Critiquing Chairman Of The Board, Adrian Elcock

Adrian Loveridge - Hotel Owner

I have waited a few days, hoping, even wishing that someone within the tourism industry would make a public comment over the appointment of a new Barbados Tourism Authority Board. Sadly, it hasn’t happened and almost with a sense of obligation, while knowing that it will invite criticism find it almost compelling to ask some seemingly relevant questions.

First let us establish the objective here. It’s not about individual personalities, but surely what is in the overall national best interest of Barbados and its tourism sector. To ensure that I fully understood the required criteria of a Board Chairman, I have read through pages and pages of reference documents on the internet.

Listed as a basic function is ‘The Chairman of the Board is responsible for the management, the development and the effective performance of the Board of Directors, and provides leadership to the Board for all aspects of the Board’s work’.

Instinct tells me that it is fundamentally essential to have an in-depth knowledge of the industry, its players and product, to perform this duty. Otherwise how could you assess the strengths and weaknesses to ensure that any medium to long term all embracing plan and policy direction is put into place?

Perhaps, that’s what separates the way some of us think!

I cannot recall many hotels over the years that I have not visited, either briefly or in fact stayed at. The latter have included Coral Reef, Atlantis, Little Good Harbour, Hilton, Bougainvillea and Southern Palms. If you count some of the 30 plus hotels that have closed over the years, it would be many more.

Having also personally called on literally hundreds of travel agents across North America and participated in many promotional tours and shows in past years, I considered it absolutely essential that not only could I easily discuss our own little property, but the Barbados tourism product in general.

Of course there will be many seasoned industry professionals lined up to offer the new Chairman advice, but to judge the validity and priority of any suggestions made he will have to very quickly evaluate the importance of those inputs and how they could be incorporated positively in any policy planning.

The responsibilities of the Chairman include ‘the quality, quantity and timeliness of the information that goes to Board members’.

Can this be achieved effectively by relying entirely on data fed to you?

It is now over three years since the planned restructure of the Barbados Tourism Authority was promised in the DLP election manifesto and two years since the announced separation of the organisation to include a marketing and product development company. I remember asking what the proposed time line for the restructuring was and the reply indicated six months, which at that time I thought was woefully optimistic.

There appears to be no shortage of discussion but we appear to lack the resolve of implementation.

I genuinely wish the new BTA chairman every success, and there is no doubt that he will need all the constructive help he can get, especially during what is going to be a very challenging summer ahead.

28 thoughts on “Critiquing Chairman Of The Board, Adrian Elcock

  1. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work in the tourism industry.
    Case in point – you!
    Now shut to fcuk up, pack your bags and leave the place dooo!

  2. How would you like someone untrained in neurosurgery carrying out an intricate operation on your brain? How should the tourism sector feel about an untrained and inexperienced BTA chair being in charge of leading the charge for the tourism sector? I do believe that the answer, in general, would be similar to both questions. We cannot afford in either instant for the operator to be learning on the job. BS is is not going to cut it in either instant. For the sake of the country let us wish Mr. Elcock every success, however, I would like to go on record that it is my concerted opinion that Minister Sealy could not be serious about our tourism product. God bless Bim.

  3. @Shutup

    Sad when one has to get personal on a matter of such importance.

    Although my views may be different and I wish the Board and Barbados the best, your comment is totally uncalled for.

  4. I have never read more self serving rubbish before, when one listens to Loveridge one is led to believe that this clown operating a 20 room if that much, Bed and Breakfast joint is a saviour and has every answer to tourism, a total and complete clown I was tempted to say something even stronger but lets leave him as a clown.

  5. The cannibalism has started. The use of the word ‘clown’ reminds me of a regular poster with a different pseudonym.

  6. @ david.. see my point. Different topic , same line of thinking. When we hear what we dont like, we lash out, and in a very incoherent manner.. we insult at the lowest level of human decency and then pat our back on our civility and literacy rate

  7. That was not me.

    I use the word “clown” to describe real “clowns” that is Barbados Labour Party members and supporters.

