Our latest example of spin comes from today’s paper where Senator Dunkley of the United Bermuda Party where he highlights the incredible drop in visitor spending from 2007 to 2009. Mr. Dunkley is indeed correct in his analysis however one could be forgiven for questioning why he compares against only the last two years? Indeed, looking back to 2001 through 2006 tells a different story than the picture he paints. That doesn’t lend itself to his argument now does it? When tourism was on its way up, the incumbent could do little less than to spin numbers in every way possible to accentuate the job they were doing, conversely now that tourism is on its way down the opposition is taking the opportunity to spin things the other way. Politicians.
Looking at tourism numbers there is no denying that we’ve seen significant declines since 2007 highs. Analyzing since 2007 however doesn’t paint a complete picture.
Let’s take a look at an old chart we put together back in 2007.
Admittedly numbers are only presented for the first 3 quarters however a comparison of 2009’s $276 million vs. 2007’s $414 million in visitor expenditure paints a rather incomplete picture. Noting the above chart we can see annual tourism expenditures and how Bermuda had a pretty poor few years from 2001-2004. Is it not a bit ingenious disingenuous to leave such years out of your analysis and simply compare against the best recent year while leaving out the details for the previous few? Though of course, doing so would lessen the dramatic effect now wouldn’t it?