Hotelier Paints Bleak Outlook

Adrian Loveridge - Owner of Peach & Quiet Hotel

Adrian Loveridge – Owner of Peach & Quiet Hotel

There is a very fine line, when writing a column like this. The risk of being branded as a pessimist is high. I only hope that readers will focus on the message that is trying to be conveyed and perhaps apply some of the content objectively to look at issues in a broader more holistic way.

When I heard the Minister of Tourism recently predict that he anticipated long stay visitor arrivals in 2013 should reach the same levels as last year, frankly I was surprised. Look at our largest single market, the United Kingdom has already experienced a decline of 15,631 visitors in 2012, when compared with 2011.

In the first week of May, Virgin Atlantic brought forward from October 27 their planned change of aircraft on the Gatwick/Barbados route by substituting the larger B747 aircraft with smaller A330 equipment on each day of the week, except for Thursdays. This immediately cuts up to 1,134 seats weekly and by the end of December this year I estimate to be almost 40,000 seats lost. Put another way, we will lose airline capacity for nearly 23 per cent or around one in four of all our British land based arrivals annually, which in 2012 totalled 173,519 persons. It is also not unreasonable to conclude that at least 50 per cent of those lost seats could have been used by the largest tour operator into Barbados, Virgin Holidays.

Has anyone considered the incredible overall loss of occupied room nights this will bring to our hotels and the devastating financial consequence? Needless to say, its not just the negative effect on our accommodation providers, but the trickle down effect it will have on restaurants, attractions, activities, car rentals, shopping, taxis etc. And at a time when Government most needs higher tax collection, the loss of non reclaimable VAT on all these tourism offerings.

It’s vaguely conceivable, that our policymakers imagine they are going to make up the numbers from other major markets, like the USA and Canada, but this is extremely unlikely. Out of these two sources, there was negligible growth in 2012. But sadly so far, in the first four months of 2013, there has been an average monthly decline of 11.9 per cent from the United States and 9 per cent from Canada.

Of course, we do not have the winter climatic advantage for most of the remaining eight months, so this trend is hardly likely to change without extensive cost-effective ‘consumer facing’ marketing and a dramatic improvement in destination visibility overall. Yes! there are a few rays of sunshine on the horizon. The Thomas Cook double-drop charters from Manchester and TUI flights from Hamburg, but these do not commence until November, and clearly will not come anywhere close to making up the Virgin deficit.

This scenario regrettably paints a very gloomy picture, but personally I believe we must start to face this reality and implement measures needed to redress this situation, rather than repeatedly utter predictions, which are at best, whimsical and almost impossible to achieve with the status quo.

0 thoughts on “Hotelier Paints Bleak Outlook


    Agree.. , now things can only get better.. Happiness is moments at a time . So when that time comes enjoy and save for the bad times that will come again.
    Long live the King

  2. “Commentary: Tourism Matters: A few rays of sunshine on the horizon

    There is a very fine line when writing a column like this. The risk of being branded as a pessimist is high.

    I only hope that readers will focus on the message that I am trying to convey and perhaps apply some of the content objectively to look at issues in a broader, more holistic way.”

    “Hotelier Paints Bleak Outlook

    There is a very fine line, when writing a column like this. The risk of being branded as a pessimist is high. I only hope that readers will focus on the message that is trying to be conveyed and perhaps apply some of the content objectively to look at issues in a broader more holistic way.”

    The same article posted on two different websites.

    One website being responsible the other being alarmist and trying to paint a picture of doom and gloom.

    I report, you decide.

    This happens every week.

  3. @carson
    Whether doom and gloom or whatever .
    You seem not willing to say BUT THESE ARE THE FACTS.
    So who is trying to manipulate whom??
    YOU are the type of person that is Responsible for the bad position of Barbados now ,with your partisan,bamboozle the population approaches to any subject .

    • Yes! there are a few rays of sunshine on the horizon. The Thomas Cook double-drop charters from Manchester and TUI flights from Hamburg, but these do not commence until November, and clearly will not come anywhere close to making up the Virgin deficit.

      With respect to Adrian the above statement is a non sequitor. He has established in his article that the Thomas Cook and TUI charters will not fill the breach and also the initiative begins in November. In the context of discussion the present reality it is not relevant :-).

    • How can a comparative 2013 over 2012 for May be in the conversation except with political yardfowls? It can only be a lie if we are discussing empirical data.

  4. @ david

    ???”a non sequitor” (does not follow:make sense?)
    Are you saying we have NOT “a few rays of sunshine on the horizon”
    just a slight lessoning in the” DOOM ratio”:)

    • @Dr. Love

      While your conclusion maybe correct the non sequitor is in the context of Adrian’s piece…lol.

  5. A greek philospher once said “Redundancy is an epedemic no person.s mind should have to endure……. Seems like I have heard this all before.

  6. Adrian why would you put yourself through this on a regular basis,you know you could write everything is great, no problems here and the same people would be complaining, logic and common sense dont seem to matter when pitted against race and status.Hopefully things turn around,…..they wont to the degree they were in the past but lower prices and property values may not be a bad thing, it might allow CCC to buy a hotel have to work 24/7 and here him whine from the other side.

    • Instead of the political rabble by some challenge Adrian’s numbers. On a similar point the Governor indicated last year that if our Winter numbers did not come up to scratch it would be foreboding for the economy. Well the numbers did NOT come up to scratch. Why have we not insisted the governor carry on the conversation? We soak everything in silly political rhetoric and invective.

  7. A spokesman of the Tourist Board was on CBC news last night saying the number of arrivals for May are up over last year. He is screwing around with your forecast Mr. Loveridge. Who is lying you or him?

  8. DAVID

    Your problem seems to be the fact the the TRUTH is getting in your way.

    And I might also add, Adrian Loveridge way as well.

  9. We have a government that does nothing and makes no decisions, but will blame our collapse on the outside world’s woes.

    Has no ideas, but will wait for the IMF to tell them what to (coming very soon) – so they can blame them (IMF) for drastic draconian actions that we will have no choice but to smile at – as we let it get here.

