The long completed Buccament polyclinic at the corner of the Leeward Public Highway and the Buccament Beach road, programmed to open only on the eve of the next election, a sure sign of a vote-reaping project.

C. ben-David

This photo-essay based on images all taken in mid-February 2018 follows up on an earlier one posted by the editor of this news site which failed to document the amount of neglect and decay not only on the shuttered resort but also on the adjoining beachside portion of the community of Buccament.

My aim is to present photographic evidence that highlights a chronic and accelerating physical deterioration and abuse on St. Vincent Island that goes back decades, processes that would prevent us from ever having a highly profitable mainland tourist industry if they are not soon addressed, an unlikely prospect at best.

The shabby Buccament Bay road leading to the shuttered Buccament Bay Resort.
An eyesore of a private junkyard on the same road leading to the resort.
An abandoned backhoe-loader across from the rusty clinic on the road to the rusty resort.
The dilapidated Buccament Bay fishermen’s beach bar near the entrance to the dilapidating resort, mimicking similar eyesores all across the land.
Illegal commercial sand and gravel mining conducted at high daytime just outside the Resort entrance, a microcosm of the rest of the mainland.
The damaged, barely traversable gutter-overpass leading to the entrance to the resort.
The broken-down wooden walkway near the bridge over the Buccament River, mirroring the decay found throughout the resort.
This neglected sandbar at the mouth of Buccament River would cause massive upstream flooding during a severe weather event.
The debris-strewn Buccament River and the rickety bridge leading to the resort. The warning sign should actually read: “DANGER. DO NOT WALK ON THIS BRIDGE.”
The bridge over the littered Buccament River leading to the resort is ready to collapse.
The imported-sand beach at the Buccament Bay resort during its heyday.(Photo: Harlequin)
Today, the resort’s beach is quickly reverting to its natural black-sand state as seen below looking at the upper left-hand corner of the previous photo.
The resort’s main pool needs to be completely retiled. Note also the mold on the buildings in the background.
One of several broken resort walkways.

Discounting the resort itself, which is in private hands — despite frequent announcements from government officials suggesting that it is micro-managing its imminent re-opening — at least EC$5 million of the estimated EC$52.7 million that has been allocated in the 2018 budget for the rehabilitation of roads, bridges, river defenses, and associated infrastructure in the entire country could easily be spent revitalizing and rebuilding the roads, retaining walls, gutters, bridges, and river and sea defenses at and around the Buccament area.

The same amount, if not more, would have to be spent to bring the resort back to its pristine state. But who would pay for this renovation?

Together with our uncontrollable physical limitations, especially the absence of white sand beaches outside the narrow strip at Indian Bay/Villa already taken up by several small hotels and private residences, our pitiful environmental stewardship and tourism management, as exemplified by this pitifully low budget rehabilitation expenditure and the decision to allow David Ames, a nobody with no money and no previous hospitality development experience, to build the Resort based on a his promise to created hundreds of vote-getting jobs for the Unity Labour Party, would preclude any significant growth in our mainland tourist numbers despite the completion last year of the scandalously underused Argyle International Airport.

It seems as if our people and government want our most popular tourism motto — “the natural place to be” — to be replaced by a new motto — “a nasty place to visit.”

The most famous quotation in the renowned Pogo syndicated Walt Kelly comic strip.

As I have already said, we have met the enemy of international tourism and it is us (see essay number 35 below).

***

This is the 70th in a series of essays on the AIA folly. My other AIA essays are here.

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not represent the opinions or editorial position of I-Witness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to news.iwitness@gmail.com.

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to news.iwitness@gmail.com.

22 replies on “What Buccament Bay teaches us about St. Vincent’s tourism potential”

  1. No matter what you say, your approval ratings is 1%. SVG looks forward to great things, we’re focused on the positive. When the Buccama Bay Resort re-opens, they’ll be fully booked. Thrust me.

