Veteran Hotelier Analyses Key UK Market

Adrian Loveridge - Owner of Peach & Quiet Hotel

Adrian Loveridge – Owner of Peach & Quiet Hotel

Perhaps the decades of using tiny budgets to generate ‘big picture’ results has made it almost a prerequisite to research as many marketing options as possible, hopefully increasing the probability of success. Last month, Teletext Holidays commissioned an independent market research company, Opinion Matters, to conduct a survey of 1,775 UK adults, for in their words ‘uncover British Attitudes to booking holidays’. The Great British Holiday Report concluded, what many tourism professionals perhaps had already gleaned over the last few years of challenging operation, but it’s worth repeating some of the findings, if we are going to fully understand one of our main markets.

Without wanting to copy, parrot fashion, large parts of the report, I think its important to put the findings in context.

Getting away from it all for a week or two is the highlight of the year for many Britons, which is why we put so much time and effort into choosing the perfect holiday’.

However, the way holidays are booked and planned has changed in recent years.

What’s more, as a result of the economic downturn, Britons have become more accustomed to seeking out the best deals’.

Many Britons now book within weeks of their departure date: 23 per cent within two months of travel and more than two thirds (67 per cent) within six months of departure’.

But even those conclusions have to be further broken down. Men are more inclined to book last-minute, while women are almost twice as likely to book more than a year in advance. If gender is an important factor, then age is even more critical to destination decision making.

The average Briton spends GBPounds 554.40 per person on their holiday. However, of all the survey’s respondents, 51 per cent were aged between 14-24 years and they only spent between GBPounds 200-400, therefore putting Barbados clearly out of range as a holiday option. So it would appear that targeting the under 25 year olds, has the least prospect of influencing long haul destination selection. That’s something to think about while we are attempting to piggyback on Rihanna’s enviable success and the demographics of her typical followers.

As has been the norm for some time, the older age groups spent the most, 17 percent aged 55 plus spending GBPounds 801-1,000 and 6 percent over GBPounds 1,000.

Another revelation, that perhaps should not have surprised me, is that one County Council authority is reporting an increase of 400 per cent in fines over the last five years levied on parents taking their children out of school during terms. This, in an effort to avoid the traditionally higher prices charged during school holiday periods.

Another, point of interest was that across all the ten most popular family destinations, three can be deemed as long haul destinations, the USA, Egypt and Australia. Australia stands out, as to get there from the UK involves a flight of at least 18 hours (non stop). Even between the closest points, London and Darwin, it is a daunting 8,608 flying miles which needless to say, attracts the highest band (D) of APD (Advanced Passenger Tax).

So is this helping to dispel the myth of the APD being a deterrent to travel?

28 thoughts on “Veteran Hotelier Analyses Key UK Market

  1. Has this amalgam taken place yet?

    Companies share same mandate
    Bridgetown, Barbados – Feb. 28, 2008 —  Government proposes to amalgamate three public companies that essentially perform similar functions and tasks, all in an effort to streamline their operations and improve efficiency. This is the word from Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy, who revealed today that at a recent Cabinet meeting a decision was taken to amalgamate Needham’s Point Development Incorporated, Needham’s Point Holdings Limited and the Barbados Tourism Investment Incorporated into one entity, under the designation “Barbados Tourism Investment Inc. (BTI)”.In explaining this development, Minister Sealy said “the three companies share the same overall mandate to undertake investments in the tourism sector for the benefit of the country, and as such, the achievement of Government’s economic goals and the meeting of genuine social needs by Barbados’ tourism sector, would be most efficiently met by the amalgamation.”Minister Sealy also said “the proposed amalgamation would be subject

