‘Master Plan’ For Tourism!

It should take approximately 12 months to complete once they have gone through the process of hiring consultants they would be working with’ said Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Rudy Grant. This statement was contained in a Barbados Advocate article published Friday 27th July 2007 under the headline Mission: Bring more tourists to the island’. The question is with the huge staff of the Barbados Tourism Authority, The Ministry of Tourism and a National Marketing Committee, why is it necessary to bring in hired consultants?

Are these hired consultants likely to be locally based, like the company headed by a former BTA chairman or will the required expertise be imported? And why on earth is it going to take 12 months to formulate a ‘Master Plan’, especially as the Senator stated that there is an ‘urgency to have it in place’?

Does this also mean that the ‘Master Plan’ for tourism will not be in place by the next General Election?

Adrian Loveridge

27th July 2007

Adrian it is prophetic that you submitted this note because we wanted to ask you to comment on the following: We know that the government at the height of the JAWS controversy sought to justify GEMS by explaining it would improve room stock on the South of the island. Last night we came across some information which created some confusion in our minds. Here it goes!

Read Barbados Underground RSS Feed


Blue Horizon Gems of Barbados is haviing its 2007 Best of Barbados special. Book 7 nights and get the first night free as well as 20% OFF hotel rates. Plus Full buffet breakfast daily and $200 air credit per person (maximum 2 guest – NO SINGLES ). Book now for travel September 1 to November 15, 2007.

The information is currently listed on Vacations Coastal Travel Website.

Our question is why would we be discounting packages to Barbados in what we believe is the winter season?

14 thoughts on “‘Master Plan’ For Tourism!

  1. David…

    Last year the subsidy went up to US$300 per person for certain periods.
    The country actually loses money on each package.

    Here’s the comparison taking a room rate of US$100 as an average.

    7 nights ROOM at US$100 (two persons per room) = US$350
    Breakfast for seven days = US$105

    Total value for each DIRECT booking = US$455


    6 nights ROOM at US$100 (2 persons per room) = US$300 (one night free)
    LESS 7 complimentary breakfasts = US$105
    LESS US$200 Airfare subsidy

    Net LOSS for every BEST of Barbados Booking = US$5

    When you take the reduced rate of VAT collected it means we loose around US$60 per EVERY Best of Barbados booking.

    Plus a discounted product attracts the least destination loyal visitor and least likely to return again UNLESS you sell it below cost again.

  2. We know that the government at the height of the JAWS controversy sought to justify GEMS by explaining it would improve room stock on the South of the island
    When you hear this statement does it not make you cringe, when in July 2007 instead of GEMS adding something to the hotel room stock of this island the same GEMS and careless politicians are selling off gov’t owned property to private investors to permit them to erect condos on prime beachfront real estate ?
    Are we really to take these clowns seriously on anything that they say or tell you that they are going to do ?
    Now if they were to say that each project that they arrange they the elected ones are going to collect some underhand money then is when I would start to believe the crooks.

  3. We have from good sources that several expats have sold their properties at Sugar Hill and Millennium and retreated to Spain because they don’t like how the landscape of Barbados has change and continues to change.

  4. Lynch is maybe the single most destructive natural disaster to hit this island since hurricane Janet did her number here.
    Here we have someone who is so mesmerised by his own ego that he has forgotten that there is a ministry named tourism that he is supposely overseeing and look what he has done to it arrival figures a on the decline despite his double counting during CWC, he has overseen the closeure of hotels to be converted to condos that yield no long term benefits to staff numbers or services.
    This man needed kicking out on his as_ 5 years ago instead he has been allowed to idle in his office all this time while the industry slides downhill and is in a rapid decline.

  5. Adrian~so what explains the budget promotions the BTA are pushing? Is it that people are not interested in Barbados as a destination brought on by competition? Why are we giving away money?

  6. David…

    Its a very good point.
    My only logical conclusion is that the policymakers are trying to maintain the NUMBERS at any cost.
    Rather like the home porting people being counted twice.
    First as arrivals by air (long stay) and then included on the cruise ship passenger manifests as arrivals by sea.
    Also much has been made of increased visitor spend, but if you analyse the figures, we have barely kept up with inflation.
    ie: if inflation is 7% or 8% per annum and visitor spend only increases by 4% or 5%, then we are actually falling behind.

    Another factor that is often not taken into account is the average duration of stay, which has fallen from 11.1 nights to 7 nights over the last 12 years.
    Simply put, you need to increase the arrival numbers dramatically, just to achieve the same

    In 2004 (Barbados Statistical Service) our hotels, guest houses and apartments achieved an annual occupancy level of 49.7% against a Caribbean average of around 63%.
    To put this in perspective, over 3,500 rooms stood empty EVERY single night of that year.
    In 2005 that average occupancy level improved slightly to around 50.2%.

    I noticed that recently Senator Rudy Grant was talking about a ‘Master Plan’ for tourism which could be ready in 12 months or so.
    Perhaps, not even by the next General Election.

    Until ‘we’ change from reactive rather than proactive policymaking in tourism, I cannot see any radical improvement and the authorities will keep selling the product below cost, as they simply do know, or are willing to try alternative
    marketing strategies.

    Over the last 12 years, some 25 hotels have been either closed or converted into condominiums.
    There will be a price to pay for this in the medium to long term.

