A New Normal Expected By Tourism Players

Adrian Loveridge - Owner of Peach & Quiet Hotel

Adrian Loveridge – Owner of Peach & Quiet Hotel

Having sat on the board of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) briefly, you get some idea of what a complex and challenging task it is for any Executive Vice President and the juggling act, he or she has to perform on a daily basis. Keeping everybody happy, in my view, is a near impossible task.

On reflection, I believe the body and its members have been extremely lucky, with very few exceptions, to have attracted the calibre of people who have held the position of EVP. When Sue Springer was recently interviewed by one of the other media outlets, you could sense the passion and genuine unease in her quoted words, even the journalist prefixed her title with ‘frustrated’. I don’t believe that anyone should view her comments as alarmist, as she is reflecting the obvious concerns of the members.

The article was headed layoffs looming’ and pointed out that ‘the sector may have to brace for problems if the current state of the industry did not improve this summer’. Ms. Springer warned that the first quarter of this year was already looking bleak and this was clearly illustrated in the 8.2 per cent fall in long stay visitors in the peak month of January. Recently, one of our returning guests to the UK reported that the ten rows of seats behind them were all empty and that one flight arrived with 24 people in economy. As loyal regulars to Barbados, I have no reason to doubt them.

‘We’ cannot go on thinking that this is a global problem affecting all our competitors, as already pointed out in last week’s column, almost all the rest of the Caribbean recorded strong growth last year. The new administration has a very small majority and surely I cannot be alone in thinking that all the elected officials can pull together in the national interest.

By the time this column goes to press, I would expect that a new cabinet is in position and we can only hope that the best qualified persons are placed in the positions where they can make a positive difference.

I cannot think of a single private sector player who makes a living out of tourism that doesn’t think some form of radical reform has to take place in the way we market the destination. We can go on burying our head in the sand and pretend there are no solutions, but it simply cannot be business as usual any longer.

Hoteliers are often targeted with disparaging remarks and I would be the last person to agree with them all, but you also have to look at the current crisis in tourism through their eyes. Almost always, they have made the single largest investments. Yes! they largely have the most to gain in the good times, but conversely the most to lose in the present climate of low occupancy, discounted room rates and hugely increased costs of operation.

Any Minister of Tourism that chooses to ignore or downplay this fact, is clearly out of touch with reality. The hotels too, are probably the largest contributors in annual subscriptions to sustain the Association, the main representative trade organisation and clearly expect to be listened to.

0 thoughts on “A New Normal Expected By Tourism Players

  1. To the Point, thats a very good question. In fairness, I can only speak with absolute authority from our own experiences. We have achieved cost savings through energy efficiency, our staff multi-tasking (which has actually worked very well for them and us) and looking very carefully at ALL of our costs. For instance, we have negiotiated substantial reductions in our insurance premiums etc., and we now look at every expense and ask, do we need it?
    Despite this and being up-to-date with all statuatory obligations, we have been owed nearly $30,000 in outstanding VAT refunds. If this is not paid shortly, we will have to go into overdraft to pay $37,000 Corporation taxes due later this month. That will involve additional expense, due to NO fault of ours.
    I would prefer to turn the question around. How can the hotels generate more revenue. That means being less dependent on tour operators and through effective marketing, drive more direct rack rate bookings.

  2. A lot of marketing gymnastics will be required. Most countries are buckling under financial pressure and would-be tourists are barely surviving themselves. targeting countries, including caribbean countries, not yet feeling the sword of bankruptcy is one option, but that would be in the hopes that they want to travel to an expensive destination such as Barbados. The hoteliers seem to be on there own here.

  3. ‘all the signs suggest Caribbean tourism is rallying’ and ‘the 5.4 per cent growth rate outpaced the rest of the world’ -Beverly Nicholson-Doty, Chairwomen of the CTO, when comparing 2012 with 2011 performance.
    The problem is not the Caribbean, it is Barbados.

  4. I meant marketing the island to other caribbean countries, in the belief that every little bit helps.

  5. The old saying I dont have to out run that lion I only have to out run you may be at play here, the hotels that have their niche and are doing okay may not see lower tourist numbers as a bad thing It can only benefit them as other hotels fall off the market and hotel space shrinks only the strong or adaptable will survive and in a warped way their numbers may go up.Reading the nation today an investor has just bought a hotel in st james investing millions there must be forces at work here well above my pay grade.

