Pandemic Playbook – Caribbean Inadequacies: Missing the Bubble Opportunities

Go Lean Commentary

Welcome to the … Bubble.

This is the only business model – in the leisure industry – that can find success right now.

For the record, we are addressing the concept of a travel bubble (think isolation bubble):

What is a “travel bubble?”
Travel bubbles, also called travel bridges or corona corridors, do away with that waiting period for a select group of travelers from certain countries where the coronavirus has been contained. “In a ‘travel bubble’ a set of countries agree to open their borders to each other, but keep borders to all other countries closed. So people can move freely within the bubble, but cannot enter from the outside,” says Per Block, an Oxford University researcher in social mobility and methodology. “The idea is to allow people additional freedom without causing additional harm.” Travel bubbles are an extension of one of Block’s research specialties —social bubbles, where people expand their quarantine zones to include more people they consider safe. Block is one of the authors of an Oxford study that suggests social bubbles could be an effective strategy to alleviating coronavirus isolation, although the findings have not yet been peer-reviewed. – Source:

The foregoing says “the findings have not yet been peer-reviewed”. Well, the review is in; according to the National Basketball Association (NBA) in the US, the “Bubble” works. See the experiences here:

2020 NBA Bubble
The 2020 NBA Bubble, also referred to as the Disney Bubble[1][2] or Orlando Bubble,[3][4] is the isolation zone at Walt Disney World in Bay Lake, Florida, near Orlando, that was created by the National Basketball Association (NBA) to protect its players from the COVID-19 pandemic during the final eight games of the 2019–20 regular season and throughout the 2020 NBA playoffs. Twenty-two out of the 30 NBA teams were invited to participate, with games being held behind closed doors at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and the teams staying at Disney World hotels.[5]

The bubble is a $170 million investment by the NBA to protect its 2019–20 season, which was initially suspended by the pandemic on March 11, 2020.[6] On June 4, the NBA approved the plan to resume the season at Disney World, inviting the 22 teams that were within six games of a playoff spot when the season was suspended. Although initially receiving a mixed reaction from players and coaches,[7] the teams worked together to use the bubble as a platform for the Black Lives Matter movement.[8]

After playing three exhibition scrimmages inside the bubble from July 22 to 28, the invited teams each began playing the eight additional regular season games to determine playoff seeding on July 30.[9][10] The 2020 NBA playoffs then began on August 17, and the 2020 NBA Finals is scheduled to begin on September 30. – Source: Retrieved August 26, 2020 from:


VIDEO – The NBA and Tyler Perry provide Bubble Models

Posted August 16, 2020 – Story – With pro basketball teams and staff living in isolation, actors and crew quarantining at Tyler Perry’s Atlanta studios, and families forming self-isolating “pods” for the sake of their children during the coronavirus pandemic, many are working hard to keep protective social bubbles from bursting. Lee Cowan reports.

Despite the threats of the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, the Bubble is working! The economic engine of the NBA is restored-protected; that means the preservation of a $8.76 Billion business enterprise; see the related chart here:

The COVID-19 pandemic is also wreaking havoc on the economy for the Caribbean – where our primary economic driver is leisure travel; no people are consuming vacations nor cruises. We have no Bubble to mitigate this pandemic.

There is an over-arching need for mitigation. See the outstanding COVID-19 cases in the Caribbean (CariCom member-states) as of today:


We need to look-listen-and-learn from this Bubble strategy; we are missing out!

This commentary is the continuation of the Teaching Series for the month of August 2020 on the subject of Pandemic Playbooks. This is entry 2-of-6 from the movement behind the 2013 book  Go LeanCaribbean. There is the need for Travel Bubbles in our Playbook. According to the foregoing VIDEO, it works for the NBA, for Tyler Perry Studios and it can work for the 30 member-states of the Caribbean.

“It is possible to beat COVID at it’s own game”.

Yes, we can! The other commentaries in the series are cataloged as follows:

  1. Pandemic Playbook: Worldwide Leadership – Plan ==> Actual
  2. Pandemic Playbook: Caribbean Inadequacies – Missing the Bubble Opportunities
  3. Pandemic PlaybookBahamas Example – ‘Too Little Too Late’
  4. Pandemic PlaybookOnly at the Precipice – ENCORE
  5. Pandemic PlaybookTo Be or Not To Be – COVID Vaccine
  6. Pandemic Playbook: Success – Looks like New Zealand

This is our objective. Yes, we can!!! With a Pandemic Playbook, it is conceivable, believable and achievable to restore our society and economic engines.

In order to accomplish our objectives, there is the need for this Pandemic Playbook for the Caribbean as a whole and for the individual member-states. The playbook must include Bubbles. Imagine this vision:

An all-inclusive hotel resort with controlled entry-exit. Imagine too, all staff on the property being tested regularly and limited to the property for a few weeks contiguously; lastly, the visitors (tourists) only enter the Bubble after qualified testing.

Wait?! Controlled Access and guaranteed testing?! This is exactly what the CruiseLlines intend to do to restart their economic engine. Remember, these cruise ships cost $Billion; this investment is wasted if they are not transporting passengers and providing leisure. They are crying out for a Bubble strategy.

