A Few Good People

Submitted by Brubaker
Richard Sealy, Minister of Tourism

Richard Sealy, Minister of Tourism

A photo clip on CNN during the US elections showing a little girl crying because she was sick and tired of hearing the news associated with President Obama and GOP candidate Mitt Romney election campaigns has prompted this blog. Like the election vitriol, the incessant reactive rhetorical rantings emanating from Barbados’ sidewalk superintendents and armchair supervisors about their destination’s tourism industry have become inordinately objectionable and are turning off would be visitors.

The recent adverse comments posted by visitors in Trip Advisor about their ruined holiday experiences in the Gap also do not auger well for Barbados and further aggravate the situation. Both groups paint an unsavoury image – all is not well in Paradise, serious plant deterioration is occurring, and Barbados’ tourism continues to be like a ship in a tempus, floundering aimlessly without a rudder.

The reprehensible behaviour is causing irreparable damage to Barbados’ reputation as a holiday destination and in the long run will be extremely costly to repair. To get an impartial evaluation of the state of Barbados’ tourism industry, a consultant involved with the marketing and promotion of Caribbean tourism was interviewed and asked to give his thoughts and insight on the challenges Barbados faces for the future.

The following are his comments:

Q. What is your assessment of Barbados Tourism industry and what can be done to improve the present situation?

A. This is a double barrel question and I will try to answer in two parts. Let me start by respectfully stating my comments may upset some people but the intent is not to cast aspersions or demean anyone but rather to assist.

First, my opinion of Barbados’ tourism industry today is that it appears to be stalled in a 1990 time warp. Tourism officials and stakeholders seem to be languishing on the laurels of previous years and this situation warrants the Public and Private sectors joining forces to formulate and implement a new strategic plan for reviving the destination’s tourism industry. If there is any substance and truth in the phrase “tourism is our business” and if tourism is to continue to be the engine of economic growth, the parties responsible must act swiftly to reinvent Barbados as the Caribbean premier holiday destination.

The time is ripe for the Barbados Tourism Authority to review its advertising and public relations agencies appointments. The role, function and placement of its overseas offices should also be addressed. For the tourism industry to be productive it must cease being a football for the whims and fancies of political parties. It has to adopt and implement a new professional industry approach to better serve the interests of the Barbados public.

Second, the BTA currently faces several challenges and until these are resolved, the tourism industry will not produce desired results.

Some of the challenges which require immediate attention are:

1 – Destination Image – The marketing activities of the global travel conglomerates, tour companies and seasonal airlines, which feed off Barbados’ tourism plant during peak season present a distorted image of the Barbados brand. Their programs usually feature a select number of upscale properties and would be visitors are led to believe accommodation on the island is limited to the hotels featured in their brochures. Upscale hotel bookings generate higher revenue for tour operators and as a result the majority of the small hotels, the backbone of the island’s tourism industry, are not included in the operators’ promotional activities.

The travel conglomerates also abandon Barbados at the end of the winter season and redirect their promotional campaigns to support other holiday resorts of their choosing for the summer. This action further creates the false impression Barbados is a seasonal destination. Reasons touted for reducing/discontinuing off season service suggests summer traffic to Barbados comprises mainly of VFR visitors and the volume does not generate sufficient revenue to sustain their operations.

If the truth be told, the modus operandi of these companies is governed by the ROI factor. Huge financial resources coupled with vertical integrated organization structures allow them to control the travel industry and to create programs which direct travellers to the Mediterranean, Europe, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Florida, etc at a time when Barbados needs visitors.

The BTA, the BHTA and other tourism stakeholders should counteract these images with promotional programs which present a true and comprehensive picture of the many types of accommodation, the costs and the range of activities available on the island. They should convey a strong message that Barbados is a year round holiday destination.

2 – Destination Marketing – Barbados’ marketing campaigns are not compatible with the requirements for operating a modern day tourism plant. While they may have contributed to the success Barbados enjoyed during the previous 50 years, they ought to be replaced with a new motivational marketing strategy which will attract visitors and also allow the island to be in charge of its destiny.

The BTA’s soft sell advertisements featuring a young Caucasian couple frolicking on what seems to be a private beach with a bottle of Moet & Chandon’s Dom Perignon champagne or a barely discernable sunset picture of the Cliff restaurant are passé.

They may appeal to wealthy visitors but not to the majority of people interested in coming to the island for their holidays. Today’s visitors are looking for value and bargains and why would anyone want to come to Barbados when for around $1500.00 they can have an all inclusive 7 nights/8 day holiday for two – accommodations, meals, airfare, transfers, drinks and taxes – in Cuba. These advertisements encourage would be visitors to go elsewhere. Candidly speaking, the BTA marketing programs need an extreme makeover.