  6. David, agree or not, I think the facts speak for themselves. I do not sense any degree of urgency from this administration to address the obvious problems. With Easter being early this year, we can reasonably expect a dramatic fall-off in visitor numbers from early April. Thats only 3 weeks away
    and there is no sign of a national marketing plan.
    Will a new BTA Chairman and Board be appointed and if so, when?

  7. @WellWell
    you said
    “That should read, the local hoteliers are obviously on their own here”
    I answer;
    “WHEN they have never ,not been?”
    We have to get real.We do not elect a Government . We elect(or they buy into) a group of individuals .
    We do it like a”Russian roulette” put the gun to your head spin the chamber and pull the trigger.
    We still around afterwoods,depends TOTALLY on chance.
    I ask you?
    IF you were in business would you have ONE of these people on your payroll. Great Litmus test.
    Democracy in action Bajun style.
    Pick for me please ,one of these people you would allow to run anything that held the future of your whole lively hood .
    Yet you blithely hand them yours ,your loved ones , financial ,physical,moral well being .
    As tho you are giving a cup of water.
    How the Hell , we so stupid.?
    I look and I ask myself, would I buy a used car from any of these people?
    Like the hotelieres , like everything else on this ‘lil rock, we on our own!
    The insanity proves itself,we keep electing the same people and EXPECT a different result. We ARE mad.
    Already,even after a very short time we can clearly see
    You figure that one body from any now “incharge” thinking about BARBADOS.?
    Ho Ho Ho,then I is Daddy Christmas !!

  8. Correct me if you have to, but if I am not mistaken over the last few years, hotels in Bim have been given quite a few million dollars in aid (welfare), at the expense of the taxpayers, in the belief it would make a difference in the downward spiral of tourism. I said then and i still say now, tourism has reached a road block, it’s not about just pouring millions into it anymore unless it is for intelligent marketing, countries are feeling horrible financial strain, their citizens are barely surviving. I am sure you get my drift.

  9. And you are perfectly correct, I would not hire anyone of the existing politicians to run a dog house, unless or until they are capable of facing reality.

  10. Do we really have a marketing strategy in place? Every time I turn my TV on to US channels, we see Jamaica and the Bahamas being advertised in glitzy ads and I have not seen a Barbados ad in these DLP years.

    The BTA is depending on Rhianna to advertise Barbados, this is just like their approach to the economy, wait and see what happens. Rhianna’s lifestyle has offended the age group who has the money to travel so she may not be the right person to be selling Barbados right now. We need an aggressive in your face ad blitz. But to do this the BTA needs money and this government is flat broke. The BTA does not even have money to buy little tokens to give out.

    This government lost focus on tourism from early on. Instead of building and improving the markets which give us the highest returns, it began by spreading its wings too far and wide, trying to re-invent the wheel by going into Brazil which seem to have been a gigantic loss and they seem to shamed to pull back. Just before elections, we heard the PM announcing that they are looking to go the South Africa route. Good luck with that, I see another enormous failure.

    But we need to do something seriously about crime against the tourist and my pet peeve….. the nasty Barbadians who litter this country and dont seem to care how nasty Barbados looks with litter strewn all over the place. That is why I love Canada so much!

  11. Canada is fantastic, at least the citizens are conscious of their environment. I remember in the 90’s in NY, Barbados had a really great advert, i think it went ……just beyond your imagination…………..it was a constant loop.. they may have run out of advert money the new decade began……don’t know how many countries they targeted. They now backing off Brazil could mean that with an agreement in place, Bim is paying for empty seats coming out of Brazil……….it’s a mess. I keep telling them the celebrity status is played out and over rated. Lone Star belonged to a movie star, with connections, and was considered somewhat upmarket, he pulled out because he can see where tourism is going in Barbados. I don’t understand why the BTA could not see in the last decade and acted accordingly.

  12. Why worry … we have graduated from “wait and see” to the “world greatest recession”. But there is hope on the horizon : Beckles’s monetary repatriation scheme.

