Submitted by Check-this-Out (CTO)
Both DLP and BLP manifestos included grand statements about what changes they will make to be more efficient and to stimulate tourism.
On February 18 BU family member Hants commented:
“Honourable mention. Every night for the past two weeks or so the BREAKFAST IN BARBADOS ad has been on prime time 6.30pm in Toronto. Nuff respect to the BTA.”
CTO has seen and heard the the TV and radio ads, and visited the 104.5 CHUM FM website. Same info is at Totally Barbados – The daily grand prize is return airfare for two to Barbados from Air Canada Vacations, One week at the gorgeous Tamarind by Elegant Hotels and $1,500 CDN spending money from CIBC Aerogold VISA Infinite.
Like Hants, CTO’s initial reaction was kudos to BTA – finally some Barbados promotion; particularly given the absence of BTA advertising in the Toronto media over the past several months. It is interesting to read the 2011 Totally Barbados article which includes the following
“Radio Station 104.5 CHUM FM from Toronto is the number one radio station in Canada attracting a staggering 1.3 million listeners. For the last twenty-three years 104.5 CHUM FM have been broadcasting their morning show with Roger, Rick and Marilyn live from Barbados for one week every year. Now Darren B. Lamb has taken over from Rick with Roger, Darren and Marilyn.
The idea first came about when Irv Skinner, a Barbadian who was working at 104.5 CHUM FM suggested that they run a competition for listeners to win a trip to his Caribbean home of Barbados and that Roger Ashby, the breakfast show host should broadcast a show from here at the same time. The first broadcast from Barbados came from a property known back then as ‘Heywoods‘ as it was located on Heywood’s beach, now 23 years later Roger is back at the same property, which is these days known as ‘Almond Beach Village Beach Resort‘. That was back in 1986 and the interactive promotion has gone from strength to strength every year since.”
According to the promo material “Breakfast In Barbados is Toronto’s most famous trip giveaway.” The 2013 contest sponsors are: 104.5 CHUM FM, Air Canada Vacations, Elegant Hotels Inc, Barbados Tourism Authority and CIBC. There are thirty-six (36) Prizes each consisting of a trip for two (2) to Barbados. Trip includes: round trip economy air fare for two (2) from Toronto; seven (7) nights accommodation (based on one (1) room, double occupancy) as chosen by the Contest Sponsors at their sole discretion; and, $1,500 spending money from sponsor CIBC Aerogold VISA Infinite and two (2) tickets to the special CHUM FM concert.
BUT, what are the costs of the giveaway, who is paying for the giveaway, and what are the benefits of the giveaways (other than to the lucky winners)?
CTO is no economist, financial analyst, or an authority in tourism matters (and certainly no deep thinking Hal Austin); so the following is an uneducated ball park guestimate at best, and assumptions maybe wildly inaccurate; but it does not look like a very good ROI.
The daily grand prize is return airfare for two to Barbados from Air Canada Vacations. One week at the gorgeous Tamarind by Elegant Hotels, With $1,500 CDN spending money from CIBC Aerogold VISA Infinite. Who is paying for Toronto’s most famous trip giveaway? Is CHUM FM paying – not likely – they are likely getting paid to conduct the promo which is being run to increase listeners. Air Canada – not likely – they may be providing discounted airfares, but complimentary? Tamarind (or Heywoods, Almond, Hilton etc before them), – providing free accommodation – don’t think so. CIBC – providing 36 X CDN $1,500.00 prepaid VISA card – CDN $54,000.00 – not a chance.
Who is paying the air fare, and accommodations for Roger, Darren and Marilyn (and their technicians’)? Who is paying the performance fees, air fare, and accommodations for the American entertainers (and their bands and technicians)? One has to assume BTA (the taxpayer who pays) is footing the bulk of the bill.