3 – Destination Airlift – The continued dependency on subsidizing airlines to bring visitors to Barbados is of major concern. This arrangement cannot go on forever and has become quite costly. Barbados’ lucrative air routes have been profitable financial ventures for scheduled, charter and seasonal airlines – British Airways, British Caledonian, Laker Airways, Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines, American Eagle, Air Canada and Wardair – to mention a few. Some carriers are no longer in business, some have merged and others are still flying. Even BWIA had a viable operation on its Barbados designated routes until envy over passenger loads crept into the picture and the T&T government decided to phase out that airline and launched Caribbean Airlines.

Today the Government of Trinidad & Tobago enjoys a monopoly on Caribbean airspace through ownership of Caribbean Airlines and Air Jamaica while Barbados still grieves over the demise of Caribbean Airways. The uneven playing field is about to be drastically tilted in T&T’s favour with the emergence of a new Jamaican airline called “Fly Jamaica” and the opening of “St. Vincent’s Argyle International Airport”. Negotiations are also underway between Grenada officials and Caribbean Airlines to fill the void created by British Airways cut back on weekly services to that island.

Not aware of the forces behind the new airline but worthy of note is that the proposed routes are somewhat identical to those flown by Air Jamaica and Caribbean Airlines – Kingston to Guyana, New York and Toronto. In light of the absorption of Air Jamaica by Caribbean Airlines and the recent talks respecting the discarding of the Air Jamaica logo, this could be an attempt to re-establish a Jamaican airline presence in the industry.

St. Vincent’s new Argyle International Airport is slated to come on line in December 2013 in time for the tourism high season. The project was designed to accommodate jet aircraft the size of Boeing 747-400s and to facilitate direct flights from Canada, USA, Europe, Central and South America. This could be a new competitive airline hub in the making. As a result visitors to that destination will no longer need to transit through Barbados.

These activities will affect Barbados’ visitor traffic and Barbados’ Ministry of Tourism must initiate corrective action. Barbados should be exploring all avenues to secure its own airlift by aligning itself with a single carrier with global operations and designate it to be the island’s airline.

There is one such carrier currently flying to Barbados daily and the powers that be should move ASAP to start negotiations with its Board of Directors. Compared to other Caribbean destinations, Barbados as a sovereign country would encounter no difficulty in obtaining approval for air routes applications.

4 – Destination Product – Part of the vulnerability of Barbados’ downward spiralling tourism industry is self deception by tourism officials and stakeholders that the island is a high-end destination. A total of approximately ten or twelve, 20 – 30 year old hotel properties, Sandy Lane excluded, situated on Barbados’ west coast with locally assigned 3/4 star ratings does not dictate or constitute a destination’s brand.

During the previous 50 years Barbados achieved its popularity as a year round destination with a variety of accommodation and activities for anyone wishing to visit. It was never ever promoted as a high-end only destination or a mass tourism resort. Barbados’ image today in the market place when compared to other Caribbean destinations is an over price island with very little to offer visitors. This is a major problem for the destination and needs to be corrected.

The other half of the challenge involves the lack of visitor arrivals during the off season. The annual crop over festival may provide some assistance but its contribution is limited to July and August.

Back in the late sixties/early seventies, the Canadian office created and introduced the Barbados Bonanza Program which ran from April 16 to December 15 each year. It promoted and featured all aspects of the island’s tourism plant. In overseas markets, it involved airlines, department stores, shopping malls, bill boards, radio and TV stations, newspapers, travel press and the travel trade. The full marketing mix was utilized to attract visitors for many years. This program was extremely successful and was introduced in the US market. It was also copied by several Caribbean destinations.

With today’s large promotional budgets plus proper marketing guidance, the BTA and BHTA should come together and revisit this type of programming to generate summer traffic. It could be modified to promote winter traffic for properties not included in tour operators programs. It proved to be an excellent marketing vehicle in the past and with the addition of some new wrinkles, there should no reason why it could not work again.

5 – Destination Product Distribution – The BTA and the BHTA have traditionally utilized conventional sources – airlines, wholesalers and tour operators – to handle Barbados’ product distribution in overseas markets. While these outlets generated huge visitor traffic numbers in the past and should be continued, the BTA and BHTA should venture outside the bubble and explore other new avenues that are available.

Other Caribbean destinations have successfully endorsed new distribution ideas which have helped to increase visitor arrivals. Barbados must do likewise to regain possession of its tourism industry or be left behind as new destinations emerge. The BTA would be well advised to take a look at Cuba, the Dominica Republic and Jamaica to get an appreciation as to why their individual tourism plants are enjoying high visitor traffic.

