Ewart Brown /Paula Cox waste millions: Bermuda tourism collapses
tourism's advertising budget
Opposition Leader Kim Swan was outraged yesterday the Department of Tourism's advertising budget received scant attention in the House.
Minister Derrick Burgess delivered the four-hour long brief on the Ministry of Tourism and Transport yesterday as Premier Ewart Brown was attending a CAIRICOM meeting in Dominica.
The 107-page long brief itemized how the $121 million budget will be spent in the coming year. The Ministry was one of few that saw its budget rise this year, going up 11 percent.
The Opposition, which decides how much time is allocated to each Government department, had set aside five hours of the month long Budget debate for the Ministry.
During the four hour and 20 minutes he spoke Minister Burgess referenced many projects and contracts the Ministry has.
When it came to the advertising budget he said: "The advertising contract with Globalhue is $14.544 million, a $1.9 million increase. This past year the spend was reduced as part of BDOT's austerity measures.
"This year's estimate brings the spend back to normal levels."
At the end of Mr. Burgess's speech Mr. Swan stood and gave and impassioned speech.
"We got a minute on a line item that cost $14.5 million," he shouted. "I don't mind if people give detailed briefs but when we have $14.5 million for advertising - that's Global Hue by the way - on a contract that should have been put out to tender and we get two minutes how can the public determine if we are getting value for money?"
"That is not right, it doesn't serve this Country well."
In comparison the Events & Product Development subhead, which was allocated $2.5 million, accounted for nine pages of the brief.
Last year the Auditor General released a special report focusing on Global Hue.
The former Auditor, Larry Dennis, said that following an audit of Government's finances for the year 200⅞ he had "misgivings about the appropriateness of some payments to GlobalHue" and that the Department of Tourism may have paid $1.8 million too much to the company.
The Department pays GlobalHue to place television, radio and advertisements through media-buying agencies in the States, particularly a company called Cornerstone Media.
Mr. Dennis criticized GlobalHue's pre-billing of the Department - a practice not allowed under Government's financial rules - as well as it and Cornerstone's failure to provide invoices for services provided.
His report claimed that Cornerstone's markups - the amounts it adds to the cost of adverts in order to make a profit - were way above the industry norm.
GlobalHue is paid $1.6 million per year to promote Bermuda as a visitor destination, and is contracted to spend about $14 million in each of the next year on advertising and marketing.
Ewart Brown sent in Jackass, ex hotel doorman,Minister of Bullshite, filibuster and racist demagogery; Derrick Burgess, as his Tourism spokesman, since the Pimp Premier,Ewart Brown, is AWOL AGAIN!
Ewart Brown , travels the world,as tourism continues to sink ,this week,he's posing among his caribbean ace boys at a Caricom meeting in Dominica ,avoiding the debate on his own Ministry,
Bermuda's Associate Membership in Caricom does not even allow a vote!
Ewart Brown 's Howard college pal,owner of GlobalHue,gets a big pay day, for PAY-TO-PLAY kickbacks ,$14 million/year, while Bermuda tourism collapses
JW Swan's claim that a casino on the Hamilton waterfront could become another Monaco is so laughable it becomes a bad dream that is more like a nightmare.
It would take a couple of dozen paragraphs to list the differences between what Monaco has to offer besides gambling that attracts big spenders that Bermuda can only dream about attracting. The rich and famous demand a level of service, they expect high-end retail stores and entertainment that goes far above the average hotel level, none of which Bermuda offers.
And the R&F can be very vocal about the overall quality/value of a destination and they won't wait for a property to earn its 5 star reputation, they expect it now.
This grasping for salvation silver bullet attitude has dollar signs in the eyes of those in favour of gambling. Some of the major reasons Bermuda tourism is taking its last breath is poor service, very poor value, no duty-free shopping and minimal entertainment.