It Was a Poor Winter, What Next?

Adrian Loveridge - Owner of Peach & Quiet Hotel

Adrian Loveridge – Owner of Peach & Quiet Hotel

Sometimes so many statistics and figures are bandied about in the tourism industry, it is easy to be distracted from any cause and effect that these may have. Take the recently announced long stay visitor arrival figures for January and February 2013 for instance. A 9 per cent fall for each month. While that may not appear devastating in numbers alone, you have to look past the percentage decline. These are two of our critical four peak winter months. Add the fall in arrivals during December 2012 and already the heady predictions of a strong winter are completely out the window. In January 2012 , we welcomed 52,619 stay-over visitors and in February 2012, some 54,162.

Many hoteliers rely on the winter for not only a high room occupancy level, but also the premium rates charged over this period. December 2012 welcomed 52,174 persons, which naturally includes what is probably the busiest time of the year, Christmas and New Year, for most properties. Compare arrivals with summer months and you can get a feel of the importance of winter volume and revenue. As examples, August 2012, which could have the benefit of Crop Over and visiting friends and relatives, 43,191 and June 2012, 36,656.

From an economic point of view, if you use one of our West Coast 4 star hotels of about 100 rooms to measure the losses, who charges US$709 per room per night in the winter. Then average a typical stay of 7 nights which produces US$4,963 for that room over that period. The same room charge in the summer, falls to US$282 or US$1,974 for the week. A massive 60 per cent less income, and that’s before you factor in specials like offering 7 nights, but paying for six. Of course, its not quite that simple, as Barbados is a largely tour operator dependent destination, which would negatively influence net room rates. But I would guess that while the figures may vary, the proportions do not.

Some industry observers have been quick to blame the ongoing Almond Beach Village closure to our current dismal performance, but the facts do not substantiate this is any meaningful way. Even if the hotel was open, based on the same average stay, two persons each room and operating to a 80 per cent occupancy, the very most this could have effected the numbers were 2,798 guests for January and 2,528 for February. The actual arrival falls were 4,735 in January and 4,874 in February. And this is based on what must be a clearly fallible theory, that travel professionals, operators or agents, were not able to switch sell the original hotel of choice to their clients.

So the obvious question is, if potential clients were not accommodated at ABV, where did they stay?

Or was another holiday destination chosen?

The losses don’t just end at the hotel. Less car rentals, restaurant dining, shopping, excursions and activities, reduced staff hours worked etc, and this all has a dramatic influence of reducing the taxes Government collect.

0 thoughts on “It Was a Poor Winter, What Next?


  1. Likely will be another poor winter. Barbabos is chioatic. It’s just a mess. The S&P and Moody’s says so. There are lots of theft there. The United Nations said so and crime, crime against visiting tourist is out of control. Terry Schwartzfeld and Colon Peter were tourists, just tournist but murdered. Diane Davies and Rachel Turner were tourist, just tourist but brutally raped. Recently (January 2013), a british professor and his wife, tourist, just tourist were both stabed; may see another poor winter in Barbados.

    Barbabados and the BLP in in is chioatic, just a mess.


  2. Puerto Rico will soon be the 51st state in the United States union; this is imminent. Trinidad and Tobago will soon take over and control the Barbados island; this too is imminent.


  3. I have been hearing that things rough, there is nothing going on out there , then please somebody tell me how the hell did they arrive at giving the DLP the wheel when we already in the gutter, September is the real eyeopener here when most of the tourisim related places close their doors, now when you look at other tourist destinations they are offering lower prices than us and getting people to visit their countries, now what happened to the big head crew who get on the media and lie to all of us that the comming winter season will be the best, evey year we get the same ol’ same ol’ , it could be time for the non productive workers at BTA retire and hire some workers who really know about tourisim for the job.


  4. The beaches are being washed away, that appeal is being lost and the halfass efforts that are being made at Holetown to retain the shoreline is a joke, the wave energy reducers that are being erected are connected to the shore by causway used by the construction equipment , when the barriers are finished the causway is taken up leaving the beach open to further errosion by side currents if these causways were left in place the structure would look like a letter ” T ” Which would encourage the sand to collect and hence a wider beach , now at Welches beach on the south coast the reclaiming of the beach was a hugh success so tell me why did they change the formula ? are the beaches on the south that different, why are they only stopping the sea from going further inland why dont they reclaim some of what has already fallen to the sea?making the beaches wider like what they used to be . also a jetty along the west coast could improve the water sport product which is ignored by successive administrations.


  5. On CBC Radio News yesterday, BTA Chairman, Adrian Elcock expressed ‘surprise’ by comments attributed to Sue Springer, EVP of the BHTA in a Maria Bradshaw article carried in the Nation Friday, to the effect the Rihanna campaign was not having the desired effect in driving arrival numbers. And that it was a Rihanna campaign and not a BTA marketing campaign. I cannot imagine WHY Mr. Elcock is surprised as Ms. Springer has been saying this for months. The same concern was quoted in the media on 27th March 2013.
    Frankly, 2013 so far has been a tourism disaster. The depleted revenue for each and every critical winter month will be almost impossible to recoup and if April arrivals (down 12 per cent) are echoed in May and what some tourism operators are reporting, that June is one of the worse on record,
    almost half the year is gone already. Still no sign or BTA restructuring or the much vaunted Master Plan, and with the BTA Board mandate ending its two year stint in April, absolutely NO sign of new thinking or marketing plans.
    Clearly, there is no policy direction and the rudderless ship is rapidly approaching the rocks,

Leave a comment, join the discussion.