Not good!

sewage crisis bad for business, warns sandals

A top official of the international hotel chain Sandals has warned that the ongoing sewage crisis on the South Coast is simply not good for business.

General Manager Fernand Zievinger said although the luxury property in Dover, Christ Church, has not been directly affected by the awful stench which has resulted from a run off of effluent in other sections of the country’s tourist belt, Sandals was eager to have the problem go away.

“We received quite a few questions regarding that from our travel partners of course asking, ‘hey, is it affecting Sandals Barbados?’ It didn’t, but of course for our business partners, for the business community and also for the [Worthing] community it is also concerning because it is not good to
have that in the streets of course or the beaches.”

Asked how he felt the authorities should have dealt with the situation, Zievinger said that as a member of the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association (BHTA), Sandals was in full agreement with the comments made by chairperson of the BHTA Roseanne Myers, who recently cried shame on local authorities for running away from “vexing issues” facing the country instead of simply “taking them by the horn” and strategically correcting them while effectively communicating with the public.

Delivering her final report for the year at the BHTA’s fourth quarterly meeting at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre last week, Myers was equally adamant that the time had long gone for pointing fingers, and the relevant officials and agencies needed to accept full responsibility “and do something about it”.

“Things usually get worse unless you interject and intervene with some positive and strategic responses,” Myers warned.

“Our biggest challenge though seems to be one of communication as an underlying constant. Agencies are not communicating effectively to solve issues and we are not communicating with our various publics when problems occur, but tend to want to ignore and deny before addressing the concerns frontally,” she said.

“We had issues with drainage and backed up systems that affected the sewerage system, which was already stressed. Rather than acknowledge and take control of the messaging we allowed the general public to tell their stories on social media in an uncontrolled way with little leadership that was required to investigate, address, apologize, warn and manage the possible resolution. And we waited until the damage was done to our good name, then to try to respond. We have to do better and I surely believe that we can do better,” Myers added.

Sewage crisis apart, Zievinger said Sandals remained committed to Barbados.

And in response to recent criticisms of the duty and tax free status granted to Sandals for 40 years by Government, the general manager, who spoke to Barbados TODAY on the sidelines of today’s Sandals Barbados Annual Christmas Toy Drive at Vauxhall Primary School, said: “There is no investor in the world that would invest millions of dollars if there is no return on investment,” adding that “Barbados will be very, very proud by next year the end of November when Sandals Barbados Phase 2 opens up.

“It will put not only Barbados, but also continue to put our resorts on the map in terms of what we present to customers,” he said of the ongoing US$180 million expansion, which will add another 222 rooms to the existing
280-room stock.

Zievinger said the project, which kicked off in the middle of this year, was currently running on schedule.

He also reported that the current winter season was off to a “very strong” start for Sandals.

“We are running for the month of December somewhere between 82 to 87 [per cent occupancy] and then towards mid first week of January, that is where high season really kicks in, so you will see 98 per cent occupancy going straight through high season,” he said.

4 Responses to Not good!

  1. Peter December 15, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Instead of criticizing the highly qualified and learned Mia Amor Mottley, It would by great if all DEM die hard supporters can come up with a proper plan to stop the sheet from flowing. Alex Alleyne and Zeus I want to hear what you can suggest instead of verbally attacking Mia. A woman who can spontaneously speak on any subject matter. like Tom Adams and David Thompson both deceased.

  2. John Walmark December 15, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    as tourists that has spent 20 consecutive years travelling to Barbados , and staying on South Coast and specifically Worthing Beach, we have decided to pass on the South Coast until we hear the sewage plant is fixed … the south coast will miss our annual 10,000 dollars us until we see the plan to correct .im sure we will not be alone in our decision to pass on the south coast until we know its clean

  3. Robert Mac Donald December 15, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    I am a frequent long term visitor to Barbados, and have booked accommodation near Worthing Beach. If it was not for cancellation penalties both air and hotel , I would be going elsewhere. I have been a visitor to Barbados since before Independence. If someone like myself who is loyal to Barbados is thinking of elsewhere , consider first timers and those who do not have the history of loyalty as myself, what will they be doing?
    Wake up and smell the coffee! Not the sewage!

  4. Ruth and Eldon / Canada December 16, 2016 at 12:59 am

    I too am a long term visitor of Barbados. As per the above statement, I also would have cancelled my already booked vacation, but do not want to pay all the hidden cancellation fees. It makes me sad that this beautiful little island does not get the attention and love that it is so deserving of. I really hope something has been done by the time I get there.
    As far as name calling and finger pointing, let’s just hope that the right people step up and just get the job DONE. No more bandaids for this situation. Please just get it done.


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