6 – Destination Tourism Plant Management – It is a known practise in Barbados that whenever a new government is sworn in, statutory boards become the parking spot for government supporters. Unfortunately in the present economic climate, with tourism apparently on the wane and reputed growing pressure from the IMF to devalue the Barbados currency, partisan appointments in the tourism industry are being perceived as the political incorrect thing to do.

There was a time when appointees to the Barbados Tourist Board were selected on the basis of the contributions they could make to the tourism industry but somehow these characteristics not longer seem to apply. Destination marketing activities appear to have hit an all time low and what was once a vibrant, prosperous tourism destination is vastly becoming a mediocre resort probably due to the lack of industry expertise. Government’s objective should be to ensure these positions are filled by the appropriate qualified persons in order for its main revenue generating industry to perform at peak levels at all times.

The trickledown effect of partisan practises supported by subtle union intimidation has also permeated the BHTA and this further compounds the industry’s issues. Leadership qualities, knowledge of the tourism industry and competence are requisites for the association’s executive posts but these also seem to have gone the partisan route. Hotels are quietly being replaced by condominiums which reduce the number of hotel beds and industry jobs. The number of hotel closures on island is also not going unnoticed in investment circles. Until the tourism industry undergoes a major overhaul, well known hotel brands will not invest in Barbados.

Another destination management responsibility which appears to have fallen by the wayside is visitors’ safety and treatment. Drugs, crime and growing demeaning attitudes towards tourists are contributing to the decline in visitor traffic. Trip Advisor’s blogging and other comments on the Internet on these issues do not help the destination’s reputation. Tourism security is of prime concern to visitors and the Ministry of Tourism and the BTA must establish at the earliest possible date a special security task force (TOPPS or SCM or a combination of both) to serve the industry. There are plenty of resources readily available in the Public and Private sectors. It’s just a matter of knowing where to find them and how to best utilize their services.

7 – Destination Hotel Association – The blame for the challenges Barbados’ tourism industry is experiencing cannot and should not be totally attributed to the BTA. The BHTA and its members are equally responsible.

John Fareed’s comments (Barbados Advocate, Sept 17/12) in his featured address at the 3rd Annual General Meeting of the BHTA – “too many people did not use their website or social media channels as strategic marketing tools, but simply “online versions” of their existing brochures” is a good indicator of the short comings of today’s industry’s stakeholders.

The belief by hoteliers that all one has to do is to purchase a computer, establish a website, join twitter, face book, LinkedIn, etc and this will result in visitors flocking to their hotel is ludicrous. Marketing expertise, budgets and a proactive plan are the tools for selling hotel rooms.

In addition to maximizing utilization of the hotel’s computer equipment, hoteliers and other stakeholders need to get off their butts and start pounding the beat visiting travel professionals in overseas markets. No one will act on their behalf unless they have paid representation. If hoteliers are unwilling to go that extra mile to sell their facilities, they will continue to experience low occupancy levels.

Contrary to popular belief rivalry for tourism dollars is quite fierce between Caribbean destinations and hoteliers need to be up front and center in the industry to get their share of business. Attendance at WTM, ITB and other international trade shows maybe good for one’s social life or ego but the ROI will be greater by building strong working relationships with front line travel professionals in the destination’s bread basket markets.

In the event the BHTA and other tourism industry stakeholders have lost sight of their roles, someone should remind them the Public sector creates the infrastructure, but it’s the Private sector’s responsibility to develop and manage the facilities. If occupancy levels are down, the BHTA and its members should not wait on the BTA to undertake marketing/promotional activities. Under strong leadership, the association could launch its own advertising campaign and mobilize members to visit various markets to drum up business. The resources are available and market visitations could be organized with the support of the BTA overseas offices.

Last but not least, all responsible parties should be aware Tourism is an industry which is constantly under scrutiny. It requires people with special qualities to make it work. Somehow this rare breed of people seems to be on the decline in Barbados’ tourism industry.

0 thoughts on “A Few Good People

  1. These people are fighting hard to get their $500million fund.

    Maintain the status quo.

    Many of these properties are poorly run, it has nothing to do with the government, trust me.

    • Under the heading Destination Marketing in the submission it begs the question if our advertising is aligned to plant.

  2. CARSON CADOGAN dont miss a beat
    Every post gets his/her attention. Carson is King/Queen of the blogs

    RICHARD SEALY is a big guts , cigar smoking, whore loving, whore breeder son of a who cut muh hair who must be voted out whenever laziest ass sleepy head Freundel Stuart call the elections

    NO Prime Minister should have the election date to himself. This date should be a set date. Freundel Stuart behaves clownish

  3. Just asking you losing the plot you were always the buffon on BU. You stop predicting 30 to BLP 0 to DLP?

    Like with onion and Miller the Prime Minister showed you he is the boss as far as calling elections.