    to proper legal arrangements and to full consultations with the staff of the three entities.”A reconstituted 13-member BTI Board mandated to oversee the amalgamation will subsume all previous Boards of the 3 organisations and will be headed by Managing Director of First Caribbean International Bank, Mr. Oliver Jordan. The Deputy Chairman is Mr. Shawn Franklyn. The other Board members are Mrs. Faye Wharton-Parris, Mrs. Angela Mitchell-Gittens, Mr. Anthony DaSilva, Mr. Gregory Hazzard, Mr. Gilbert Rowe, Mr. Julian Jordan, Dr. Jerry Thorne, Mr. Mark Prescott, Mr. Paul Berstein, Mr. Decourcey Headley and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism or his nominee.Meanwhile, a new Board for Barbados Conference Services Limited has also been announced. Its Chairman is businessman and insurance executive, Mr. Algernon Leacock. Deputy Chairman is Mr. Adrian Elcock. The remainder of the seven-man Board comprises Mr. William Grant, Mr. Wayne Kirton, Ms. Jennifer Grant, the President of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association or his nominee, and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism or his nominee. The appointments to these Boards took effect from February 15, 2008.

    • The following story gives an insight to how the British decision makers are thinking. Good look with trying to change their minds about APD.
      David cameron’s regime plan to charge a £3,000 deposit to Nigerian and Ghanaian visitors to the UK has been branded as “unjustified discrimination”.
      Under the proposal, which could be trialled as early as November, visitors from the West African countries, along with Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India, will be required to pay the bond before they are allowed to enter the UK.   Visitors would have the sum returned to them once they leave the UK. If they fail to return home after their visas run out, they would forfeit the deposit.

  2. who can blame the British government, given the experience they have had of ‘visitors’ from these countries. I wish the Bahamas government had the balls to do the same to visitors from Nigeria and certain Caricom countries, like Jamaica.

  3. “And she also wants Government to come up with inventive ways to attract investors in an effort to reopen a number of smaller, cash-strapped hotels which have been forced to close their doors in the past 18 months due to the crippling economic times.”

    The above is a quote from Dass of BHTA……..again I believe it is unfair to ask government to find investors for individuals who own hotels in Barbados, that is not and should not be the job of government, each hotelier should embark on a worldwide marketing campaign to find their own investors and venture capitalists, they exist out here in droves. Crane, Royal Westmoreland, Fairmont Royal Pavilion find their own investors and they have become very successful at this because they do not rely on government for everything. If these small, medium and large hoteliers want to reopen their doors, they can do likewise………government need not spend taxpayers money to do such, and i find her arrogant in thinking she can dictate that this happen, they want their doors to open and remain open then do some marketing.

  4. Well, Well,
    while I don’t necessarily disagree with some of your comments, I think that you do not understand what the President of the BHTA function and purpose is.
    She/he is elected by the subscription paying membership to represent and lobby for their interests.
    To put it very simply, its rather like the head of a Trade Union.

    • @Well Well

      To repeat, any hotelier or Bajan business can borrow wherever BUT central bank approval must be sought to repay any loan using forex.

  5. David………… is very possible, obviously the central bank must be involved and they are always willing to accommodate foreign exchange entering the island, it is nothing new, businessmen like cow and jada do it all the time. It is better than the alternative of trying to use scarce or non-existent taxpayers dollars.

  6. think all this helps whites come to black islands for holidays.????
    could be hurting your rip off hotels in tiny barbados,ya think?

  7. Adrian……..that is fine, lobbying for the hoteliers, but consideration also has to be taken about the financial climate that is currently going against the taxpayer funded government…….as i alluded to sometime recently, there are venture capitalist currently searching for viable investments who are willing to fund projects, it just takes searching the internet and various organizations for the vital link/connection that is needed to proceed, it does not require taxpayer funding, in my experience one search recently saw someone i know getting a $2 million injection to their business from one country to another.

  8. @Well

    Central Bank is unlikely to approve a transaction such as you have described for beneficiaries who do not generate forex. Which loans can you identify which were done by COW or JADA? Tell us!

  9. David……….the business world has also changed, venture capitalists are not always about loans, both jada and cow can tell you that. I hope you are not telling me that these existing hotels have never generated forex, if they have not, why are they being advertised as hotels, i thought that was the whole idea for a hotel to generate forex.