  13. Reparation scheme huh…….with the targeted country now in dire straits………..the most Beckles could hope and pray for is that enough aid is given by England to keep the UWI operational for another 20 years…………..and that he is not told that all the billions given in grants and financial aid over the years can be constituted as reparations. they are walking a fine line. He would also have to hope that if reparations is given in paper money, that 1 billion dollars can still buy a candy bar.

  14. Social unrest= an excuse for Robbery of those that have; by those that dont.
    Police protection= For those that matter.
    Commissioner of Police= A person who mouth operates before his brain.
    Freedom of Speach= For those with nuffin to say or when whats said means Zilch
    Quantative easing=print money as politicians need more to steal.
    Austerity Measures= Blaming ANYone but the politicians who spent it all anyway.
    Lawful process= the masses getting screwed by the politicians
    Niche markets= Place a politician goes on a freebie
    Parliament= Subsidised Eatery located Bridgetown
    Seat in the House= where to scratch your arse and rest after visiting above.
    Speaker of the House = The exact opposite
    Parlimentarian= Paid lodger
    Parlimentary Process= Learning how in real life Cheats do prosper.
    Parlimentary Representative.= Nebulous figure of Bajun folklore.A reverse Robin Hood.
    Constituancy= An area populated by those who didnt vote for the elected person.
    Cabinet= A loosely knit band of previously unemployable.
    Prime Minister= Person practised in the art of ?of ? of? Well Something.

    Anyone else want to add anything??

  15. Everyday my wife and I would walk the boardwalk from accra to past blakeys back and forth for exercise and thought it was great.I used to laugh at an older fellow and wife doing the same thing except he was carrying a baseball bat.I would say whats he worried about no-one is going to rob us in daylight with all these people around,little did I know.

  16. Democracy in action anywhere you go. Politicians talk and are trained to do so, but what they are saying can be only talk and nothing else. Politicians learn to protect their own wealth and every now then you get someone who cares, but they don’t usually last long. Democracy, what can you say?

  17. Which part of screwed do we not understand?
    What turn around in tourism is Adrian expecting?
    We have peaked, and now we find ourselves in the DOWN cycle, after enjoying an unprecedented period of UNDESERVED and UNEXPLAINED success that was unlike anything seen anywhere else.

    To expect Barbados to maintain that level of success in the current depressed world economic environment is surely some form of madness.
    Is it a matter of marketing? Or is it that our product is old, worn out, stale and used…?

    Comparing Barbados’ decline in tourism with increases in other Caribbean destinations is also baseless, arbitrary and meaningless.
    That is like comparing COW suffering a 10% decline in business in 2012 with Ossie Moore who purchased a bobcat a few years ago seeing a 20% increase in business in 2012.

    Tourism is very much like prostitution. The boom years occur during the late teens and twenties. After age forty or so, the wear and tear begins to show and rates need to be discounted and standards need to be lowered…

    The “downhill cycle” is as inevitable as the setting of the sun. What we should have done is to use the proceeds from the boom years to invest in meaningful, long term programs which would provide for us when the tourism bubble exploded…

  18. Set a thief to catch a thief.
    Old saying still totally relevant today.
    Why is it the powers that be, do not see that we have no one capable of running the tourist industry because we do not have a single person who understands WHAT a tourist IS and what a tourist WANTS.
    That because of Nationality we will allow to run Barbados tourist industry.
    It would NOT be allowed, PERIOD.
    Even tho that person could be the saviour of the industry.
    The position of Minister of Tourism is a PRIME position.The Candidate can only be Barbadian.
    It is part of the JAM that holds the political biscuit TOGETHER.
    It proves to all who wish to take it on board that Politics and party are ABOVE the Nation of Barbados.
    That is why we have a fast sinking tourist industry.
    When the last PM was dieing VAST sums were spent ferrying him back and forwards to “Specialists”
    Do we not have “the right people for the job ” in Barbados.?
    Do we have to be “Dieing ” before the politicians will admit to the fact that the lifeblood industry of this country is being sacrificed to political domination and is dieing as a result.
    You and I well know from experience that as the political parties change,so do the rules.
    Placements are made for political expediency and gain.
    I use the words “Tourist Industry” loosely,there really is no such thing.
    What we really have are successful companies that stand OUTSIDE the tinkerings of the prevailing elected political desease and do not become contaminated by it. I.E Sandy Lane. as probably the most successful.Sandy Lane clients go there year after year because that company UNDERSTANDS tourism ,understands its clients and their desires and delivers a product as expected. Also is too powerful to be “played around with ” as a political whim.
    Then we have the operators ,who are able to be “Manipulated” and the operators who are placed by whoever at the political moment holds the reins.(Gems)
    To a European, Barbados is at first sight, a tropical paradise, also at second sight and third sight, then two realities set in ;

