SUNDAY, SEP. 30: The Tourism Minister’s blunder over the status of the Park Hyatt development project has to be seen as symbolic of the chaotic and unsatisfactory style of governance of this government. 

The new St George’s Hotel is a promise made by this government that they have once again failed to keep. Once again the people of Bermuda have been kept in the dark about progress or the lack of it in this scheme. 

Frankly, had this government carried out proper due diligence in the first place, it would have known that Mr. Bazarian was not in a strong position to take on such a project as the Park Hyatt resort development.  We know now, as a result of the numerous breaches of the terms of the agreement between the government and Mr. Bazarian. 

This is another example of the people of Bermuda being given smoke and mirrors instead of much-needed results.  And yet, despite Mr Bazarian’s limitations, which any prudent and thorough government would have known about, this government blew up the former Club Med facility in 2008, in a fantastically dramatic fashion, and tore down the golf club buildings.  Again, we know now that that was just theatrics, designed to give the people of Bermuda false hope that this new hotel project was imminent. 

Successive Tourism Ministers, including Minister Wayne Furbert, have continued to mislead the people of Bermuda, and specifically the people of St. George’s concerning this development, which is unacceptable and negligent.  St. George’s and Bermuda need jobs and a revived tourism industry, not broken promises.

Now, we caution Bermudians to take whatever promise that comes out of the meetings between Minister Furbert and Mr. Bazarian this week with a grain of salt.  Remember, an election is looming!

In a general sense, despite the energy exhibited by Minister Furbert towards our tourism industry since he took charge of it in November 2011, the reality is that none of his singing and gimmickry takes Bermuda a single step towards a turnaround of our failing industry.  We need someone at the helm of tourism who understands what our tourism product needs. We need someone who has successfully negotiated hotel development leases before.  We don’t need someone who doesn’t know when or if an agreement has been terminated or not. 

As we in the One Bermuda Alliance have said, over and over again, it is time that we remove politicians from running this crucial industry for Bermuda and establish a real tourism authority with a professional Chief Executive Officer who knows what he/she is doing. 

 

We need someone at the helm of tourism who understands what our tourism product needs. We need someone who has successfully negotiated hotel development leases before. We don’t need someone who doesn’t know when or if an agreement has been terminated or not.

The history of Bermuda tourism under this Government has been one empty promise after another. Bermuda cannot afford five more years of careless management of this vital industry, which has the potential to grow hundreds if not thousands of Bermudians jobs. The people need results, not songs.