not to sin but it also tells you how to live in this financial System, we still have to this day a Parliment that opens in prayer every Friday before debate and regardless of what they debate,it is when we totally take God out of the picture that we will experience even worst then we are.

      Bermuda was number 1 and I to believe can be again but it must start within each one of us who are proud to be Bermudian and I say laugh if you must but remember JEsus only had twelve to stand with him and with that twelve they turn the World upside down and has Change Nations throughout the earth and because of those same twelve the World is still being changed.

      So I encourage both Mr Swan’s dont get weary in well doing and you shall reap if you faint not and yes if both of the other two political parties dont pay attention God can and will raise up His servants under and old banner that we thought was dead.

      We Bermuda must make Bermuda what she is to be and greater then what she once was.

      • Dante's Inferno says:

        Yeah Bermuda needs more god.

      • Formidable Deviant says:

        What utter rubbish. Religion has nothing to do with any of this. All it does is stop my sunday fun.

      • DarkSideOfTheMoon says:

        Yes, yes, lets look to the Bible. Genocide, rape, incest, murder, war, slavery. Then do the biggest marketing campaign in history (New Testament) to show how everything has changed and we should love one another………by nailing some naked guy to an instrument of torture.

  3. cool... says:

    o@pebblebeach—-you took the words right out of my mouth..I’m eating air pies! hahahahalol…but really what he says is important.. we USED to be #1 numero uno! to see that Caymans is more friendly than Bermuda and #1 at that! speaks volumes for our defunct tourism product..Bermudians have become second best in their own country so when that is fixed and our politicians realize that we must be put first in our island, then nothing will change ,and our demise will be more than evident to all! The only way we can get together is by working together, living together, and making decisions together, so Kim its your turn..what can you do?

  4. street wise says:

    I have a lot of respect for Kim Swan… however notwithstanding his loyalty to the defunct UBP, I feel he should join the OBA where he could play a positive role. Otherwise, what’s he gonna do…?

    • haha says:

      Play golf obviously… just not in St. George

    • Questions and answers says:

      ‘What’s he AND Charlie going to do ? ‘

      They’re both going to be hard headed and run in the next election , splitting the vote and giving the PLP two more seats that they might not have gotten otherwise.

      The OBA and the two Swans need to get together and work this out for the better of the island. Before December 10th.

      • Terry says:

        Yes more of the UBP should go over to the OBA clowns.

        • Come Correct says:

          You should pick a name and stick with it…preferably not mine again, thanks.

  5. swing voter says:

    As long as we have a Government that can’t do anything to create policy that attracts business to the island, fix our school system, fix our social issues, and put Bermudians back to work, we’re lost

  6. LOL! says:

    So… I read this headline and almost burst out laughing because I thought Kim Swan wanted the UBP to be #1 again! My first thought was…”Uhh… There are only TWO of you! How you goin pull that off??!!” LOL. But then I noticed he was referring to “Bermuda” as #1. Fair enough.

  7. Terry says:

    Just 60,000 people with 40,000 speaking. Pity Party at a non functioning BBQ.
    Sad. You’ll get it.

  8. Charlie Swan says:

    @pebblebeach and streetwise with all due respect. The division that has arisen in our island rears its head again!! In your responses its based on party affiliation, and has led to a personal attack on the messenger. My colleague Kim Swan has articulated on a ranking table on friendliness published in a popular magazine. The issue of our lower ranking in this table should, in Kim’s (and my) humble opinion, concern all of us as Bermudians.
    Tourism is one of our island’s main economic engines – in one way or another providing income, jobs, tax revenues etc. for all of us. If friendliness is a topic that potential visitors look at when deciding on a place to tour, and tourism is one of our main economic engines, then friendliness is an issue we need to address!
    My colleague and I both believe that the day we can all look in the mirror, and at each other with mutual respect, and coalesce to address the issues that affect us all….then will be the day when we, as Bermudians, will begin to make progress. We owe it to ourselves and our children. Best..Charlie Swan JP MP – I’m open to a chat, call 5054754… 24/7/365

  9. CHEEKUMS BIE says:

    Kim Swan how you start off with telling us about growing up and working in the hospitality industry, then you jump to the Forbes list to show that were behind in being friendly, The forbes list is taken from expats, it is an expat explorer survey and it is not looking at Bermuda or these other countries through the eyes of tourist.
    Also this survey is done by HSBC and is called the HSBC Bank International’s Expat Explorer survey,
    Just in April of this year Mr Swan The same survey said this… Update April 2012: A recently released survey report from HSBC Bank International shows that Bermuda has been rated as the second most friendly country in the world (after Canada).
    In april we was number 2 According to the HSBC Bank International’s Expat Explorer survey,
    One only needs to look at the negative post written about the present government by no other than our expats to see why we have dropped in the forbes ranking. The expats in Bermudia come here from other countries and take sides with the opposition of the country and they take part in helping to spread mischief and rumors so its no question that according to them we have dropped.

    and on this part of the list Bermuda is number 2 right after Canada

    • CHEEKUMS BIE says:

      nothing to do with tourisim at all

    • Questions and answers says:

      WOW Cheekums , I wish I had your powers of clairvoyance.
      You can actually tell that it’s ‘expats’ who make all of these negative remarks about Bermuda. As if there’s not or never has been a Bermudian who would have ever said anything negative about Bermuda when they truely see something very wrong ..

      Can I borrow your crystal ball please ?

      Furthermore you ‘know ‘ that all of these sh1t disturbing ‘expats’ side with the opposition for some mysterious reason.
      Does that include the numerous expats from Jamaica and the other islands , India and Africa ?
      Dying to hear your sputtering nonsensical response because the terms ‘expats’ and ‘foreigners’ became a code term for white people many decades ago with our current government and it’s hyper xenophobic supporters.

