Much of the tone and presentation of the throne speech marks a significant improvement in the performance of the OBA vs the last few weeks. The Royal Gazette’s editorial summed things up quite well that they hit all the right buttons but there is still much work to be done. Sadly the opposition missed the mark with rather weak arguments like proclaiming there was not enough of a focus on sport after they themselves threw many millions at sport with limited result.
The announcement of a public forum on term limits & work permits is a welcome step. It would have been desirable to have had it prior to the announcement of scrapping term limits, however it at least will give people the chance to hear a variety of views on the topic as well the the opportunity to give their own feedback. As suggested previously, making the people feel like they have a say and can feed heard is important.
Finally, the airline subsidies have got to go. We simply can’t keep throwing money at problems hoping that things will magically be resolved. There isn’t a strong case that this money was well spent in that air based tourist arrivals have not significantly improved. Worse, now we’ve got a case where the two airlines on the Toronto route are both flying reduced schedules and are competing with each other on nearly the same days when previously we had daily flights.
It has been said before, we cannot compete in the discount tourism market. We simply do not have the volume or capacity to do so. What we need to do is increase the quality of our product and stop worrying that Bermuda is ‘too expensive’ and start worrying that our product isn’t worth the money. That’s our real tourism problem.