    One:FAMILIARITY it breeds contempt.We also have NO diversity of product.What we offer is just newness of experience,that jades and then we see our”Barbados lovers” off to cheaper and better supplied products.
    Ask Adrian, now airfares to Barbados from UK ,are extortionate,how it affects his product?

    Two: REALITY of the real Barbados.
    Example .On an East coast beach two older women are attacked one killed and another badly injured.For some reason a Twisted Guyanese DPP of Barbados finds the Killer not guilty of murder and virtually lets the killer off.
    Paradise LOST.
    ALL of Canada suddenly aware that BARBADOS is NOT such a paradise.

    British women raped, the same Twisted Guyanese DPP agrees to prosecute a man patently ,totally innocent.
    Who the women then have to declare is totally NOT the rapist.
    All Europe then KNOWS Barbados is not a safe place to be.
    Amazingly this DPP is not removed!!
    Does he know too much about political people?
    The damage this man, the DPP of Barbados, has done to tourism is IMPOSSIBLE to calculate
    This is about as prime an example of total ignorance of Tourists and tourism as can be had.
    The Government of Barbados MUST start to take ALL aspects that affect Tourism detrimentally,as an ATTACK on us as a Sovereign Nation.
    Barbados IS TOURISM and TOURISM is Barbados.
    While the boom , cheap airfares and disposable income pervaded Barbados, shugged off the attacks.
    Now ,here we are are in 2013 and on the brink of Disaster.
    The same twisted DPP,.the same old political manouvering .
    We need to THROW it all out , get shot of what and who; has dragged our dear land to these depths.
    Born again Christians are those who didnt get it right the first time.
    We need to be BORN AGAIN Barbadians.
    We have allowed our product to get “Dirtied up” would you accept substandard goods ,why we expect the World to.
    It will not. It has a thousand other choices.
    Get rid of those and what have “Dirtied up” our Image to the World .
    Start employing professionals to run our main industry and stop it being use as a political football.

  19. @ Dr Love | March 4, 2013 at 10:58 PM |
    “We have allowed our product to get “Dirtied up” would you accept substandard goods ,why we expect the World to.
    It will not. It has a thousand other choices.”

    Love it, Doc! We want more.

    But Doc you like you want to forget how Bajans see themselves. Barbados does not need Tourists. Tourists need Barbados.
    After all we are blessed with the loveliest safest beaches in the World with courteous people with broad smiles quite willing and able to give you excellent service at great “value-for-your-money” prices and offering spectacular things to see and do (including stepping around and over the garbage).

    Don’t you know who we Bajans are? God’s only people, we are so chosen, you know.
    After all our father God is a Baje; with parishes named after Christian saints and Jesus came from his mother’s womb in St. Lucy and went to convent school at St. Mary’s and his brother Mr. Integrity school in Christ Church.

    • Sir Frank Alleyne made the same observation on a weekend TV program. Barbadians and their attitude that Barbados is God’s country is killing us.

  20. DR Love well said. As I was reading your input my mind wandered to that movie..Waterworld with Kevin Costner. Where the people wanted him to stay and offered him what they had… and he said you dont have anything I want your dying, it just seemed to fit what you are saying

  21. As I have said before, with all the millions of taxpayers money that has been poured into tourism with minimal results due to one reason or another, I see where people refuse to accept reality. Sandy Lane and Royal Pavilion (both hotels enjoy full capacity) both have successful marketing strategies that they implement themselves, without waiting and depending on government and continuous tax dollars. Most hotels in Bim are foreign owned, commonsense should dictate that these foreign owners should be more than adept at marketing their properties in foreign countries, without depending on a government that you are seeing as incapable and inefficient.

