We are now midway through the peak winter tourism season and it is small wonder that the general populous becomes confused or even bemused when trying to monitor exactly how the industry is performing. Especially when there are a number of proclamations emanating from our policymakers, who many may feel should be better informed. Two of these recent utterings really stand out!
The first when a Minister of Government stated in the foreign press that we have had a good start to the season, when in fact December 2013 recorded the lowest long stay visitor arrivals for that month during the last eleven years. Meanwhile, while accepting the numbers are down, the actual Minister of Tourism partially justifying the dismal sector performance by stating ‘value-added’ is up, totally contradicting the Governor of The Central Bank in his latest video report on our economic condition, who clearly revealed that factually, it is down.
If these incidents were rare or isolated, perhaps it could be just brushed off as possible journalistic misquoting, but the latest ones come after a long list of heady predictions that simply have not materialized. Last year these included ‘a resounding success’, ‘upbeat about arrivals’ and ‘extremely strong’, when referring to Crop Over and July. Later in 2013, ‘it is already a November to remember’ and ‘November had been one of the best Barbados had seen in a while’. In reality, both months set new records over the last decade for recording the lowest stay-over visitors for comparable periods. Tourism interests are then left clambering to source accurate information on which to make educated choices and decisions.
And that’s when they are confronted by the next obstacle.
Agencies mandated with the responsibility of collecting and posting up-to-date data often take months to do so, and even then, as in the case of arrivals figures, some months are missed altogether. So when the Leader of the Opposition contacted me and asked if I would speak at one of the current People’s Assembles series there was no hesitation. Because any meaningful road to economic recovery will depend on the ability to make plans and implement policy based on informed knowledge rather than guesswork and speculation.
Purely from a tourism perspective, I watched both the presentation by Ralph Taylor, a former BTA Chairman and Colin Jordan, immediate past President of the BHTA. In their own way critical concerns over the current state of the industry were raised and I liked particularly the way Mr. Jordan dealt with comments made by a serving Minister of Government who charged that hoteliers on Barbados were either ‘begging’ or ‘beggars’. Personally I find even the suggestion grossly repugnant. And it certainly does not fairly reflect the investment dedication and hard work contributed by the vast majority of private sector partners over more than half a century.
Perhaps if there was a comparable commitment made by a single serving Cabinet member and they were spending their own monies these cavalier and deeply offensive comments would not roll off their tongues so easily.
NORTH AMERICA’S big freeze and Rihanna’s popularity are among the reasons cited by a veteran hotelier for the flood of visitors currently in Barbados.
Alvin Jemmott, general manager of Divi Southwinds, said while he had not analysed the current bumper tourist season in a scientific way, there were a few clear contributory factors.
“One, it is extremely cold in all of our major source markets. We’re having the worst winter in Canada, south-eastern United States and the United Kingdom,” he told the DAILY NATION.
“In the case of the UK, I think (Britons) may very well have accepted the fact that the airline passenger duty is in place. Once taxes go into place it takes a little while and then they become normal. People from the UK might have adjusted to that,” he said.
Extra arrivals with increased BA flights out of Gatwick
@ ac | February 10, 2014 at 7:04 AM |
“In the case of the UK, I think (Britons) may very well have accepted the fact that the airline passenger duty is in place. Once taxes go into place it takes a little while and then they become normal. People from the UK might have adjusted to that,” he said.”
So who should we believe here, ac?
The man on the ground Jemmott or the MoT in his ivory tower of haughtiness who is always looking for lying excuses for the fall off in visitors from the UK?
We shall see if the APD alibi is used in any future explanations for the reduced spend out of the UK.
BTW, what has happened to the APD reimbursement voucher spend scheme?
When speculation is rife we talk about taking it with a grain of salt. When dealing with this administration Ya Need A Bag Of Salt. What is most bothersome is the fact that they don’t give two hoots what we say.
Great to hear of the interaction between Adrian and the BLP.Here’s hoping that such cordial discourse will obtain when the outspoken one gets into their crosshairs.
I have long given up on official Barbadian statistics. They just cannot be trusted. My suspicion was confirmed when a young man at the central bank told me he was given a task and told the outcome before he even started working.
These are the bogus figures we send off to the international bodies which then come back and tell us we are top of the competitiveness tree.
Lies, damned lies and statistics.
@AC, I noticed you complete ignored the fact that Sandy Lane’s general manager said he saw nothing special about the numbers at this time in the same article. You are the greatest (lol).
