The Adrian Loveridge Column – Ready or Not, Here They Come’

youngtouristsWhile it’s a report expressly focusing on the United States traveller, I wonder if its contents are fairly typical across most of our source tourism markets. Compiled by Monya Mandich who is the Senior Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Expedia Media Solutions titled ‘Experience-Seeking Millennials Are Turning the Travel Trade’.

Rather evocatively she opens with the line ‘Ready or not, here they come’ and among her conclusions were that the so called ‘millennials’, the millions of 17-34 year-olds who comprise history’s largest ever consumer generation, are posed to spend upwards of US$10 trillion in their lifetime.

Ms. Mandich states that ‘according to new research, the millennial generation is expected to spend more on travel services incrementally within next year than any other age group and will be the driving force behind the U.S. travel industry’s continued recovery’. Adding ‘thus, travel brands are well positioned to capture millions of new bookings each year and grow market share’ and here is the crunch ‘but only when marketing efforts to reach the millennial audience are effectively executed’.

So it appears the perceived concept of single backpackers with a small budget and a carefree attitude is out the window. The average vacation spend, again bearing in mind this is based on the US market, is quoted at US$3,534 per millennial couple and US$6,113 per millennial family, based on two adults and two children. 27 percent of millennial couples plan on taking more vacations during the next year and 43 per cent more of millennial families over the same period.

How does Barbados effectively tap this projected growth?

Specialist travel advertising agency, MMGY in their 25th annual study entitled ‘Portrait of an American Traveler’ said that millennials are ‘far more focused on acquiring experiences than material goods’ and when it comes specifically to travel ’69 per cent of millennials surveyed said they are far more likely to try new things while on vacation’. For a destination that has traditionally largely targeted a more mature visitor, what are our challenges to better capitalise on these younger demographics?

The Expedia report concludes that ‘the key to winning in the millennial marketplace is to get a comprehensive understanding of this massive consumer generation’s relationship with travel. Where, why and how often are they travelling, and what exactly are they spending their travel budget on’.

For Barbados some obvious niches stand out like diving, wind and kite surfing and ‘ambassadors’ like Brian Talma have done a sterling job of enticing literally hundreds of first time visitors to our shores for decades. Then we must ask what type of accommodation is this huge and growing group likely to stay in and do we have sufficient existing supply?

What about our attractions and activities, are they geared towards this market and do the existing culinary offerings we currently have appeal to their tastes?

So many questions and I must ask, do we really know the answers?

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55 Comments on “The Adrian Loveridge Column – Ready or Not, Here They Come’”

  1. Due Diligence March 14, 2016 at 9:11 AM #

    Excellent Post Adrian

    It high time to start to focus attracting the market represented by those in the photo at the top of this piece, rather than the retirees pictured in the GIS piece at:

    Time to stop wasting MOT budget feting the retired Baby Boomers like Paul and Lynn Chandler and Mike and Jasmine Backhouse of the United Kingdom, and Canadians Jim and Ruth Thompson from Canada, who will continue to be repeat visitors until they die (in the next few years) whether they get invites to Ilaro Court soirees or not.

    They first visited Barbados when they were Millennials, although that term did not exist then.

    MOT, BTMI, etc should be using their scarce resources courting the millennials, who are the future repeat visitors, instead of feting the retired repeaters.


  2. David March 14, 2016 at 9:18 AM #

    What activities does Barbados have to attract the millennials?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Due Diligence March 14, 2016 at 9:43 AM #


    Japan Opens Embassy In Barbados

    Perhaps Senator Maxine can get Japanese investors to build some attractions to attract millennials to fill the rooms at the Chinese Sam Lords project


  4. David March 14, 2016 at 9:48 AM #


    Then you are looking at a medium to long term strategy.


  5. Vincent Haynes March 14, 2016 at 9:48 AM #

    Would be interesting to know if they are the Airbnb or traditional types.

    Adrian highlighted some activities,too which I would add the Scotland District…

    with Greenland being transformed into an inland lake,
    glass blowing using the finest silica sand,
    pingwing which is in abundance for all types of craft work,
    revive the clay operations in Chalky mount,
    stream walks,
    para sailing,
    revive Julians bamboo huts on the east coast with large hearths,
    walk the old train line.


  6. David March 14, 2016 at 10:15 AM #


    Good recommendations which appear to be wholesome and indigenous.


