The Adrian Loveridge Column – Mission Caribbean Aviation Dominica

caribbean-travelNext week the first Caribbean Aviation Meet-Up event takes place in Dominica and the objective, if I fully understand the concept, is to attract a number of highly qualified ‘experts’ in their own fields to see if collectively, we can formulate additional ways and means to improve and increase airlift within and to the Caribbean. Personally, the words ‘results orientated’ stood out and let us hope that this can be achieved.

To quote from their own website (, ‘throughout participants are encouraged to share perspectives, ideas, concerns and successful strategies. The programme includes topics such as regional airlines, route development, airport development, airlift impact on tourism and economy, investment considerations, trends in regional travel and tourism, innovation of product, service and infrastructure.

The three day event is being hosted by the Ministry of Tourism and Urban Renewal and Discover Dominica Authority and will be officially opened by the Hon. Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit, the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica.

So far, 18 Caribbean destinations are participating and it will be fascinating to witness the interchange of ideas. After operating the re-DISCOVER the Caribbean show for eight consecutive years, one of the most rewarding attributes was the sharing of common problems within the tourism industry and which in many cases produced simple solutions.

My particular contribution will be geared towards exploring what further routes and airlines might be attracted to the region. While this is already happening behind the scenes at an individual national destination level, I think it would be helpful to see who our neighbouring islands are in negotiation with and explore if there is any way that working together may expedite the introduction of any new services.

It is easy to think of Barbados in isolation, but due to our position as a major regional hub, connecting flights to smaller airports in the Caribbean, play a critical role in attracting, and just as important, maintaining, load factors on long haul routes.

This could possibly change in time and the Douglas-Charles Airport (Melville Hall) in Dominica is one such classic example. The all new C services Bombardier aircraft, of which Delta has just confirmed a firm order for 75 planes and options for another 50 can land on a runway only 4,000 feet long. Plus their smaller seat capacity, between 100 and 150 passengers substantially reduce the risk element by not having to fill with 200 – 400 people to make the route viable.

Another yet unknown is the effect that the eventual opening of the new Argyle airport will have on Grantley Adams International airport. Clearly to justify the construction and operation, St. Vincent and the Grenadines will be concentrating on attracting as many direct flights as possible. Personally I do not see this as a negative scenario at all. Increased airlift into the Caribbean and improved access generating multiple holiday choices can only be a positive thing.

How we partner with our sister islands is the key to creating a win-win situation for us all.

PS: Part of my presentation will be to highlight Norwegian Air.

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19 Comments on “The Adrian Loveridge Column – Mission Caribbean Aviation Dominica”

  1. chad99999 June 6, 2016 at 9:43 AM #

    The relentless focus on ‘airlift’, arguably the most revolting term in the travel literature after ‘tourism product’, will be futile. The Caribbean needs to work on destination attractiveness first. Upgrade your quality before asking people to spend.
    There are many books on the subject of destination planning to rejuvenate the tourist industry. You guys should read some of them.


  2. David June 6, 2016 at 11:05 AM #


    There is a lot of money to be spent on the marketing side. Pick sense from the foregoing.


  3. Bajan in NY June 6, 2016 at 4:58 PM #

    It would be great to see P.M. Mitchell show as much interest in the Aviation-Meet up as he does in the affairs of the WICB.


  4. David June 6, 2016 at 5:06 PM #

    Both Dr. Anthony and Mitchell are anti LIAT.


  5. Gabriel June 6, 2016 at 5:53 PM #

    And is not Chastanet also anti LIAT ?This is just another talking points memo.All fancy talk,no action.The Caribbean has not been better served since the Brits had responsibility for aviation.Take a page out of their book when you talk of organization.From Guyana to the USA and all in between,have not been better served since they removed themselves from the archipelago.


  6. West Indian June 7, 2016 at 9:03 AM #

    Tall boy Chastenet and pinko Ralphie Gonzalves look set to restart their animosity over power in the low islands as miller dubs them. Chastenet hates LIAT comrade Gonzalves is the King of Liat.