    Spending more money that we don’t have – but the people like that – of course – they voted and want their social care, medical care, education, transport and even their housing at the cost of everyone else (but it does catch up)! That system was tried already and failed miserably.

    It has never been so bad in my life – We are all waiting patiently to fall off the cliff with no way to stop the rot that has taken root in every part of our society from the law at the top and government straight to the drugs on the streets at the very bottom.

    No one is being held accountable – Time for revolt!

  10. @Adrian
    Some weeks ago I made suggestions t improve the attractions for tourists and tourism. I challenged you to comment, and/or lay out your suggestions for improving the position. I did not get a response and I reminded you again. You still hav not responded. What is the problem? Is it that you, a veteran of the tourism industry are also devoid of suggestions? Is the BTA devoid of suggestions? Why must hoteliers always want government to come up with ways of improving the plant when the practitioners in the industry are too lazy to find their own solutions, and put these into practise? I again reequest your suggestions.

  11. Information Junkie

    Arrivals not including Cruise:
    Jan 2013 = -4,479 passengers or -8.5%
    Feb 2013 = -4,914 passengers or -9.1%
    Mar 2013 = -0,815 passengers or -1.5%
    Apr 2013 = -6,025 passengers or -12.5%

    May 1to10th only = +0,238 passengers or 2.1% increase
    Nothing to celebrate about as we need to get to the end of the month.

    As at the end of April the total visitors stood at -16,233 compared to the previous year or a -7.7% decrease in arrivals.

    It should also be noted that most tourism entities (hotels / attractions / man on the street / vendor selling jewellery etc) really make their money to carry them through the year in those months that just passed. From here on they are discounting deeply on their rates to help generate business to the island and find it hard to make money in these coming months – probably why many hotels choose to close their doors no over summer.

  12. David/Information Junkie,

    I really don’t mind responding. The acting BTA CEO/President stated that the first half of May (15 days) was up 2 points. If by 2 points, he means a two per cent increase in long stay visitor arrivals for the same period as last year, then it needs a 9 per cent increase by the end of May 2013 just to catch up. May 2012 was down 9 per cent (3,764 persons) over the same month in 2011. Having lost up to 6,048 seats out of Gatwick this May alone, unless this can be made up from the other markets, that simply is NOT going to happen.


    I think I have answered most of the question you have previously posed. I have never pretended to know all the answers, but try and put forward constructive suggestions to tempt policymakers to look at all the options.
    I am really fed up with the frequent ludicrous comments that we are constantly expecting Government to do everything. During the last 25 years, we have directly generated over BDS$12 million in foreign exchange, and indirectly probably twice that amount and built a BDS$9 million investment.
    This has been achieved without ANY Government assistance. In fact Government’s contribution is stating we should upgrade our hotel plant and then keep us waiting over 3 years and 7 months for agreed VAT refunds.

  13. @information junkie

    Can’t you read?

    The thrust of Adrian’s article is how will the change of equipment by Virgin impact and what can we do to avert. Don’t you think there is a time to stop the stupid political arguments? It will NOT fly on BU.

  14. For years some of us have called on respective governments to undertake a study to determine forex leakage in the sector. Should the hoteliers be responsible for this undertaking?

    Should hoteliers borrow from banks to finance debt?

    Should the hoteliers be responsible for building/refurbishing places of amusement?

    Is there another sector in Barbados which contributes to GDP in the way tourism does?

  15. Alvin Cummins – I think you should do some investigation and see what the various hotels & ancillary services are doing for yourself. The ones who are left (since many hotels have closed or been sold to make condos – if they were all that successful and making BIG money they would have still been open today) are out there spending money on their product and marketing it on the international scene leveraging every possible avenue themselves. I am sure you would be surprised at the level of money already being spent.

    But, on a bigger scale the island needs to be marketed – and this is not happening. You can’t expect the tourism players to market the islands primarily – that is the job of the Government specifically the BTA. Right now they are spending most of their 100 million dollar budget on (I think I heard 60%) on staff to run the various offices they have! Apparently only about 30% goes to marketing efforts!!! And it is spent very badly from what we have seen in their recent attempts at marketing!

  16. @Adrian
    Adrian, you are white and will be until you die ,thats how long your problems will last in Barbados.

  17. Say what you want about Adrian but at least he consistently speaks the truth! At least someone has the balls to do it bout here. Everyone else too frighten for victimisation. Everyone hiding behind a fake name except him.

    David, ya right! Let’s forget bout the rest of noise out there and concentrate on the impact that those lost Virgin seats going have on this little country. Even if they get a little bump in May (well lets wait to the end to see what happens!) that don’t mean there is a big turn around happening. Those numbers above by “Tourism Numbers” are very insightful and tell a sad story.

    How do we really bring change to this little rock? That is the really big question. Like I think we need new leaders to rise out of the ashes – anyone out there with a new view want to run the country?

    My two cents to solve the problem – we need to reinvent ourselves. But I don’t see anyone in there now who has a clue where Barbados wants to be in the next 5, 10 or 20 years and is working towards that with a vision going forward.

    I suppose they will soon announce that a new study will be proclaimed so friends can make some money. Why don’t they just go out and get help if they don’t know what they are doing? Or that would be too easy.

  18. Adrian Loveridge

    If things are so bad in Barbados, why don’t you head back to England where it is “flowing with Milk and Honey”?

  19. @david
    Virgins actions UNDERLINE the whole TRUTH of what Adrain says.(Regardless of Carsons Idiocy)
    BUT they are a Fait accompli.
    We can do nothing to “Avert”; which implies action to avoid or stop.
    As Adrian totally accurately predicts the results and that is PRESUMING that all the smaller planes fly FULLY LOADED.
    We are impotent to act in any way, we just accept the consequences of the “Fait Accompli”
    We are unable to change events that are passed.
    A drop at out peak periods needs a huge corresponding increase at a later non peak period.
    If that was acheivable by desire of the public to arrive in Barbados .The means will not be there.
    Like selling Iced drinks in the middle of the SAHARA.
    Businesses dont Bullshit ,they take solid constructive actions based on facts,therefore Vrigins actions speak volumes about the FACTS and Barbados tourism product.
    What sayeth Thou Carson??