  8. David,

    Its a shame. I am not sure why the size of our hotel bothers some people. That was our ‘career choice’ after finding a derelict property and transforming it into a multi -award winning profitable hotel over 23 years.
    Prior to moving to Barbados I owned and ran a highly successful tour operation which carried hundreds of thousands of people. It set new industry standards in the UK. Prior to re-locating I was offered the position of Executive Chairman at a major travel company, but declined because we wanted to do our own thing. I have worked and/or lived in tourism in 67 countries and without appearing to be pompous, cannot think of many people that have had my working experience in tourism over the last 45 years.
    I think if ‘we’ are going to take this industry forward, we need to ask relevant questions and expect informed answers.
    Surely thats how democracies work?

  9. @Enuff….”The cannibalism has started. The use of the word ‘clown’ reminds me of a regular poster with a different pseudonym.”

    I know de regular KLOWN yuh talking bout LOLL he tink he cud fool we.

    I have this problem with some of us Bajans. When someone criticizes constructively some of us get real personal and nasty. The first thing that comes out is to get our our country. What a sad way to begin and end a conversation.

    It is a fact that many of us are not capable of critical thinking. Rather than insult and behave like you come from the Constitution River, please think beyond your biases.

    @Shut up who said “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work in the tourism industry.”

    This is clearly the case of the BTA newly appointed Chairman. Has he had any experience within the Tourism Industry other than supplying illumination fixtures? It seems that we have replaced an idiot with one who doesn’t have a clue about the industry. It is obvious the Minister didn’t have any suitable candidates for this post. Friends and business never mix and he of all people should know that.

    There is no magic wand that will help the Tourism Industry, however we need practitioners who are in the field who know the industry like the back of their hand. Those who have tried and been successful at what they are doing to assist this country to go forward.

  10. I am prepared to give Mr Elcock time as Chairman to see how he plans to take the BTA forward. Let us see his plans and vision for the future. Let us also hope that he scraps the stupid plan the lazy minister had of splitting the BTA in to separate companies. Good luck to him!

  11. We don’t solicit confidence from players in the industry when the head of our Board does not have tourism experience plain and simple. He will waste too much time learning the business as opposed to making a quick contribution which is needed at that level. We are not paying him to learn but to perform!

    Take a look at some big names in the St Lucia and Jamaica tourist establishment and then wonder why they see more growth and dynamism in their markets! We really can’t be serious and don’t even try to sell me the BS on justifying that appointment. We can’t….it is purely political.

    David….I challenge you to report on the progress on the boards decisions/strategies each month to see if we are really getting the direction we need! This is too big an issue to try to gloss over!

  12. Steupse For Heaven’s sake, Adrian. You ‘en know that we Bajans know everything? Why have experts? Steupse!!
    best post today!

  13. welcome to the club, adrian. every thing was fine and danfy when your comments were perceived to be critical of the blp’s torism policies; now the shoe is on the other foot you are a demon. if you do not fall in line, then heaven help you when the dlp pit bulls start to attack you

  14. Mr. Loveridge

    You have all rights to express your views which i thought were sound, but someitmes I wonder about the comprhension level of some persons.

    Dont be afraid to express your views and dont go into the gutter to reach some people, let them reach your standards.

    I gone

  15. I thought the role of the Chairman and the Board is to implement the GOVERNMENT’S/MINISTER’S programme NOT his, the Board’s or their interpretation. So does Mr. Elcock need to be a tourism expert or simply have the aptitude to understand the role and function of the BTA and his bosses’ agenda?

  16. As the minister has seldom had any training in the tourism. normally the chairman would be there to guide the policy in what doable and what is not. Having both not from tourism back ground leaves the blind leading the blind.