  7. Due Diligence March 14, 2016 at 11:03 AM #


    Are you saying there is a medium to long term strategy?


  8. Due Diligence March 14, 2016 at 11:08 AM #


    Given CHUM FM’s demographics Breakfast In Barbados, coming April 9, will bring a plane load of largely Millennials from Canada to Barbados.

    And that’s a good thing – I guess

    The 2015 article at , no doubt penned by the PR folks at BTMI, gives some history of the 30 year old Breakfast in Barbados promotion.

    But at what cost?

    From the CHUM FM website “The maximum cash value of each grand prize will be $7,000.00 CAD (based on sample Toronto departure). There are a total of 36 grand prizes to be awarded.” That is $252,000 CAD.

    According to the 2015 article “The perennial radio promotion is set to fly some 230 lucky listeners to Barbados from April 11 – 18, 2015.” 230? Must be a misprint.

    Besides the 36 lucky prize winners and their spouses/partners, and the radio hosts and crew, who are the rest of the 230 lucky listeners? The entire staff of BTMI?

    As BTMI CEO, William Griffith, refers to the promotion as a partnership with CHUM FM it would seem to follow that the cost of the promotion is borne by the two partners.

    So BTMI is sharing the cost of flying a bunch of lucky Canadian contest winners for a free week of sun and fun in Barbados.

    And in the article Griffith noted that over the years Breakfast in Barbados has evolved into a weeklong festival to the benefit of many restaurants and attractions.

    The CHUM FM website says It’s an all-inclusive, 7-day trip for two to Barbados. You get:…..One week for two at Barbados’ newest all-inclusive resort, Sugar Bay Barbados ………

    When the trip is free, is it really necessary to provide all-inclusive accommodation. How does that benefit the many restaurants and attractions.

    Does BTMI or MOT track the winners to determine how many return for a second visit.

    After 30 years of the same old – same old, I wonder if anyone has done a cost-benefit analysis of the Breakfast in Barbados promotion. It might be something the Auditor General could look into.


  9. David March 14, 2016 at 11:23 AM #


    Isn’t there suppose to be a Tourism Master Plan?


  10. Nostradamus March 14, 2016 at 11:36 AM #

    David, if there is a Tourism Master Plan it is probably like the White Paper on Agriculture and “gone to Cabinet” .


  11. David March 14, 2016 at 11:40 AM #


    The tongue in cheek responses are meant to remind us that we need to do a better job holding our political class and government accountable. For example many have questioned why are we boasting of 14% increase in arrivals yet there has not been a similar increase in foreign exchange. The MOT has refuted the concern with a offhandish response. It is a serious business.


  12. Peltdownman March 14, 2016 at 11:42 AM #

    Excellent ideas Vincent. I would go a step further with Greenland. It is a natural amphitheatre. With the audience across the lake from the stage, all kinds of concerts, plays, and other performances would be possible in a magical atmosphere. Close by there should be a centre for outdoor activities, such as hiking, mountain biking, and horse riding.


  13. St George's Dragon March 14, 2016 at 12:10 PM #

    Other activities to help the Millennials feel really Bajan:
    – rubbish dumping – help a local family dump their old fridge by the side of the road
    – dog or cock fighting – watch as local animals tear each other to bits in front of a baying crowd
    – highway racing – join in the fun racing through the evening traffic causing panic amongst other drivers
    – motorcycle wheelies – learn how to cause accidents by wheely-ing a motorbike down a busy road
    – queueing – join the locals at the Pine and wait in line for hours while there is only one cashier on duty
    – public urination – join in the fun by pissing in back-alleys or up electricity poles (only available for the gentleman visitor)
    – go dry for your holiday – visitors who stay in certain parishes are encouraged to go dry for the period of their stay. The local water company helps by cutting off the water supply.


  14. Vincent Haynes March 14, 2016 at 12:26 PM #

    Believe it or not those suggestions were submitted to Govt. by an NGO I was associated with 20 odd years ago.

    Another one, another NGO I was associated with submitted for the same Scotland District was a training/model farm for young people dealing with all aspects of Ag.,Processing,Tanning&meat preparation….visits from tourists were factored in with accomadation for overseas participants.

    All of these are well documented.


