Friday, October 16, 2009

We Are Talking About The Same Period Right?

Dr. Brown began his speech yesterday by telling us that we should take the opportunity of Bermuda's 400th anniversary to do what one would do on their own personal birthdays. Which, going by his example, I assume is being as far from the celebrations as possible.

Then he began to discuss tourism.

He firstly told us that Bermuda is holding its own. (Which apparently therefore means holding our own is DOT talk for "we're falling far behind our competitors every time tourists make their vacation choices")

He stressed that 85% of our visitors come from the US and therefore it's understandable that arrivals are down what with the global financial crisis and all and ensured that he explained exactly why it wasn't his fault that tourism is pretty much on its way out as a pillar of Bermuda's economy (if it hasn't left already).

Dr. Brown also brought us some bad news:
  • that recovery is likely to be slow
  • that new hotel developments are likely to be iffy due to the lack of capital.
However not to worry! Because we were assured that the government is working tirelessly to attract visitors, promoting another low cost carrier to fly from the UK, hosting the PGA grand slam, wasting our money with the Music Festival and Red Sox gimic and generally doing everything it can to return us to the platinum period we were apparently in before this recession started.

Worrying that I'd missed some great precious metal time span I immediately did a little research and the thing that first jumped right out at me is this:

Air Arrival's Spending Drops to 1980 Levels

Hmm... "Isn't that a good thing since the 1980's were still good tourism years?"

Well actually no, inflation decreases the value of money as time goes on and while the same amount of money may have been spent in 2008 as 1980 the actual purchasing power of that money has decreased huge amounts. Isn't that what defines a Platinum Period? The Amount of money that it brings to the economy? Or are we talking about something completely different?

Doesn't that actually suggest that we're in a slump if anything? Or does The Good Doctor know something I don't? Numbers are down, revenues are down and tourism is almost down and out. It's not a recent thing, the recession might offer a good short term excuse but, it takes only a short look at the numbers and we can see it's a trend that has been prevalent for a number of years now.

Expecting anything but, spin and rhetoric from our Tourism Minister about our failing industry seems everyday to look more and more like yet another example of

Wishful Thinking

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