See their Cruise Bubble plans as portrayed in the Appendix below.

How about land-based resorts?

We strongly urge Caribbean hotels and resorts to copy the NBA model. In fact, while Orlando has privilege of facilitating the NBA end-of-season and playoffs, other communities can (and should) propose solutions for other leagues.

Imagine NCAA Basketball (National Collegiate Athletic Association) …

… there is the annual Battle for Atlantis (Nassau/Paradise Island) tournament; see more here:

The Battle 4 Atlantis is an early-season college basketball tournament that takes place in late November of each year, at Atlantis Paradise Island on Paradise Island in Nassau, Bahamas, on the week of the US holiday of Thanksgiving. The games are played in the Imperial Arena, a grand ballroom which is turned into a basketball venue.[1] The tournament is known for being the richest Division I men’s early-season college basketball tournament. Schools are awarded $2 million in exchange for their participation in the men’s event.[2]

In 2020, a women’s tournament will be added, also featuring eight teams. It will immediately precede the men’s tournament.[3]

The tournament is promoted by Bad Boy Mowers, and is televised by ESPNESPN2 and ESPNU.[4]
Source: Retrieved August 26, 2020 from:

Can “we” continue this for 2020, but this time in a Bubble, with these modification:

  • Every player, coach and support staffer must be continuously tested negative to participate.
  • Increase field from 4 teams to 32; modelling the World Cup by FIFA.
  • 8 Groups of 4 teams each; during Group Play, each team plays each other in the group; guaranteeing 3 games.
  • Elimination Rounds continue with the 16 top Teams, then 8, then 4, then 2, then Champion.
  • Facilitate e-Learning for all College Students in the Bubble – they are student athletes.
  • Allow fans, family and media to participate if they comply with the protocols.
  • Perfect the model and repeat through the Caribbean with more 32 Team combinations.

There you have “it”: Caribbean deficiencies averted; economic opportunities exploited.

The Go Lean book and roadmap provides a glimpse of a new Caribbean that is ready to explore all the opportunities in the Sports eco-system. This plan was published as a Playbook … 7 years ago, far before there was a COVID-19 virus.

Luck is the intersection of preparation and opportunity.

The CU/Go Lean roadmap presented a new Caribbean preparedness that is ready, willing and able to deliver economic optimization and Good Governance.

The CU structure allows for a Sports Management functionality – Sports & Culture Administration – within the Cabinet-level agency, the Department of State  (Page 81). The Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt the needed community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society. We need these types of efficiencies in our Pandemic Playbook. Consider the specific plans, excerpts and headlines from the book on Page 229 entitled:

10 Ways to Improve Sports

1 Lean-in for the Caribbean Single Market
Embrace the advent of the Caribbean Single Market & Economy initiative of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation. This will allow for the unification of the region of 30 member-states into a single market of 42 million people and a GDP exceeding $800 Billion (per 2010). This market size and multi-lingual realities allows for broadcasting rights with SAP-style language options for English, Spanish, French and Dutch. This makes the region attractive for media contracts for broadcast rights, spectrum auctions and sports marketing. The Olympics have demonstrated that sports can be profitable “big business”, and a great source of jobs and economic activity. The CU will copy the Olympic model, and harness the potential in many other sporting endeavors, so as to make the region a better place to live, work and play.
2 CU Games
3 Fairgrounds as Sport Venues
4 Regulate Amateur, Professional & Academically-Aligned Leagues
5 Establish Sports Academies
6 “Super” Amateur Sport Association
Promote All-Star tournaments (pre-season and post-season) for Amateur (School and Junior) Athletics Associations winners. This includes team sports (soccer, basketball), school sports (track/field) and individual sports (tennis, golf, etc.).
7 Regulator/Registrar of Scholar-Athletes – Assuage Abandonment
8 Sports Tourism
The CU will promote tournaments and clinics to encourage advancement in certain sports. These tournaments are aimed at the foreign markets (US, Canada, Europe, Central and South America) so as to generate sports-tourism traffic.
9 Professional Agents and Player Management Oversight (a la Bar/Lawyer Associations)
10 Impanel the CU Anti-Doping Agency

This Go Lean book presents that the organizational structure to deliver a Pandemic Playbook must be in place first – embedded at the onset of the CU Trade Federation – Day One / Step One. Then we will be ready to get “lucky” and avail ourselves of all the profits that Sports eco-system can deliver. We have detailed that profit-potential before; consider this sample of previous blog-commentaries that focused on this industry-opportunity: Refuse to Lose – A Lesson from Sports March Madness 2018 – The Business Model of NCAA Basketball The Business Model of Watching the SuperBowl … and Commercials The Business Model of the College World Series Bad Models: Rio Olympics & Athens Olympics; Same Failure Creating a Sports Business Legacy in the Pro-Surfing Eco-system Miami Sports Eco-System: Dominican’s ‘Home Away from Home’ Lebronomy Fulfilled – Economic Impact of the Return of the NBA Great Sports Business Role Model – ‘WWE Network’ Sports Business Role Model – espnW Sports Business Role Model – Turn On the SEC Network The Future of Golf; Vital for Tourism Caribbean Players and Impact in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Smart Business Model: The Art & Science of Temporary Stadiums Franchise values in NBA Basketball? A “Bubble” or Real? Appears Real! Collegiate Sports in the Caribbean Among the 10 Things We Want from the US: Sports Professionalism Caribbean’s Olympics: A Dream or A Nightmare?