  10. If in the last 18 months the existing hotels have not generated forex, they would still have a record of past forex generation that they could present to the central bank.

  11. Well, Well,

    I think you have to do a little more research. There are many ways FOREX can to be tracked. With a small hotel like ours the vast majority of guest bill payments are made by credit card, easily tracked. Larger hotels, receive draft payments from tour operators, again easily tracked.
    Leading up to the sale of our hotel, we had to lodge the last 25 years accounts with Central Bank, so they know every cent of FOREX that we have generated over that time.
    If you go back over all over my postings and writings, I have NEVER advocated hotels and the tourism sector receiving taxpayers monies and again in 25 years, we have not received a single cent in taxpayers monies.

  12. Adrian……….i was responding to Dass asking government to find investors for individual hotels, i would think that not all hoteliers would be on board with that, knowing how easy it is to do research and marketing for themselves, it will cost very little or nothing using the internet……i have seen where you have repeatedly said you never got any taxpayer funding to manage your hotel. Yes, I know that there are records that can easily be accessed by the central bank to determine which hotel has generated forex. BHTA would do better to guide small and medium hoteliers on ways to market their products, i believe they would get better and results, as a matter of fact I am sure you know Martin of Accra Beach Bar, he got an outside investor to save his bar and that was in 2010/11.

  13. Adrain………….i think it’s either Hastings Beach Bar or Accra Beach Bar, i can’t remember the exact name though i know the individual quite well.

  14. “And she(Dass) also wants Government to come up with inventive ways to attract investors in an effort to reopen a number of smaller, cash-strapped hotels

    They were really scrapping the bottom of the barrel when they appointed her head of the BHTA.

    Some of these so called Hoteliers are the laziest things ever put on God’s Earth. What next are they going to beg Government for? To wipe their behinds?

    Government must do everything for them. How did they become so mendicant? And they are always boasting that they can run business better than Government.

    Yeah, Right!

  15. @ Well Well. | July 8, 2013 at 9:00 AM |
    “..again I believe it is unfair to ask government to find investors for individuals who own hotels in Barbados, that is not and should not be the job of government,… ”

    Oh yeh!

    So what is the role of Invest Barbados, the Barbados Tourism Authority and the Barbados Tourism Investment Inc. to whom hundreds of millions o taxpayers money are spent on annually?
    What are the mandates and measurable purposes of these entities other than to employ political jokers and University graduates for doing nothing?

  16. Miller…………….if the hoteliers market their own hotels and products they would see a difference and have better access to international investors, there are not that many hotels on the island that hoteliers cannot market for themselves, all they need is a laptop and the internet, those entities Invest Barbados, etc can be closed to stop the useless hemorrhaging of tax dollars and save many millions that can be re-directed elsewhere to generate jobs, clearly they are not working. All these fancy sounding titles and tourism is still a bust what does that say about the setup. Barbados is not in the top 10 best islands right now, somebody is lazy and not doing their jobs and that includes the hoteliers.

  17. @ Well Well. | July 8, 2013 at 2:12 PM |
    “…all they need is a laptop and the internet, those entities Invest Barbados, etc can be closed to stop the useless hemorrhaging of tax dollars and save many millions that can be re-directed elsewhere to generate jobs,..”

    Couldn’t agree with you more!
    These are entities set up to provide jobs for the political yardfowls and absorb some university graduates at a time when the world was a different place and not a global village.
    Thanks to ICT and the modern dual god and devil of information and knowledge called the Internet, these agencies are now relics of a dinosaur existence still loitering on the door steps of the Information Highway.

    Time to put them where they belong; that is, in the dustbin of viral irrelevance.

  18. Carson,

    there you go again. Taking about lazy hoteliers. What about yours?
    Were you not scraping the bottom of the barrel when you begged for taxpayers monies to keep you hotel in business?

    TIRF (beggars funds):

    04.06.2009 – $535,508.00
    18.11.2009 – $307,714.96

    Did you get a new Commercial Manager’s car or did it end up in Trinidad?