  20. “Say what you want about Adrian but at least he consistently speaks the truth!”

    Whose “truth”?

  21. As Adrian/Tourism Number

    Unless there was a huge increase by other airlines the loss of person of Virgin will defintely hurt our tourism sector. the sector is already 7.7% for the jan -april total. This will probably continue into our slower months for the tourisum season with maybe july and august being slight increase over last year number if we are lucky. The following month will be down until novemeber at best

  22. @CCC
    You are a REALLY NASTY BASTARD you know that?
    Adrian points you to IMPROVEMENTS and you use PURILE INSULTS.
    Barbados is in REAL deep shite as long as you breathing.

  23. Dr. Love…………that’s some kinda reality.

    Carson…………..i see you are back and in fine form, combative to the end.

  24. Virgin Atlantic has just registered record losses as a company. Are teh adjustments to the barbados route part of their own restructuring or weak demand on the route? In terms of forecasting the extent of the impact on bim it would be useful to know what percentage of the virgin capacity to barbados is typically utilized.

  25. ONDON (Reuters) – Virgin Atlantic said tough economic conditions over the last year and lower demand for business travel caused by the London Olympics dragged it to a wider annual loss.

    The airline, founded by British entrepreneur Richard Branson, on Thursday reported a loss of 93 million pounds for the year to the end of February, 16 percent worse than the 80 million loss it reported a year earlier.

    “Last year saw a double dip recession, a continued weak macro economy, and an Olympic Games which, although a fantastic event, severely dented demand for business travel,” said chief executive Craig Kreeger, who joined Virgin earlier this year from American Airlines .

    European carriers such as IAG’s Iberia, Lufthansa (Xetra: 823212 – news) and Air France-KLM (Other OTC: AFLYY – news) are slashing jobs and shelving growth plans as they grapple with high fuel prices, a weak economy and fierce competition from low-cost carriers and Middle East airlines.

    Kreeger said he was confident the airline’s financial performance would improve “considerably” in 2013/14 and that it would return to profit in the second quarter of 2015.

    Late last year U.S. carrier Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL – news) bought a 49 percent stake in Virgin Atlantic, creating a joint venture that the pair said would generate new revenue and leverage Virgin’s strong luxury brand.

    Branson retained his 51 percent stake in Virgin Atlantic and ownership of the brand of the airline he founded in 1984.

    Revenue increased by 5 percent to 2.87 billion pounds as 5.5 million passengers flew with the airline, 188,000 higher than last year.

    At a group level, Virgin Atlantic’s pretax loss was 69.9 million pounds after a one-off positive 35.4 million pounds exceptional item and 23.1 million pounds in other income was taken into account, it said.

    Virgin Atlantic, which launched its Little Red domestic service last month, has suffered in recent years from soaring fuel costs and increased competition as well as the global economic downturn. It last reported an annual profit for the 2010/11 fiscal year.

    Rival International Airlines Group , owner of British Airways and Iberia, last week reported an operating loss of 278 million euros ($364 million) in the first three months of 2013.

    (Reporting by Rhys Jones; editing by Neil Maidment and Brenda Goh)

  26. Observer,
    I think you have made a good point, but don’t forget that Virgin also recorded a loss of GBPounds 80.2 million in the previous financial year
    (f/y/ending February 2012).

    British long stay visitor arrivals declined by 8.3 per cent (15,631 people) in 2012 when compared with 20111. Virgin Atlantic operated their first A330-300 flight (registration GVSXY) on 2nd April 2011, so there has been a lot of time to switch the fuel saving A330’s onto the Barbados route.

    I think the question that has to be asked, would the BDS$733 per person BTA subsidy being used on the Barbados Island Inclusive programme, have been more cost effectively used to support the lost Virgin Airlift?

  27. Adrian my question is whether or not we are in effect into a new normal at least in terms of tourism arrival numbers from the UK? I respect a can do attitude but can we realistically get back the numbers we used to get given the drastic and protracted change in economic circumstances in the UK? Is it really simply a matter of better marketing and/or pricing? It can be pointless pushing on a string.

    What should be the focus of our marketing thrust now? Alternative markets, better targeting of the segments in the UK that are still coming, seeking to increase length of stay and spend in that group maybe?

    I am asking questions!

  28. “I think the question that has to be asked, would the BDS$733 per person BTA subsidy being used on the Barbados Island Inclusive programme, have been more cost effectively used to support the lost Virgin Airlift?”

    I think the answer to that could depend critically on the corporate and strategic motives beyond the Virgin cutbacks.

  29. Observer what you gone and do? You asking questions Adrian and David hate. Barbados existS in a fairy tale land where if not for spending 60% of the tourism budget on salaries -island girlz figure- (u hear lie that is lie) the island would be bursting at the seams like Bermuda and Bahamas USED to be.

    UK’s nearly triple dip recession has jack squat to do with BIM. Obama’s constant refrain that the world’s biggest economy is not performing as he hoped has nothing to do with this island.

    The thing is most big hoteliers are parasites. They blame everyone except themselves. Had an argument recently on who are the biggest blood suckers. It end as a tie between big players in tourist sector and lawyers. Hoteliers saving grace was they are not sent to jail as often as lawyers for THIEFING. Hinckson the blp lawyer MP spoke loudly on tht the other day about one of his blp MP legal eagle comrades.

    Alvin dont hold your breath to hear answers from Adrain on taking your suggestions or even discussing them. Helping themselves is VIRGIN territory to Adrian’s hotelier posse they are hooked on GOB nipples and they sucking them sore and dry until the end of never.

  30. Carson…………………it keeps blowing hot and cold up here, one minute it’s spring, next minute it’s winter, things gotta get sorted out in Bim so that there are no negative surprises that will adversely affect the people.

  31. The DLP and BLP must be sent packing for good by the broad masses and middle classes of people from the political governmental landscape of Barbados.

    And as we have previously communicated to many people on here and elsewhere, there is a certain time period within which this must be done.

    So, as time goes by, the closer it is to this time that we have said they must be removed permanently from this landscape.

