Today’s Editorial December 19: Take the Go East initiative survey

People in the Eastern Districts need to keep a keen eye on their post boxes.

Among the Christmas cards, bills and package notices is an envelope from Government.

Inside is a survey for the Go East initiative.

It’s titled the Eastern Districts Investment Climate Survey.

In it residents are asked things like what percentage of your income do you spend in your Eastern District, what new businesses would you like to see in your district and how can Government help you?

There are two surveys; one for households and the other for businesses.

The surveys are short and easy to complete, so we encourage you to take part. Anonymity is guaranteed.

This public consultation is needed to help develop a Go East policy that supports small businesses in East End, North Side and Bodden Town that can take advantage of tourism opportunities.

The Go East initiative is part of Tourism Minister Charles Clifford’s attempt to drive tourists and their disposable incomes to the Eastern Districts with the promise that those communities won’t become like crowded Seven Mile Beach.

And that’s probably the biggest fear of people who live in the quiet, quaint districts of the East End; that their neighbourhoods will become crowded with tourists and traps.

The Minister has promised this isn’t going to happen.

His concern is that the businesses in the Eastern Districts aren’t getting their fair share of the tourism economic pie.

The surveys in the post boxes are a continuation from the district meetings held not too long ago for public comment.

If you haven’t gotten your survey yet, call your district committee chairmen: Mr. Emile Levy of Bodden Town, 939-1832; Mr. Joey Ebanks of North Side, 916-1662; and Mr. Mervyn Connolly of East End, 946-2084.

Government is giving those of us who live in the Eastern Districts a say in how we want tourism to develop there.

This survey is one of your opportunities to offer input.

It’s like voting. If you don’t fill out the survey, don’t complain if the tourism product offered in the Eastern Districts in the future doesn’t match what you had envisioned.

Now is your time to speak up.

Take the survey.

It’s easy.

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