All hail the new Tourism Authority – and let’s all hope that it works. God knows, we need it to.
On the face of it, its make-up looks very good indeed. It has some serious players on the board, vastly experienced with some real knowledge of the tourism industry. So what if they are being paid $20k each – these types of people do not come cheap and $20k is cheap, so we are lucky.
Everyone in Bermuda needs to support this group. People need to stop making themselves feel better by just talking about the issue – the talk shows are full of that – they need to take affirmative action. This gives the platform to do just that.
Do I have one observation? Yes, and unfortunately it is a negative one.
Some time ago I wrote that the OBA was losing the PR battle and I think this was another example. Ok, I have a vested interest – I run my own PR company and yes, I did contact Mr Dodwell earlier this year about helping with the Authority’s PR, and never heard back.
This is not sour grapes, but I would have launched the Authority in a completely different way, in a way that made it clear that it is a stand-alone Authority, run by a Board with a CEO responsible to the Board. As the story in the RG says in its second paragraph, it is meant to be a non-political group.
I would not have let the Minister take centre stage at the press conference, it would not have been at the Cabinet office, it would have been at one of the great hotels here, Mr Dodwell would have made the key speech and introductions and the picture would not have looked so staged. In one, it really looks as if Mr Dodwell has his hands in the Minister’s pocket…. and the faces look so grim…
The Media would have been able to talk freely to the members of the Board, especially those based overseas, because they need to make friends within the media here to get key messages across and help put some positive stories on the front pages. (Based on what I read in the RG today it does not look like that happened.)
I would have made sure that the Authority started life on the front foot, getting their key messages out there, portraying a positive outlook – a new, fresh, upbeat, start. After so long in the doldrums, tourism needs to be talked up, a sense of creating a new beginning needs to be fostered.
As it was, it appeared to be terribly stage managed, lead by Government in a Government building with a backdrop of wigs…..
(PS, I guess I won’t be getting any PR contracts from the Authority any time soon…….)
*Update: A friend of mine commented that no-one from the previous authority was on the new board and questioned whether, as a result, there would be a lot of reinventing of the wheel.
I thought that was a good point – and it would be worth co-opting one of the previous members, at least for the first six months, to make sure there was no duplication of old ideas.