  22. Mr. Loveridge or David, can you be a bit more specific about what is affecting the Barbados Tourism industry currently. Is it that costs have gone up in Barbados and hence prices relative to competitors? Are potential customers demanding levels of pricing that Barbados cannot offer, but competitors can? Are competitors underpricing? Is is a value for money issue in terms of quality of hotel plant and say customer service? is it airlift? I am hearing there is a Barbados problem but I am not clear what the specifics are?

  23. I am seeing on Bloomberg that the pound has had its biggest ever two month drop in the first two months of 2013. Does this have anything to do with our weaker than normal tourism performance?

    Pound’s World-Worst Drop Seen Growing in Pimco Math
    By Anchalee Worrachate & Masaki Kondo – Mar 5, 2013 6:35 AM GMT-0400

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    Even after the biggest drop of any major currency in the first two months of the year, the pound is still overvalued as both Pacific Investment Management Co. and hedge fund FX Concepts LLC bet it will fall further.

    Sterling tumbled 6.7 percent versus the dollar through February, touching the weakest level in almost three years, yet remains 2.3 percent overvalued, based on an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development measure of purchasing power parity. Options traders have raised bets to the most in almost two years that it will depreciate against the euro, and strategists are cutting their forecasts at the fastest pace after the yen.
    Enlarge image Pound’s World-Worst Drop Seen Growing in Pimco Math: Currencies

    Sterling tumbled 6.7 percent versus the dollar through February, touching the weakest level in almost three years, yet remains 2.3 percent overvalued, based on an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development measure of purchasing power parity. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg
    BOE’s King, Tucker, Bean’s Own Words on Pound

    March 5 (Bloomberg) — Bank of England Governor Mervyn King and Deputy Governors Paul Tucker and Charles Bean comment on monetary policy and the depreciating pound. (Source: Bloomberg)
    Guy Hands Likes Germany, U.K. for Investment

    March 5 (Bloomberg) — Guy Hands, founder of Terra Firma Capital Partners Ltd., talks about the investment appeal of Germany and the U.K., Britain’s need for a growth agenda and Europe’s “zombie” companies. He spoke with Bloomberg Television’s Cristina Alesci in Berlin. (Excerpts. Source: Bloomberg)
    Weaker Pound to Bring Benefits to U.K. Economy

    March 4 (Bloomberg) — Kevin Daly, U.K. economist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., talks about the outlook for the U.K. economy and Bank of England monetary policy. He speaks with Francine Lacqua on Bloomberg Television’s “The Pulse.” (Source: Bloomberg)
    Enlarge image Pound’s World-Worst Drop Seen Growing in Pimco Math

    Pedestrians pass the Bank of England (BOE), left, at Bank underground station in London. While the Bank of England’s Mervyn King denies targeting sterling, he and his colleagues have highlighted the benefits of a drop in the pound. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg
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    The slide reflects growing speculation the Bank of England will boost stimulus while also debasing the currency as the U.K. risks an unprecedented triple-dip recession. Current Governor Mervyn King, who gives way to Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney in July, has said a weaker pound would help rebalance the economy.

    “You ain’t seen nothing yet,” said Neil Williams, chief economist in London at Hermes Fund Managers Ltd., which oversees about $42 billion. “If the world believes there will be significantly more stimulus coming, which I expect, the pound is likely to be under further pressure.”
    Sterling Tumbles

    The U.K. currency slid to $1.4986 on March 1, the lowest level since July 2010, and down from this year’s high of $1.6381 on Jan. 2. It rose 0.3 percent to $1.5166 at 10:31 a.m. London time today. That’s still a 6.7 percent drop from the start of the year, the third-worst performance among 32 major currencies tracked by Bloomberg after the yen and the rand.

    Sterling tumbled to 88.15 pence per euro on Feb. 25, the weakest level since October 2011, before trading at 85.99 pence per euro today. It has depreciated versus the 17-nation currency for seven straight months.

    Today’s advance came after data showed U.K. service industries expanded at the fastest pace in five months in February. A report last week showed U.K. manufacturing unexpectedly shrank that month, while an index of construction output released yesterday fell to the lowest in more than three years. Britain’s gross domestic product fell 0.3 percent in the last quarter of 2012, according to data published on Feb. 27.

