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The X-factor: Return on investment

Gordon Seale

The X-factor: Return on investment

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We have well-educated nice people as a general rule, we have all the services, we have good airlift, we have a good airport and really all that’s missing right now is return on investment.
The reason why big companies do not want to invest in the hotel industry in Barbados comes to that one single factor; return on investment.
And that return on investment will be solved if the minister of finance sees it to offer those [concessions like Sandals’].
We are not talking about work permits and all of those sorts of things, right now I am talking . . . the duties and taxes which make us uncompetitive up front . . . they should allow the hotels to make a decent profit so that people want to invest in the industry instead of running away from it.
We need to have people wanting to invest in Barbados and the turnaround can be fairly quick because there is a lot of pent up investment waiting to go into this industry.
What you need to do is lower the cost of doing business for all of the hotel sector and that can come about as a result of what the Ministry of Tourism has done for Sandals and what we are discussing with them present moment.
I believe that the tourism industry is the least understood, particularly the hotel end of it, in the entire island and it’s our own fault I guess, we get very caught up in trying to please people every minute of the day and it doesn’t leave you a whole lot of time to sit down and think about where you are going and what you are doing unless you are a very large operation.
• Gordon Seale is owner of Bougainvillea Beach Resort Limited.