All the right noises
I must say I was stunned when I read the comments made by Chris Furbert, as quoted in The Royal Gazette on October 22, 2022 regarding the Fairmont Southampton hotel. Mr Furbert rightly pointed out that “a full economic recovery plan must include the reopening of the Fairmont Southampton”.
The change in rhetoric by Mr Furbert, as president of the Bermuda Industrial Union, is truly encouraging for future hotel properties, and I trust we will never, ever return to the hotel strikes promoted by the BIU during the Seventies and Eighties.
No one will ever forget the strike in 1981, which was the beginning of the end for the hotel industry here in Bermuda. Indeed, 94 hotel properties have closed their doors since, which is a massive number for such a small Island. No one wants this repeated. To be fair, Mr Furbert was not head of the BIU during those turbulent years of illegal hotel strikes.
If Mr Furbert continues with this positive attitude, hopefully we will see more hotel projects starting in Bermuda — I certainly hope so. Bermuda had a dreadful reputation in the Seventies and Eighties for illegal hotel strikes, which helped no one, and I was told by a leading wholesaler that holidays to the island were discouraged because of our “strike” reputation.
Bermuda needs more hotels and if Mr Furbert continues with this positive attitude, I have no doubt more projects will be developed here.
BRIDGET M. MARSHALL