Dear Sir,

Another tourism season is about to begin... and yet another year has been lost on giving our customers options.

This article in the Bermuda Sun (‘Cruise line: Let us open casinos’ 27.1.12) needs to be carefully digested.

What distresses me (and many others) the most is Bermuda is no further along in addressing gaming for tourism.

This after all the pleas from hoteliers and cruise lines; the drafting of The Innovations Report on Gaming; listening to advice from consultants; the 2011 Tourism Retreat; the exit opinions in the local media of departing hotel GM’s  Norman Mastalir, Jonathan
Crellin and Frank Stocek — all have fallen on deaf ears, it would appear.

We face yet another season whereby we have not given our on-island guests all the options they want in the 21st century travel market.

Cruise lines have made it known that they want gaming on board for their passengers and will go elsewhere. Carnival Cruises & Holland America have stated in no uncertain terms and have voted by withdrawing cruises to Bermuda.

This should not be a political issue — this is about business and Bermuda being viable in the tourism market. The politicians of Bermuda on all sides of the spectrum have let Bermuda down in regards to not giving the marketplace the right to offer guests gaming on island.

The cruise lines are now flexing their muscle and it is time to urgently address this issue of resort gaming for Bermuda hotels.

I urge the Premier and leaders of the opposition parties to come together to help our flagging tourism industry by giving the customer ‘what they want’, giving developers and hotel operators a lifeline so that they can return to profitability and most importantly put Bermudians and others back to work!

Tony Brannon