    Owen and Mia done boasting Stuart have no choice but to call elections before Nov. That date gone long ago.

    Owen and mia must worry now how many seats they will get when the gates fly.

    No sane voter is putting his or her X for a party that plans to send bus fares up to $7.00 thru privatisation and to end free garbage collection by divesting SSA out of government.

  4. Anybody ever hear of a place called Baku …? Well lemme tell yah they are in the tourism business too (where the hell is Azerbaijan) and so too is the Carpathian Garden (Romania) and another one thousand previously obscure territories that have employed the most impressive advertising and attached themselves to sporting fraternities and the like … Nice article, but tuff ask in the present environment …!

  5. Of interest is the caution and concern of British tour operators regarding the winter season for b’dos. Against the backdrop of glowing optimism by the MoF and MoT for a “bumper” season. We’ll see.

    Just observing

  6. overall a very good crtique .Rebranding the industry must be inclusive allowing the locals in the cultural industry to be on board in giving suggestions which will compliment the cultural side of the island. barbados is an island and too many times visitors do not see what is expected of an island atmosphere but more of a copy cat of north america.

  7. Many of us are missing the BIG picture. Where is it written that tourism would always be a choice industry for Barbados? We enjoyed about 50 BOOM years which peaked when we became one of only a very few regular stops for the Concorde.

    Wise stewardship dictates that one uses the benefits of such a successful cycle to predict / anticipate/ CREATE the next successful cycle. There is no question that Barbados benefitted tremendously from tourism between 1960 and 2010.

    ….by squandering them on stupid “delusions of grandeur” (thanks GP) such as wanting “First World Status”; monuments of affluence; and by wasteful extravagance and weak governance.
    …this is exactly what would happen should Bushie invest his time, energy and assets in chasing after IG246 and / or Rihanna ….as ac puts it – no fool like an old fool… 🙁

    Barbados should have used the period of plenty to plan and prepare to ENSURE another NEW phase of success, instead we just went for a Joy Ride.

    Where is the NATIONAL STRATEGIC path?
    When did we set PRIORITIES on which to focus?
    How did we modify education approaches in line with priorities?
    How and when did we engage the whole country in this future focus?

    …..so why is everyone now surprised that tourism is failing? Which country in history has been able to dominate ANY specific area of activity for more that two generations?

    The challenge does not lie in seeking to revive tourism to 1990 levels….THOSE DAYS ARE GONE!
    The challenge is to DEFINE A NEW FUTURE which is based on current realities.
    Tourist now have gazillions of new and exciting options for their holiday choices….MOST OF WHICH ARE BETTER,CHEAPER and MORE MODERN than Barbados. – been there and seen most….

    Only rich, old, boring English and Canadian people still come to Barbados on holiday…(Hell, these are antiques who still like cricket and fishing…. 🙂 ) in another 10 years only historians and researchers will bother to come here…

    WE NEED TO DEVISE A NEW NATIONAL PLAN and to stop beating the damn old half-dead horse.

  8. I suspect that the movers and shakers that occupy the head of the hoteliers have hijacked the industry to there own detriment .which is/allowing ony the few to be succesful while underming the tourist industry as a whole and what follows is stagnation, followed by a deep unerving desire to want to do better as long as there bread is being buttered with substantile amounts of subsidizes.

  9. @Bush Tea

    Like Baf stated, a sad summary but true. Unfortunately tourism it is for the foreseeable future if we listed to government as well as the one in waiting.

  10. The beast have been sufficently fed and has shown nothing for all it,s worth. it is about time the the cuktural industry be given some of the spotlight in promoting and marketing the industry .The cultural industry has proven year after year t by the crop over event that there,s is a wining formula and attracts thousand of vistors to our shores even in recessionary times..

  11. ac,
    I accept that more could be done to promote the cultural industry, but in view of your comments ‘win(n)ing formula’ regarding Crop-Over, why were long stay visitor arrivals this year, DOWN by 12 per cent in July and 13.6 per cent in August?

  12. Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. Eleanor Roosevelt

    We have been on the people discussion for a really long time and not on the ideas. It is time to change the way we have been operating..

  13. You know adrian you can keep playing the numbers game.the fact still remains that the cultural industry has been the basis overall yearly in marketing barbados with limited funds and yes it has been able to bring much needed vistors to our shore because of crop over..first let.s admit that the formula is working .However to attract more tourist it must be expanded from short term to long term with additional local attractions and venues year round .