Once upon a time in another Barbados I had to produce figures to be used by Central Bank. After slaving all day to produce these figures, checking and re-checking coz I did young and frighten, when published, the figures in no way resembled what I had produced. I too believe nothing that comes out of the CBB. Even if they say the sky blue, I know iz a lie, coz the rain would be falling. Hard.
Once again, ac is being deliberately misleading.
January 2014 longstay visitor arrivals were UP by a total 1,545 (across ALL markets).
1,455 of this increase ,was generated by two UK charter airlines, Thomas Cook (a new service) and Thomson with increased capacity on their new B787 Dreamliners. A large proportion of this number were cruise and stay visitors.
To imply a ‘flood of visitors currently in Barbados’ is nonsense, especially when you take into account that January 2013 was alreday down 4,331 long stay visitors when compared with the previous year.
Carson Cadogan we pray you have not gone the Pit Bull Estwick route. If you haven’t this a call for your return pronto ..smile. Adrian Loveridge twisting and turning like a ship caught in the perfect storm. When numbers were down he bitched. Numbers are up would you believe the naysayer still bitching. Carson your country needs you son.
It is amazing to learn that what Miller and other BLP ZEALOTS on BU term as a ‘loss of confidence’ in the Freundel Stuart administration….that thousand of visitors are flocking to Barbados and telling the whole world that they are doing so because of the stable environment that the Government of Barbados is able to maintain in the country.
No protest or marches like Mia ‘bite a woman’ Mottley have been trying to stir up !
No protests or marches like they are in the: Ukraine, Egypt, Thailand other parts of the globe.
Keep up the good work PM Stuart and TEAM DLP
The bottomeline is easy to understand, based on central Bank and CTO numbers, tourism stats remain negative to flat. No smoke and mirror necessary.
Great to hear of the interaction between Adrian and the BLP
Has Loveridge shed his coat of “impartiality” or is he being used by Mia since he has been a frequent critic of the BTA and the MOT. Will he and Barney be in the same room?
“Politics breed strange bedfellows” is alive and well in Bim.
Good things are happening in the tourism industry plans for the construction of sandals/almond has been finalized another benefit in helping to boast investor confidence and creating jobs. if the DLP stalwarts wants to be of help send out the positive news here on BU no time to take on those whose interest is/self while in their haste to destroy the country…….
@ Fractured BLP | February 10, 2014 at 8:52 AM |
We notice you have stop cussing your own David Estwick and have returned to your “comme d’habitude”. Have you kissed and made up with the polly pit bull or is he still raging like a bull in a crystal cabinet?
If the environment is stable why go back to your dirty strategy of blaming the BLP and others for the economic chaos attending Barbados? Your fumbling boss man is about to pin the blame on events prior to 2008 for the sorry state of the country.
What an awful sight for a laugh!
Some time ago we had the opportunity to talk with a former middle ranking Central Bank employee on the fact of this prolonged localized political economic depression, and you know what he said about certain kinds of statistics and information (GDP and such like) and the methods purported to be supporting them that have been coming out of the Central Bank of Barbados were words to the effect that they have been/are very unreliable and unprovable.
He said that in some cases some of the employees in the research department simply just make telephone calls to whomsoever, make a couple enquiries about the data or information sought by and given to the same employees, and thereafter then make certain conclusions about the particular statistics in the various reports presented to the public.
Why does any one think we are consistently asking for many members of the Barbadian public to make sure that there is a Commission of Enquiry launched into many of research and operational affairs at the Central Bank of Barbados, especially in light of the so-called recalibrating of the so-called size of the so-called Barbados economy in 2009/2010 and in which the Bank was part of this effort that said that the size was 8. something billion Barbados Dollars, smack in the middle of an increasingly worsening political economic depression that is still continuing up to today?? Why?
The fact though is that no matter the types and extents of inflated wrongful statistical and informational estimations about the performances of many variables and their many relationships that the Bank is putting out there – and which clearly – on proper holistic estimation by any one – is not reflecting or corresponding with the truth as it is relates to what is happening in the political economy and services industry sectors of Barbados, the point is that what so ever it is that will be so grossly misinformed about by the Bank – and of which itself will show an entirely different reality to the ones that are misrepresented by the Bank, will have various ways of indicating how it is actually performing – for better or worse.
Never posted on this blog before but had to today. The increased arrivals from Britain are people who get off the plane get on a shuttle and head to the Port for their cruise. Adrian is not twisting anything.
This is indirectly connected to Tourism and I’m surprised that no one brought up the issue of the US State Dept. Advising its citizens to avoid using Caribbean Airways out of Guyana.
lisa on February 10, 2014 at 8:43 PM
Never posted on this blog before but had to today. The increased arrivals from Britain are people who get off the plane get on a shuttle and head to the Port for their cruise. Adrian is not twisting anything.