  10. Terry says:

    I understand Mr. Swan..Charlie.
    Best of luck.

  11. Pastor Syl Hayward says:

    @ Cheekums Bie: “One only needs to look at the negative post written about the present government by no other than our expats to see why we have dropped in the forbes ranking.”
    So, you are saying Forbes has dropped our friendliness rank based on blog posts? Now, THAT is truly one for the books!

  12. Charlie Swan says:

    @cheekums. OK…now the bugaboo is expats (another group to shoot at). If my cousins from Trinidad come to Bermuda to visit me for two weeks…and then leave…and then somehow reply to a Forbes (or any other) survey on friendliness…..Hope you see where I’m going here.
    Fact of the matter is that ANYONE who comes to our island for a visit would value friendliness as something desirable.
    Our culture was, and is still, one of friendliness.
    Our tourism product and friendly nature created a synergy with international business (expats). And that pillar of our economy also generates revenue for Bermuda and Bermudians.
    People travel, just like we do, to a variety of places.
    The Forbes ranking may – or may not – be the result of only expat responses. Other ranking tables, in other medium, may contain results based on feedback from lower income tourists, family members, black tourists, European tourists etc., etc.
    For friendliness, we want to be at the top of them all. We used to be, and by working together my colleague and I know we can be. Charlie Swan JP MP Cell 5054754 24/7/365

  13. Winnie Dread says:

    Why we attack everything from a political and religious angle always, is the man right or wrong with what he is saying? Me thinks he is right, simple put we, yes WE all have to play our part in this issue and all others which affect this country of ours.

  14. Terry says:

    Bernews should have a “Like” offer.
    Some posts are great.

  15. berms12 says:

    Gonna be honest forbes is bull sh*t its not possible we are behind america or even canada in how friendly we as bermudians are. I go to school in America and i know for a fact that when i come home everyone is much more friendly. We all wave to each other when we pass on the sidewalk in a boat or even in a car. In america you try to wave at someone and 99% of the time you will get an stare and no wave back. Clearly this is very biased.

  16. Rick Olson says:

    Kim Swan is all class the comments on this board are not. Kim Swan is very friendly are you ?

  17. CHEEKUMS BIE says:

    @Questions and answers ,Pastor Syl Hayward, and Charlie Swan
    Wow you guys are pretty thick huh? This report is based off of HSBC Expat survey not a tourist survey,
    @ Questions and answers.
    .majority is either expats or negative people, the clarity in your statement is true( As if there’s not or never has been a Bermudian who would have ever said anything negative about Bermuda when they truely see something very wrong ). No right thinking person would hurl negative comments when they see something wrong, if you say that this is ok to do then I feel sorry for whatever children that grows up in your household, when you see them doing something wrong.

    @Pastor Syl Hayward
    No Forbes didn’t go off of blog posts however I was showing that there is a direct correlation with bloggers and Expats and its no secret that a lot of expats boldly use sites like this to spew their hatred for the present government,them and a large group of angry whites.

    @Charlie Swan
    Your partner made the expats the bugaboo not me and the list and ranking is based off of Forbes list that you and your partner support, It is not a question of whether Forbes ranking may or may not be the result of only expat responses, IT IS THE RESULT OF ONLY EXPAT RESPONSES……did you even bother to read the HSBC Expat Explorer survey????? Our friendliness is still up there as a country but you cant survey just about 5000 expats from around the globe and say that that is a true definition of the friendly ranking of Bermuda, that report I do not accept.

  18. timsrty says:

    how, when people are losing jobs left right and center, but the big companys are hiring more managers and buying them the big houses and cars,,,how when its all these __ *edited* __ still roaming the island,,,,,,how when we have a _ *edited* _ goverment __ *edited* __ tax payers money,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,friendly not right now, thousands feel the same way

    • Nancy says:

      Kim Swan needs to practice what he preachs,almost funny to think the UPB feels being nice and a smile will help the economy. I think it will take far more than Kim and Charlie to change to ways of this Island. I guess these to men will start with smiles and go from there……..Good Luck

  19. Kim Swan MP says:

    @ Nancy, thank you for your comment – I do practice what I preach.

    I continue to enjoy my lifelong affiliation within the hospitality industry.

    For the record, it was emphasized to us the importance of being friendly and hospitable to our patrons (locals, expats & our visitors) who contribute to the circulation of currency throughout our country’s economy.
    Can a smile help an economy?

    You bet your boots – I am sure there are surveys that attest that a happy visitor will spend more foreign currency while in Bermuda.

    Tourism and International Business in Bermuda were built on relationships in a congenial/hospitable social environment conducive to doing good business……. if we want to make Bermuda better you first must visualize what better looks like, appreciate how better acts and understand what better feels like ……. and then you develop a plan to make Bermuda the the best it can be.

    The Bermudian people, the natural beauty and proximity of our island are the main resources of our country but we must be prepared to work with our people to help our people to realize their true potential….


    Kim Swan MP
    St. George’s West #2

  20. Hudson says:

    Kim, I agree your sentiments BUT… it’s not really children offering their seats on buses or teenagers not acting like deliquents that is going to make the big difference in today’s Bermuda. What needs to change is the attitude of the ADULTS! The Politicians themselves should look in the mirror and rid themselves of the anger, resentment and hatred that spews from their mouths at every turn. Once they set precedent, the people will follow. The actions you see around you, the condescending, rude, “I don’t work for you” attitute starts at the very top my friends. The problem doesn’t lie with the school children IMHO