  7. What is being said here is basically correct but the problem goes far deeper.

    Barbados has said all along they were gearing their tourist product to the big spenders and not the “average” visitor. They said the average visitor did little for the economy because they did not spend!

    They to some extent have accomplished their mandate but the big spenders or upper crust visitor initiative has also stalled and now the Tourism product is caught between a rock and a hard place.

    Because of this hotels have and will continue to close and the courageous will expect condos to fill the space but that is not happening from what I am told. There are many inherent problems deterring people of any financial means from choosing Barbados to visit. Barbados is well known throughout the UK, USA, Canada and to a lesser extent Europe. Many people have visited Barbados two and three times they need no advertisment to tell them about it.

    However the changes in Barbados over the past ten or so years were not changes favorable to enhancing the tourist product. That is for sure!

    As a result unfortunately Barbados now finds it has to compete with cheaper destinations and to do so you need to market your product with the cheaper destinations. But here is the big problem as I see it.

    The cheaper destinations you are competing with do not have the high overhead costs as businesses in Barbados.

  8. What is it that recommends Minister Lynch for the job. He manages the portfolio which is the lifeblood of the country but there have been so many question marks around the gentlemen in recent years. Maybe for Arthur to move him this close to election would admit a failure which he cannot afford with elections around the corner.

  9. A total idiot in the most important ministry in the island.
    Not to mention his questionable dealings as was revealed by David Ellis when asked about his sudden jump in fortune.

  10. What crap is the man talking about regarding Barbados being fully booked out by LIAT for the summer season.
    I have just called LIAT to inquire about availabilty of seats from Grenada, St.Vincent and St.Lucia for next weekends travel and most days they have three or four flights with six seats open and available.
    I must admit that it was a challenge getting someone to speak to at their reservation contact number but nevertheless after much trying it worked.
    Is Noless Lynch making more of a fool of himself once again, with the airfares as high as they are does he really believe that people are flocking to fly to Barbados to see him ?
    Wake up Lynch from your slumber, you and you alone will be the only person believing your lies not the rest of us we have heard it all before from you and understand the extent of your lying sickness.
    Please we remember only too well the lies about CWC the 90,000 visitors, the 700 yachts, the 36 cruise ships, the Carnival Destiny Charter that you blew the US $ 15 million on, and another US $ 5 million to them to send more visitors to these shores,the airport scam of the operation of the airport shops all run by an Irish concern that you know about, the mega bucks that the airport is now going to cost us because of poor planning and building, to have to extend the depature lounge before the airport is even complete is really very poor planning indeed.To have built a new airport and not budget for air bridges only shows that no planning went into this sad effort of Lynch’s
    Lord please get him out of the Ministry soon before he can rip us off and steal more from us the taxpayers of this land.

  11. Let me say this. First and foremost I know nothing about LIAT capacity position nor do I care. But here is what to focus on.

    The newspapers carried a report yesterday that US visitors to the Caribbean are down because of (passport requirements) and that cause I put no confidence in as valid because most people today have and will continue to have to use passports. In spite of this USA and Canadian carriers are having great capacity. Another reason and which I have said repeatedly is the real reason for reduced visitors to the Caribbean is due to people wanting to see other places. Barbados is a tired destination with many saying “been there done that”.

    However the middleclass boomers are staying close to home and going to USA destinations, Cuba, Mexico etc simply because of economics and other factors Barbados cannot compete with.

    On the other end of the scale and I can only speak to the situation in Canada and the USA the younger generation are into skiing, snow boarding and sports like that and their visits take them to destinations with these activities those wanting to travel. They could care less about sun, sand and sea!

    But what I found really humorous about the report of reduced US visitors to the Caribbean was this, Barbados claimed that visitor arrivals from the USA was up by I think 2%. Strange that Barbados was up even with world cup cricket a sport that the USA yawns at!

    As far asa LIAT is concerned whether it is profitable now or not is irrelevant because LIAT will eventually FAIL! The entire LIAT concept, managemnent structure and financial make up is so seriously flawed that I cannot start to explain it. LIAT will go like BWIA because it has the same operational culture running it!

    I say Tourism in the region of the Caribbean is in serious trouble and much of its causes are beyond repair. I think you might within the next decade or so see Barbados gradually returning to servicing the average tourist but at much reduced costs, profits and that too will not last because value and service will be down with that approach.

    Unlike the days when Barbados had the Merrymen and the Jolly Rogers which visitors loved and could relate to and which drew thousands to Bim those days are gone. The cultural events as is now winding down in Barbados is of little interest to overseas people. They are on the same level as CARIBANA is in Canada. They attract resident “Caribbean” Canadian and USA people and a few others. Caribana is a money losing proposition.

    Noel Lynch is the eternal optimist grasping at straws and Loveridge is pushing him closer and closer to the brink of self destruction by using hard facts to discredit his propaganda. Were I Loveridge I would get a bullet proof vest!

  12. Pingback: Barbados Government Want To Expand Cruise Tourism But There Is A Price Attached! « Barbados Underground

  13. The DLP criticised the former government for not producing a master plan. This is 2010 and the DLP has not produced one for over 2 years. Why is it that Adrian is now so silent on the issue

Leave a comment, join the discussion.