Lisa….you sound just like Adrian’s mistress !
Good try though !!!!
Come on Fractured BLP, that is not the way to greet a newcomer to the blog simply because you don’t agreed with her post. Why not counter with facts disproving her assertion?
I cannot understand why a place with supposed 98% literacy, have people that see every situation thru partisan political eyes. So if the news don’t make your party look rosy, you cuss all and sundry like a pirate. We can all take blame for the mess we are in and that includes people like me who are not surrogates of a party but who don’t hold our political class to any accountability. In this 21st century, we have politicians who are so inept it would be funny if it wasn’t serious. They make cheap political speeches and we cheer them when we know that they are talking a hump of crap. Like calling for the removal of the MOF and if the PM doesn’t fire him, the PM should resign. The PM saying that he will report on all off-budget spending done during the last administration. How will that help us. He would rather he remained silent and remove all doubt. Those speeches were worthless in the grand scheme of things. People going home and we are in recession with a government whose incompetence seems second to none. I am convinced that we are probably in the worse governance in our nation’s history with 2 flailing divided political parties. I refuse to believe that we are this silly as a nation. I awake every morning hoping that this is the day that some coherence come from our leaders but alas all we get is one comedic response to another. If God allows, tomorrow I will again awake and I shall again hope for sound leadership.
Agree and we are not to far behind Jamaica and Trinidad where party colours rule. One would have thought education would have made the difference.
It is a pleasure having your words on this BU blog network. Do continue to make your views known through this medium.
Although you may not know it, at the ground level in this country, more and more Barbadians are becoming more and more sick, tired, fed up and frustrated with the two older intellectually and politically discredited and moribund factions called the DLP and BLP. From such feelings and attitudes there will be bound to rightly emerge a net amount of apathy, disinterest, disillusionment, intolerance, anxiety, malice, anger, fury at the two of them, to add to what levels of such that already exist in hardened and ossified ways in this country.
The fact is that the very vast majority of Barbadians (especially younger ones) , in whatever ways, do not feel strongly about, or are not strongly connected with these old corrupt despicable DLP or BLP factions.
So this thing about Barbados not being far away from Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago in terms of the levels of party dominance in the respective three societies, and which has happened to find some sort of expression in the clumsy degenerate unstudied misapplied metaphor “the rule of party colours” must have its basis in absolute illusion as it applies to Barbados.
Did you hear Reudon Eversley on a segment of the Starcom Network news (7. 30 am ?) yesterday about the DLP and BLP risking irrelevance at this stage in a 21 century Barbados?
Did you – if you heard it – find that it almost countered your very loose use of the theme of the dominance of the party colour in Barbados?
Well, it is still clear though from that kind of statement that Mr Eversley did not go far enough about the political perceptions and attitudes of thousands upon thousands of people in Barbados towards these two jack o lantern factions.
Let us tell him that for many of those same people the DLP and BLP are ALREADY ABSOLUTELY IRRELEVANT to the fundamental social, political material and financial life chances and needs of a Barbadian people in this 21st century.
Surely you are entitled to your ‘opinion’ and Eversley his.
like two impala fighting over the right to mate they fail to see the lions sneaking up on them, party bickering, near every politician for himself has almost brought Barbados to its knees. The glory days are gone, never to be repeated but to more than just eke out an existence for the people the Barbados politician will have to change and put Barbados before their own self interest. Like BC said the people have to hold them accountable , there are good people in govt, I will say it again there are good people in govt, It is time for them to stand up, party lines be damned and turn this titanic around.
I noticed in the paper that everything for Caribbean tourism seems rosy, Well there are lion tamers and lying bastards and I don’t see any lions in Barbados.
You would think that since North America is now in a perpetual state of freeze, these politicians would take advantage to make sure most of the Northerners move into the Caribbean, Barbados can only hold so many, for at least 4 months and spend their dollars to get warm….Lawson, they are too busy in Barbados (CYA), covering their asses, all their crimes and that of their esteemed friends are rising to the top for everyone to see, they not only disadvantaged their own people for greed but had the cajones to rip off world renowned companies, you know what they say, milk, shit and scum always rises to the top….lol
“at the ground level in this country, more and more Barbadians are becoming more and more sick, tired, fed up and frustrated with the two older intellectually and politically discredited and moribund factions called the DLP and BLP. From such feelings and attitudes there will be bound to rightly emerge a net amount of apathy, disinterest, disillusionment, intolerance, anxiety, malice, anger, fury at the two of them, to add to what levels of such that already exist in hardened and ossified ways in this country.”