    As it stands now, it is five years left within which they must be permanently removed from the political governmental landscape of Barbados.

    We have also stated categorically that If this is not absolutely done, there will be some very progressively destructive and diabolical and hellish political material financial circumstances that have never before been visited upon this country in this post-independence era, within the next 9 to 14 years and beyond

    We have on numerous occasions in the past said in various fora – and we will say it again on BU more than ever before – that if the total and permanent removal of these two political is not done, and their places taken by other progressive people-centered groups that will remove it from the current trajectory that it is on to one that is exciting progressive. prosperous, etc, Barbados – on this current trajectory – will become like how Jamaica was in the 70s and 80s in many respects.

    It is during these decades that many observers of much of what was generally socially politically materially financially happening in Jamaica then, were able to witness the substantial beginning of untold dedevelopment decline stagnation across many fronts in post colonial Jamaican society.

    Indeed, these were also times from which the Jamaican society has never totally recovered.

    A proper survey of the available evidence across all major fronts in the Barbadian society will allow any one with the right senses to see the untold damage and destruction that these DLP and BLP governments have – since the late 80s up to now – been hugely helping to wreck and inflict on this country.

    One of the fronts where these most horrible scenes of massive damage and destruction have been taking place is in the tourism sector.

    In this sector, such damage and destruction have involved – but are not limited to – the unnecessary closures of too many hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions, the poisoning of many tourism related projects in their embryonic stages, and the deliberate withholding of critical political support to many tourism related accessory outfits.

    That stakeholders in tourism would have over the years stood almost passively by and have allowed most of this sector to have been decimated by the baleful and nefarious political activities of another level of local looters and plunderers and parasites in the form of government officials have been and are another set of examples of another set of stakeholders in another important commercial business sector simply lying prostrate and virtually allowing the government of Barbados in net terms to have been substantially destroying with impunity another important commercial business sector in Barbados.

    For, it is these DLP and BLP governments of Barbados that have already been the prime and most despicable destroyers of the once verdant and buoyant agriculture and manufacturing sectors in this island through the continuous visitation of the relevant evils and monstrosities – TAXATION, regimes that purport money debts, etc – on these two sectors.

    If these governments are allowed to take their levels of damage and destruction of many affairs in tourism to higher levels it will mean that tourism too will suffer a similar fate as agriculture and manufacturing.

    Too, it will also mean that if the majority of tourism stakeholders – taxi operators, coach operators, beach vendors, coastal cruise operators, in land tour operators, restauranters, hoteliers, villa owners, private tourism planners and developers etc – continue to do like the majority of stakeholders in both the agriculture and manufacturing sectors have been doing, and do not adopt some very firm, resolute and unshakeable attitudes and stances that inform these visionless intellectually and politically bankrupt corrupt DLP/BLP factions, i.e, that it is either they that must be totally destroyed by the broad masses and middle classes in the medium term to long term, or that instead it will be they that will be totally destroyed by these factions in the medium term or long term, will mean that they will become like how the said stakeholders in agriculture and manufacturing have long been made to become – reduced to performing lowly depreciated and marginalized roles in the process of the commercial and business functioning of the country.

    Surely, a refusal on the part of these stakeholders to act in the national interest and their better interest, will also mean that they will continue to see the essential systemic destruction of many Tourism affairs by the government and will also continue to see the national status quo providing greater more maleffects for making Barbados become like Jamaica in the next 9 to 14 years in many ways.


  32. The big big problem in Barbados is that the electorate has saddled the country with an ignoramus for Prime Minister.The saving grace in past years has been the ability of three former holders of that important post to be sufficiently intelligent to take on the twin portfolios of Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.This incumbent does not know his arse from his elbow and cannot guide Monetary and Fiscal policies,Economic policy,Business policy,National output,Income distribution,International trade,in short, he lacks the expertise and understanding of Errol Barrow,Tom Adams and Owen Arthur .Responsible management of a country is not for the dumb and dull.Barbados is paying the price for its stupidity. Errol Barrow was the DLP.The party’s ashes were scattered at sea along with his ashes from the Caricargo plane that facilitated the final rites in 1987.

  33. Let me make two confessions:

    1. I currently believe that markets are the least bad way of allocating resources and should be allowed to work as far as possible.

    2. Unlike many on this blog I have no interest in re-fighting the 2013 general elections. DLP won, they are the government we have and I am prepared to engage with them as the legitimate government. I do not buy the “Buy election” argument. Whichever Wickman poll you choose they both had the two party leaders running a statistical dead heat. In such a case why would the election result not be close. Why would the incumbent not prevail in a close race?

    David one of my questions is whether or not we are chastising the policy makers and hoteliers for not being able to maintain the pre 2008 status quo when the world has changed fundamentally. General public cursing policymakers and hoteliers, hoteliers cursing government and vice versa because of an inability to maintain the pre 2008 status quo while fundamental change has occurred.

    Adrian it seems to me that some business models will no longer be viable with the prolonged recession in Europe, and the increases in energy costs. Why should these entities not be allowed to fail if they are unable to adjust. My sense is that some shakeout in the sector is inevitable and should be allowed be to happen. Instead of doing too little the policymakers try to do too much to keep entities that should fail alive.

    I sympathize with the hotels about the increase in water and electricity rates. But Barbados is a water scarce country, as a free market person, I am of the view that if the hotels do not face the true costs of these resources then they remain very inefficient in the usage of these resources. The administration seems to want to enhance the competitiveness of the sector by promoting investments in energy efficiency and renewables. Are hotels interested in reducing energy costs and also gaining a further 50% rebate on property taxes due if they invest in renewables. Are hotels looking at this or lobbying for a return to the good old days? What are the issues?