  15. David March 14, 2016 at 12:32 PM #


    Wasn’t the holding of shows on the East Coast disallowed because of possible damage to a natural space?


  16. David March 14, 2016 at 4:11 PM #

    We should not forget the 10 point plan laid out by the MoT a few years ago.


  17. Vincent Haynes March 14, 2016 at 5:55 PM #

    David March 14, 2016 at 12:32 PM #

    Peltdownman’s suggestion is a good workable one and note the east coast location was cancelled for different reasons and greenland by virtue of the work done is even more suitable.


  18. David March 14, 2016 at 7:55 PM #


    Why was the NCF show on the East Coast discontinued ?


  19. Vincent Haynes March 14, 2016 at 8:05 PM #


    Chuckle…..It was not introduced by this govt. and then look at who benefitted and lost from the change… will get closer to the real answer.


  20. David March 14, 2016 at 8:33 PM #


    You are hinting that the usual political shenanigans was behind the decision to shift, why not cough it up?


  21. Vincent Haynes March 14, 2016 at 9:15 PM #

    David March 14, 2016 at 8:33 PM #


    What purpose will it serve in the grand scheme of things………shame/contrition/damascene moment/you tell me…………this blog has tossed everything at that class and they all carry on as normal….they are teflon coated.


  22. David March 14, 2016 at 9:19 PM #


    And you give up because of some time frame you have designed?


  23. Vincent Haynes March 14, 2016 at 9:25 PM #

    David March 14, 2016 at 9:19 PM #

    Timing is of the essence,hence one should bide it untill such time as it can be effective.


  24. Vincent Haynes March 14, 2016 at 9:27 PM #


    Is the house coming back tonight as I stopped listening to the last speaker,so did not hear if it was a wrap for the night?


  25. David March 14, 2016 at 9:28 PM #


    The members of the Court need rest. Adjourned until 9.30PM tomorrow.


  26. Vincent Haynes March 14, 2016 at 9:42 PM #


    Chuckle….yup,real hard work….ah gine get mine tuh.


  27. millertheanunnaki March 14, 2016 at 11:24 PM #

    “For Barbados some obvious niches stand out like diving, wind and kite surfing and ‘ambassadors’ like Brian Talma have done a sterling job of enticing literally hundreds of first time visitors to our shores for decades.”

    Brian Talma is a true son of the Bajan soil.
    Has he ever been nationally recognized for his “sterling” contribution to tourism, the only industry that seems capable of saving Barbados from economic ruin now King Sugar is dead?

    Why hasn’t he been knighted like the many other political “yes men” whose contribution to the country’s development can only be seen in the vapour trail from a politician’s fart?

    Has he ever been recommended or are they waiting for the Republic of Barbados to establish its own Order of Silver Sands?


  28. Bernard Codrington. March 15, 2016 at 11:48 PM #

    What is it that these millennials demand? Do they really contribute any foreign exchange to the economy?a
    At least the aging baby boomers spend money on local services.


  29. Due Diligence March 16, 2016 at 10:53 AM #

    Bernard Codrington.

    Again baby boomers die, and stop spending money on local services

    Today’s millennials are tomorrow’s aging baby boomers.

    If you do not hook the millennials on Barbados now, they won’t be there to spend their big bucks when they are older and have the money to spend.


  30. chad99999 March 16, 2016 at 12:44 PM #

    The problem for Barbados is that a younger, more adventurous cohort of North American tourists means (a) more fatal accidents that bring undesirable publicity, and (b) more illegal drug use on the island.
    Not good.


  31. David March 16, 2016 at 1:32 PM #


    What are the tradeoffs when an economy is almost 100% dependent on tourism?


  32. chad99999 March 16, 2016 at 1:41 PM #

    The economy depends on many things, including the hosting of fugitive capital, a range of other financial services, non-reciprocal transfers of financial resources from wealthy countries to fight climate change, financial remittances from Caribbean immigrants in North America and the UK, etc. Tourism is only part of the story.


  33. David March 16, 2016 at 1:44 PM #


    Not sure we are on the same page. Tourism is responsible for 60% to GDP direct and direct.


  34. Hants March 16, 2016 at 1:44 PM #

    @ millertheanunnaki,

    I have great admiration for Brian Talma. He has created his own water sport brand .

    De Action Man is a true man of action.