  17. ‘To whom much is given, much is expected and he firmly believes that every Barbadian who has been blessed with special skills and developed specific competencies would do well to use those gifts in service of their country’.
    Attributed to Richard Llewellyn Sealy

  18. Here is a great marketing tip for Barbados from Jamie Foxx

    Why cannot the whole area where the Sandbox and Boab tree are located be called Centennial Passage. A promenade similar to Lears with an Arch can be developed which can complimented by the mystique of Sandbox and Boabab trees. We are unto something as a true tourist attraction if we can convince Mr Pandor. Image if we promote Centennial Passage as place where you can go and make a wish for longevity playing on the mystique of the two trees. How much money would this bring in tourist dollars over a 10 year period? Lets put together a proposal to Government as they may be open to ideas.

    Barbados has the third oldest living centenarian and that apart from the island of Okinawa in Japan, Barbados has more centenarians per capita than any other region on earth. Thus lets have Centennial Passage where a monument can be erected and names of those who reach that ripe old age is inscribed. We can then market it s a tourist attraction where persons can go and make a wish for long life. So we would have a beautiful area that will cost more money but will be a tourist attraction and will be unique as a Barbados unique tourist attraction. In addition its has long term economic benefit plus the government can justify the additional money spent as stimulus money for the economy. Suggestion needed!

    Anybody know John Boyce and Richard Sealy`s email address?

  19. ‘How REDjet reach TT?’

    Monday, April 18 2011

    WORKS and Transport Minister Jack Warner is seeking answers on how Barbadian airline REDjet is promoting a service to Trinidad and Tobago when no one knows if it has permission to operate here.

    “I am not against competition at all of any kind. As I said before, competition keeps everyone on his or her toes. What I am against is that you come in the country and nobody knows how,” Warner said yesterday. No one in his ministry is aware of REDjet’s entry into the local air transportation market, Warner told reporters after a Hanuman Jayanti function at Charlieville Hindu Mandir in Chaguanas. Neither, according to Warner, does Caribbean Airlines, the local carrier which faces competition from REDJet.

    “Caribbean Airlines does not know, Airports Authority does not know, and I don’t want to insult the Prime Minister by asking her because I am sure that she, too, does not know,” Warner said. REDjet launched its service to Trinidad and Tobago last week, promising cheap regional fares although the fine print on its advertisements states its flights are due to begin by May 8 pending approval of its application for a licence to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

    CAA director-general Ramesh Lutchmedial told Newsday last Friday that no application had received from REDjet although the airline has expressed an interest in obtaining a licence.

    If an application is received, it has to be carefully reviewed before permission is granted.

    It has been reported that scores of passengers have made bookings for REDjet’s advertised flights to Guyana, Jamaica and Barbados.

    Warner, however, is concerned about the airline’s status and claimed the United States had denied REDjet permission to operate flights there.

    “Why should it not be good for the US and good for Trinidad and Tobago. So, that too I will check later this week because I don’t know what the details are,” Warner said.

    An Associated Press report on April 12, stated the United States (US) Federal Aviation Authority indicated Barbados did not meet international standards to have flights operate out of the island to the US. This means no Barbados-based carrier can fly to the US until the Barbados Civil Aviation Department obtains clearance for flights.

    Warner stressed that his ministry is not going to investigate REDjet’s operations, but only wants to know if it has permission to fly to and from Trinidad by offering a flight to Barbados for as low as US$99. “Not even if you go by bicycle,” Warner said yesterday, “will it cost so low to go to Barbados.”

    Warner first raised these issues at last Thursday’s post-Cabinet media briefing.

    He also repeated yesterday that Cabinet agreed to wait until Finance Minister Winston Dookeran returned from New York to consider an inter-ministerial committee report on the infighting among the Caribbean Airlines board of directors.

  20. I am waiting and watching carefully. What we are seeing is the beginning of potential stall tactics from the TnT officials in protection of their local carrier. Forget that name Caribbean Airlines.

    It is still to early to say if this is just rhetoric but it is interesting to note so far. I am hoping that our leadership is paying attention to this rhetoric which can negatively impact Barbados’ economy if the rhetoric turns into action and inter-island travel is hampered.

    I am also hoping that CAL’s landing rights into Barbados are also on the table if RedJet is “blocked” from entering TnT.

    Freundel better get ahead of the rhetoric and act on this one and not “study it astutely!!”

    Waiting and seeing

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