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VI sat on its hands during recession – Commentator

Commentator and host of the Umoja Show, Cromwell Smith aka Edju En Ka believes that the Virgin Islands (VI) sat on its hands during the recession period and failed to prepare for the future, especially with regard to the tourism sector. Photo: Reuben J.A. Stoby/VINO
Cromwell Smith aka Edju En Ka. Photo: VINO/File
Cromwell Smith aka Edju En Ka. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Commentator and host of the Umoja Show, Cromwell Smith aka Edju En Ka believes that the Virgin Islands (VI) sat on its hands during the recession period and failed to prepare for the future, especially with regard to the tourism sector.

Smith said other tourism-based countries that compete with the VI, including Bermuda, Brazil and Venezuela, sought market share during the recessionary period so that they would be able to increase this once the recovery period arrived.

He said these countries experienced economic growth during the period of recession, however small it was. “I don’t remember us making any preparations,” Smith commented, “we basically sat on our hands…”

Smith felt that noticeable moves were not made by the VI until 2012 to seek out additional markets for tourism.

According to the host, the VI spent its money to maintain the existing quality of life. “In some instances, it is not a bad thing,” he said, “but we also needed to spend some money on increasing our share in various areas that had people with money to buy tourism.”

Co-host, Natalio Wheatley aka Sowande Uhuru agreed, “We have to have some kind of vision in terms of growing our economy and how to improve on what it is we’re doing here…”

While stating that he didn’t see the vision emerging, Wheatley said, “The Asian tourists are the future, but we seem to be lagging behind a bit.”

Smith also felt that even though the financial services sector may have fallen off slightly during the period, the situation wasn’t as precipitous as it was within the tourism sector.

According to Smith, the VI was still feeling economic difficulties with the absence of cash in hand even after the recession. “We’re selling more financial services, more business companies are forming but we’re not seeing that cash in our hand…” he said.

14 Responses to “VI sat on its hands during recession – Commentator”

  • links (09/06/2013, 10:15) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
    How we going to see cash in hand when it's all going to healthcare, paying for civil service and issuing of contracts to people just because they're local, then having to hire someone who know what they're doing to fix it properly. We are paying two, three times for every single thing all in the name of 'support your own'. Nothing wrong with that. But those reaping the sweet don't even turn around and support schools or recreational facilities. Those millionnaires off the petty contract system haven't done anything meaningful for the country. It's sickening and then we blame recession, government, expats and every one else. It's not rocket science, stop wasting the damn money on lazy locals and we can benefit as a country.
  • ... (09/06/2013, 10:18) Like (6) Dislike (4) Reply
    the NDP has always sat on its hand that is why they must go!!!
  • ooooo (09/06/2013, 10:20) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    just another set of cr**ks trying to say that nothing didn't happen until ndp got in
    • virgin gorda (09/06/2013, 11:52) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
  • rattie (09/06/2013, 11:12) Like (4) Dislike (4) Reply


    • talk show (09/06/2013, 12:26) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
      I need call no name. Things that are happening on this island with some of these talk show hosts is pure corruptness, and we know
    • campbel (09/06/2013, 23:51) Like (2) Dislike (11) Reply
      the problem with you is that you are so caught up in party you cannot be objective or truthful . Given your statement it seems that Cromwell speaks to the facts as he sees them as opposed to blind allegiance to a party.
  • nonsense blogs (09/06/2013, 13:53) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    Up to now Cromwell didn't mention any party. The tension took place during both parties' administrationd but these bloggers assume they know which pay he meant.
    • Jah knows (09/06/2013, 17:06) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      only the blind can't see which party he means but he need to wake up for the NDP is already dead in the water come next elections
  • dead man (09/06/2013, 17:50) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Man oh man how some man Gowan without deep meditation.
  • wise up (09/06/2013, 23:05) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    if smith knows so much why he dont run for public office
  • Buff-Baff (10/06/2013, 02:55) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    The BVI had plenty to squander in the 90s and early 2000s. What the government didn't do was put infrastructure in place. All these governments dished out mega dollars on useless and over-priced contracts, wasting mismanaging and misappropriating public funds. Now that things get hard (and getting harder) we are bawling "no money" when it comes to infrastructual projects. There is worse to come! The rich will continue to get richer, and may God stand up for the poor.
  • Albion (10/06/2013, 07:30) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I think it is a little bit worse than sitting on our hands:

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