The Adrian Loveridge Column – A More Rustic Tourism Product to Add Value

Villa NovaI still find it remarkable that after so many years that such an exceptional property, like Villa Nova remains unsold and empty. Yes of course it has its geographical challenges competing with what is perceived as the traditional form of tourism accommodation, but when you have only 24 or so rooms to fill, there are always creative ways of marketing the product.

And anyone really studying what is known of our myriad of accommodation offerings will soon realise that it has changed dramatically in the last twenty years. Not that long ago, the CEO of Marriott hotel group boasted that they planned to add 30,000 rooms within that next year. The co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, Brian Chesky, countered hours later by stating ‘we will add that in the next two weeks’. Last week Airbnb announced that they were divesting into other areas of tourism by offering tours and sporting activities alongside accommodation. Prior to 2008 no-one had heard of Airbnb, but now they have over 1.5 million lodging listings in 34,000 cities across 191 countries, including hundreds of properties on Barbados. Nathan Blecharczyk, the Chief Technology Officer at Airbnb and rated by Forbes, as one of world’s youngest billionaires at the tender age of 32 years, stated ‘we’re thinking beyond accommodation’.

Adding ‘there was a demand from travellers for personal connections while travelling’ and the company ‘is looking at paring hosts and guests for tours, playing sport and other activities’. ‘But connecting with real people having a good time, that’s something not currently available in the professionalized world of hospitality’.

Several years ago while escorting our walking tours around the island I was dismayed by the number of former plantation houses falling into disrepair and in some cases dereliction. My idea at that time was to try and encourage the owners, either current or future, to turn them into a small chain of Plantation Inns, with around 12 rooms per property. It would have created rural employment centres, requiring gardeners, security officers, driver’s for beach shuttles, maids, chef’s and serving personnel among others.

Clearly our visitors are craving more ‘real’ experiences and while it is seemingly impossible to compete with the mass market mega resorts and low cost destinations, we can offer unique niches as in this case, rather similar to the plantation inns like The Hermitage, Montpelier, Nisbet and Ottley’s on the islands of Nevis and St. Kitts.

We seem, as a destination, to be missing a lot of what could prove invaluable information and data about our visitors and exactly where they all stay. While the subject of re-designing our airport landing cards has been discussed ‘ad infinitum’ and even if this is done there is no absolute guarantee that we can garner all the facts needed to make intelligent marketing decisions. But surely it would help and the statistics gleaned could better assist the entire industry spend their limited promotional budgets more productively.

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25 Comments on “The Adrian Loveridge Column – A More Rustic Tourism Product to Add Value”

  1. Violet C Beckles May 16, 2016 at 5:36 AM #

    Maybe smart people looking for a CLEAR TITLE before being crooked by the crook lawyers of bim,

    With no system of Justice to have funds returned when they found out they have been had,


  2. Lee May 16, 2016 at 1:49 PM #

    Many of the better heeled visitors I meet are not as interested in the sea as they are in hiking and the environment. Where is the Master Plan we were promised ?


  3. David May 16, 2016 at 1:59 PM #

    Why is there for a master plan if a rising tide will float all boats?


  4. Pieceuhderockyeahright May 16, 2016 at 2:57 PM #

    @ Adrian Loveridge

    You said and I quote “…My idea at that time was to try and encourage the owners, either current or future, to turn them into a small chain of Plantation Inns, with around 12 rooms per property. It would have created rural employment centres, requiring gardeners, security officers, driver’s for beach shuttles, maids, chef’s and serving personnel among others.”

    33 years ago, in what would seem to be another lifetime, I made a similar suggestion but the focus was different.

    Herein lies the difference which i will try to explain to you “scientifically” using the centre of gravity of a bar stool to illustrate my point

    Your model for these plantations which are purposely being allowed to run to fallow, DOES NOT REPRESENT A TRUE NICHE COMMUNITY PRODUCT and will not be subscribed to because

    (a) the land is purposely being run to fallow because, in its current state of disrepairs, it is exempted from normal taxes
    (b) the specific Minister responsible for Town and Cuntry Planning and from whom permission to carve up the property is being sought, has not been properly incentivized (euphemism for bribed) and
    (c) some will say that your “plantation model” in a country with our history and current state of “ownership” speaks to taking the Ivory Coast Hotels which you and your ilk once owned? back? to the time country where massah will once again have “gardeners, security officers, driver’s for beach shuttles, maids…” euphemism for slaves.

    Some may say that this “community concept” PERFORCE MUST NOT BE A MODEL that you or people of your colour can promote nor expand on because it occupied a place in the psyche of 95% of the population that has not yet been addressed

    Which brings me back to that sentiment expressed in the picture where “the centre of gravity” IS OUTSIDE THE OBJECT.

    Some might even say that this centre of gravity phenomena is doubly exacerbated.