    Recently, some folks in South Rivers had discovered a new falls, called Wilby. Actually, it’s the first time I saw the video, but I’ve heard of this falls before. Someone had described it, but the challenge in getting there. The falls is located in the mountains between South/Parkhill. It’s really gorgeous. Since the were video uploaded, it has 49 comments,142 shares, 8.7 k views and 159 likes.

    1. Out of 120 views as of 11:37 am on Monday, February 26, this piece had 48 likes which is a 40 prercent approval rating or 40 times what you claim.

      You really an incorrigible scamp and liar.

      Nobody will ever go to Wilby Falls — including the 159 likes — when few go to the Falls of Balleine which are much easier to reach.

      You mean, “If the Buccama Bay Resort re-opens,” a very big “if”. Still, it could re-open someday but would close down again after a few years for the same reasons.

    2. Observer we would love to “Thrust You” it would give the readers a great pleasure to see a video of you being thrust somewhere.

  2. I saw 24 likes, 38 comments regarding your post on IWN Facebook. Compare that to 160 likes, 61 comments, 211 shares, and 14k views for Wilby Falls South Rivers. Uploaded Sunday 25th, 2018, by Mr Mac Hacksaw. At lease 40 likes per essay, you’ve never had. Prove me wrong? You are an embarrassment, a national disgrace! A compilation of essays, badmouthing AIA/SVG, and no major support thus far. Ongoing traffic at AIA, our numbers are trending upwards, while C.BEN David struggles for an audience.

    REGARDING BUCCAMA.

    Why it’s not going to re-open? Buccama is a state of the art facility, the only one of it’s kind in the entire Caribbean. Buccama had an excellent strategy, very effective, resulted in high occupancy. That’s not going to change, the name already been marketed. Can’t wait for them to be up and running.

    1. During the same two-week period three years ago, my wife and I toured both the Buccament Bay Resort and one of the three (now four) Sandals resorts in St. Lucia pretending to be potential guests.

      Not even a blind man could claim that Buccament Bay was in the same league with Sandals in location, beauty, elegance, accommodation, luxury, amenities, activities, professionalism, management, etc. which is why Sandals is one of the top resort chains in the world and Buccament Resort went bankrupt.

    2. Yes, I know you “can’t wait for them to be up and running” so they can resume exploiting our black women with low wages to clean white people’s sh*t while refusing to pay the money owed to hundreds of workers and suppliers, millions owed to various government agencies including the NIS, Vinlec, and CWSA, and with most of the profits being sent overseas, leaving us only with the crumbs.

      Lord have mercy on people like you!

    3. The problem in your case Observer I doubt if you have ever seen a real resort. What Buccament is not, it certainly is not a “state of the art facility”.

      During the time it was opened it never once had full occupancy.

      It is little more than a collection of rather nice garden sheds. It is not even 3 star, certainly not 6 star as claimed by the British crooks that told us all that rubbish. It appears you were among the few who believed that message.

      Observer you need to travel or just take a look at real resorts on the internet.

      1. C. ben-David says:

        Actually, it was a four-star establishment for a couple of years but not in the same league with Sandals or others and quickly deteriorated in service and upkeep during its last year of operation, an observation confirmed by my two visits there in early 2016, once for lunch and once for drinks.

        Actually, is was fully occupied during the peak Christmas and other high demand periods between mid-January and the end of March, though it was sold out only after other resorts were fully booked, telling me that Buccament Bay got a lot of visitors on the rebound, a hypothesis confirmed by my discussion with several guests on board a Fantasea cruise to the Grenadines three years ago that picked up a lot of guests at the resort. My question was, “What brought you to SVG and why to this resort was answered by, “Well, we couldn’t get a booking elsewhere in the Caribbean at a similar resort.” Not one said they had always wanted to visit SVG, presumably because none of them had ever heard of our country prior to looking for somewhere else to stay when they found that their top choices were fully booked.

    4. This piece had 252 reads and 72 likes as of 2:07 pm on Feb. 28. I hardly look at the crap on Facebook, so can’t comment on that. But I guess I have far more than one percent approval.