  14. ac,

    To me its never been about ‘playing the numbers’ as you call it. I agree with you about the expanding comment but the BTA last year were voted BDS$92 million. In anybody’s view thats a big chunk of money to do LOTS with.

  15. @ David:
    Do you have access to the long promised but recently produced Tourism Master Plan? A copy of it was recently waved around in Parliament by the MoT.
    It would be interesting to compare any recommendations contained therein with those highlighted in the above thread.

    @ ac: “it is about time the cultural industry be given some of the spotlight in promoting and marketing the industry.”

    We totally agree. But don’t you think the government needs to show greater initiative and more ‘get-up-and-go’ by ensuring the CIB is put in place to effectively facilitate the much needed boost from the cultural industry?
    Don’t you think that the same way we could “fast track” a long promised upgrade to the Anti-Corruption legislation a similar concerted approach by both sides of the House should have been made to ensure the Cultural Industry legislation that has been before the House since 2007 (and of greater vital economic importance) becomes law to underpin the promotion and marketing efforts of the tourism industry and other forex earning culture-related activities?

  16. @ Carson C. Cadogan | December 11, 2012 at 9:45 PM |

    “Q. What is your assessment of Barbados Tourism industry and what can be done to improve the present situation?

    A. This is a double barrel question and I will try to answer in two parts. Let me start by respectfully stating my comments may upset some people but the intent is not to cast aspersions or demean anyone but rather to assist.”

    Carson, are you and your hate-filled cronies going to spew your racist vile venom at the Consultant as you did to Adrian on another tourism-related thread?

  17. @Miller

    If we are so lucky?

    Information is so difficult to access in Barbados.

    Is the AX Report gazetted yet so that general public can access or must they rely on the scanned copy on the Internet posted on BU which was originally posted by the BSTU on their website?

  18. It seems to me that tourism in Barbados is on its last legs. The government does not have the money to put into it. The private sector is not investing viz: Four Seasons.

    In the interim, Khazakstan is now the tourism centre of the world. Thanks to that movie by Barat. It has history, architecture, culture, mountaineering, hiking, etc. Check out Mauritius’ tourism videos. Look at all the things to do and see there. Then there is Madagascar, cheap, and Zanzibar is still an exotic port of call. People with money see the world as their oyster. Most with money who come to Barbados, stay on their yachts.

    Time to grow something that I can buy in the supermarket. I getting tired of Columbian plantain and Phillipino eddoes.

  19. I do not agree it is on its last. the orobnlem is getting those whio stand in the way of progress/the ones who keep beating the old drum of intent on oputting old wine in new bittles. barbados is a destinationwhere it should be including a younger generations of adults who grew up in an era of social activities and not wanting to be warehoused in an hotel of late night doldrums .

  20. I do not agree it is on its last leg the problem is those who stand in the way of progress the ones who keep beating the old drum with the intent of putting old wine in new bottles. barbados is a destinationwhere it should be including a younger generations of adults who grew up in an era of social activities and not wanting to be warehoused in an hotel of late night doldrums .This isan area in which our industry is has fallen and having attractive and social enviroment is key to their involvement

  21. Sometimes the solutions we look for to solve our number industry are right before our own eyes. Marketing has been established as a key ingredient to restructure tourism in Barbados,however, we must now acknowledge that relationship marketing is more important to keep tourism stable in times of a recession.
    I said it repeatedly, we need to know our Unique Selling Proposition, and target those destinations that would gravitate and participate towards what the island has to offer. Therefore, building continuous relations with tour operators, travel agents and guests will ensure a stable tourist season in the country as long as we can clearly define our U.S.P.
    I believe we need to stop talking about what needs to be done and put it into action. If this administration has contacts in the far east and Russia then they should take advantage of the opportunity and reach out to those contacts they know personally and make things happen for the tourism industry in Barbados. It always comes down to who you know.
    Tourism in this country needs to be monitored closely from the time guests call from abroad to make bookings at hotels, to their arrival at the airport, to their activites on island and then until they depart. Feedback from tourists must be taken seriously because this is a highly priced destination and the truth is, only the upper class from around the world can afford it. All other classes consciously budget their expense accounts in order to stay on island. Nevertheless, tourists make the best of their vacation and the island has a variety of hotels from budget to luxury to accommodate every need.
    The fortune of tourism and hospitality is always in the relationship marketing, the follow up and having the business integrity when selling packages to guests to visit Barbados. We need to clearly know what we can offer is actually what guests will receive when they arrive. So this nonsense about you have to lie in order to sell is a load of utter nonsense. All hotels need to take responsibility by making sure they know their target markets accurately based on the class of hotel. All the weight should not be placed on the B.T.A. Although, the head must be able to challenge hoteliers to find out what more guests will like when they visit this island. Tourism is not over yet in Barbados but the dive it took has been noticed and must be rectified immediately with practical solutions. Like I said the solutions are right in front of us. Its who you know.

