Furbert hits out after Brit is appointed golf director
Shadow Tourism Minister Wayne Furbert has lashed out over the appointment of Brit Andrew Brooks as the Island's new director of golf sales and marketing.
Brooks, who was formerly golf director at Port Royal, has been charged by Bermuda Tourism Authority with promoting the sport on both sides of the Atlantic.
But Mr Furbert said there were many Bermudians capable of filling the post.
“The actions surrounding the hiring of Mr Brooks as the Golf Director by the Tourism Authority reinforces the belief that there are two Bermudas where there is one set of rules for the privileged and connected and another set of rules for everyone else.
“We do not discount the work that Mr Brooks has done for Bermuda, especially at Port Royal, but it is time to move on.
“There are several capable, qualified, Bermudians who, given the opportunity, would have excelled in this role. By failing to advertise the post these capable, qualified Bermudians were cheated out of an opportunity to compete for the post, and work for their own country.
“While BDOT (Bermuda Department of Tourism) workers are forced to apply for jobs within the new Tourism Authority, a non-Bermudian has a plum post handed to him.
“The PLP supports the view that sports tourism, and especially golf, should be a promoted during our winter months. This is supported by the National Tourism Plan that was developed under the PLP. We further believe that there are Bermudians with the ability to execute that aspect of the Plan.
“We believe that Bermuda works best when it works for Bermudians. By their actions, the OBA have shown us that they believe that Bermuda works best when everyone but Bermudians benefit.”
Bill Hanbury, the CEO of the BTA, has called the sport a ‘key element' in the future of the industry with golfers seen as a way of filling hotel rooms during the off-season.
And he said the appointment of Mr Brooks reinforced the importance being placed on attracting a largely affluent group of tourists.
“We have identified golf as a key element of our business going forward,” Mr Hanbury said. “Golf business is a niche that will help us fill our rooms in the shoulder and winter months which is another significant objective of the BTA, so golf is important.
“Bermuda has invested a huge amount in the physical infrastructure of its golf facilities and they are excellent courses. Our golf sales person [Brooks] is already working very hard to bring all the elements of Bermuda golf together, all the courses, the hotels and any other related facilities and experiences.”