Keep It Simple!

Adrian Loveridge – Owner of Peach & Quiet Hotel

I frequently think that we try and make tourism far too complicated, when the recipe for success largely boils down to the way we treat our customers, or in our case, visitors. I recently spent a week in Costa Rica. 5 nights in a small property called Oxygen Jungle Villas. Two nights in a Marriott just outside the capital, San Jose and an overnight in each direction at the Sofitel Miami. What impressed me especially at the two brand name hotels was the standard of service, at every level and all departments. If I had to describe in a single word, it would be faultless. Room rates were probably a little higher than I would have ordinarily paid, but when you equated it with the value-for-money received, the cost became almost irrelevant.

While I had visited Costa Rica before, it was thirty-something years ago, so you can imagine the changes. The American Airlines flights in both directions to/from San Jose and Miami were virtually full and clearly a predominance of visitors, even during this, an off peak period. Contrast this with the Miami/Barbados flight, which barely had a 50 per cent load factor. The first impression at SJO airport, while standing in the immigration line, were the LED flat screens, although silent, showing attractions, activities, local products and restaurant choices. Already giving arriving tourists options and choices of how to spend holiday monies during their stay. This is such an obvious opportunity for our airport, and you wonder why monitors haven’t been installed so far.

And as a destination, knowing that we cannot compete with the lower price, mass market alternatives, surely a commitment to the delivery of service excellence is the direction we should be aiming for, at all grades of accommodation. Everybody on the same page with a common purpose.

At first, it may seem a illogical leap from the topic, but are there lessons we can learn from other sectors?

Next time you take a bite out of a Mars bar for instance, as 2 billion people annually do, spend a few minutes to study the five principals behind one of the world’s largest privately owned corporations. A fourteen minute video on YouTube, entitled ‘The five principals of Mars’ takes you around the globe giving examples of how the company puts them, Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom, into practical (and profitable) use. To me, at least, it graphically demonstrates that we all must keep our minds open to new ways that our product or service can be improved.

Paraphrasing the objectives of their 6,500 ‘associates’, as they are called, who are employed by the company, the stated goal is to ‘create lasting, mutual benefits for all those involved in our business success’. Perhaps in these current economic circumstances, it has never been so important to help those that are assisting you to achieve your goals and aspirations.

We talk about closer co-operation between the various sectors, but seem rather reluctant to implement the conversation. Have we really become too willing to accept mediocre as the ‘norm’ and incapable of forging smart partnerships?

26 thoughts on “Keep It Simple!

  1. Adrian-when will you understand the bajan workers are naturally not friendly people.totally different people than where you went.they are Africans.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!,
    who thorough the world are general rude ,thieves and don’t like white people..
    figure white people owe them something for slavery.
    Barbadian blacks and whites are the worst of all the Caribbean.
    they think they are great and are naturally filthy mouth and unfriendly people.
    fix that
    let me know when you get through.
    they don’t care about the tourist they care what us money they can get from them..and of course the men just to ram them to death.
    you taking about apples and oranges..AND IT WILL NEVER CHANGE.

  2. barbados would be lovely if it was not for the blacks,
    pity.they have earned a reputation world wide as con men and murderers and thieves and rapist.
    let me know when that fix too.

  3. A key performance indicator of the industry has been the tension between hoteliers especially and general public. It has not gone away over the years. There is a lesson to be learned here.

  4. David,
    Renee Coppin of Intimate Hotels is quoted in todays Barbados Advocate of the BTA’s continued policy of ignoring our SMALL hotel sector which comprises nearly 120 properties out of a total of 160. There is no doubt that most of the revenue earned by this sub-sector stays on Barbados as the majority of them are not tour operator dependent.
    Many in the industry have commented on the silence of the Minister of Tourism.

  5. Wunna ent see that the PM is the one taking charge of the ministry? The minister or former minister has nothing to say nor do…he has run out of fuel!

    Harry you are definitely a deportee from Canada. Why don’t you visit Africa to get a real evaluation of African peoples. Perhaps you are not getting the usual treatment reserved for half breeds like you who have been passing all your life as a white person. You obviously have not done well in Canada like many of your black brothers and sisters who have furthered their education and employment. It is clear that you do not own a home and have not been able to retire in comfort. You know David can track your IP address and find out who you really are or trace that racist video you have posted here and pass it onto the Canadian authorities. They really wouldn’t want a racist scum like you back in their country. You are doing nothing for their country.

  6. Islandgirl

    Man lef my friend Harry. So what if he don’ like Black people, I got my issues with White ones particularly expats, and I does vent regular. The man must be allowed to speak his mind and lemme tell yah he does describe a few people ’bout hey good good … (how many? .. can’ say with out the help of CADRES)

    Look Hoteliers in Barbados have to put up with bajan males (obvious border line vagrants) routinely exposing themselves to guests. It is a serious problem that is never reported on. Four weeks ago while walking with the missus along a West Coast beach I had to witness a Jet Sky operator cussing another with the most uncouth language, and at the top of his voice, to the obvious discomfort of the patrons of the facility. This went on for, wait for it, close to fifteen minutes (the time it took us to walk to the top of the beach and return to the spot). Stupid, stupid Black ass.

    I have to say, White Americans over time developed for themselves a classification that separated what they considered to be the good from the rest (Trash), maybe it is about time that Black Barbadians start along a similar path so that my friend Harry could cuss away at will knowing that he would be targeting a bunch of Jack Asses that thoroughly deserve the brunt of his frustration.

