I agree with the stance minister Robin Yearwood has taken on the Long Bay issue. This has nothing to do with politics, as I am a UPP supporter, but I am first and foremost an Antiguan.
Look around Antigua. Most of the beaches that Antiguans and tourists enjoy are swallowed up in the name of tourism. There are already enough hotels and resorts in Antigua to last a lifetime.
I am all in favour of jobs for our people, but think about the long-term picture. Many hotels have short seasons and for more than half of the year, many of their staff work days or at home, bursting their brains how to make ends meet.
These hotels then become like cemeteries for six to seven months of the year, and a few are almost “white elephants.”
Notice Ffryes Beach? Slowly but surely, buildings are being constructed around, edging themselves inward, seemingly moving in to take the prize – the beach. This popular beach is a favourite of the public. So too is Long Bay, a well known family-oriented beach frequented for years by locals and visitors alike.
Should this resort be erected, nothing will be the same again. The change could bring broken promises and shattered lives. Most beaches are hardly accessible to the public any more.
Many of the hotels and resorts are practically built on them and fenced almost to the water’s edge.
I am a patriotic Antiguan and though we need jobs and the country an economic boost, I do not believe another hotel or resort will make a vast difference on the present economy. Think not of the moment. Think of the unborn Antiguan. Think of the long-term effect.
Save something for our children. Something must remain for the Antiguans.