    “It is hard to envisage a scenario where we would want to be long sterling in the next six to 12 months,” Thomas Kressin, head of European foreign-exchange at Pimco in Munich, said in a telephone interview on Feb. 25. A long position is a bet an asset will rise in value. “There will be more tolerance for a weaker pound as a way to support growth.”

  24. And, I can’t understand why hoteliers are finding it so difficult to comprehend that world markets are uncertain and will remain that way possibly throughout this decade. In all fairness to the Barbados government, regardless if they were too late in acting or using successful marketing strategies, the owners of hotels are also directly responsible for the mess in which they now find themselves. The above information is quite telling.

  25. Observer/David,

    Sorry for delayed response. Just been celebrating my first non-working birthday for 42 years. Back to normal 0400hrs tomorrow.

  26. The Police has issued and advisory , not to wear jewellery in public in what they term as a state of crisis,and after visitors have been robbed of jewellery on the south coast.
    I frequent the Dover area on many a night and I am always annoyed at the many young men who approach almost every group of visitors, and individuals, walking in the area, to the point where they are up in the people’s face and very often touching them, especially women. I cannot recall ever seeing a Police patrol in that area, but looking up a few night ago, I was surprised to see a street camera on a pole in close proximity to where these harassing individuals operate. The question is, are these cameras operating,and are they monitored?
    Bicyclist , to a great extent, are heavily involved in this snatch and grab cash for gold scheme, and until the authorities, apply the law as it relates to the Road Traffic Act, towards the operators of bicycles and motor cycles, this type of crime will always be with us.

  27. @Colonel Buggy

    Re. the visitor harassment, I had a relative and her boyfriend staying in the Gap tell me they would never stay there again because it was so unpleasant for them every time they had to go out to have these uncouth vagabonds, accosting them trying to sell them drugs, or just making crude comments of a sexual nature as they walked by. The boyfriend indicated that this harassment came close to spoiling the entire vacation for him and the only saving grace for him was that he got to meet and hang out with some hospitable Bajans (the girlfriend’s Bajan friends and relatives) and saw parts of the island he would probably never have seen had he just been your average tourist who didn’t know anyone in Barbados spending a week long holiday in the Gap.

    The official position seems to be to discourage all-inclusive resorts in Barbados so that visitors are not shut away in a private, well guarded and protected enclave, as is the model in Jamaica and I understand now St Lucia as well, We loudly proclaim we don’t need all-inclusives here because the visitors can come to Barbados and mingle with the friendly locals for a more authentic Bajan experience. If the locals start behaving like a bunch of ignorant louts and rob visitors of jewelry and act aggressively and in a crude, insulting manner towards them, and the local authorities appear to be powerless to do anything about it, then it makes the “come and hang out with the friendly locals instead of being locked away in all-inclusive resort” marketing approach a farce and provides another incentive for holiday makers to look for an all-inclusive for their next holiday, Now we have one more factor to help give the edge to our competitors where the all-inclusive model is widespread and well established.

  28. Colonel Buggy wrote “The Police has issued and advisory”

    When will the Police do their job? They need to patrol these areas and they need to call in the defence force to assist.

    Barbados is playing russian roulette with the safety of Tourists.

    We need boots on the ground now.

  29. @ Green Monkey | March 5, 2013 at 6:56 PM |

    Thank you GM for your continuous highlighting of this cancer affecting our No.1 forex earning industry.
    The miller too has witnessed similar occurrences on a number of occasions and has complained about it. But like you, we will be deemed not as patriotic Barbadians concerned about our country’s image and the sustainability of our major foreign exchange earner but as prophets of doom and gloom and merchants of hate and criticism of the political party in government.

    What is killing tourism in Barbados is not any bogus recession or the APD but the homegrown problems we are creating for ourselves. The same harassment and drug pushing seem to have spread to the Oistins Friday night lime.

    It appears the industry would have to be on its knees before the authorities do something about the spreading cancer and the nit would be too late.
    Barbados’ name in the UK as a premier Caribbean destination has been dragged through the mud and is no longer appealing to the discerning and well off unless they can afford high class all-inclusiveness like Sandy Lane.