  7. look i do not hate black people in general just to get that clear.
    it is the ones that are degrading barbados i hold feelings against.
    as for white bajans i believe i don’t like them more than the blacks.
    hand me down money and feel dem big shots.little asses.
    the ones on the west coast as my friend bafbfp points are the rudest nastiest lot.
    i would deport them all after a good day of mixing concrete by shovel in the sun.
    you feel me?

  8. island girl utter rot an a Canadian citizen and a Barbadian citizen and in
    there is such a thing as free like you is live under a rock some where?these videos are on u tube for the whole world to aint mek dem.

  9. looks like the prime mister been reading barbados underground .
    taking some advise from us and especially me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    judging by the advocate front page today.
    thank you.

  10. @Roverp

    There is no doubt given how the industry operates that there is ‘leakage’ as you suggest. The question is what reliable system exist to accurately measure the leakage. If an efficient system does not exist what is required to put one in.

  11. “That is why my advocacy for a Bermuda-based gaming industry is not reflective of someone who is a big fan of gaming or the industry itself, notwithstanding the better odds offered by most casinos. I was cured of my habit years ago. Thanks, Dad.

    I am just someone who has come to the conclusion, after weighing the various pros and cons, that Bermuda’s tourism product and our economy desperately needs the investment shot in the arm that gaming could provide.

    For me, the issue of gaming is nothing more; nothing less, than an economic one.

    Developer Andrew Green, who along with his family recently purchased the Hamilton Princess, said it best in a recent interview in this paper, “Certainly a casino will create new revenue streams”. He further noted that one study had found that approximately 30 percent of tourists indicated that gaming is something Bermuda should provide. Certainly for the consumer then, it is really about choice.

    In Green’s view, we should not ignore the signals coming from the marketplace, especially in the midst of the “great recession”.

    Similarly, former Premiers Sir John Swan and Dr Ewart Brown who expended considerable political capital on this issue have been strong proponents of gaming and casinos for Bermuda over the years; and largely for the same reasons. ”

  12. I have never realy understood the casino lobby. WHY would punters travel so far, with so much choice on their doorstop, UNLESS the odds were significantly better?

  13. Loveridge has just made the first anti-casino argument that strikes a chord with me. But what the heck, if you are in the business of offering attractions why be one of the only ones NOT playing with a full deck …?

  14. @ Carson C. Cadogan | October 23, 2012 at 7:36 AM |

    So you are becoming a bit more intellectual interesting? Is this epiphany also due to your dad or this time to your Mum?

    I want to side with you on this only occasion. But before you get my full support on this ‘gaming’ issue you need to let us on BU know if you have received the blessings of Senator the Reverend David (not under my watch) Durant. We are certain that if he is capable of keeping away the grim reaper from attending his namesake and close buddy then it is within his religious power to cede his principles to the devil of gambling and give his blessings to Legalized Casino Gaming just to save the souls of the forex starving Bajans.
    He can even agree to the business of selling indulgences and seats in heaven
    for US $ 10,000 a pew with those close to Jesus going for US$1 million.

    What we want to hear from you CCC is if this “Christian” Fundamentalist anti-gambling, anti-gay pseudo reverend voted against the recent casino Bill in the Senate.

    Are you also in favour of decriminalizing marijuana as a means of saving foreign exchange through import substitution?

  15. Admittedly Callihan seems to have a point about us looking at how much we can get from the visitors.
    Here is a recent letter, a plea really from a regular visitor that was published in the Sunday Advocate of October 21, 2012
    Why not “Operation Clean Barbados”
    I am writing as a frequent visitor from Canada to your lovely island. My family and I have been travelling to BIM for quite a number of years. I have personally vacationed there over 40 times.
    The past number of years we have noticed a real decline in the cleanliness of the island as a whole. We usually rent a vehicle and tour the whole island from top to bottom and side to side . There nedds to be something done everywhere in Barbados.
    I just finished reading the editorial on Friday, October 19, which discusses the storm drainage issue and mentioned “Operation Clean City”. Why not “Operation Clean Barbados”? As an island whose income is derived from the tourism industry I would (if I was in any position to) make it a priority of keeping it clean.
    Have you driven the Gap lately? It’s sad what has happened to this once bustling area.
    The last number of years my family and I have trie3d other Caribbean islands, however nothing will compare to m adopted second home.
    Please do something to clean up the ispald or we may have to continue to find other places to spend our tourism dollars.
    Something needs to be done.


  16. @ Colonel Buggy | October 23, 2012 at 6:29 PM |

    This kind of constructive feedback means diddly-squat or jack shit to the authorities of the dirty place called Barbados.

    The members of the Cabinets drive down Lower Bay Street regularly but keep their heads buried in their ipads, iphones or on their cell phones while driving in their tinted windows luxury cars.

  17. David | October 23, 2012 at 6:38 PM |
    What performance criteria is the Drainage Department measured?
    Their performance is measured on the many piles of shit that they can remove from the drains and stack up alongside the road. The MTW and others who weed alongside the road, including between the concrete pavements in some parts of Bridgetown,have a similar performance criteria. Weed It. Pile it . Leave it. Let it wash back into the drains. Then the drainage unit comes along and starts the whole cycle again.
    But have you noticed that everything the reverse Midas , Dr Lowe touches, turns to shit. The SSA, if you are lucky, are now making single pickups per week in some areas , prompting many clean Bajans to discard of their garage from off their property. The man about two years ago promised us the real mccoy of handpicked garbage collecting trucks, to replace the relatively new “unreliable” Freightliners trucks , which incidentally ,happens to be one of the best trucks of its class in the USA and Canada.

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