    Gonzalves blocked a new airline Chastenet wanted to fly into oecs. A stoppage of Liat service would see a cut in half of St. Lucia tourists. Gonzalves knows this he’s gone bonkers to have Argyle in operation. He swore it would open in 2010 he’s missed the target by six years and climbing.

    Argyles’ bankers Venezuela, Libya and Iran are in strife they forgot SVG assuming they ever knew it existed. You can bet on the intervention of self installed cricket messiah Keith Mitchell and rude boy Gaston Browne in the saga. Stay tuned.


  7. David June 7, 2016 at 10:58 AM #

    @West Indian

    Aka waiting


  8. Colonel Buggy June 7, 2016 at 10:16 PM #

    Where are the inter-island ferries which we were promised long ago ?


  9. David June 7, 2016 at 10:49 PM #

    Coming out of a Caricom accord a few years ago didn’t Kamla Bessasar promise to assist with the ferry project in the eastern Caribbean?


  10. millertheanunnaki June 7, 2016 at 11:04 PM #

    @ West Indian June 7, 2016 at 9:03 AM

    No, no waiting, you have it all wrong.
    It is you and your DLP ilk that are so xenophobic as to see the residents of the other islands in the Eastern Caribbean as “low islanders”. Not the miller, please!
    As a matter of fact, the miller is of the view that the ‘other islands’ stand a better economic chance in surviving the future tourism and ecological landscape of the region than your once proud Barbados.

    The pending destruction of the coral reefs- and by extension beaches and shorelines- would make Bim most unattractive to the more environmentally sensitive tourists.
    Concrete jungle, excessive number of noisy polluting vehicles, garbage filled and urine smelling streets, a run-down depressing-looking countryside overrun with bush and vermin along with a 24/7 ‘wuk-up’ mentality called culture would not cut it in the eyes of a more discerning visitor.
    So Waiting West Indian, stop your nonsense and go back criticizing Tennyson Joseph and blackguarding Peter Wickham a true regionalist by deeds and not by only words.


  11. Colonel Buggy June 7, 2016 at 11:23 PM #

    Kamla’s ATM was probably emptied by the roving Bulgarians.


  12. Colonel Buggy June 8, 2016 at 6:07 PM #

    chad99999 June 6, 2016 at 9:43 AM #
    The Caribbean needs to work on destination attractiveness first. Upgrade your quality before asking people to spend.
    As demonstrated in this photo of our UNESCO World Heritage Site


  13. ac June 8, 2016 at 6:17 PM #

    Sandals expanding in Barbados at the tune of 245 millionUS dollars and project will be “100 per cent built by Barbadian contractors and tradesmen” and at its peak, will employ 1 700 Barbadians, 1 200 of whom will be employed directly on the site.


  14. millertheanunnaki June 8, 2016 at 6:45 PM #

    @ ac June 8, 2016 at 6:17 PM

    Bribing a Jamaican PR man to spew propaganda is a rather easy thing to do in your estimation.

    We are surprised you are so easily prepared to rely on the word of a Jamaican given your known distrust and hatred of Shanique Myrie and the other “invaders’ from the land of wood and water.

    When you see the phoenix-like rise of the Sam Lord Castle and the Hyatt Hotel on Bay Street, then you can shout “Hallelujah, Sandals” as you accept the tourism manna from Jamaican heaven.

    You want to bet that, instead of the manna falling into the Bajan Hellhole, the fictitious investment (like the offshore oil bonanza promise) will be floating away to Cuba; with the soon-to be Spanish-speaking Jamaicans about to forget about the small-islands in the East Caribbean and start to play investment hookie with their bigger brother for a very close neigbour.


  15. ac June 8, 2016 at 9:30 PM #

    Sour grapes miller Sour grapes is that the best response you can bring, jobs! jobs ! means more money in the economy and peoples pocket but who are you to talk about foreign takeover did not mia mottley and her crew make it her business to invade St.lucia for political interest
    Btw tell her if she has any interest investing any of her money in the barbados economy she could next time put her money to good use by planning a staycation right here in beautiful barbados at a sandals resort


  16. Artax June 8, 2016 at 9:47 PM #

    “Both Dr. Anthony and Mitchell are anti LIAT.”