    • There is not a sense of urgency. Even if we don’t care to focus on the tourist industry we should care about crime period. It is the plank upon which a stable society is built. Bear in mind the vision of the DLP is to build a society. Where is the urgency!

      It is embarrassing that the police force has been driven to issue an advisory telling people not to wear gold in public.

  30. @ David | March 5, 2013 at 7:22 PM |

    Barbados has always prided itself as a safe friendly place to live, work and visit for relaxation. We are fast denuding this vaunted pride and undermining our plank of economic survival.
    The miller personally knows three people who used to express great glee in their expectation to retire in Bim. Two of them (one a Bajan by birth) have already bought land to fulfil their dreams. Now they are all having second thoughts and regrets because of what is being portrayed in the UK media about the goings-on in Bim against visitors and foreigners.

    • Barbados’ reputation has taken a big dent in the last two years and it seems the authorities do not believe a response is merited. If we cannot maintain the peace and calm in this 21×14 country then we can call it quits.

  31. At home we have crime, but I know of no-one that has bars on their windows and doors,Just a payne of glass between us and the outside world In barbados I hated when my wife would put a padlock on the door thinking if we have a fire it is all over for us.But she feared crime more than fire. Maybe it is just a matter of time for it to happen here.Our police dress up as prostitutes in sting operations to catch the johns maybe they could have people dressed as tourists.to catch or make them think twice about robbing someone.I said it before the sentence has to be disproportunate to the crime to make criminals take notice.

  32. Unfortunately the common denominator in all matters of civil unrest or social dislocation or monetary disorder is POLITICIANS.
    Most of what I see blogged in these columns are discussions of the Symptoms and ,no mind paid to the Root Cause.
    The root cause of ALL of our problems ,are the Politicians.
    The Pound(and other hard currencies)
    There is a universal concensus that ,it is “wise”(under present circumstances) to have a “weak” currency as it promotes growth and fosters an increase in productivity by making your products cheaper,there fore making higher sales volumes and as a end end result ,employing the masses.
    The masses must be employed or disposed of .
    As unemployed the masses are a Negative factor and a drain on money that can be otherwise totally squandered by Politicians.
    As employed they are a positive factor as they then produce the wealth FOR the Politicians to squander.
    The cheap money policy works fine.Initially.
    Then as each currency joins the “cheap money bandwagon” it ceases to be cheap and simply becomes the “norm”
    So the advantage of have a “perceived ” cheap destination(currency; whatever) ceases to be an advantage and becomes just an “every day” fact.
    Thereby negating any positive effects to the economy as matters simply revert to the original “Status quo”.The buying public just recognise prices as “the right prices” so any stimulus to consumption from a particular ” cheap area” disappears.
    Whereas the negative effects of having had a “Cheap currency” stay as they were .
    .(Like prices once raised stay raised as a “cheap currency” buys less so you have to “pay more”)
    The workers ,sustain pay cuts exactly in the proportion to the lowering of the curencies value,PLUS the added duties and tariffsalloted to the increase in costs because of the decreased value of the currency.
    Because of the raise in prices and the drop in DISPOSABLE INCOME ,the country concerned experiences a recession.
    Simple isnt it. Less money cannot buy more. Less money = less sales= less production=less employment = less money = less production= less employment.= an implosion of commerce,followed by an explosion of social unrest= Barbados in a VERY short time.(plus the rest of the world)
    These matters do not simple occur by random combustion.
    They are the results of the actions of a group of Totally Clueless Clutts, namely POLITICIANS.
    They are in it up to thier necks and CLUELESS as to what should be the answer.
    Well they WOULD be THEY never even knew the QUESTIONS.
    Yes I agree “oversimplified” but nonetheless Totally true.
    Now we worry about Barbados, dont, the whole WORLD is about to collapse WORRY about that.
    Start at what you know is the TRUTH, so those of you with your head up your Butt , are precluded.Then carry thro your thoughts to their logical conclusion.
    Not many of you will have the balls to go to the end,the conclusion is not pretty.

  33. David/Islandgal246,

    Thank you very much.

    I am going to try and put many of the points together (in my own way) and my personal responses in an upcoming column.