  34. @PDC
    WE need to isolate the distinct and separate things that are destroying Bim.
    Segregate and then destroy them.
    If our life is not just to be a game in which we are just the pawns.
    This is a WAR going on ,not just a small social disturbance.
    Get some candidates together,stand for election.
    People sick and tired of de same shite

  35. Adrian I dont know about 24/7 but maybe on a 247,347,or maybe even a 747 it sure seems like he is carrying a lot of baggage with him, maybe he is a disgruntled red cap that some brit forgot to tip at the airport

  36. Observer,
    Again some goods points which I probably cannot do justice in responding fully to you.
    I personally think that we should tackle the things where we can make a difference. I remember some time ago, discussing with Stephen Worme of BL&P the idea of having a dual electricity tariff with a lower rate for off-peak
    (night use) electricity. They implemented a pilot project, but it was only open to highly selected BIG companies. I suggested addressing an area like hotel, villa, apartment, condominium swimming pool pumps and having them operate at night (even 12 hours a day) on a lower rate. Government could play their part by allowing the importation of the meters duty/tax free. Even if the savings represented only 10 per cent it still amount to a significant ‘national’ reduction.
    I am a very simple person and tend to look for simple workable solutions.
    With somewhere around 40-60 per cent of the annual BTA budget being spent on staff and administration it makes absolutely NO SENSE to spend 11 per cent of the total budget to HOPEFULLY generate a ROI of 1:1.76 (less than $2 return on each $1 spent).
    I get lots of criticism from certain quarters for some of my comments, but I defy anyone sensible to argue that this is the best use of the BTA budget.

  37. I don’t think the subsidized rate for electricity can be a medium to long term solution. Unlike Gabriel Tackle I think the fundamental problem in BIm is the fallout from this great recession in our source markets. I think we should be focusing on our response. A question in my mind is how do we subsidize the capital costs of the energy efficiency and renewable energy investments as one means of responding to the challenges in the sector?

    Adrian how much of the challenge is pricing, or pricing relative to the quality of the plant and product we currently offer?

    Gabriel Tackle I just want to remind you that between 2001 and 2002, the declines in tourism, GDP and increases in the fiscal deficit (under Mr. Arthur) after the mild global recession of 2001 were in the same ball park as those experienced during this current recession. Your man Tom Adams had to go to the IMF aftert he relatively mild 1981 recession.

    Lets deal with the issues and not the politics.

  38. Dr love,

    We agree with you 100 per cent on that one.

    We, as part of the Coalition of Unified Parties (CUP), are moving ahead with our plans for the next elections in this country.

    Both the DLP and the BLP must go in the foreseeable future!!


  39. @Adrian
    I keep tellin you
    You are speaking Chinese to an Afaganistani.
    They are not interested in the TRUTH.
    They got elected for PERSONAL GAIN.
    They just get a lable stuck on them ,that entitles them to MILK what they been awarded till its dry.
    Get REAL please!!!.Understand .
    They do not give a DAMN.
    They stack up the loot.The lower and cheaper Barbados becomes ,the BETTER they live cos they have the MONEY so they pay less for what they want.
    Now I know you just a skinny white boy ,but if you can decipher and relate to all the statisics you show as the truth,surely to GOD you have the sense to understand that what you are hitting your head on is a BRICK WALL ,not misunderstanding or incompetance.
    If it means ONE cent less for them its a total NONSTARTER.

  40. Observer,
    I think it is the pricing in relation to the quality of the product we are offering, and I believe this is where we fail dismally. There are of course exceptions that have got it right or close to.

  41. @PDC
    When you ready, I have some savings,I find a way we can contact and I publically guarantee you candidate support as many as I can afford.

  42. @ Carson C. Cadogan | May 20, 2013 at 9:57 AM |
    “Adrian Loveridge If things are so bad in Barbados, why don’t you head back to England where it is “flowing with Milk and Honey”?”
    Fair exchange is not robbery! Why not trade Adrian for a few thousand Bajans living in the UK and who would gladly return to the paradise called Bim?
    In return for this repatriation you could get their State pensions to shore up Barbados’ fast depleting foreign reserves. The British government would certainly save on winter fuel allowance payments, free TV licences, council tax and housing benefits.

    You could also include them as UK arrivals in your tourism numbers game. You and your deceitful lying party are good at manipulating numbers even at the polling stations.
    Deal or no deal, CCC?
    Adrian has as much right to live in Barbados as you have to exist as a poor excuse for a human being. Pick sense from that.
    You are just a racist idiot with the brain the size of a bed chink sucking the blood of that bitch that sleeps in your fleas-ridden bed!

  43. Any attempt to suggest or imply that Virgin decision’s to cut back seats on the Barbados route is geared to deliberately ‘hurt’ the country is pure codswallop.

    How can we even think of accusing an airline of overcharging on seats in which the total tax component of the lowest open fare is more than 60 % of the cost of the ticket. Let us use the economy fare being charged to the East Caribbean and return for say May or June 2013.
    It would cost the visitor to Barbados around £540. 00 of which £329.00 represents tax and the remainder is for the flight ticket itself.
    Some might argue that it is even cheaper to fly to the USA or even Canada. But competition from other carriers is the primary reason for this.

    If we want to blame someone or something for Barbados’ loss of business out of the UK and its current predicament of its tourism industry please do not look to the airlines (both VA & BA).

    Look in the mirror at home and see the source of your problems. If you want to cast blame to some agent overseas then look to the UK government who sees the APD and other levies as an easy source of revenue to help plug its fiscal deficit.

    The airlines are not responsible for the significant fall in travellers to Barbados. Why should Virgin continue to fly jet fuel guzzling 747’s when 30-40 % of the seats remain unsold on a daily basis?

    At least BA saw the light a bit earlier. Don’t be surprised if both airlines move to a ‘3 or 4 days-a-week’ flight schedule to Barbados if the country does not get its act together rather sooner than later and become once more an attractively premier destination for UK travellers.

  44. Today is a bank holiday in Canada. This morning ( as I do at every opportunity) I went fishing then went for a long drive, sunroof open and some Bob Marley testing the air drums.

    Come home and log into BU after a wonderful morning. Old Onions would have enjoyed it cause he is a ol time recreational fisherman.

    To the serious topic at hand.

    The constant and relentless of the BTA and the Minister of Tourism without out definitive ideas to improve the industry is a waste of time.
    Sorry but I aint nuh betta cause I ent got nuh godd ideas eider…..but

    “Canada simply gives up competing for the American tourist
    The Canadian Tourism Commission says trying to lure American tourists is a waste. Its campaigns are not getting value for money.”

