The closure of the Buccament Bay Resort has had an undeniably negative impact on tourist arrivals from the United Kingdom, which were flat regionally on Brexit-related concerns.
This according to Finance Minister Camilo Gonsalves as he presented the budget for the fiscal year 2018, on Monday 5th February.
This year, our stay-over arrivals from the United Kingdom fell by 29 percent, due in no small part to the absence of the Resort. Further, over 200 talented and hard-working Vincentians were forced to find other jobs and endured great difficulty when the Resort was abruptly shuttered. Many of them are still owed wages from their work at the Resort.
Initially, the Government was given unduly optimistic estimates about when the Resort would re-open. Those estimates were based entirely on our conversations with the principals involved in the legal proceedings to navigate the hotel through the bankruptcy and insolvency process.
However, Gonsalves said he can report that the investors and creditors of the Resort, in communication with the Bankruptcy Trustee, have approved a plan for the management of the Resort and are currently fine-tuning the details of management proposals from credible and competent entities with excellent track records in hotel management.
The Bankruptcy Trustee has indicated that the final management agreement is expected to be signed in the coming weeks, and that the Resort will definitely reopen in advance of the 2018 tourist season, after a three-month process of rehabilitation to the existing facility.