      Meanwhile, you have not been able to refute a single one of my facts or interpretations in dozens of nasty relies to my writings, falsely claiming that my “badmouthing” is a wicked act of treason or rooted in my hatred of SVG, crazy notions that would preclude any person from seriously discussing our many problems.

      How could you possibly expect me to give “major support” for our destruction of our physical environment which I “badmouth” in this essay or the building of a jumbie airport meant mainly to keep the ULP in power which I have “badmouthed” in many other essays?

      Tell me, what is wicked about critically looking at our country unless you believe that everything is perfect here, including the current government?

      No one, least of all a semi-literate scamp like you who has not written one essay — not one — on this or any other Internet site or in any of our newspapers, couldn’t be an Observer of the difference between his ass and a hole in the ground, and is only good for cheerleading everything the ULP government does, could ever make me write things I don’t believe.

    5. The “very effective and excellent strategy” Buccament Bay Resort had was to rip off hundreds of elderly British investors, aided and abetted by our government lead by the Honourable Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, many of whom invested their life savings in the form of pension monies in a failed pyramid scheme that has driven them into the poor house and will certainly see him go to prison for years when his case is heard next year.

  3. You old fool, go rest your busy body. I’ll defend the land of my birth any time. Regardless of what you say, 1% CATEGORY is where you belong. You are nasty, evil, envious dude. Suffering from low energy, go boost up and come again.

    You’ve been an advocate for others for all your miserable life, go stoop under them you clown. You speaks as if those country without fault, they aren’t pristine, has short comings too. Ask Jamaicans about Sandals rise?Mr know-it-all.

    1. C. ben-David says:

      Your comment, “I’ll defend the land of my birth any time” is a useful reminder of Samuel Johnson’s famous pronouncement that “patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel” on the evening of April 7, 1775.

      Johnson was not indicting patriotism in general, only false patriotism, the type that your comment shows you uphold. You would defend your land (meaning the ruling ULP party who you feel is the only one suited to rule over us) regardless of what the photos in my essay clearly show: a nasty and neglected environment. Poor you, a man with sight who cannot see.

      You can’t even admit that the country needs a lot of cleaning up and renovation, something that even Julian Francis agrees needs to be done, a man who has repeatedly promised to clean up Kingstown and get the in-your-face, pedestrian-blocking vendors off the streets and relocated elsewhere.

      But I guess Mr. Francis is also a “nasty, evil, and envious dude” for even saying this.

      How pathetic that you should defend the indefensible.

  4. Every effort to advance the development of this country, you has some negative remarks. Worst than a (toddler). There’s no perfect system the world over, non. No need for me to publish essay, I am a regular contributor to various Media Houses, namely, 784/IWN/and CNN. I always try to be positive regards my comments. Because of negative attack on SVG, why I have to slam you, can’t stomach it thrust me. Constructive criticism a plus. Never offer helpful tip, only pull down.

    1. C. ben-David says:

      Because there is “no perfect system the world over,” this gives us leave to be so rock bottom in perfection. Great thinking.

      Saying, “I always try to be positive” are the remarks of a blind fool who never wants anything to improve because they already meet his rock bottom standards.

      Are you also always positive about: our high crime rates; high sexual abuse rates; high murder rates; high unemployment levels; high out-migration rates; low Argyle airport nonstop international passenger numbers; and high debts?

      How can we ever do better unless we admit to the things we are doing wrong, in this case our wrongful neglect of our physical environment which will only serve to turn tourists off, people from rich countries with far higher and better environmental standards, which would mean that their first visit here would be their last.

      Can you imagine what their friends and family would say when they showed them photos of our nasty capital, Kingstown?

      Oh, I forgot, there are many positive things to say about Kingstown such as: the noxious smells; the filthy gutters; the mindless littering; the empty and decaying buildings; the traffic conjection; the vendor obstruction; the lack of proper toilet facilties; the broken sidewalks; the outrageous cost of consumer goods; the lack of street seating; the danger of walking out at night; the nasty appearance of and profane language of the people; the lack of garbage bins; the absence of seaside recreational facilities. The list of things you love about Kingstown are nearly endless, I’m sure.

