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Heads should roll in tourism

Testing times: Bermuda’s onerous testing regime for travellers needs to be curtailed, says letter writer (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Dear Sir,

When it comes to the positions of Minister of Tourism and Bermuda Tourism Authority chief executive, has there ever been a more mundane, more uninspiring pair than the current duo?

One hardly hears anything from our tourism minister. The last time he spoke on the island’s largest — and now shuttered — tourist accommodation was back in early summer. Air and cruise arrivals continue to be abysmal and yet, hardly a peep. With this level of indifference I’m surprised the Premier hasn’t yet demanded his resignation!

With regard to the BTA’s current CEO, it’s either listening to him throw event organisers under the bus or bearing witness to his unquestioning of our unquestionably prohibitive testing regime and the overtly negative effect it’s having on our economy. I have become convinced this man wakes up every morning, looks himself in the mirror and asks: “What can I do today to further cement my reputation as the poor man’s Kevin Dallas?”

The facts are as follows:

• Our absurdly stringent testing and quarantine regimes did not prevent the fourth wave, the island’s worst outbreak by far

• Thanks to our colonial oppressors, every eligible resident has had the opportunity to get vaccinated for free

• Of all those on island who lost their lives as a result of complications from this disease, almost nine out of ten were not fully vaccinated

• The mortality of the very young (those under the vaccine-eligible age) is extremely low.

However well or ill informed, we as adults have made our respective decisions when it comes to the Covid-19 vaccine. God, Darwin and a more sensible approach to the virus can and should take over from here. A good start, as it pertains to travel, would be a pre-arrival test, a lateral flow (‘instant result’) test on arrival and maybe a lateral flow test on Day 4, and that’s it. And, for heaven’s sake, get rid of the Travel Authorisation Form!

Furthermore, for the good of Bermuda Tourism’s future, the Bermudians who work (or would like to return to work) in the industry, and the country as a whole, we need real, dynamic leadership heading up the DoT and BTA. Therefore, at the risk of stating the obvious, these two gentlemen need to go because they clearly don’t fit the bill.

DAVID TAVARES

Southampton

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Published December 10, 2021 at 7:57 am (Updated December 09, 2021 at 3:33 pm)

Heads should roll in tourism

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