    I doan have to read an spell fuh wunna.

  45. Who is blaming the airlines, or suggesting they want to hurt Barbados? I think in general we are having a useful discussion and trying to understand the underlying issues in the tourism sector.

    There is a lot of scope to debate our response to the very real external challenges and any self inflicted internal choices.

    Its an open debate whether as Adrian suggested we would have been better off spending the money on a virgin subsidy. i really don’t know enough about the sector and the issues to debate that.

    Maybe you can be more specific by what you mean by getting our act together.

  46. Well Hants many on this blog seem convinced that with the right leadership we can get back to pre 2008 numbers and probably keep growing them as well. I sure hope they are right.

  47. Miller Virgin is making major adjustments to deal with higher energy costs. Wat are our local providers doing on that front?

  48. If yuh can’t beat dem join em. Wen I did fishin pun de bay at nite in Babadus
    I did see people trackin nuff turtles. I almost trip over a huge one one nite.

    De Trini’s lickin cork.
    “Flourishing turtle tourism is providing good livelihoods for people in formerly dead-end farming towns, with the Trinidad-based group Turtle Village Trust saying it brings in some $8.2 million annually. The inflow of visitors, both domestic and foreign, to Trinidad’s northeast coast jumped from 6,500 in 2000 to over 60,000 in 2012. Officials with the U.S.-based Sea Turtle Conservancy say Trinidad is now likely the world’s leading tourist destination for people to see leatherbacks.”

  49. I challenge BU bloggers to post 10 ideas that can immediately improve Tourism in Barbados.

    We have heard all that is wrong over and over and over and over and over and over and…..

    10 ideas in the next 2 hours.

  50. Observer………………you are making sense about the failed or failing entities, but will those who are in charge and are in denial about the fundamental changes that have already taken place world wide, want to do anything about it?. Remember, there are none so blind as those who cannot see.

  51. Dr Love,

    Thanks for your words of encouragement and magnificence.

    We will shortly arrange another meeting for those persons who by the dint of collective social political efforts are seriously about the fostering and the realisation of a brighter and better Barbados for all people here in Barbados.

    If you are in Barbados, cause we sometimes do not know who on this BU blog site are typing out of Barbados, we will surely later and in a timely fashion give to you – via this BU medium – one of our member’s cell phone numbers so that the you and the member would be able to connect on the matter of the putting forward of a proposal for the date, time and place for the holding of this particular meeting with you and some others some time ahead.


  52. @ Observer | May 20, 2013 at 1:02 PM |
    “Maybe you can be more specific by what you mean by getting our act together.”

    Here are a few do’s and don’ts.
    Please get the Immigration and Customs officials to present a pleasant welcoming image at the airport. A few more ‘manned’ desks at the Immigration hall when things are busy along with light entertainment live or displayed on a few screens in the arrival area highlighting the various scenes and information about the Island would go a long way in relaxing and informing the first time visitor.
    First impressions count and mean a whole lot to a first timer.

    Stop seeing every white visitor or one speaking with a British accent as easy game to be ripped off starting with the taxi drivers.

    Clean up the island. There is too much garbage and trash around that can give the impression that Barbados is an unhygienic place that can put the health and safety of the visitors at risk.
    Keep the beaches free of man-made garbage and waste. Visitors don’t mind Nature’s little waste but the sight of plastic and human waste are a massive turn-offs.

    Stop the harassment- sexual and otherwise- to visitors. Every white or foreign looking woman is not really interested in engaging the services of foul smelling ill-kept hustlers.
    Stop the criminal and violent attacks on visitors. It spoils their dream holiday and gives the country a bad name.

    Being courteous and helpful to visitors does not take much to do. The average Bajan of yesteryear took pride in helping visitors without expecting tips or bribes.

    Provide more entertainment of a local nature reflecting the cultural heritage of the country not excessive ‘wukking-up’, American hip hop and BET type musical fare passing as entertainment.

    Provide more things to see and do. Get the cultural and heritage sights back on stream like Sam Lord’s Castle. What about a working replica of a sugar factory as a museum attraction along with displays of artefacts and information about the sugar industry and its historical role.
    What about making use of the many derelict and abandoned vehicles despoiling the landscape by turning them into artificial reefs (after stripping them of dangerous materials) that the visitors can visit as a marine attraction?

    What about a few casinos and night clubs that put on cabaret type shows or the type once performed at the Plantation Gardens or the Museum. What about a few plays or theatre productions?

    The list above can be easily added to.
    Barbados’s tourism product is tired and tacky and in need of a serious makeover; and you know it too!
    Stop blaming the outside world for our problems. The Western World economy is not going to return to a pre-2008 scenario. Barbados must earn its way in a growingly competitive world with more players going after the same tourist dollar or pound sterling.

  53. Miller said:

    “Stop blaming the outside world for our problems. The Western World economy is not going to return to a pre-2008 scenario. Barbados must earn its way in a growingly competitive world with more players going after the same tourist dollar or pound sterling.”

    Miller……………..before you can do all of the above, you will have to convince those in denial that the world has moved on to a new system and 2008 coming forward is now a mere footnote in history, you will have to start with the leaders cause it is so plain to see that they do not know. I wish you the luck of the Irish in that job, there are people in the world today who are yet to move on from things as they were in the 17th or 18th century. Good luck my friend.

  54. Hera are 10 ideas.
    1 Give a credit voucher in barbados for the APD paid by British tourists who book at least 2 weeks with participating hotels.
    2 Establish two Canadian hubs, excluding Toronto, (More westerly perhaps), provide charter flights with a Sweepstakes free holiday for x amount of the seat numbers for Canadians booking for minimum of 2 weeks.
    3 Promotions in T & T for Barbados fete weekends with reduced accomodation prices.
    4 You Tube viral promotion competitions for Barbadian school children, who are on the internet every free moment anyway, for them to try go get a video of Barbadian life in their environment to go viral. Incentives and prizes for them having the most likes and hits would be Ipads etc.
    “Know Barbados Facts” competition on Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter to engage potential visitors, with free holidays for winners.
    5 Deregulate the closing time of clubs on the tourist strip, Hastings to St Lawrence Gap, so that the visitors can spend longer times and more money on nightly activities.
    6 Muzzle the Church in relation to gambling.
    7 Replace everyone at the BTA in the marketing department every 3 years
    (or renewable performance based contracts
    8 Remove VAT on all hotel supplies.
    9 Refocus the marketing strategy of the BTA to 80 % internet Social Media applications, in correlation with the apparent ratio of holidays booked worldwide using the net.
    10 Rebrand the aforementioned Strip as a weekend 24 hour indigenous arts, crafts and cultural performers market at various locations, using commercial car parks or any open area on the Strip ( an extension of Oistins)

    And I can give you another 10 if you want, low cost , can be implemented immediately!