  22. Minister Sinckler stated recently on the floor of the House that the government will be making an announcement soon regarding Almond and Four Seasons. Given the dire straits tourism finds itself when will we find out what is the game plan for these two projects? It is one thing to plan marketing strategy and related activity but room plant is a critical factor in the equation.

    Tell us please! What is the latest.

    David, a taxpayer and voter.

  23. well,well,well.!
    first thing to do is get rid of the disguising people.
    that will never happen!
    so sad you made your bed /lie and drown it it now.
    good ridense. let we wuck up.oh yea revenge is a bitch.

  24. The superior man makes the difficulty to be overcome his first interest; success only comes later.

    The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort.

    The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell.

    The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come. When in a state of security he does not forget the possibility of ruin. When all is orderly, he does not forget that disorder may come. Thus his person is not endangered, and his States and all their clans are preserved.

  25. the white paper is clear and concise. but it must be deliberate in moving forward in a cohesive way. no room for back peddling as the same effect which is crippling our industry would reemerge.

  26. wow havent made all the way through yet but it
    Looks like Barbadians should pray for Castros health
    Learn to speak Chinese.
    Get ready for lower wages

  27. Roverp | December 12, 2012 at 10:40 AM
    “Have we started promoting CROP OVER as yet?”
    Don’t know, doesn’t matter. It’s just Crap Over. Streets of Oistins lined with idiots selling plastic Chinese crap against a background of crap noise. Crap Over, it’s just something you have to endure for a while, until the crap stops.

  28. Some people need to know white paper may be in now. Next year the airport in St.Vincent opens and we will lose passengers that would stop over here. Are the plans to buffer that in the white paper?

  29. Congrats to St. Vincent on building a new international airport. The opinion that it poses a big threat to the viability of GAIA is misplaced. When Maurice Bishop constructed Grenada’s international airport one of its objectives was to divert traffic from GAIA. Nothing of the sort happened. St. Vincent is reminiscent of Grenada’s effort it will take considerable time before the SVG International establishes credibility to attract major carriers. ST. Vincent comprises a set of beautiful islands woefully short on tourism infrastructure and the necessary infrastrucure for mass arrivals. Putting the essentials in place is time consuming not to mention the requirement for massive financial investment. Barbados goals should be the continued upgrading of GAIA and increased creative marketing of destination Barbados.

  30. Yah see this thing called CARICOM .. ’bout time tax payers demonstrate that the Head of Government should stop wasting time/money attending these periodic get togethers that they hold. WE ARE COMPETITORS in the same damned pond, competing in a blood sport fah Chris’ sake. Now who the hell has ever heard of a Community of competitors …?

  31. I start to read that white paper and already I am nodding off. How could people be paid for slapping so many unnecessary words together …? Governments have always been short on implementation skills and yet they are prepared to fork out upwards of seven hundred thousand dollars to some PhD to slap words together…. White paper on Poverty, Policy Framework on Youth Development, Blueprint of Drainage … Twenty Year Development plan for Barbados (two within the past fifteen years, none of which have been touched since they were completed) … At least somebody mekkin’ lil’ money while others are getting to look as though they care and are in the process of doing something.

  32. David, I usually use the CTO figures which are compiled by the individual reporting CTO members by organisations like the Barbados Statistical Service or there counterparts.
    I am going to see if I can get a copy of the DRAFT Tourism White Paper and digest all 269 pages. I am really suprised that it has not (seemingly) been distributed to all the tourism players yet.

  33. David, why is the DRAFT Tourism White Paper not on the Ministry of Tourism website?
    The Food Wine and Rum Festival still being advertised on the BTA website, over three weeks since it finished,. RUN Barbados still on there too, which finished last week. The CEO of the BTA’s ‘ad’ agency was advised that the Food Wine and Rum event was still on www. visitbarbados 9 days ago and promised that it would be taken off.
    Does this sound like people are on the ball in a dynamic industry like tourism?

  34. The white paper does not say how to combat the recession in Barbados with the tourism industry. It does not say how to get people employed who have lost their jobs in the tourism industry. The white paper is just a piece of paper written by one with a Phd. That is information for you Listen Terry.

  35. “The Food Wine and Rum Festival still being advertised on the BTA website, over three weeks since it finished,. RUN Barbados still on there too, which finished last week. The CEO of the BTA’s ‘ad’ agency was advised that the Food Wine and Rum event was still on www. visitbarbados 9 days ago and promised that it would be taken off.
    Does this sound like people are on the ball in a dynamic industry like tourism?”