Surely that obviosity was demonstrated in the last election by the majority of voters who didn’t vote? I even heard one old bird say “I voting DEM because my family always have but I hope they lose”
At the end of the day what business people care about is getting on with business and the import, corporate, NIS and employee income taxes are what make this and any other socialist country work; the party rhetoric means nothing if there is no follow-up action. This gov’t is not representative of previous (effective) DLP administrations, mainly due to non-existent leadership. I am quite sure a different DLP leader RIGHT NOW could make a difference to confidence and investment but if Stuart doesn’t go they all will.
how ya like dat one? ha ha
I am sick of hearing so called 98% literate people complaining about how they are fed up with politicians. Some are even championing the need for a 3rd party. Why not a 4th and 5th? The fact remains that from the US to UK to Brazil to India people are expressing similar views about politicians. Why? Because politicians engage in politics stupid! It is time to stop chasing that elusive perfect “system of governance” and start playing politics too.
I listened with absolute disbelief to Senator Maxin McClean portraying this winter tourism season as a ‘good one’ in the Senate yesterday. When in FACT December 2013 recorded the LOWEST long stay visitor arrivals for that month in any one of the last 11 years. YES! January is up by 1,545 persons, but that is following a decline in January of 4,331 persons in the same month last year. Unless we end this month 7,972 long stay visitors up on Jan/Feb 2013, it in fact be one of the worse winter seasons in the last decade.
Again, this is a classic case of either being totally misinformed or trying to fool the public.
This collection of wasters have lied to the IMF, so who are the Barbadian people that they won’t lie to?
OK LOVERIDGE HERE THIS FOR YOU TO START TO WORK ON NOW.
it is estimated that one person taking a 6 hour flight to any where uses
as much fossel fuel as driving your car for a year everyday.
SO soon people will be cutting back on flying i would imagine.
so morw visitors to barbados more global warming.
answer that one now .!!!!!!
information for the uninformed—————-http://phys.org/news/2011-03-airplane-contrails-worse-co2-emissions.html
PLEASE BRING MORE PLANES AND VEHICLES TO BARBADOS.
SO WE CAN KILL OUR GRANDCHILDREN AND HAVE A TSUNAMI AND A HUGE HURRICANE. WELL DONE ON ALL LEVELS OF STUPID.
Added the video to the Featured Video sidebar.
LIFE AS WE KNEW IT AND KNOW IT NOW IS CHANGING .AND THIS
@ Iabingy ???re “the age of Stupid” @ 1:54 a.m.
Boss, that is one of the best video presentations that Bushie has EVER watched.
It is a masterpiece…and 100% relevant to the current BU issues.
The video DEFINES the term “brass bowl” and the phenomena of allegedly intelligent people CHOOSING, out of selfishness and greed, to pursue selfish short term ends – to the collective and predictable destruction of the society.
THANK YOU Iahbingy…..
That video deserves to be a separate blog…..
LOL @ Enuff
“…. It is time to stop chasing that elusive perfect “system of governance” and start playing politics too.”
Boss, your head bad…..
Try and get some sleep hear…?
yes i have said some harsh words on Davids blog.but i felt i had to say them for bajans to wake up.i may not accomplish this.from the very depth of my soul i love barbados, but what is being done to it is barbaric.
please look– a wind mill in warrens or 2 could probably run the whole of warrens industrial area.put on top a hill.simpson house at the crane could probably be run off of one wind mill.but is it?that side of the island
has the most wind.,we have to start now. bushy my friend look what they doing to we barbados! who is responsible we can all have our own opinions.and we should. wunna gine meck me shed a tear yuh.
i gone. peace.
this is next one that should be watched .if you can find the whole movie.
it will open your eyes to america and the white house. suggested.
check this out people
the documentary above dirty wars,/ explains how the USA can make a major strike .bombing ,killing,drone kill,in ANY COUNTRY THEY WANT RIGHT NOW.that includes barbados my friends.Obama has signed off on this.so if they think there are Taliban in Bridgetown area they can and will
send in troops or drone and blow them all up with out permission from
anyone.this is being done world wide now. and they have made many mistakes of locations and killed whole families ,women,children ,by mistaken or old inelegance..film is on net flix.what caught my attention
was as they carried a mission on the wrong address in Yemen the bearded
Americans dug their bullets out of the bodies with their combat knives to remove evidence of american involvement.women and children and old men.
so.look out Muslim Barbadians.as they are free to do as they will.