Tag Archives: Derren Joseph

So much to do in T&T

By Derren Joseph
May 23, 2011

Derren JosephLast week, I was trying to get to Anguilla for a meeting, only to be told while transiting through Antigua that the Anguilla airport was closed. Apparently the air traffic controller was not feeling well that day. Thanks to LIAT’s excellent customer service however, passengers were put up in a fairly decent hotel and treated to dinner. Thank you LIAT. The next morning we flew out to St Maarten, to catch the ferry across to Anguilla. While on board the ferry I looked around at the bankers from Barbados tapping away on their BlackBerry smartphones while the French tourists took lots of pictures, and then it struck me. What a resource we have in Trinidad with our inter island ferries and our Water Taxis! I look forward to seeing links on airline/tour operator/travel agency Web sites that allow incoming visitors to buy ferry/Water Taxi tickets while booking their flights/hotels. Those of us who use the local Water Taxi may take it for granted but for a visitor to our shores, that ride would be an amazing and memorable experience. The view alone is incredible. Added to which, our ferries are among the more modern boats in this part of the Caribbean, making for a much more comfortable experience than other islands.
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Excitement over New Low Cost Carrier

By Derren Joseph
October 24, 2010

JetI think it was back in 2007 when I was working at Caribbean Airlines that I first heard about plans for a new Jamaica based Low Cost Carrier (LCC). The rumor was that it was born from the experience of Digicel Executives who were island hopping during the 2007 Cricket World Cup. They saw inefficiencies with the existing players and decided to turn this into a business opportunity. A December 7th 2007 article in the Jamaica Gleaner however, dismissed talk that Digicel was an investor but rather a sales partner.
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Tourism in Las Vegas and Trinidad

By Derren Joseph
October 12, 2010

Las VegasOne of the top stories in last Sunday’s New York Times was about the tourist Mecca of Las Vegas facing its deepest slide since the 1940s. As I read the story, I reflected on what is happening in our tourism accommodation sector here at home. Let us first touch on what is happening in Las Vegas. Firstly, visitor numbers are down as its usual customers cut back on recreational travel which is natural during a recession. Secondly, real estate and room rates are down. Thirdly, there is rising tourism unemployment as Nevada’s unemployment rates are now the highest in the US. In short, the overall tourism economy in the state of Nevada is under pressure.
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Tourism from Carnival to Divali

By Derren Joseph
September 16, 2010

CarnivalOn August 26th, there was an interesting article in the International Tourism press. President of the Sychelles, James Michel called upon his tourism industry to engage with the government to map out a new national tourism development plan. On the face of it there is nothing special about such an announcement but three things about that article that struck me.
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Our Strength is Our Diversity

By Derren Joseph
September 01, 2010

TrinidadiansThere was a most interesting YouGov poll conducted a couple weeks ago on the website for the Economist magazine – one of my favorite publications. One of the questions asked – Whether or not you think the Islamic cultural centre and mosque should be built near the World Trade Center site, do you think that Muslims have a constitutional right to build a mosque there? Interestingly, 53.2% of Republican respondents, 24.9% of Democrat respondents and 25.2% of Independents disagreed – they actually believed that Muslims did not have a constitutional right to build a mosque on what is actually private property. Although these polls may not meet the test for being statistically reliable, I would argue that they are quite insightful.
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Pursuing Closer Links with Guyana

By Derren Joseph
August 11, 2010

GuyanaIn looking at the often controversial dynamics of our regional integration attempts, frequent comparisons are made with the European Union. After the fall of Rome, various egotistical régimes had made attempts to unite what is now “Western” Europe with varying degrees of success. Out of this, the first point to be made is that the present European Union with its many languages and cultures is the product of hundreds, if not thousands of years of history. So when we ask ourselves why our little Caribbean region seems to struggle when it comes to cooperation, part of the answer may lie in our relative socio-political-economic “youth”.
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Supporting Tobago’s Tourism

By Derren Joseph
August 04, 2010

Tobago TourismLast week, the press carried a story about Deputy House Speaker Dr Fuad Khan urging Trinidadians to spend a portion of their vacation time in Tobago to boost the tourism industry in the sister island. The press report went on to say that occupancy rates at hotels are expected to drop as low as 15% in the coming months.
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State of the Economy

By Derren Joseph
July 20, 2010

Financial ComplexGenerally speaking, I often raise an eye brow when commentators use broad brush strokes to describe the somewhat intricate picture that is our economy. A picture made all the more interesting by the challenges facing the global economy in general. For my part, I try hard to appreciate the views of both sides of the fence—those who speak positively of the economy and those who do not. On one hand, it is hard to dispute that compared to many so called developed nations, and many of our neighbours in the region, we are doing relatively well. Looking at the charts available online, our public debt as a percentage of GDP is less than our Caribbean neighbours, our friends in North America (US and Canada) and even much of Western Europe. Our import cover is about 12 months when the international benchmark is 3 months.
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The Politics of Promises

Politicians in Parliament
Politicians in Parliament (composite photograph)
By Derren Joseph
July 12 2010

In the aftermath of the June 22 arrest of Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke, the alleged drug lord and leader of a Jamaican gang called the Shower Posse, there has been much debate on the role of politics. There is a particularly interesting analysis done by a Horace Campbell on the Pambazuka News website [Gangsters, politicians, cocaine and bankers] which speaks to the alleged connections between organised crime and political parties/governments. The author speculates that the situation in Jamaica is by no means unique, in fact–”From the streets of West Kingston to the hills of Port of Spain, Trinidad to Guyana and down to Brazil, gunmen (called warlords) allied and integrated into the international banking system had taken over communities and acted as do-gooders when the neo-liberal forces downgraded local government services.” If you have the time, I suggest you Google it and have a look as it makes for interesting reading.
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