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Friday, June 19, 2009

Toy-Boat Racing Gets On The Way This Weekend

Are they serious? Give me a break! If they were not saying it with a straight face, we would probably all be laughing at the Ministry of Tourism and its claim that this coming week of toy-boat racing in Carlisle Bay "was worthwhile and an important tool for bringing visitors from all parts of the world." Come on, who do they think they are kidding? Are they going to publish hotel occupancy numbers after this event?

Ever since St. Lucia stole the ARC Race two decades ago Barbados has been floundering looking for its niche in yachting and boating in the Caribbean. The only serious effort on this front has been the establishment of the Port St. Charles Marina a decade ago which basically is a gated "luxury" condo community built around a small lagoon. Condo sales and re-sales there have been good but the project has done precious little to put Barbados on the yachting map. If plans come to fruition they should be seeking to correct some of what went wrong with PSC with a controversial expansion just north starting construction in the fall.

Meanwhile, as we await PSC2 and the overdue "Tourism Masterplan" we may as well try to "bigup," if I may borrow a current colloquialism, the toy-boat racing this weekend. Come on, Senator Gilkes, you are no longer sailing coconut shells on the salt pond in Speightstown - these are the big leagues we are playing in right now. Look around and see what our competitors in St. Lucia and Grenada are doing and get with the program!
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