    Adrian that is how many in Barbados do business and can’t seem to get it in their heads that it speaks volumes about any organization. It shows incompetence and a lazy attitude. The only way they know is slow slower and slowest. Bunch of amateurs and want people to take them seriously stupse.

    • The sloth with which the website is updated and TripAdvisor is monitored says it all. However if you read the White Paper you will see that there is a Social Media policy bla bla.

  36. @david
    Out of curiousity, how many paragraphs were dedicated to social media? Haven’t gotten a chance to read yet.

    Nuff pages and nuff fine print. Made my eyes water after page 2.


  37. @david islandgal and adrian
    If a major industry dependent on advertising. Can’t keep its website and online entities up to date, what does that say about the ability, seriousness or internet vision of the “powers that be”?

    I agree, it reflects generally on government business in Barbados but more critically on how out of touch we are with using the social media and internet for productivity, collaboration, effective marketing, communication and community building. Square pegs in round holes in an oblong world. We will be left farrrrrr behind.

    Just observing

  38. this seems like the fine print at the bottom of a contract isnt mcbrides closed? “myopic stakeholders ” oh you mean the people risking their life savings. Get ready for a casino Macau south

  39. @Observing(…)

    Not enough you would think given we are in 2012.

    The document is formatted in a desertation format. There is 200 pages of fluff (lit review)…lol.

  40. not being too pessimistic, but, if it took 4-5 years to get a 292 page document formatted at 10 pt font how long will it take to actually get the “Master Plan” and then effective implementation?

    The White Paper on Education came out in 1995. “Edutech” started circa 2000, 5 years later. 17 years later in 2012 we’re still struggling to see the full benefits or type of transformation that was initially envisaged, not to mention the fact that we’ve once again found ourselves behind the curve re technology use, acquisition and maintenance along with proper HR capacity building and institutional strengthening.

    Sorry, but I”m not overly optimistic here. We move too slowly, in too archaic a fashion, with no clear vision and often adverse to ideas innovation and risk.

    Will the real leaders and thinkers please stand up?

    Just Observing

  41. I see the Draft White Paper has borrowed the phrase by the Rev. Martin Luther King,. Page 29 – Section 4 ,after Transforming the Barbados Tourism Industry – ‘The Fierce Urgency of Now’

    If it takes five years to get to a Draft White Paper, how long do you think its going to take to implement the recommendations?

    Doesn’t really sound like ‘The Fierce Urgency of Now’ does it?

  42. Observing(…)

    A brother (sister, in the cast of the Poverty Report) from the Academic Community of Barbados, the bureaucratic network, gets paid a pot of gold for their attainment of PHd status (albeit in an area that nobody can normally make use of) and you complaining …? Man be quiet and let one of your own get thru nah …

  43. Ushhawn Worrell-Alleyene | December 12, 2012 at 7:24 PM |
    Roverp | December 12, 2012 at 10:40 AM
    “Have we started promoting CROP OVER as yet?”
    Don’t know, doesn’t matter. It’s just Crap Over. Streets of Oistins lined with idiots selling plastic Chinese crap against a background of crap noise. Crap Over, it’s just something you have to endure for a while, until the crap stops

  44. A friend visited the Orchid World, the Lion at Gun Hill and Bathsheba recently. She said that Orchid world is in a poor state with many dying plants and some of the visitors were overheard saying that the plants needed some care. The bathrooms at Gun Hill were not working and there was a lady filling a bucket of water to flush the toilets. The bathrooms at the Bathsheba cultural center were in a nasty state, tiles falling off the walls and floors and the general cleanliness of the place is piss poor. WHY DO WE CONTINUE TO DO THIS TO VISITORS? WHY CAN’T WE GIVE QUALITY SERVICE AND HAVE QUALITY FACILITIES? ARE WE SO LOW CLASS THAT WE DO NOT KNOW THE DIFFERENCE?

  45. David

    You could rearrange the pictures at the bottom of this page …? Barney Lynch picture too near the top and I don’ like he grinning at me when I typing on a tourism topic … Thnx …. 🙂

  46. @ islandgal246 | December 13, 2012 at 4:22 PM |

    I too can’t figure out why. These sorts of things are totally within our control and can’t be blamed on the bogey international recession.
    The miller is very peeved and has been complaining for a while now. Are Bajans really that inured to these filthy nasty situations and expect such conditions to be accepted by visitors as part of their ‘exotic’ pleasure of experiencing the way the locals live?