  34. Shoot Dr Love.
    The picture you paint is so vivid that you even have Bushie frightened….. LOL …and with the Bushman’s OWN message.

  35. I would suggest we all cast our minds back a few years for a few ideas.

    ‘When I was a lad’, tourism was a seasonal occupation like agriculture. A tractor driver wasn’t needed all year ’round and neither was a hotel bar tender.

    BDS did a very good job of changing the industry to become a year-round employer in the face of limited demand for summer holidays in the summer, just in time to take up the employment chasm left by the falling price of sugar. In the process we discounted our product to sell in the ‘off season’. So now wealthy travelers from London who visit in December/January can compare travel notes with their hair-dressers who visit in July or September.

    So, do we go back to the old days? I think not, too many people to employ. Do we put up fences on the beaches and follow the Jamaican ‘cruise-ship’ model? Definitely not, travelers to BDS consider the social interaction with locals of all levels of society a huge part of our charm.

    What we have done in the past is consistently neglected our sports-tourism. Hockey festivals, masters’ football, motor sport have all been neglected by authorities; only sailing is seeing growth under the enthusiastic oversight of our (until-recently) sailing senator.

    I can see no other way to grow our off-season than by growing sport.

  36. One good bit of news. The BTA will be at this weekend’s Ottawa Travel Show – 9th and 10th March – at the new Ottawa Convention Centre. The stand was booked 4th March – #804

  37. Dr Love
    Are you saying that in the end Bajans will be not working living on the beach with no income, no mortgage, no electricity,no cars cant afford a house, everybody running around naked because there is little money to spend on clothes Can sleep in every morning because you have no job .Living on coconuts and fish etc. Thats the american dream

  38. Funny they sign up on the forth after the BU mentions it on the second. The only problem with that is some of these countries in the show will be prepared for months and this could be something just thrown together in haste.

  39. The BTA’s late decision to rent a booth at OTS will be of very little use if they are peddling the same old shite. It’s like going to Holetown festival expecting to buy chutney and pickled pig to find rows of stands selling plastic Chinese dollar-toys. We would be better off disbanding the BTA and putting half the money in the BHTA and TDC, but obviously privatisation is a dirty word not to be repeated after elections.

  40. Dr. Love…………..Occam’s Razor…………………..the simpliest solution is usually the best.

  41. David the BTA in Toronto have done a lot of Trade Show Exhibiting and should have an effective.presence at the show.

    They have used Show contractors generic booths before and they looked OK.

    Some great graphics, acouple 42 inch monitors, and some good looking staff running the booth and they should do OK.

    BAFBFP can recommend a white chick and a cropover chick to add to the booth.

  42. @Lawson
    I was in Miami,the maid at the hotel, had a taxi driver husband,they both worked 7 days a week and drove 60 miles each way for her to get to work.
    She “hired us” her husbands taxi ,with him driving (of course).
    They were Colombians.
    He spoke,heavily accented American.
    He said as we were driving(in his heavy accent) “I come here to live American dream,but I work so hard and so long i can never get to sleep” “When the Fcuk can I dream?”

    I did tell him”get to the beach and get skinned off and get some bananas and coconuts”
    He replied me in Spanish.
    Something about my mother I gathered from my limited grasp of the lingo.:)

    Thoughts are of the female gender,when you think only you have had them,when you get around to really studying,always someone else been there too.

    But speaking seriously,I think both of us would be surprised(if one can actually surprise the venerable “Bushie”)
    at the amount of people in the world that actually see what the future is to be.
    They are so dumfounded by the obvious and how “the rest of the herd” do what they always do .Nothing.
    That until now they held it to themselves, not wanting to speak.

  43. I know what you mean about that language barrier thing, We were in Purto Rico, a bunch of police and firefighters we explained to the taxi driver in our spanglish we wanted to go to a place were we could drink and dance….he took us to a gay bar. lol . When any of us north american workaholics come to the islands that is what we like the simple stress free wayof life , that is a lot of our retirement dreams Barbados is starting to have a more hurried pace than your forefathers, people having to work harder just to make ends meet or keep up with the jones’s. Lets see if you have as many people making it to 100 a few decades from now.

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