    Michael Allamby
    Beauty and the Beach Souvenir and Tourist Shop Shop
    Material Things Complex, Worthing, Ch. Ch

  55. Clean up your island
    Make it safer
    Meters on cabs
    Make golf affordable you need a loss leader
    Quit treating tourists as a resourse rather than a customer
    Now for immediately advertize, show up at events, go to the malls, you have to spend money.
    Focus on medical or dental, where tourists can have a long term stay and maybe have that dental work done cheaper than at home.
    Ask the big business people on the island,they have the most to lose, I am sure they have good ideas
    Work together, black white,rich,poor dlp,blp you need eveyone on board.


    PDC, and Dr Love @ dvd life and debt ,, Barbados is on its way there now. Its what to the Jamaican , free zone of slavery, free zones for them , slavery for who ever worked at the docks on the ships

  57. @ PDC;
    We agree with you 100 per cent on that one.
    We, as part of the Coalition of Unified Parties (CUP), are moving ahead with our plans for the next elections in this country.
    PDC Adamson look I am putting it to you that CUP does not have ten MEMBERS icluding two puppies and a cat.
    If I were you I would take the savings Dr. Love offer and vamoose. Thats about three hamcutters and a bread and two you looking at.

  58. @Hants

    BTA should explore new markets. Forget UK, Canada and USA, those who can afford to and want to come from those countries will. Focus on the far,near and Middle East. We have mosques in Bim and lots of Moslems. Prepare audience specific campaigns for each country, show tolerant, law abiding, friendly citizens. You have to go where the money is in order to get some.

  59. Dr. Love,

    ‘skinny white boy’

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

    Oh! how I wish and I think my wife does too.

  60. @PDC
    You up for the four cutters:).
    Big oaks from little acorns,.
    Not like the D’s start from the TOP and work down.
    Yes I will be in touch.You need to watch your back.

  61. @Hants
    Where you at?
    Must that fishy smell got you all messed up.
    After “how many” years of corruption and misuse.
    Someone has to come up with an idea to IMMEDIATELY revitalise the Barbados tourist product.
    ONLY immediately, couldnt you ask for a quicker route??:)

  62. @ hants■

    Afghanistan’s forgotten crisis: its economy May 20, 2013
    Donors say the Afghan economy is largely sustained by aid money to the tune of $15bn a year while the country is plagued by unrestrained corruption

    15B a year !!!!!!
    Who needs tourism? Mebbe we all got to go Afghanistani
    Cancel all the good ideas.
    Join the Taliban.

    not only that when you do go, you are guaranteed Heaven and 13 Virgins.
    Wheres THAT leave TOURISM??

  63. @Hants I provided suggestions to improve tourism. I challenged Adrian to comment on them or put forward his own and he lamely said the he is tired putting suggestions forward. I read everyone of his blogs and don’t see that. Could he give me the davertising budget for five of the biggest hotels and an idea of the type of advertising? Adrian said: “during the past 25 years we (does he mean his own hotel?) have generated over 12 million in foreign exchange (that is about 0.4 million or 250,000/year.What about the others?Didn’t you or others like you qualify for any of the government funding available for the years prior to 2008, or wasn’t there any?Strange.Adrian also asks “Should hoteliers borrow from Banks to finance debt?” You are responsible to seed your own ways to finance debt. Is borrowing from Banks the only way you and other hoteliers know to do this? How about equity financing? How about restructuring? How about cost cuttting etc. How about seeking partnerships with other international hotels or investors from whereverI? If the tourism incustry contributes to the GDP it is contributing to itself so don’t get on as if you are doing someone a favour, with reluctance. You ask if hoteliers should be responsible for building/refurbishing places of amusement; by that I guess you mean entertainment. If it advances the tourism product that puts money in the tourism industry’s pockets then the answer has to be an emphatic YES. Everyone has to put the shoulder to the wheel and push.I went into a travel agency a couple of weeks ago in a large mall and saw high quality brochures advertising Sandals all over the place.You couldn’t avoid them. Where were advertisements for Barbadian hotels or guest houses?
    @Island Gal. They are NOT out there “spending money on their product and marketing it on the International scene leveraging every possible avenue themselves.” BULL CRAP!! I search diligently, go to many, many travel agencies in Toronto, There is NO EVIDENCE of this.Are you really when you say: “you can’t expect the tourism players to market the island>” Why the HELL NOT?The tourists visit the island and stay at the hotels, they don’t bunk at Government headquarters. Toyota, Mercedes, BMW etc do their own marketing. The Government does not market their products.Why can’t hotels in Barbados do the same thing? Marriots, DAys Inn, Hyatt etc market themselves. How many hotels come up with innovative ideas to market their products? How many hotels offer specialty packages to overseas tourists for events like Crop-Over, the Jazz Festival or any other attractions? Hotels and their managers have to be more innovative.

    • @Observer

      Agree with you this is a new normal. If it is a new normal we have to develop strategies which align to the new normal. It is clear the MoT has bee reactive more than charting a vision for the industry. Can you give an update on the operationalization of the Tourism White Paper?

  64. @ Everyone.
    Didnt we all KNOW the Brudda Man Alvin would come up with a Brilliant Save the Day idea!!
    Alvin man ,rest yuhsef,the combination of the earthquake and the testostrone jabs done mess up yuh head.
    N Stop picking on “Skinny white boy ” Adrian.