    2. Observer mentioned : ” I always try to be positive regard my comments…” Is this journalism ; to put a positive ‘spin’ on any issue? It is a disservice to the public to be subjective on issues requiring objectivity in their reporting! And, while I am at it,I would suggest you avoid ad hominem attacks directed at someone because her or his views differ from those you expouse!

      1. C. ben-David says:

        Observer is the furthest thing from a practioner of journalism, if only because of his baseline literacy. He is nothing more or less than a ULP propagandist compulsively trying to sweep under the carpet all the bad and nasty things going on in our precious country.

  5. I suggest you take a look at a news item by Caribbean News Now contributor, regarding Sandals boss. Feb, 28th, 2018. “Sandals Meddling in Antigua-Barbuda Elections”. “Non-payment of taxes owed to Antigua’s government”. “In early 2013, Sandals was forced to pay US $12 million to the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) government to avoid criminal prosecution and/or admission of civil liability in relation to unspecified wrongdoing”. Quick to past judgement on SVG, but turned a blind eye regarding others. Usual Ben, known FABRICATOR.

    1. C. ben-David says:

      Whatever Sandals did in TCI and the laughable inference that it is somehow interfering in the Antiguan election just because a newspaper in far-off Jamaica owned by Butch Stewart, who also happens to own Sandals, is rightly critical of the current Antiguan regime, a government wickedly trying to size the land collectively owned for nearly 200 years by the people of Barbuda, pales to insignificance compared to the actions of Dave Ames, owner of the Harlequin group of companies, in regard to the hundreds of millions of dollars pyramid scam perpetuated against hundreds of retirees in England and hundreds of former employees, contractors, suppliers, and government agencies (Vinlec, CWSA, and the NIS, among others) right here in St. Vincent under the watchful eye of Ralph Gonsalves and his government who were so desperate for an investor, any investor, they they allowed an unknown, twice-bankrupt double-glaze window salesman with no money, no expertise, and no business plan to build Buccament Bay Resort.

      Jesus said, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” (John 8:7). You, sir, have no right to cast a stone at Sandals — a company that was invited to St. Vincent on at least two occasions where its was allegedly begged to build a resort here, surely at Mt. Wynne/Peter’s Hope, but which supplication it has clearly rejected because the company must have obviously seen it could not make any money building on a black sand beach with such deep and dark inshore waters — when we have so many tourist development sins of our own.

      The result is posted in the photos above.

      This will be my final exchange with you because you are nothing more than an ignorant and uneducated ULP political hack beneath my notice.

      1. C. ben-David says:

        Sandals has long been victimized by a gready regime that wants to repudiate legal hotel agreements enacted by the previous government.

        I say this is wicked, immoral, and will proven to be illegal.

        See the following piece showing that the Gaston Browne regime is the villain in all this:

        http://www.thestkittsnevisobserver.com/death-penalty/sandals-hotels-blast-antigua-pm-tax-dodging-slander/

        No wonder so many thoughtful Antiguans and nearly all Barbudans want this left-wing ideological government replaced by a more pragmatic and capitalist-oriented one.

  6. Ducking the question? Actually, I’ve reassess your work, you’ve now hit an all time ZERO. We’ll keep you right there. Seek alternative platform Simon, take your pill. The loudest mouth is that of C.Ben David. Boastful SAILOR with little experience, heading to nowhere simply because he lacks navigational skills. Most of the crew reluctant to sail with him, they’ve concluded he’s all talk an no action.

    I rather sail with a qualify CAPTAIN, than this egoistic maniac. A national EMBARRASSMENT, big time DISGRACE. No one is listening to this demigod, pretending to be vast on every subject.

  7. Go suck your wounds fool, rest your old self. Trumping your chest pretending to be professor. Compilation of essays, 40 likes per subject you could handle obtain. It’s a clear indication Vincentians are weary of your thrash. No taste, no excitement same BORING SHIT. Boast too much you’re no body.

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