  35. Hants March 16, 2016 at 1:51 PM #

    It would be wise for the BTMI to reduce spending in Canada this year and next year.


  36. chad99999 March 16, 2016 at 3:13 PM #


    You are wrong. The highest estimate I have ever seen for the direct, indirect and induced contributions of tourism to the gross domestic product of Barbados is just over 35%. That is almost certainly an overstatement, considering the data source.


  37. Colonel Buggy March 16, 2016 at 6:09 PM #

    Vincent Haynes March 14, 2016 at 9:48 AM #
    These things may well come to fruition in the Scotland District, sometime down the road, but there is no guarantee that the ordinary Barbadian will be included. Mr Foster died quite tragically a few months ago,and I am expecting pretty soon to hear some big up plans for what used to be Foster’s Funland, converting it into a Sugar Hill,( not the one in St Joseph) Westmoreland et al.,complementing the Cattlewash enclave, on the other side of the much talked about national park.


  38. Artax March 17, 2016 at 10:43 AM #

    There seems to be a new development in the Caribbean relative to the Zika virus. The following excerpt was taken from “Outbreak News Today.”

    French health officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) of two cases of Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) in the Caribbean island of Martinique. Both cases tested positive for Zika virus.

    The first case is a 19-year-old with onset of symptoms (paraesthesia of hands and feet) on 26 December, 2015. Urine samples, which were taken on 7 January, 2016, tested positive for Zika virus by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) at the University Hospital of Martinique. Currently, the patient is being incubated and ventilated in an intensive care unit.

    The second case is a 55-year-old who was admitted to an intensive care unit on 21 January, 2016. On the same day, urine samples were collected from the patient. The samples tested positive for Zika virus by RT-PCR at the University Hospital of Martinique. Currently, the patient is being ventilated because of his respiratory failure.

    WHO states that this report provides further evidence of a causal relationship between Zika virus infection and GBS. These two cases do not represent an unusual increase of GBS in Martinique. However, further investigations are needed to understand the potential role of Zika virus in the pathogenesis of GBS.

    Guillain-Barré syndrome is a rare condition in which a person’s immune system attacks their peripheral nerves. People of all ages can be affected, but it is more common in adults and in males.

    Most people recover fully from even the most severe cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome. Severe cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome are rare, but can result in near-total paralysis.

    People with Guillain-Barré syndrome should be treated and monitored; some may need intensive care. Treatment includes supportive care and some immunological therapies.


  39. Vincent Haynes March 17, 2016 at 2:05 PM #

    Colonel Buggy March 16, 2016 at 6:09 PM #

    Yes,I noted that he passed away and wondered just like you what would happen to his fathers land,he has other live siblings and one could but hope that they like him refuse to sell but offer partnership.

    The Scotland District was to have a law passed by this administration to protect it…..was it passed?


  40. David March 17, 2016 at 2:58 PM #


    On a related note. The old court building on Coleridge Street is falling down. This must be of concern given Bridgetown’s world Heritage designation. What are we doing?


  41. Vincent Haynes March 17, 2016 at 3:13 PM #

    David March 17, 2016 at 2:58 PM #

    On point,saw the pic,awfull……can only presume that the 7m is going to fix all these eye sores by november for the royal visitors………fear not primer inter pares is on the case as he will not change his mind on the spending.


  42. NorthernObserver March 18, 2016 at 3:05 AM #

    I think that before we try to understand how millennials travel, we need to understand how they live.
    I have two millennial children. They have only been into a bank with me, otherwise they operate online. My son negotiated his mortgage online. They do not use a phone unless it is with a ‘fossil’ like myself or their mother. They do not call taxis or make reservations anywhere but online.They do not order pizza by phone, they use the apps on their phone. They shop online, they buy clothes. cosmetics and even grocery food online. They pay all their bills online.
    Millennials do not ‘line up’ other than in some online waiting queue. They laugh when I have to drive to the licensing office in Bim, line up, and wait for some clerk to copy the information off of our drivers licenses and pay to get a drivers permit. Why couldn’t we just fill that out online and pay by Visa they ask?
    They travel using AirBnB or similar, that is how they find accommodation. They do not pay hotel prices. They buy tickets for almost everything online. They don’t rent cars they use car sharing services, they don’t make doctors appts by phone, they use the online booking form. ditto for the dentist. They communicate with each other via text/FB messenger/whats app or similar.
    They don’t watch TV, they use a streaming service like Netflix. And they binge watch. And they stream everything else. They do not read newspapers. They use adblockers to skip the ad content. Books they read are always via some electronic format, even textbooks are downloaded. A bookcase is something an old fossil like myself needs. They don’t have music players of any kind, they have digital music which they can play wirelessly through speakers if needed.
    My son buys a 3D printer. It comes unassembled and without instructions. The instructions are via a Youtube feed.
    You might guess they book travel online too. Even the side trips.


