The Adrian Loveridge Column – #tourism

tourismWith a little more time on my hands I have been reflecting on my early days in tourism. While in Canada, over forty years ago, working for a travel agency I was tempted by an advertisement that appeared in the British Sunday Times and placed by one of the early pioneers in the European travel industry. In 1928 the founder of the company, Antonio Mantegazza bought a small rowboat (on credit) and began transporting visitors across Lake Lugano while sharing stories of local sights along the way. He saw the wonder in the eyes of travellers to his own country, which remains just as true to this day, Switzerland.

Globus Gateway would go on to become a major world player in the escorted European coach holiday sector and later expand to cover destinations across the world.

Returning to the ‘ad’ I responded and was one of hundreds invited to an interview, which in my case was held in a rather dingy third floor office on London’s Oxford Street. The interview seemed to last an eternity, but in reality probably no more than five minutes. Of the questions posed, one asked what earth shattering event took place in the middle ages. By this time I was grasping at straws and simply blurted out, do you mean the renaissance? This seemed to satisfy the interrogator.

Along with about fifty others I was placed onto what they called a 7 day ‘training tour’. Sleep Deprivation might have better been a better description which embraced more countries than days.

Looking back, it is now easy to see the objective. Placing selected people under intensive pressure enduring long hours and exposed to incredibly demanding clients and I do not mean that in a derogatory way at all.

For many people it was the trip of a lifetime.

Any good tour director who forgot that for a second was simply not doing their job to the best ability.

I always kept the thought that my Mother, Grand Mother or sister could be on that coach and I would want them to have the very best experience possible.

The most popular and best selling tours were dubbed pyjama or silk pyjama tours. The hectic pace determined whether you wore underwear or clothes, as there would be no time to change. The only difference was the quality of the hotel, whether they were three or four star and centrally located. All of the itineraries were designated with codes, Y and YA tours involved the most countries in the least number of days. In most cases 12 countries in 11 days and on one day alone, four separate sovereign states were visited.

By this time I was so convinced that I had not got the job, I returned to Canada. Around two weeks later I received, in those days, a telex, requesting me to collect the documents for T628 in London days later.

T was the tour itinerary, 6 the month (June) and 28 the starting day.

It was frankly a turning point in my life.

After collecting the group of 36 people off an overnight flight at Heathrow, who were mostly Californians and two nights in London, we flew off to Madrid.

In broken Spanish, more like a prayer than a question, I asked my coach driver for the next 45 days and 17 countries ‘usted conozco Europa muy bueno? It transpired that Manuel lived in Madrid and had been to Barcelona a couple of times.

The adventure had begun.

Nothing would be exactly the same, ever again.

18 thoughts on “The Adrian Loveridge Column – #tourism

  1. Not sure if this is good or bad, BUT

    Butch is spending big bucks for full page ads for Sandals BARBADOS in Toronto Star and Globe & Mail – about 4 per week over the past few weeks.

    If the place is full there would be no need to advertise, so occupancy must be low,

  2. Wonder how much money the owners in the hotel industry are investing or have already invest to gain an extra advantage with the support of the 50th anniversary Independence Celebrations
    One would think that a full fledged endeavor of promoting their product would be on top of these hotel owners list by way of advertising through out the americas prompted by this year long Independence celebration
    Would not doubt that many of them are still asleep simply depending on the usual highs and lows of the tourism season when in fact the year long independence celebration is a golden opportunity upon which many hoteliers can launch out for a bigger and better rewards
    Of course such amenities takes vision and impeccable foresight

  3. @ac May 4, 2016 at 5:57 PM #

    Do you really believe that anyone, except for Bajans, in the Americas give a d..n about Barbados’ year-long 50th anniversary Independence Celebrations.

    And the Bajans will stay with family.

    DD cannot speak for the rest of the Americas, but I can tell you that there is almost no advertising in the Toronto market by the industry, or BTMI, except for a recent barrage of full page Sandals BARBADOS newspaper ads – which make no mention of the 50th anniversary Independence Celebrations. I guess Butch does not care about the 50th.

  4. If any product is well marketed it will generate interest very few had the presence of mind or the belief that in its heyday crop over would have generate the vast following attributed from several international markets
    the govt marketing by way of the tourism industry of the 50th anniversary has been well received far and wide if you read the various venues/highlights it is a well received marketing strategy that brings a host of well known celebrities and tourist from countries other than the americas to our shores , it is also a novel and realistic idea that those in the hotel industry should use to their advantage with a great emphasis on the 50th with special offers or events of some kind
    As far as i am aware Sandals has already indicated that their hotel would be heavily involved by participating with added features or attractions built around the 50th would not be surprised if within the coming weeks and months they would not be a flurry of events coming from sandals with focus on barbados 50th

  5. now what a monumental jasss to belive or suggest that govt would highlight or market a year long celebration to only the bajan diaspora ,,now that is the kind of political poo that stinks the whole blog up .now i would pretend as if i did not read your comment ,,Excuse me

  6. And we are expecting thousands from outside of the diaspora to flock to Barbados for its 50th independence celebrations. HM The Queen , has just celebrated her 90th birthday, Tell me, how many Barbadians, took a second look at the highlights of the celebrations on CNN. Yes, people may come here if the package deals are a bargain. It is a question of saving money, not adopted patriotism.

  7. “Now what a monumental j-ass to believe or suggest that govt highlighting or marketing a yearlong celebration (would attract tourists outside) Bajan Diaspora, would see thousands of coming to Barbados and hotels, guest houses, apartments, villas, town houses fully booked with 100% occupancy levels.

    Now that is the kind of political poo that stinks the whole blog up. Now I would pretend as if Ii did not read your comment. Excuse me!!!!”

    “Political interference has no bounds when stupidity takes precedent.” [ac May 1, 2016 at 10:15 PM]

  8. @ DD who wrote “Will the labour for the expansion be imported from the Peoples Republic of China”

    That is to be expected as part of the loan agreement.

  9. “Lewis Hamilton, currently in Miami ahead of a scheduled appearance at the Barbados Festival of Speed this weekend,”

    • @Hants


      11 hrs ·

      A pleasure welcoming Lewis Hamilton back to Barbados for the Festival of Speed event at Bushy Park.

      Stephen Lashley's photo.

      Stephen Lashley's photo.



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