TALK BACK: Everybody’s talking about Sandals’ deal
Sandals is back in the news again.
This time, it is the operators of the Intimate Hotels of Barbados adding their voice to calls from the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association to get the same concessions as the international chain.
Chairperson Renee Coppin said they struggled daily to access the concessions to which they are entitled and “we must not create artificial and arbitrary barriers to the facilitation and encouragement of enterprise”.
Meanwhile, James Paul, chief executive officer of the Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS), is reminding Sandals Resorts that buying from local farmers must be the first option given the number of concessions it is receiving.
Here are some of the online readers’ views.
On the Intimate Hotels:
Penelope Ann Courtney: All the hotels should have the same concessions. There are no two ways about that. Be fair!
Cyrilene Whitehall: If everybody gets a break, pray tell me how will the country make money? Not that I agree Sandals should have gotten so many concessions.
Jackie Manley: I agree if the others had the same concessions as Sandals have, then maybe it wouldn’t have had to close down the Almond hotel in [St Peter] with the loss of a lot of staff.
Renny Johnson: They run a business; when they’re making money hand over fist, are they giving it to the government? No! Are they giving it back to the workers? No! Are they reducing the prices so more people will come? No! They [are] moaning like children – ‘he got a sweetie, I want one’. Grow up. Run your business properly.
Orson Arthur: It is okay to get some incentives. I am of the opinion they got too much. The small hotels are left out. No, that is sad.
On buying local:
Leonard B: Mr Paul, I wholeheartedly agree with you. However, prior to the Sandals opening, it may behoove the BAS and farmers to invest some time and effort in understanding exactly what Sandals requires. Sit with them to clearly understand the products, quality and formats Sandals prefers. There is no point in offering produce in a format or packaging which is not desired . . . . It may make good sense for the BAS and farmers to consider a small processing plant.
Let us ensure that we really understand what is required, not only by Sandals, but also by the others who now continue to insist on importing. We will find it much easier to compete when the services and products we offer are head and shoulders above the offerings of others. Let’s overwhelm and totally impress them.
• Sherrylyn Toppin is THE NATION’s Online Editor.