Op-Ed: The Isle of No
For years Bermuda has been known as the "Isle of NO", when it comes to enhancing our tourism product and offering new and innovative services and experiences to our visitors. Whenever someone tries to develop something new or different, it is often shot down, attacked, and usually stopped dead in its tracks.
For Bermuda to keep up with our competitors, we must become more open-minded and more willing to give new and innovative ideas a chance. We must be willing to embrace and support the efforts of our fellow Bermudians who use their entrepreneurial spirit for the benefit of not just themselves but the benefit of our visitors as well.
Last year, as usual, an attempt to modernize our laws and enhance our tourism product ran up against the "Isle of NO" mentality. The Opposition, for some reason, decided to block the passage of the Motor Car (Liveries) Amendment Act 2022 in the Senate. Under this Bill, your government proposed a change to Bermuda's laws that would have allowed a new array of vehicles to give guided tours and expose our visitors to our island's unparalleled beauty.
Instead, the OBA said "NO" !
The OBA said "NO" to allowing our tourists to have another experience to enjoy Bermuda.
The OBA said "NO" to an opportunity for entrepreneurs to start a business and make a living off our tourism industry.
The OBA said "NO" to jobs and opportunities for Bermudians.
The OBA said "NO" to progress and innovation.
Despite this, your government has persevered and brought back this Bill. We persevered to empower our people, enhance our tourism product, and do our part to change Bermuda from "The Isle of No," into one where we are all rowing in the same direction to bring visitors back to our shores.
As your government, we propose:
Expanding types of vehicles used for guided tours to 3 - 4 wheel vehicles.
Introducing penalties for giving guided tours without a license.
Updating all relevant laws to enable a broader interpretation of the legal definition of a guided tour vehicle to include 3–4-wheel vehicles
Pretty straightforward, isn't it?
We hope that when the Motor Car (Liveries) Amendment Act 2022 is debated in Parliament next week, there has been a change in the Opposition position. Hopefully their hearts will have somehow grown a few sizes larger, much like the "Grinch that Stole Christmas!"
Former Premier Alex Scott used to say, "Bermuda works best when we work together." We CAN rebuild tourism.
We CAN create new opportunities for Bermudians.
We CAN safely and responsibly introduce new and innovative services and products into our tourism economy.
We CAN move from the "Isle of No" into a brighter, more prosperous future by simply working together, listening to each other, having compassion for each other, and saying "YES" to responsible progress.
Together we CAN and we WILL do better for Bermuda.
Constituency 26 - Warwick South Central