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Optimistic forecast

Bob Verdun sees potential for growth in Barbados economy

Attracting a mere two per cent of the more than 400,000 Canadians who retire annually to Barbados’ shores can lead to a rejuvenation of the local economy.

Real estate development and marketing consultant, Robert “Bob” Verdun, had this optimistic forecast for the Barbados economy during an interview with Barbados TODAY.

Bob Verdun

Bob Verdun

Expressing confidence in the economy despite the current economic downturn, Verdun said: “There is no reason why Barbados cannot be as prosperous as Singapore. The island has so much potential . . . . there are 400,000 Canadians retiring every year and a third of these people have the means and the interest in looking for a place to spend the winter. The new retirees are looking at other places to spend winter. Florida is not appealing and they are familiar with the Caribbean.

“We just need to tap into the Snowbird market [people who spend winter in tropical countries] in a serious way. They are retired or semi-retired and just do not want to put up with the awful, long, cold winter,” Verdun added.

He maintained that if Barbados could get that kind of flow from ordinary middle class people from the north, the country could witness a turn around in its economic fortunes.

Voicing sentiments similar to those expressed by former Prime Minister Owen Arthur during yesterday’s debate in the House of Assembly on the compulsory acquisition of the land on which Sam Lord’s Castle is located, Verdun argued that tourism remains the major economic plank in New York, London and Rome.

“People keep saying that we have to restructure the economy, but what are we going to restructure it to? What is the number one industry in London, New York and Rome? It’s tourism, therefore why would we be looking for anything else when we have the best climate in the world, a stable and safe society and good health care?

“We should be having all the business we want. I do not think the Democratic Labour Party sees it any differently, they just have not yet figured out how to make it happen. There is a huge market to exploit. Get a small percentage of the market and this island will boom,” Verdun argued.


One Response to Optimistic forecast

  1. Alex 3 August 13, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    Before anyone gets too gung ho with Bob Verdun’s advice best you keep in mind what his history and likely agenda are. It is most likely not necessarily the best interests of Barbadians.
    The BFP quotes Wikipedia suggesting he has had significant influence on Canadian law but they should remember anyone can modify or add to Wikipedia for any number of reasons. I would like to know one law Mr. Verdun has had a significant influence on in Canada. From a failed editor with legal problems in Canada to a travel/hotel consultant of little experiences in Barbados is something that should attract some level of due diligence.
    For most Canadians, living in Barbados is at best a some time option. As we age we need more access to healthcare and related services that frankly Barbados has not yet matched but it is getting better.
    Nobody is going to argue that when it comes to cancer treatments, while Barbados tries, it lacks significantly when compared to other countries.
    Real estate is not inexpensive as well.
    I have been coming to this island for over 34 yr now and as much as I love it and spend significant time there, living there and investing my savings there is just not a smart play.
    If you consult a number of publications on real estate in Barbados, you will find that there is no market for a lot of very nice homes and condos. They have been on the market for years.
    Attracting retirees for 2- 4 weeks could be a benefit but one of the problems is that Barbados is expensive when compared to other destinations offering a very similar experience.
    Fit retirees also do not do repeat business. They are busy people going many places, take river cruises etc. There is a competitive market out there that serves their needs very well and until the BHTA recognizes that and does something about it I am afraid for the future.


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