    Firstly, because “massah” whom they think you represent cannot, and should not, champion such a project.

    Yes sadly as if a counterpoise of that perspective those who should promote it, as well as those who would benefit from it, are completely devoid of the skills to champion, furthermore enact the matrix by which it could be done and so bring true investiture to we people of colour

    Instead of “gardeners, security officers, driver’s for beach shuttles, maids…” there should be R&D managers, hydroponics scientists, solar energy powered plants, small cooperative based ground provision plots, enactment scenes where we recreated normal plantation life staffed by people from within the community nearby playing out scenes where massah beat us for small or imagined infractions.

    You ever visited Eddie Grant’s plantation here in Barbados, a masterful place but one owned and vested in a wise black man.

    But then Loveridge this is what 50 years of Independence means to me, a rebellion that I own and control, as opposed the empty Community Football celebrations and road tennis competitions that keep us niggers continuously amused in a perpetual Kadooment

    I was going ask you what you think but I dun know that you doan respond to we uppity niggras do you?


  5. islandgal May 17, 2016 at 6:45 AM #

    “You ever visited Eddie Grant’s plantation here in Barbados, a masterful place but one owned and vested in a wise black man.”

    Piece what an uppity negro you are LOLL ! How dare you think that the black man can aspire to do become his own master?? He has been programmed for 300 years to never believe in his mother land’s Gods, never to believe that he is human and believe that Caucasians are next to the right hand of their God ! Those who have broken away or rebelled from the thought are looked upon as heathens and evil doers because they refuse to become one of the pack. The pack believes that their God will shower them with all the money, glitter and food they need without breaking a sweat.

    What Adrian has stated is a brilliant idea that has been replicated in several islands BUT Bajans do not want anything to do with their history. Many don’t want to acknowledge that they are descendants from African slaves and many want to own their own slaves now. What we need is a group of Barbadians both Black and White with a vision to pool their resources and work towards creating products that will sustain this island without the mistrusts and misguided perceptions of each other then Barbados will move forward. And don’t tell me there are no Black Millionaires on this island, there are plenty !

    I cry inwardly at the dilapidated historic buildings around this island. There is so much charm in these properties. But how can we make our Business people see the vision ???

    Liked by 1 person

  6. islandgal May 17, 2016 at 9:20 AM #

    “Instead of “gardeners, security officers, driver’s for beach shuttles, maids…” there should be R&D managers, hydroponics scientists, solar energy powered plants, small cooperative based ground provision plots, enactment scenes where we recreated normal plantation life staffed by people from within the community nearby playing out scenes where massah beat us for small or imagined infractions.”

    But piece who gine do the other wuk if all ah we gine be Managers , Scientists etc? We have lost our way. When we were ahead in solar Industry we sat on our backsides for years believing that we were the only ones in the world doing this. Meanwhile others were working to improve and expand the industry. Many years ago I once asked Professor Headley why haven’t we pursued solar energy in Bim and his response was it was not in the interest of the government who were shareholders in the BL&P at the time. Now we are pushing ahead to drill for oil that will destroy our island’s coast line and the Tourism Industry. Now how much dumber can the government get???? What was all that talk about a Greener Barbados????

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Gabriel May 17, 2016 at 12:47 PM #

    I posit the view that in the 3 major markets for our Tourism we have square pegs in round holes,that is the political directorate have appointed 3 members of the Fatted Calf Brigade instead of people qualified in Tourism.We have an Anglican priest in the UK,a reward for a man who turned his back on his flock to go into the highways and byways of Christ Church South to champion the cause of a political party and the cause of a beer guzzler.Ask him what he knows about Tourism and he might tell you about the Berinda Cox fish market Friday nite Funtime……next we go to the USA and there is the big mouth banker turned VOB moderator/talk show host,another member of the Fatted Calf brigade whose knowledge of Tourism is zilch,nada,nothing.Over in Canada,the Fatted Calf office holder is a reluctant candidate with nothing in his background to recommend him in the specialty area of Tourism.
    We would have been better served by Billy Griffith,Kerry Hall,Noel Lynch,Sue Springer and those others who live and breathe Tourism and know how to reach out and are not closed to suggestions and new approaches.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. NorthernObserver May 17, 2016 at 2:21 PM #

