Books about Anguilla


Tuesday, 21 September 2010


Part 2 "We can learn from St. Maarten"!!!!!

It is irresponsible government to allow its people to be chasing goods and services. Every government should minimize risk to the livelihood of its people, especially when we must travel the seas for minimal, but important things. It must also be brought forward, that this phenomenon is also a capital resource liability for the country which is over looked or simply not looked at all. Personally, I believe that St. Maarten is over saturated, but has proven to sustain its self without the degree of embarrassment we have faced in the very worst of times. They have built an economy with several key pivots that have provided long term economic stability to the island. Their tourism structure comes with a well equipped airport facility and modern facilities, and other facets, a robust commercial port with varying degrees of services and an extraordinary cruise port. A very lively commerce center and extraordinary shopping possibilities, a marine industry accommodating most of the world largest yachts, in addition to sufficient hotel rooms they also have a very active time share industry. So St. Marten understood very early on that because of size restriction and recognition, considering that smaller territories get lesser attention, decided to demand that attention by strategically focusing on key facets in the industry, so that if one aspect fails, there sustainability is not jeopardized.

At some point, we must consider our economic ties with St. Maarten / St. Martin and strengthen those ties with a more balanced trade exchange. We must add strategic importance to the daily movement from our side and balanced the exchange, where both islands stand to benefit. St. Maarten is a dominant destination in commercial activity and continues to expand while Anguilla has failed to develop any kind of commerce concentration causing the average Anguillian to utilize St. Maarten as our believed, commercial capital. If we art to consider enhancing the current degree of exchange, Anguilla must find a niche that St. Maarten / St. Martin can find attractive and buy into. That would signal some rationality in the movement, but from an observation standpoint, this is a one way trade which simply provides the people of Anguilla the opportunity to utilize the more commercially active off shore possibilities on St. Maarten. Most economists I believe would recommend a strategy where the government seeks ways to bring more commerce to the people, weather that means more of our own businesses, Chinese, Indians, Arabs or Americans establishments. It’s the job of government to be inclusive; if necessary, with the most extreme stringent screening requirements, and manage the island, so we don’t get over crowded, and the quality of investment is the best quality we can find. We have been utilizing the exclusion route which has not brought sufficient economic security to the country thus far. The consistent shopping experience of Anguillians, from St. kitts to St. Thomas, Puerto Rico and SXM, Miami and else where sends a message as to where we want to go in commerce and trade. Simply, “I we don’t have it here I’ll go and get it anywhere”

There is now no certainty that our model for sustainability will ever work, what is perhaps more sure is that we must rethink the way forward. Our government must invest in the country to procure that acceptable degree of economic growth that would guarantee a continuous climb into sustainability. We continue to seek new foreign investment while opting ourselves, not to invest in any meaningful way to sustain our credibility as a small developing country. The government of Anguilla must find money, big money to invest in the country, in those key areas that are extremely viable to our medium to long term progress and absolute sustainability. It is unavoidable, that if we want to build a modern economy we must invest in key infrastructure project that would provide a foundation for advancement and growth.

(1) A modestly functioning modern airport facility with all of today’s requirements that would serve the travelling public optimally. A modest, but sure modern upgrading to the terminal we have to meet all the requirements for international standard operations and a well funded marketing plan for Clayton Lloyd’s International Airport and our tourism program. This government would say, “we’re not investing in that facility” Well, we have just put the island’s prestige on the line when we invested in renaming a facility without any attempt to upgrade it; a some what unusual act.

(2) We need a modern deep water harbor modestly, but well equipped that would attract normal shipping to a small developing territory like our country with all required facilities that make the harbor function in today’s Anguilla, having a keen eye on the future.

(3)We also need an appropriate commercial environment or town setting, where our commercial activity is concentrated, having the amenities to attract commerce. I was told by a very high ranking immigration official from Anguilla once, I look forward to my off day which comes on a Thursday, when I can leave the island and go to St. Maarten just to hang out for two days. Just to sit around or walk in town makes a big difference. When I return back to my job I feel renewed, reenergized.

We have consistently confused our marketing with an incoherent tourism policy which has more exclusions than inclusions; which is surely not a positive marketing tool for the island. If we are a touristic island, then let’s compose a plan that would attract tourists to our island. We seem to be quite happy with our brand, the so called “high end tourists destination.” Let’s keep that. But certainly they are exactly the one that will stay away at the buzz of high crime rate, weather speculation and any minor inconvenience, they will chose another destination. Having tourist ship cruise to and near the island but not having disembarkation does the island no good. We need a policy that will cater for cruise tourism with managed disembarkation numbers. If the island can entertain 600 tourists per visit lets market that. We must be an inclusive market and minimize our exclusions, if sustainability is our objective. This opinion I know is not popular on the island, every report I have heard or seen on Anguilla Tourism is just the opposite, but to date has not worked either.


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