Questions for Bartlett
THE EDITOR, Sir:
ONCE AGAIN our ebullient Minister of Tourism Ed Bartlett is ecstatic about the perceived success of the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival. He advises that the $40 million invested by the ministry will yield J$240 million, a spectacular return of some 600 per cent on the taxpayers' investment.
It is difficult to understand how, within days of the conclusion of the festival, the minister could report, with certainty, that our investment was a wise one. Were any surveys done? So, before we celebrate with the minister, some wary Jamaicans would like more details before we show our best Gaza and Gully moves. Can the minister quantify the increased arrivals for the festival? Was there an increase in hotel-room occupancy over last year's festival period? What was our foreign-exchange profit from our investment? How did we determine tourist attendance at the festival?
The taxpayers of Jamaica deserve answers to these questions. How else can we determine the credibility of the minister's report? It is time we stop accepting rosy predictions and fluffy reports from our politicians and beaming businessmen.
I am, etc.,
R. OSCAR LOFTERS