Assuming a total of 90 visitors in the 2013 BIB group (36 winners X 2 = 72 + Roger, Darren and Marilyn and crew + 2 featured American recording artists and bands and technicians), at a per visitor cost of CDN$2,500.00 for air fare and accommodation, plus 36X CDN$1,500.00 VISA cards; BIB 2013 would have a cost of approximately CDN$280,000.00. NOTE no cost for performance fees for the American recording artists were included in cost gustimate.
Next assume that BTA covers half the cost – CDN$140,000.00, (which is likely conservative) and the other “sponsors” cover the other half. We are now in 2013, so for 28 years BTA (Barbados taxpayers who pay their taxes) has been funding the BIB promotion to send a group of lucky Canadians to Barbados for a week of sun and fun, including a concert featuring North American entertainers. Assuming the same numbers in 2013 dollars times 28 years the cost is CDN$3,900,000.00.
What, on the other hand, are the benefits?
Do the contest radio and TV promos create an interest in the listeners and viewers to take their next vacation in Barbados, and pay for it. Maybe a few. Will any of the winners be so excited with their free trip to the Gem of the Caribbean that they return for a second, or third, or fourth vacation on their own dime. Probably some; but how many – 10%, 20%, 50%, 100%?
For the purpose of this exercise, assume that 50% of the 2013 winners come back with a partner (total 36 visitors) for a week at a resort, at a cost of BDS$4,000.00 for accommodation and spend BDS$2,000,00, for a total spend of BDS$6,000.00 per visitor. VAT at 8.75% for the accommodations is BDS$350.00; and VAT at 17.5% on the other BDS$2,000.00 is BDS$350.00 for a total VAT of BDS$700.00; times 36 visitors = BDS$25,200.00.
So, for an outlay of BDS$280,000 (CDN$1400,000) for the BIB promo, with 50% visitor return rate Government (the taxpayer) would recover BDS$25,200 in VAT. CTO repeats he is no economist, financial analyst, or an authority in tourism matters, but from here BIB looks like a bad deal for Barbados taxpayers (who pay their taxes) so must be missing something.
Beyond the economics, I am puzzled at another issue with BIB. It is my understanding that Barbados has no shortage of internationally recognized recording artists to headline a concert, and whose performances would give the prize winners good reasons to come back to Barbados. Why then does the promoter (BTA) deem it necessary to include in its BIB package a concert featuring two American recording artists?
A couple of quotes:
Everyone has heard Albert Einstein’s “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. In his column in the February 21 edition of Barbados Today Walter Edey quotes Peter Drucker saying “every organization must be prepared to abandon everything it does to survive” Both DLP and BPL manifestos included grand statements about what changes they will make to be more efficient and to stimulate tourism.
Unless the benefits of BIB to Barbadian taxpayers (who pay there taxes) can be demonstrated to exceed the costs; CTO suggests that BIB is a good place to start changing, after 28 years of doing the same old sale old.
Meanwhile, as BTA has been virtually invisible, apart from Toronto’s most famous trip giveaway promotion, in the Toronto media for the past several months; Saint Lucia Tourism has been partnering full page and half page newspaper ads with Westjet Vacations which appear in one or two Toronto newspapers once and sometimes twice a week to drive demand. CTO will not attempt a cost/benefit analysis of this campaign, but thinks it safe to say it is driving more demand than the giveaway. See copy of the Saint Lucia/Westjet ad.
You may want to look at an informative article titled Jamaica Tourism Arrivals From Canada Hit Record High in 2012 in Toronto weekly news magazine Pride targeted at the West Indian community. It quotes Philip Rose, Regional Director for Canada of the Jamaica Tourism Board, Sorry I could not cut and paste or link to the article. Go to the website, click the Int’l News tab and scroll down to find article. Suggest you go to the website to view the article ASAP, as I do not know if articles are taken down or archived when the new weekly edition is published. Here is a profile of Philip Rose, also Youtube video. It might not be a bad idea for BTA to try to hire Mr Rose or someone else who can think outside the BTA box.