THE MEL FACTOR
One month after: How soon can we expect to go back to normal?
For the last four weeks ago our goal has been to inform our friends and politicians what had really happened in Honduras and our satisfaction with the measures taken by Honduran Institutions in defense of the Constitution.
During all that time we fought misinformation and propaganda broadcasted by Chavez fueled media and other biased networks playing alongside the ´´O´´ administration.
- We managed to inform and mobilize conservative (republican) US political forces, but failed to capture the attention or interest of Democrats, Liberals or any color European Leaders.
- We managed to participate in peaceful demonstrations and spread reports and picture galleries of like activities happening all over Honduras but were not able to report directly to major networks.
- We managed to sit and talk to a US Ambassador but were not able to convince
- We were able to lift the curfew restrictions from the Bay Islands …too late.
- We did great but there is more to come.
It is time to assess the damage so far and the expected fallout from a ´´same as now´´ or a ´´rapidly changing chaotic´´ or ´´slowly back to normal´´ scenarios. Right now we assume damage is restricted to losses in reservations. Transportation on, to and from the islands has been normal. Airlines are flying in. There has been no physical damage to buildings or infrastructure. RECO and other sensitive issues: tranquilo. The earthquake in late May caused damages that in most cases do not amount over the insurance deductible limit.
Damage control and opportunities arising from events are to consider under different hypothetical scenarios:
SAME AS NOW
This is Mel´s favorite scenario. It is when a low intensity battle wears out the government and the economy. Additional sanctions are imposed by Europe and the US. Mel Zelaya is given the opportunity to clean up and pack. Estimated duration: four more weeks. This scenario has the possibility in developing into the next.
RAPIDLY CHANGING CHAOTIC
Due to added sanctions by trade partners, additional funding for MEL adept demonstrations, the gross economy of Honduras and majorly around the rest of Central America comes to a halt. With external actors fueling guerilla type operations, cross border crisis and aggravated civil unrest. Crime is rampant and finally Micheletti gives in. The final outcome is not good … for any one.
SLOWLY BACK TO NORMAL
This scenario is probably our best chance to get back to 2007- 2008 conditions. It requires a definite withdrawal of former President Zelaya from the arena. Possibly due to important discoveries and deteriorating perception by international donors, Mega-Media and a few world leaders including more specific condemnation of his actions by the US. A short period of US-Venezuela tensions is expected. The US shall expect a number of foreign government re-establishing diplomatic ties to Honduras before stepping in with a ´´I knew you could make it´´ pat in the back and maybe then, but only then labeling Honduras as a investment destination in supports of its democracy and other nice sounding diplomatic verbiage.
At the same time, using classical business tools, we can visualize challenges and opportunities.
AGENDA FOR THE ISLANDS´ LEADERSHIP
Being a multi cultural diverse community the Bay islands of Honduras has several leadership nodes: religious and political among the locals; business and nationality oriented among the expatriates. On different coordinates but on the same chart, Utila and Guanaja and Cayos Cochinos are also part of the Bay Islands. The common element would be the Governor.
Arlie Thompson is to call us soon. Here is a list of priorities and goals for the Bay islands:
MARKET AND IMAGE
COST OF DOING BUSINESS
COST FOR VISITORS
EXTREME EVENTS OF NATURE
We can add, we can sort, we can re-arrange but all are important and we are both few and many and we can start addressing each. ASAP.
I am positive that great opportunities shall emerge from these events. Our duty is to maximize them to create and keep stable jobs, obtain good education standards and be a happy healthy people.
So ……….. How soon can we get back to normal? It is our call.
AFTER A MONTH, we will not be able to convince anyone more. and trying to convince Obama or his ´´O ring´´ is a loss of time, and money.
In ROATAN and the Bay islands we need visitors. right now we are in a seasonally low period. On top of that there is an economical crisis or depression. Our middle class to working class visitor is hurting from the crisis.
How do we get part of that deteriorated market?
By slashing our prices and becoming competitive.
here is my proposed plan:
- Reduce ALL room rates by at least 40% of their better price (not rack)
- Reduce price of beer to $1
- Reduce price of burgers and fries to $5
- Reduce Galaxy fare to $20/25
- Reduce full dinner to no more than $12
- Reduce airport impact rate 30%
- Reduce Cruise ship dock fees and dues 30%
- Reduce MLS commissions to 7%
- Reduce price of dives to $20
Put together ALL existing budgeted and special PR/PUBLICITY/TRAVEL/CONGRESS/SEMINAR monies into a
ONE SINGLE ONE MONTH ALL OUT CAMPAIGN
in US and Euro mags and other media. and let the WORLD know that
WE HAVE REDUCED OUR PRICES
and this is a fun peaceful ´paradise´´-
TIMES and NYTIMES and similar travel journalists to come, visit, have fun and report.