    PUDYR going wild wif de graphicks. Nice.
    I want to touch on one of your side issues, property/land tax, and this leads me to another issue of absentee ownership.
    I only discovered a few years ago that plantations are frequently not owned by whom I thought owned them, but by a bunch of descendants located globally. So I think Mr.X owns YYYY, but then I discover Mr.X owns 8%, the other 92% is owned by distant family. As such Mr.X is a tenant. [expeckking VCB to give me a dressing down]
    In one case Mr X wished to change the land use from sugar to crops, but the foreign owners objected. Most had never set foot in Bim, and only knew annual income to them came from sugar. When X offered to buy them out, they insisted on all kinds of covenants, cause they felt he wanted to profit by eventually building homes. Which wasn’t true, he wanted to piece out the land to other growers, which he didn’t have the right to do under his current terms.
    This bullshit of getting taxed as arable/farm land when the land is not being employed as such is wrong. The same way people build a home and then don’t paint it as a method to avoid tax kicking in.
    Fallow land must be taxed at a higher rate, than producing land. And sour grass to feed a few animals, is not producing. And it must be proportional, so if you have 60 acres, and 20 are being used, then 40 are not. The use on 20, cannot offset the 40 to a lower rate.
    Similarly if a home is occupied, it is taxable, regardless of whether it is 100% finished or not.
    Further I think there should be a tax rate for locals, and another higher one for foreigners [which admittedly is difficult if they open a local company to own the land. However, you just don’t give exchange control on remittances of dividends/proceeds of local firms]
    That latter move along has multiple consequences requiring more consideration.


  9. Gabriel May 17, 2016 at 3:04 PM #

    The house becomes taxable when you install the windows and doors.


  10. David May 17, 2016 at 3:37 PM #

    One would think given our rich sugar cane history and association with the Mother country the opportunity to differentiate with the suggestion by Adrian should have been tried long ago.


  11. Gabriel May 17, 2016 at 4:28 PM #

    Adrian can always be counted on to bring ideas to improve/build upon our tourism plant.Capitalizing on our heritage is a sign of our maturity.Whether we agree or not we all made Barbados what it is.One ethnic group could not make it without the other.I have already suggested that the 1000 men at Dodds should be gainfully employed by a company called Maintain Barbados and they be employed and paid a wage for all maintenance work at government buildings,cemeteries,hospitals,church yards and burial grounds etc,.Our cemeteries tell a story as do our older buildings.What I have suggested is nothing new.It is done in some countries and successfully.


  12. David May 17, 2016 at 4:36 PM #


    A good idea but we have to check on the laws that say you can’t exploit prison labour.


  13. Pieceuhderockyeahright May 17, 2016 at 5:07 PM #

    The niche of Heritage tourism is one which presents an area of the tourism spectrum that history buffs and academics are quite keen on and would more than likely be disposed to subscribing to, IF WE WERE TO PACKAGE IT PROPERLY.

    That is agreed.

    Imagine the setting of a restored and apply refurbished plantation where one was able to “recreate” the authentic plantation experience much like they do in the US, in towns devoted to the re enactment of their Civil War, or Alamo, or Sitting Bull massacring Custer (and some would say, rightfully so)

    Look at George Washington House, or the Jewish Cemetery you could envision recreating a plantation experience which had all of the “aforementioned actors”.

    In response to IslandGirl’s observation, I appended a category of economic activity which made the experience economically viable and sustainable especially “when de tourises season dry up”

    So how do you “package” a concept to address certain seemingly immovable “psychological detritus” in our (coloureds) minds (is that politically correct? or do I a nigger call us nigras?)

    What can we say or do to motivate a people to work in such a project which seems to be such anathema that many of us “don’t want to see a sugar cane blade?”

    Would it be best fashioned along the lines of delivery an standard of economic wellbeing to those employed at the complex, and a premiere social acculturalization both for citizens and for visitors, but moreso for the former, and, most ambitiously of all, even spiritual appeasement by the respective progeny of our respective foreparents?

    Is there a way that brings the best of all these worlds together?

    Would it attract white and black millionaires, philanthropists, humanitarians and a progressive crew who, unlike some herein mentioned, are not solely driven by the money behind the concept but may align themselves to the greater good?

    But then again, maybe i should just have left this topic at the superficial, yet interesting subject level submitted by Loveridge


  14. David May 17, 2016 at 6:07 PM #


    You should direct Dr.Kerry Hall to this blog. Some good ideas here.


  15. Adrian Loveridge May 18, 2016 at 5:00 AM #

    David, Done!


  16. millertheanunnaki May 18, 2016 at 7:19 AM #

    @ Gabriel May 17, 2016 at 4:28 PM

    Gabriel, what a brilliant ‘idea’!
    There is a saying or axiom which goes something like the following:
    ‘The more mature the wine (rum) the more sophisticatedly palatable it becomes’.

    BU has attracted a reservoir of mature intellect that would make the graduates of Oxbridge pale in comparison.
    You, Gabriel, should count yourself as having been, inducted on that roll of honour duly recommended by the likes of PUDRYR, A-W-T-Y, Bush Tea, SSS, WW&C, SS, Donna, Island Gal and those who are rightly concerned for the future of our grand and great-grand progeny on the tiny island once called Great Barbados.

    However, I am sure you know that the use of prison labour is not novel.
    You would recall (as a boy yourself) the effective use of low risk prisoners to keep colonial Barbados spit and span.

