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Entertainer Tony Brannon backs new Tourism Board move

Entertainer and former Tourism Board member Tony Brannon is backing Tourism Minister Wayne Furbert’s decision to create a restructured board with statutory powers.

Mr Brannon, who was kicked off the Tourism Board by former Tourism Minister Patrice Minors, said that while the move is a step in the right direction, the Minister should consider paying the members more than a token amount for attending meetings.

“What is important is that the board is made up of great talent and that they get remunerated properly,” Mr Brannon said.

“I have no idea what Minister Furbert has in mind in this area, but $25 a meeting like it used to be is hardly worth it to anyone.”

He said: “You cannot get the talent if you don’t pay for it.”

Mr Brannon added that a “mega developer that does for Bermuda what Atlantis did for the Bahamas” is needed.

“Bermudians will indeed welcome a big deal at a place like Morgans Point. Bermuda will need to give such a developer concessions that far out reach what has been done to date but the payoff will come,” he said.

“No one has yearned for a serious shake up and a new path more than I. Minister Furbert has my support and this is a move in the right direction.”

Minister Furbert did not respond to a series of questions put to him by press time last night.

Mr Brannon said the Board members’ remuneration would depend on their workload.

“I personally would have had way less people and had them full time. I sure hope it isn’t $25 a session no matter what the structure is.”

But he applauded the presence of “real stakeholders” on the Board.

“The hoteliers need to be listened to as they are on the front lines, it is they who are struggling to survive. So it behoves everyone to allow the hoteliers to offer all the options to our visitors ... and yes that means adding resort gaming in the mix for those properties that want it. So in the true spirit of where this is going, if the hoteliers say they would like to have gaming, then that should be all we need. Work out the licenses and tax structure and get on with it.”

Mr Furbert’s new Board is to begin work effective Sunday. Legislation is yet to be drafted spelling out its specific powers but the intent is for it to be more than an advisory board to the Minister.

The Minister has said that its immediate responsibility for now is sales, marketing and promotion of the Island as a tourism destination.

Tony brannon

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Published March 31, 2012 at 2:00 am (Updated March 31, 2012 at 8:30 am)

Entertainer Tony Brannon backs new Tourism Board move

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