    Pot calling the kettle black eh!

  19. Miller…………..hope the government comes to the realization that the simplest solution is the best solution, the internet and information highway is the solution to cutting wastage and saving money, while diverting money to develop and generate new jobs to keep the citizens employed, i did not think with all their ‘education’ and ‘law degrees’ that other people would have to point that out to them. If they were really in tune with the real world, they would have known this has being going on for years and stop wasting money on fancy sounding entities that are unable to be productive in the current financial climate for one reason or another.

  20. It boggles my mind why Hoteliers believe that they must have the most access to government funds?

    • Perhaps it was the Barbadian Road tennis experience that made the difference in winning!

      Adrian Loveridge

    • Cash-strapped
      Added by Barbados Today on July 8, 2013.Saved under Local News, News Local
      by Shawn Cumberbatch

      Hotel or nature trail.
      Government’s near $400 million fiscal adjustment is heavily dependent on its buying and reopening Almond Beach Village by the start of the next winter tourist season in December.
      But Barbados TODAY investigations revealed the Freundel Stuart Administration is still to finalise how it will come up with the $129 million likely required to get the Heywoods, St. Property — the island’s largest hotel — refurbished and reopened within an ambitious three month deadline.
      Indication of this came today on the heels of a statement from the Barbados Tourism Investment Incorporated that discussions were underway as Government sought an agreement to buy the Village.
      Information indicated that a series of options, most of them dependent on funding from the National Insurance Scheme, were contemplated to come up with the needed funding. While $106 million is required to buy the hotel property and another $2 million to purchase the Almond brand name, more than $21 million has been budgeted to refurbish it.
      And even if the funds are sourced to make the purchase, it is the time span within which the improvements are contemplated that will present a major challenge, especially since Government would ideally like the work completed by the time the next winter season starts, but definitely before it ends.
      Barbados TODAY saw information showing there was a refurbishment to-do list of more than 30 items, most of them infrastructural.
      Sources pointed out that prior to its closure more than a year ago the northern hotel needed improvements, something made even more critical now.
      This was partly due to the fact that an assessment of the property showed room improvements alone, including replacing guest room furnishings, would cost $6.9 million.
      The work Government would have to pay for and oversee within a three month deadline included: * Upgrading of 400 rooms, including new furnishings and fixtures ($3.7 million), new guest room furniture ($3.2 million), acid wash and retiling of guestrooms ($1.7 million), exterior hallway refurbishment including painting and replacement lighting ($720,000), laundry equipment ($600,000), Horizon Restaurant and pool ($500,000), extension of the conference centre and equipment ($500,000), improvements related to the Reef Restaurant ($480,000), bathrooms/dressing rooms ($450,000), construction of a warehouse ($420,000), centre courtyard ($400,000). Also included was the staff cafeteria ($360,000), Rachel’s disco ($350,000), new bar area ($350,000), sewage plant upgrade ($325,000), upgrade of gym and spa ($300,000), north pool and boardwalk ($300,000), 220 air condition units ($269,500), roof repairs ($240,000), golf club upgrade and equipment ($225,000), Kid’s Club ($200,000), beach and pool furniture ($170,000), general landscaping ($162,000), repairs to general roadways ($80,000), repairs to tennis courts ($58,000).
      This was in addition to other funding for contingencies ($850,000), consultant fees ($750,000), and freight and duty (at least $750,000).
      While Government is keen to buy Almond as part of the new growth and development strategy, it is still to conclude an agreement with Neal & Massy.
      Over the weekend the BTII said buying the hotel was crucial noting that “the increased number of bed-nights will also go a long way in assisting Barbados to achieve a targeted five per cent increase in visitor arrivals for 2014″.
      “Every effort is also being made to protect existing airlift into Barbados and indeed to grow overall capacity to ensure that Barbados has a good winter season and that 2014 represents a year of strong growth in arrivals and earnings,” it added.

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