    Provided that those who have committed serious offences against society are paid and not exploited there is nothing wrong with engaging their services for the upkeep of the country and as a form of their own rehabilitation and preparation for rejoining their fellow citizens in the further development of their country.

    Coincidentally, the Queen in her throne speech to formally start a new session of the British Parliament has just announced (toady) a similar project Her Government would be undertaking.

    Barbados is in a horrible state of environmental neglect. The country now has the worst maintained cemeteries and established church buildings probably in the English-speaking world.
    What a shame!
    What a missed opportunity to cash in on the benefits which can accrue from heritage tourism!
    Old Churches and cemeteries represent not only a snapshot of a country’s “living” past but also an opportunity to tap into a niche market which has made places like the UK and Roman Catholic Europe a destination of choice for the culturally-oriented tourist.


  17. David May 18, 2016 at 8:42 AM #


    Concur with your response to Gabriel. It seems on the service to be a waste of a resource to have strong and potentially productive prison population idling.


  18. David May 18, 2016 at 11:28 AM #

    Here is confirmation that Dr.Kerry Hall acknowledged.


  19. Gabriel May 18, 2016 at 12:09 PM #

    I am obliged to you sirs….Yes,during my sojourn at Weymouth I recall seeing those offenders on a regular basis pushing a flat tray with 2 large wheels,the method of freighting goods in those days,about 3 of them accompanied by a Prison Officer,all walking from Station Hill to the city and back.
    If I am not mistaken a similar work for pay programme is in place in Guyana.Pay them a reduced wage,ensuring that they make a contribution towards their upkeep at Dodds at the same time.


  20. chad99999 May 20, 2016 at 2:59 AM #

    I have been hoping that Adrian will use his posts to address questions about the tourist industry that are of interest to me, and may be of interest to the very broad spectrum of Barbadians who visit this site:

    What is the history of attempts at hotel classification in Barbados? What have been the problems encountered along the way? Which stakeholders have supported these schemes? What are the reasons for resistance to them?

    Despite its exceptional physical beauty, Barbados does not have a healthy hotel industry. Profits here are lower than the profits reported by hotels in such unprepossessing places as Cleveland, OH and Chicago, IL. Why is this the case? We hear that costs in Barbados are high, yet the wage bill here must be lower than the wage bill for hotels in US cities.

    How do local hotel owners keep up to date with global best practices? Is it easy for a local hotel owner to benchmark his performance? Are there incentives for compliance with ISO standards?

    What role has the computer played in reducing hotel costs and boosting profits?

    I could go on, but does anyone have similar questions for Adrian?


  21. Colonel Buggy May 20, 2016 at 10:19 PM #

    The good thing about utilising these plantation houses into a sort of Bed and Breakfast, is that many of them are , in the context of Barbados , off the beaten track, away from the highways and thoroughfares. With the burgeoning noises of unmuffled motor cycles and high revving wannabe racing cars which have now enveloped Barbados unchecked, plus the relatively newly established Wednesday night bashes, these plantation retreats may be the mufflers that those visitors, and even locals at times, seeking a bit on peace and quiet, may need.


  22. Gabriel May 21, 2016 at 6:51 PM #

    Eastern AirlInes has returned to the Southern Caribbean area.This airline served Barbados in the 60’s,70’s and 80’s with distinction.Maybe the Team Barbados Tourism can encourage the new CEO of a revived Eastern to add Barbados to its Caribbean destinations.Guyana is ahead of the game.


  23. Pieceuhderockyeahright May 21, 2016 at 8:11 PM #

    @ Chad (of the multiple 9’s)

    You said “I have been hoping that Adrian will use his posts to address questions about the tourist industry that are of interest to me, and may be of interest to the very broad spectrum of Barbadians who visit this site:”

    Ammmmmm….some posts here on BU are not for interaction read two way but for information read one way dissemination

    @ the Honourable Blogmaster (lololol)

    you dun know that Loveridge, and Sing A Song, does post some pow’ful tings and lef um like dog doo doo (and that doo doo is not the kind familial that Bigmama called me earlier either)

    Doan mind me David, I am in a “state of reflection” recently so excuse my playful banter.


  24. Hants May 21, 2016 at 8:32 PM #

    @ Pieceuhderockyeahright I needed a distraction so I watching this video to evaluate the musicality.


  25. The Gazer May 21, 2016 at 8:32 PM #

    I am very sensitive to the government use of ‘prison labor’. I can imagine sentences that were as long as six months for stealing $7.70 worth of food being extended to one or two years.

    Before we meander down this path, we need to talk of prison reform and sentencing guidelines. And instead of just having them clean up the island and then releasing them with a “prison stigma” and a smaller likelihood of getting a job – what about teaching them a trade????


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