Barbados Consumer Sentiment Survey

Submitted by Amit Uttamchandani (Blogger)

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Dear David and BU Family,

I will try to be as brief as possible. I need your assistance.

Back in 2009, you graciously took the time to complete my survey (Resident Perceptions of Tourism Impacts in Barbados).  Now, I am asking for your help once again. I have setup a new survey to look at the sentiments of consumers in Barbados (in terms of the economy, income, consumption, etcetera). It is similar to the US Consumer Confidence Index, The Survey of Consumers (by Univ of Michigan), as well as others around the World.

I’m not 100% sure if there is one specifically for Barbados, and even if there was, it doesn’t hurt to have more data to study, analyze and cross-reference. Accordingly, I have created such a survey, 30 questions in total, which should take anywhere between 10 to 20 minutes to complete. When the survey period expires, I will post a summary of the results (as I did with my 2009 survey) and the methodology for all to see (I will send a notification to the blogs when ready).

I believe that the information coming out of studies like this may be useful for decision makers in the public and private sectors because it offers up a glimpse of what/how Barbadians feel when it comes to certain topics that are important to our economy at the micro and macro level.

Please therefore take the time to fill it out (I’ve set the expiry date for June 18, with a max. of 1500 responses), the link is right here:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ACUBCSS

Thank you for your time.

4 thoughts on “Barbados Consumer Sentiment Survey


  1. Yesterday the Nation newspaper printed a price comparison of products sold at leading supermarkets across Barbados. A pity it has taken so long and in an environment of rising commodity prices where the true value of it will probably be diminished.

    It is welcomed nevertheless.


  2. Hi David,

    Thank you for posting this. When complete, I will the share a summary of the results with everyone.

    Cheers,
    Amit.


  3. I responded to the survey but how do my feeling or belief on anything’s going to mean anything? So what if the people who fall in the 35-49 age group “feel” that pissing on plants makes the plants stronger ..? Who the hell benefits from this “feel” type questioning (other than politicians who would have a sense of how and who to pitch their promises)?


  4. Hello BAFBFP,

    Thank you for taking the time to complete the survey and for your comment(s) above. Rest assured, several persons have already asked me what the value of my consumer sentiments survey is. Back in 2009, I was also asked, what is the value of asking Barbadians their perceptions of tourism impacts?

    I’ll start with the 2009 survey. My response to this was investigating and understanding resident perceptions is important because we (residents of B’dos) are stakeholders in the tourism industry. But so what?

    I will try to be brief (and I will probably fail miserably). As the research literature indicates, among other things, if the feelings/opinions of the residents are ignored, not considered or not investigated at the appropriate level by policy planners and/or stakeholders, then residents may react negatively (in some form or fashion) to the development and/or expansion of the tourism industry.

    This negativity may be expressed directly towards the tourist/visitor in some form or fashion. If this happens, then there is a chance that those tourists will go elsewhere and skip Barbados (there are, after all, several other Caribbean countries which offer sun, sea and surf and where the visitors purchasing power may be greater than here in Barbados). The tourism product is not unique to Barbados. We are not entitled to it, nor are we guaranteed it. Wait until other islands ramp up their tourism product (if they see it being worthwhile when compared against other industries). Also, wait until Cuba starts to open up and curious visitors flock there to explore.

    Mind you, this may not be much of a problem for countries that do not depend on tourism as much as we do. Other countries may earn their foreign exchange (which they need to pay for imports) by trading in oil, natural resources, minerals. But for Barbados, the last time I checked, we depend quite heavily on tourism and the FX revenue.

    Even if you put aside the economic arguement , there are other benefits to tourism as well. For example, tourism enables cultural exchange to happen. We learn about others and they learn about us. But if we don’t understand how our own people feel about tourism and we act indifferent towards tourists, would you, as a tourist, bother to come back? Maybe you would. I don’t know. I am not a mind reader (again, this is why we do research like this to try to understand what is going on).

    I did not carry out my 2009 survey (which was based on similar studies done the world over) in the hopes of changing and/or making a difference in this island. I did it because, as a Barbadian and as someone who is interested in research, I felt that it needed to be done. Whether or not the data will ever be used by the public and/or private sector is not for me to worry about.

    After all, I cannot predict what people will do. Everyone is guided by their own internal goals/objectives, etcetera. Also, even if the public/private sectors do not use this data, maybe there’s a tourism student in Bim out there somewhere who may be able to build on my results and maybe they will use that data to develop their own research. Then again, maybe they won’t.

    Back to 2011 and my consumer survey. Why bother? Excellent question. If you do a little research on the US Consumer Confidence Index, there are several reasons why it is important. But you raised a good point, maybe politicians will tweak their promises based upon my results. But then again, maybe they won’t. Maybe they will ignore it all together.

    But suppose they use the data, both at the public and private sector levels, as an insight into how consumers feel and what they are going through.

    Even if the results are ignored by members of the public and/or private sectors, maybe consumers themselves are interested in knowing how their peers feel. Or maybe there’s a student at BCC, or UWI or just someone who is interested in understanding the society and environment in which they live in, and maybe the results will instill in them a need to ask other questions and to carry out further research.

    Then again, maybe no one will care.

    Again, I cannot read the minds of Men (or Women especially, LOL)But what I can do is ask questions, look at the data and attempt to draw insights from it. What happens to those insights is not for me to decide.

    Not sure if this was the response you were looking for. But hey, nothing beats a fail like a try!

    Cheers,
    Amit.

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