The recent tourism statistics revealed that a record number of 770,683 visitors came to Bermuda in 2018, with 203,697 tourists flying to the island for leisure — the highest figure since 2002.
Our tourism minister, Zane DeSilva, said: “When I consider that this is the third straight year of growth for Bermuda’s tourism industry, I have to pause and recognise Kevin Dallas, the Bermuda Tourism Authority CEO, and all of the men and women of the BTA, and our tourism stakeholders.”
I would add to his observation that when you consider the BTA legislation was passed by the previous administration only in October 2013, making way for the formation of this largely independent authority, its achievement is truly outstanding.
The BTA has, in its short operating life span of three years, revitalised our tourism marketing product without one iota of ministerial “assistance” — so far — and Kevin Dallas and his great team deserve much credit.
I also find it refreshing that the minister is actually singing the praises of the BTA. You may remember that just a few months ago, the then newly crowned tourism minister vowed to look under the BTA “hood” and “tear that engine apart”. Maybe now the minister will realise that the BTA car is running remarkably well because it is not parked in a government garage being tinkered with by one of its (bureaucratic) mechanics.
May this minister and many others see the wisdom and value of having many of our public services provided without the political bureaucracy and “meddling”, which so often results in inefficiency and poor returns on our taxpayer dollar.
The past ministerial interference with the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission watchdog group — at a cost to the taxpayer of $5.4 million to date, for a non-existent gaming industry — and the very recent proposal by this government to take full control of our two municipalities, Hamilton and St George, are perfect examples of the Government is meddling where it should not go.
This move to take over our longstanding, efficiently functioning corporations should be viewed with great concern and I would urge all Bermudians to press this administration for full and complete consultation on this matter before any decisions are made.
In the words of the economist Thomas Sowell: “It is hard to imagine a more stupid or dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.”
Don’t fix what isn’t broken.