We want sports! We want profit; We want Good Governance. Most assuredly, we want a Pandemic Playbook so that we can cope with all changes: good, bad and ugly.

Welcome to the ugly of COVID-19.

It’s not too late, we can still reform and transform our Caribbean societal engines (economic, security and governance) to better respond-rebuild-recover from emergencies like this pandemic. This is how we can make our Caribbean homeland a better place to live, work and play. 🙂

About the Book
The book Go Lean…Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the elevation of Caribbean society – for all member-states. This CU/Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

The Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society.

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Who We Are
The movement behind the Go Lean book – a non-partisan, apolitical, religiously-neutral Community Development Foundation chartered for the purpose of empowering and re-booting economic engines – stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean societal engines must be a regional pursuit. This was an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 14):

x. Whereas we are surrounded and allied to nations of larger proportions in land mass, populations, and treasuries, elements in their societies may have ill-intent in their pursuits, at the expense of the safety and security of our citizens. We must therefore appoint “new guards” to ensure our public safety and threats against our society, both domestic and foreign. …

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes … can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accidence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.

xxi. Whereas the preparation of our labor force can foster opportunities and dictate economic progress for current and future generations, the Federation must ensure that educational and job training opportunities are fully optimized for all residents of all member-states, with no partiality towards any gender or ethnic group. The Federation must recognize and facilitate excellence in many different fields of endeavor, including sciences, languages, arts, music and sports. This responsibility should be executed without incurring the risks of further human flight, as has been the past history.

xxxi. Whereas sports have been a source of great pride for the Caribbean region, the economic returns from these ventures have not been evenly distributed as in other societies. The Federation must therefore facilitate the eco-systems and vertical industries of sports as a business, recreation, national pastime and even sports tourism – modeling the Olympics.

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


Appendix – COVID-19 testing ‘very likely’ when Royal Caribbean returns to cruising, executive says
Curtis Tate

Royal Caribbean is considering coronavirus testing as part of its plan to resume sailing, a company executive said during a quarterly earnings presentation Monday.

The company has paused its cruise operations since March and hopes to resume them in November, if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lifts its no-sail order, which is set to expire at the end of September. The U.S. cruise industry has voluntarily extended its sailing suspension through Oct. 31. Though company executives gave no firm date for the resumption of cruises, one said testing would be key.

“It’s very likely that testing will occur,” said Michael Bayley, CEO of Royal Caribbean International.He offered no additional details, including whether testing would be for crew members and passengers or to which cruise lines testing would apply.

Royal Caribbean Group owns four cruise brands: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Silversea and Azamara.

Royal Caribbean canceled 1,545 sailings since March 13, including all of its sailings in the second quarter. The company posted a $1.3 billion loss for the quarter and expects to post a loss for the third quarter and for the year.

One tangible impact: Royal Caribbean Group was supposed to receive five new ships by the end of 2021 but now will take delivery of only three: Silver Moon in October, Odyssey of the Seas, in early 2021 and Silver Dawn late in 2021.

COVID-19 impacts: Cruise lines are shedding ships from their fleets. Here’s what it means for cruisers

Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas was supposed to make its debut next year as the world’s largest cruise ship, but its arrival is on hold indefinitely because of the pandemic.

The ship will be able to carry 6,000 passengers and 2,200 crew members.

Royal Caribbean Group’s fleet includes 62 ships, with another 16 on order.

Jason Liberty, the company’s chief financial officer, said it was looking at selling older ships in the fleet.

“We are evaluating opportunities to sell ships,” he said, while not specifying which ones.

The company reported bookings for 2021 comparable with years past, in a sign that demand for cruising could return. Bayley noted that younger people and loyalty customers were driving sales.

“I’m hopeful we’re going to see a lot of pent-up demand,” he said. “People certainly want to have a vacation next year.”

In the near term, Liberty said, the joint Healthy Sail Panel of Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is looking at every facet of safety, from whether ultraviolet lights can effectively kill the virus to how to improve meal service.

Some of the proposed changes might prove costly, such as whether to modify ships to promote social distancing. And such recommendations could smack into the evolving nature of how to best fight the coronavirus, including how soon a vaccine might be on the way.

The company could resume sailings in China and Australia before November, but executives made no commitments in the quarterly earnings presentation Monday.

Ultimately, the prevalence of the virus would determine when sailings can resume, Liberty said.

“It’s a real puzzle,” he said. “There are so many variables to consider.”

Contributing: Morgan Hines, USA TODAY

Source: USA Today – Posted August 10, 2020; retrieved August 26, 2020 from:

Share this post:
, , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *