Stop grumbling and embrace the future, say Merrill and Kirsty

Gloomy attitudes to tourist growth on St Helena have been criticised by development staff Kirsty Yon and Merrill Joshua, after a visit to South Africa.

The Enterprise St Helena pair express their frustration in a report on a trip as guests of the Mantis Collection, the group planning to turn Ladder Hill Fort into a hotel.

They tell the ESH newsletter: “One aspect we both have noticed is how tired we are of the negativity on St Helena.

“We have just been reminded that the rest of the world has little time and tolerance for dilly dallying”.

Their “enrichment” trip involved visiting hotels and training schools, seeking new ideas that could be adapted for the island. One hotel school was already coaching students from another island group, the Maldives.

They also visited Mantis hotels in Cape Town and at the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, as well as visiting the group’s headquarters.

A highlight was meeting a tourism official for the Galapagos Islands, which have many similarities with St Helena, including a highly sensitive ecology.

“Really interesting,” says Merrill. “We spent three hours discussing stories and comparisons of our two islands.”

Read more: Enterprise St Helena newsletter 25 (pdf)

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1 Comment

  1. Namecalling by government officials — is that what it’s come to? The arrogance of the Capes is trickling down to the staff? Vince Thompson discussed this sort of attitude some time back and I think it’s worth repeating:

    “My detailed analysis of the events sparked by the first short, stark closure
    announcement were labelled ‘negative’ by a government source. In this instance,
    for someone to label what I wrote as negative means that someone is not listening.

    “Repeatedly using the word negative in this way can mean many things or
    mean nothing. It can just mean ‘I disagree with what you say’ or more seri-
    ously, ‘there is only one way to do itand your way is not the way’. Worse
    still, ‘it’s going to be done this way. We’ve made up our minds and we’re not
    going to change’. Most dangerous of all, repeatedly labelling various situations
    as either positive or negative is divisive. It puts people on one side or the other.
    It engenders a culture of exclusion [those labelled negative] and promotes
    a culture of cliques, selectiveness and the chosen few, [those who are praised
    for being positive]. It can mean those who make decisions have closed minds
    and are not prepared to properly discuss matters with people who have an alter-
    native view. This new fashion for labelling people’s opinions either positive or
    negative should stop now.”

    –Vince Thompson
    St. Helena Independent

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