    Islandgal, the miller is really tired of the crap that we can do something about.
    Why can we do to get through to these people in charge?
    The kind of shite you just referred to only provides more grit to the racist mill of the likes of Harry callihan.

    Barbados is really tired and worn and in need of serious care and rehabilitation to survive as a preferred tourist destination.

  47. that speech fell flatter than a pancake said a whole lot but lot a nutting. injection! rejection! recession! conclusion he ain’t got the money to back up none yuh dem plans. . talking about more tax breaks romneyitis !

  48. islandgal246
    And herein lies the problem. Perhaps if we were to start treating our very own people with an acceptable level of respect, then some of it may spill over to visitors to this country.Take the Fairchild Street Stand, and the River Bus stands.Do you think that in the year 2012 t commuters should be asked to stomach such deplorable conditions? Is there a working pubic convenience in Bridgetown? beside those in the back alleys, the trees and quite frequently by many of our men folk, any and any place in full view complete with the final flourishing hand shake.
    Are we low class you ask? You can take the shit out of the gutter,but you cannot take the gutter out of shit.
    ………….. WAPWDGO……..

  49. @Pat
    We seem to think that we have this thing call “the Bajan way ” that will lure visitors to our shores, just to experience it. I actually heard one of the big macguffy in Tourism said so. Don’t ask me what The Bajan Way is,I am just a half mad cheap returning national from Hingland.
    When we look at Tourism today and compare it with the Sugar Industry of 10 years ago,there is some cause for concern,as many of the same very people who mucked up the sugar industry and deserted it, are now well entrenched in the tourism sector.
    Plantains and Eddoes? what are those? The majority of bananas sold in Barbados are now imported.

  50. barbados tourism is circleing the toilet bowl, and the truth is it may be it already out of your hands Cuba, recession, distance, age, you may be pissing against the wind to think that any new influx of govt money will help. Hunker down wait for the saturated market to run its course and start anew . Get local agro going so you have a good food supply

  51. barbados is already circling the toilet bowl and any new influx of govt money may be a waste of time Cuba , recession distance age are all working against Barbados . Hunker down wait for the over built market to sort itself out . Invest in agro so no-one goes hungry

  52. David,
    a very interesting Guardian article – ‘Carnival the biggest cruise company in the world and owner of the Costa and P and O brands paid just 1.1 per cent in corporate taxes on US$11.3 BILLION profits in the last five years’

    and some people wonder why some hoteliers get a little upset.
    Remember the $1.2 million subsidy given to the Carnival Corporation by the BTA to ‘guarantee’ 400,000 cruise ship passengers each year, but just ONE ship per week during the long summer months.

    BLP = 29 SEATS
    DLP = 0 SEATS
    IND = 1 SEAT

    Farthole !!! Where did I say that the BLP would win 30 seats

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  58. @ ac: “it is about time the cultural industry be given some of the spotlight in promoting and marketing the industry.”

    miller I surprise you and Mr Loveridge giving Ac a pass on that pie-in- the sky jumpin on the bandwagon suggestion which is as nigh impossible as water remaining on the back of a duck.. What cultural industry what- we in Barbados have to define what we mean by culture first before we think of promoting it as an industry. Culture in what sense – in what form – cropover- yearly NIFCA performances- bellydancing- cricket- learning to eat with knife and fork have we gone pass the days at elementary school when cultural was defined as ” manners maketh man”

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  60. A fee good people? Like the idiot Maloney, who thinks that the ‘middle class’ (may we translate that as the ‘taxpayers’, should pay for services THAT THEY ALREADY PAY FOR in the taxation and that the middle class should support everyone else ad nauseum?

    What A MORON!

    Maybe he is reading from the same ‘voodoo economics’ book that the government seems to be reading from.

    And further, we seem to see a connection between the education minister who seems to believe in spirits, that Maloney can, about 40 years after the fact, come up with Barrow’s intention in the free services i.e. he seems to have spoken to Barrow recently. Unless he has turned to the physic network, maybe he is receiving his thoughts from the same education man.

    But, let us move past the ludicrous suggestion itself and look at the result.

    Imagine, that the average person , (as I noted who pays taxes to support the QEH) has to pay for medical bills.

    Do YOU think he is going to pay at the less than able QEH or go to a private clinic?
    Do YOU think he is going to pay school fees for his child or ward, when he can equally pay for lower class sizes and particular attention at a private school?

    Yes BRETHREN a return to the pre Barrow segregation days of the have and have nots!

    Yuh see how tings does go?

    Some people mouth off without understanding the real implications.

    Or maybe they do, and THAT is more frightening.

    Barrow would trun in his grave at the people who are in charge of the various organisations and government today.

    A lot of witless incompetents.

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