  43. ac March 18, 2016 at 5:04 AM #

    and do not forget that the millennial generation is made up of millions in LB G community whose focus is to spend their dollars in countries who has or shown a full fledged support of their policies towards equal rights
    Most tend to forget that the LBG community has a high degree of financial leverage and as a group forms a new generation of the millennials and for the most part might have more financial spending power and a flair for entertainment than the heterosexual


  44. NorthernObserver March 18, 2016 at 6:39 AM #

    ac you firing on all cylinders early. And good spelling and grammar to boot. You are very right, but don’t call them LGB hear, it is LGBT.


  45. David March 18, 2016 at 7:16 AM #

    The government is on record how it views the LGBT segment. That is the government with a D.


  46. Bush Tea March 18, 2016 at 7:25 AM #

    @ NorthernObserver
    …and what will your children fall back to when all electronic communications are permanently destroyed in the initial stages of a major world conflict …or even in much more likely action of some idiot terrorist group getting their hands on EMP bombs…?

    In many ways, technology is a trap that lures us into dangerously vulnerable positions where any basic failure becomes catastrophic…..

    It pays to keep the bases covered.


  47. millertheanunnaki March 18, 2016 at 7:56 AM #

    @ NorthernObserver March 18, 2016 at 6:39 AM

    That’s not the regular “ac” writing. That’s the dc side of the consortium.
    Maybe she/he is afraid to identify with the Transgender element in the LGBT movement.

    One wonders what our ac/dc friend has to say about the attitude taken by “its” DLP administration towards the LGBT community in the homophobic form of Lowedown a man herself who bowls right and bats left while hiding in a prostrate position behind the saintly veil of a church minister.
    No better than the RC Church on the position of gay marriages, abortion or the use of contraceptives while functioning as a haven for paedophiles and closet homos.


  48. Vincent Haynes March 18, 2016 at 9:00 AM #

    An interesting comment on pg 7 of Barbados Today 17Mar…….MoT Sealy has indicated that 70% of our roads would pass the grade…..I realy wonder sometimes about our political class.


  49. Sargeant March 18, 2016 at 9:24 AM #

    On a related note. The old court building on Coleridge Street is falling down. This must be of concern given Bridgetown’s world Heritage designation. What are we doing?
    What about the library next door? Last time I was there I didn’t go past that location but I remember a few years ago Blackett said the Gov’t was looking to Cuba for expertise and possible funding for repairs as if Cuba was interested in repairing a building in Barbados when they had so many falling apart or even funnier “possible funding”


  50. David March 18, 2016 at 9:45 AM #


    Sadly Bridgetown needs a coat of paint.


  51. ac March 18, 2016 at 9:56 AM #

    And miller why do u have to be so vulgar early morning..after all a lot of not so nice things can be said about Mia infamous bite ..The bite that was felt around the world


  52. millertheanunnaki March 18, 2016 at 10:00 AM #

    ac March 18, 2016 at 9:56 AM

    Tell that to Mara Thompson.


  53. ac March 18, 2016 at 10:54 AM #

    But seriously Barbados would have no other choice but to come to terms with the recognition of the Lbgt community as the inceptiontion of marriages can adoption of children would tilt the balance of influence in their favour adding more voices to advance their messages


  54. Hants March 18, 2016 at 7:40 PM #

    Sandy Lane records its lowest occupancy in 15 years.
    – See more at:


  55. Colonel Buggy March 19, 2016 at 6:34 PM #

    Have we lost the weekly visit of Carnival Valor. Last Wednesday’s Nation reported no cruise ships in the Bridgetown Port. A check on the Valor’s nautical position shows that it is on a cruise between Port Canaveral in Orlando and Cozumel in Mexico. Is this a fall out of the Zika warning? In any case this will put a big dent in the tourist arrival figures.


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