The future of Bermuda is squarely in the hands of Government and allowing private enterprise to compete. 

For 30 years, the collective efforts of UBP/PLP/BIU have proven how to ‘deep six’ the tourism business here.  Gone are the days when Bermuda was a market leader. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Bermuda and Bermudians are on their knees, (it’s largely self-inflicted), but we can rise from the ashes. — if politicians do the right things.

The cruise lines (such as NCL) have stated that if they are allowed to have gaming in port they will stay forever! Therein also lies what was not said — no gaming in port and we just might say “check you later”.

No doubt the mega ships deserve to have their passengers catered to, and that includes gaming in port. But Bermuda must allow on-island hotels to compete on an even playing field. The fact that we are already in July, 2013 and no action has been taken by our MP’s is shocking.

We need to pass gaming legislation for resort hotels and cruise ships. I would caution that standalone casinos are not the way to go in Bermuda and will fail. 

Resort Hotels need to offer the amenity of gaming for their guests scaled to the number of rooms. Small hotel properties should have slots whilst the large resorts offer all games. But again, scaled to Bermuda.

One only needs to see the competition like Aruba’s Hyatt or Marriott or the St Kitts Marriott. Every day  your politicians delay a decision on this is a day of further economic stress for Bermuda tourism and a delay in investment in places like Morgan’s Point. 

Bermudians need to chase their politicians to lead and get this done.

The millions lost in hotel closures in the past 30 years seems to elude the powers that be. It’s been such a long, slow death that people have become immune. 

Politicians are guided by fear of church votes, whilst jobs are lost and now International Business has drastically declined in terms of numbers of employees. We have seen all manner of local businesses fall into debt, overdrafts with local landlords left stuck with empty apartments. It will take bold leadership to save us. 

Bermuda can no longer wait. Hamilton is a ghost town, with no cruise ships and St. George’s is in deeper trouble. Many restaurants are sucking air all over town, and one can only presume more fallout with business closures will be upon us this winter.

The politicians of Bermuda have failed to lead and put Bermuda back on top in the tourism world.

Get cracking, OBA/PLP — and stop staring at your navel! 

Tony Brannon