  65. Alvin,

    In you had walked into a travel agency 25 years ago, it would be the same, dominated by Sandals publicity material. Things have changed. Take the UK as an example, less that 7 per cent of all the holidays booked last year (in the UK) were booked in a high street travel agency. Why would a small hotel or guest house therefore try and display paper material/brochures in one of them. To hopefully get to 7 per cent of the market? We and other small hotels have not had any choice but to promote ourselves. If left to Government agencies, we would have been dead in the water, decades again.
    I would be happy to take the time to explain things to you from someone that hasn’t just talked about it, but you have to start by understanding the industry and how its works.

  66. I really can’t remember who I was debating with about the common entrance stress test, Pacha, if it was not you, my sincerest apologizes.

  67. @Adrian
    There you go AGAIN
    I keep tellin you.
    as David said earlier
    “Non Sequiter”
    keep repeating to your self the Phrase

  68. @ Alvin Cummins | May 20, 2013 at 3:17 PM |
    “The Government does not market their products.Why can’t hotels in Barbados do the same thing? Marriots, DAys Inn, Hyatt etc market themselves. How many hotels come up with innovative ideas to market their products?”

    We couldn’t agree with you more!
    Let the hotels be responsible for their own tourism marketing either individually or as a group under their umbrella trade union the BHTA.

    As you can follow the red herring trail what then should become of the BTA?
    After this privatization of the marketing & promotion of the tourism industry why have an ineffectively redundant statutory board draining over $100 million annually down Maxwell pond?

    If this agency is not achieving its mandate why continue with it? Why not merge it with Invest Barbados as a separate division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade and save the taxpayers millions?
    Here is a name for the new entity to be merged or subsumed under the MoFAFT: The Bajan Tourism & Foreign Investment Agency.

    It’s time the functions of this “black” elephant be outsourced and save the taxpayers from this constant sucking on their sore dry out nipples by parasites that refuse to be weaned and grow up.

  69. Miller…………don’t know if anyone realized where i was going with the last post, but the new and workable ideas will come from the young and vibrant minds that are now in schools on the island, problem with being able to tap into these brilliant minds is the leaders thinking they are the brightest and the ones with all the ideas, solutions are just a bunch of know it alls and will not listen but will successfully continue to slide into the abyss. My, my………….

  70. Dr Love there seems to be a lot of promiscuity in barbados, I have heard many people dont like going to windy bathsheba because they make sounds like someone blowing into a coke bottle…maybe you should be investing in cork

  71. Allamby has put forward some good sounding ideas. To my simple mind around five or so of these initiatives can be implemented by the players in the sector themselves. Why is this not happening, why wait for the government agency which can never be as nimble as the private sector?

    • @Milller

      Like your suggestion about aligning MoF and Invest Barbados. The tourist market is crowed and to have an effective voice we have to market country and not hotel. Unless you have a big brand like Sandals etc.

  72. @Lawson
    HMmm!! I have to sit down while I think about that one.
    There a terrible whistling noise round here distracting me.
    CORK you say?? Not WOOD ?Cork?

  73. @ Well Well
    Yes, I wonder when we could have just one of these guys. Why not create a production line to develop this kind a thing. All these island ‘scholars’ for all they years but no respect for the ‘unschooled’ and the real brilliant people

  74. I was in India a while back and a begger asked me for money as he had none.
    I of course didnt give him any ,but I did advise him to consider “cost cutting” and possibly “restucturing” his operation.

  75. @Lawson
    “a lot of promiscuity in barbados”
    I understand now.
    But the correct phrasing should have been
    “Barbados is totally PHUCKED”

  76. Idea 1: Keep the place clean.
    Clean Bridgetown on a schedule, multiple times a day, 7 days a week, including Sundays. Last year I was showing “a member of the diaspora” around historic Bridgetown and some of the places stink.. Flower Alley (near to a major taxi stand in Bridgetown) stinks. Amen Alley (near to the historic St. Michael’s Cathedral) stinks, ALL, ALL, ALL of the bus-stands stink. The busstands and the taxi stands should be as clean as the airport. Scrub the floors, scrub the drains, cover the drains, paint the walls, clean the toilets every 20 minutes, empty the garbage bins every 2 hours.

  77. Loving it. 10 suggestions from Michael Allamby and many more from the rest of you.

    Keep them coming.

    David please inform the BTA and the Minister of Tourism of the free ideas on BU.

  78. Idea 2:
    Market the markets. But clean them first. Right now all of the markets stink. Tile the floors, Paint the walls. Clean the toilets every 20 minutes, Empty the garbage bins every 2 hours. Paint the walls. Make them places where people would be happy to eat, buy produce, lime, shop.

  79. To who it may concern…this is the first time I am posting here. The impostor by the name of “Island girlz” is NOT ME. Island girlz kindly choose another handle.

    Simple Simon I totally agree with you and have been singing that song for years on how STINK this country is. Why would anyone want to leave their clean country to visit this dirty one? It is STINK STINK STINK!

  80. “Good” ideas coming from Barbados Underground and Adrian Loveridge, wonders never cease.

    • @Adrian

      Does the BTA discount regional travel? Isn’t it suppose to be a significant contributor?

  81. David asked …..”Does the BTA discount regional travel?”

    To come to think of it I have never heard of specials or coupons for our neighbouring visitors nor any high profile marketing thrust for that segment of the market.

  82. Dr Love the beggar must have known you were a tourist by your clothes,obviously you dont buy local. Rather than telling him to deform himself more (restructure) You should have given him Roy Trotmans number.

  83. Yall gotta remember that people from the region are not considered tourists by tourism officials in Barbabdos, if only the leaders could count they would see the market is at least over 7,000,000 strong in the region, that is a market that should not have been neglected………….unfortunately all they see and think about is color……bad marketing strategy.

  84. all this anti govt /tourism talk just another feeble attempt by the disjointed engineers of doom and gloom to the point of using the ridiculous example of virgin airlines as sufficient reason or proof that the marketing plan designed by the govt is not workable cause of Virgin”s decision to use a smaller airbus for routing to Barbados. talk about using a screwdriver to pull teeth.

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