BTA ‘fiction’ of record tourism numbers
In Gilbert & Sullivan's The Mikado, the character Pooh-Bah utters this line in support of his ability to wear man hats: “ … chose your fiction and I will endorse it …” With equally entertaining results and similar light operetta headlines your newspaper and the lion's share of the usual hidden suspects in the comments sections have clearly made some similar pact with the BTA.
To term 70 per cent cruise visitors as Bermuda “scores record tourism figures” is beyond disingenuous. It can safely be said that cruise lines do not depend on a destination's marketing to drive their sales and so what that means is that we, the tax-paying public, are paying $33 million annually for less than 200,000 leisure visitors. This is an appalling state of affairs that, but for the undying affection for the BTA and their slick PR, augmented by your “reporting”, would be termed as a failure.
The gross lack of accountability around the golden quango of which the BTA is the leader, is the ruin of Bermuda.
Your newspaper adds insult to injury with the part 2 headline on page 2: “Investor confidence is strong for Bermuda”.
The BTA's CEO says that the recent sales of the Fairmont Southampton and the St George's Club show investor confidence in the tourism industry. We should all feel better now because of who said this. It must be so. But how do those who deny this sentiment when expressed by the Premier or his ministers, but either ignore it or endorse it when spoken by Mr Dallas, explain themselves?
It should be noted that in the same edition of today your newspaper is advertising for a senior/investigative reporter possessing a “nose for a great story”. If only. No great journalistic prowess is required to properly and fairly report on this pink-sand sham being perpetuated by the BTA. The question is whether in the face of these abysmal returns, the bonuses of the BTA team will continue to be paid.
More Gilbert & Sullivan to close, Mr Editor. This time, from HMS Pinafore, Buttercup sings: “Things are seldom what they seem, skimmed milk masquerades as cream”.