Tag Archives: caribbean

Virgin Atlantic’s patronising ‘help the Caribbean’ campaign

Hats off to Virgin Atlantic and the Travel Foundation for rendering me completely speechless:

The Travel Foundation cares for the people and places we all love to visit. Sustainable tourism can help protect traditions, culture and the natural environment – the things that make your holiday special. It can also improve the lives of the people who live in tourist destinations so they are happy and able to give you a warm welcome.

And the great news is that all of this gives you an even better holiday experience as well as ensuring there are great places for us all to visit, for generations to come.

We’re changing lives in the Caribbean – Over the next three years, the Travel Foundation will work on the profound social and environmental effect of tourism in the Caribbean, where we fly 800,000 customers a year. They will support entrepreneurial business development among disadvantaged youth, particularly in the areas of craft making, beekeeping and fishing.

Our fantastic beekeeping project will help young people learn about traditional skills so they can produce honey to sell to the tourism industry. This will aid the conservation of the honey bee and give you an even sweeter taste of the Caribbean.

Tilapia fish farming is an educational programme that will teach about over-fishing and help young people develop small businesses, enabling them to sell farmed fish to local hotels and restaurants. This will demonstrate an alternative livelihood to traditional fishing and allow you to enjoy fresh fish from a sustainable source while you’re having a fabulous holiday.

Our craft making project will teach new skills, helping young people produce crafts from recycled materials collected from hotels, thereby reducing waste and offering new business opportunities. So, in the near future, you’ll also get to buy hand-made souvenirs in a new craft centre – a unique reminder of your time away!

That text, taken from the airline’s website, was also included in Virgin’s in-flight ‘Seatback’ magazine, which is where I first saw it. I am incensed by the campaign, however well-intentioned those behind it may purport to be.
Continue reading Virgin Atlantic’s patronising ‘help the Caribbean’ campaign

T&T media FAIL, Haiti edition

Dear Trinidadian media: the Haitian earthquake is the biggest and most important Caribbean story, bar none, of the moment and the year to date.

What, exactly, is your excuse for your utter inability to update your sites to reflect this state of affairs, per the following screenshots (taken at approximately 8.55pm Trinidad time):

Screenshot of the Express front page at 8.55pm on Tuesday Jan 12
Screenshot of the Guardian Online's front page at 8.55pm on Tuesday Jan 12
Screenshot of the Newsday's website front page at 8.55pm on Tuesday Jan 12



Too often, relatively inconsequential events are referred to as “a tragedy” or “tragic”.

But what is happening in Haiti – dozens dead, many more injured and dying in the aftermath of a 7.3 earthquake that also damaged and possibly destroyed the country’s National Palace – is a tragedy.

Readers, Haiti needs your help. In the coming days, weeks and months the island’s people will need food, water, shelter, medical care as they attempt to rebuild – for the umpteenth time – their shattered lives and nation.

There will undoubtedly be campaigns by the Red Cross, AmeriCares and other such organisations. Please give.

Give, and give generously, because the Haitian populace needs your support more than the myriad fete promoters and purveyors of glorified bikinis do; more than the enforcers of racism and classism along Ariapita Avenue.