    Yet these guys want to reap the tourism benefits to be derived from inter-regional travel.

    LIAT should schedule 1 flight per day to St. Lucia and Grenada.


  17. David June 9, 2016 at 5:42 AM #

    Barbados tourism registers strong first quarter

    Caribbean360June 8, 2016

    Air Canada Inaugurates Boeing 777 to its Daily Flight

    The Canadian market was relatively flat but a breakdown of the figures showed that the island’s airlift growth strategy in the US is paying off, with stay over arrivals increasing by 13 per cent in the first quarter of 2016. (Photo credit: CNW Group/Air Canada)

    BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Wednesday June 8, 2016 – Barbados continues to be a destination in high demand. Provisional figures shared by the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) have revealed that arrivals increased 7.4 percent during the first quarter of 2016 when compared to the previous year. This represented some 184,177 visitors compared to 171,413 during the same period last year.

    And Chief Executive Officer William Griffith has commended the BTMI’s global team for the work they continue to do in concert with local and international industry partners to keep Barbados top-of-mind among travellers, as well as the travel trade.

    “Our team has been placing considerable emphasis on business-to-business (B2B) relationships through training for travel agents and participation in trade shows to update these key partners on the latest product developments taking place on the island,” he said.

    The B2B strategy climaxed earlier this month during the gold edition Connect Barbados 50 when more than 900 meetings were held between local tourism partners and 50 leading tour operators.

    A breakdown of the figures showed that the island’s airlift growth strategy in the US is paying off with stay over arrivals increasing by 13 per cent in the first quarter of 2016 from that market. This represented a total of 42,383 visitors compared to the 37,487 visitor arrivals in 2015.

    The Canadian market was relatively flat with a 0.8 per cent decline generating 30,675 stay over arrivals. Arrivals out of the UK rose by 10 per cent for the 24th consecutive month to reach 71,263 stay over arrivals.

    A sluggish European market performance resulted in a decline of 6.1 per cent representing 13,129 stay over arrivals. Germany, the main producing country, recorded a 7.3 per cent decline to reach just 4,854 visitors.

    The Caribbean region continued to be a bright spark with regional travel to Barbados growing by 14.3 per cent. This was led by a 34 per cent increase in travellers arriving from Trinidad and Tobago or 7,210 stay over visitors. Demand out of other Caribbean countries also increased by 6.4 per cent with 14,491 visitors registered.

    On the South and Central American front, there was growth of 2.8 per cent totalling 2,930 stay over arrivals compared to 2,849 in 2015. Demand out of Brazil declined significantly by 48.2 per cent to 705 visitors. However, this decline was buoyed by a 49.6 per cent growth in visitors from the remaining South and Central American market when some 2,225 arrivals were recorded.

    CEO Griffith confirmed that the BTMI global team was already working toward achieving a strong summer with the Crop Over Festival, romance and family travel featuring prominently in their promotional efforts.

    Barbados’ tourism growth has also augured well for the country’s visitor expenditure performance with the sector recording an estimated US$336,757,000 during the first quarter of 2016 based on the CTO conducted visitor exit survey.This represents an increase in total expenditure by stay over visitors of 20 per cent over the same period in 2015 and continues the growth in visitor expenditure experienced in 2015 of 3.7 per cent when compared with 2014.

    The growth in visitor expenditure on island in the first quarter was led by the USA market where average daily spend increased by 22 per cent.  As a result total visitor spend on island by US visitors increased by 64 per cent, the largest increase both in percentage and absolute terms.  On island revenue from those countries categorised as Other and which includes Latin America, Asia, Africa and other smaller markets visitor expenditure increased by 22 per cent, the UK increased by 19 per cent, Canada by seven per cent and Europe by one per cent.  The only exception to this performance was the Caribbean market where total visitor expenditure declined by 18 per cent.

    In relation to average length of stay, this metric grew in all markets to achieve a total improvement in length of stay of 15 per cent. The length of stay achieved was 10 nights, compared to 8.7 nights in 2015.

    Griffith said confidence had returned within the tourism industry and this was being revealed by the creation of new attractions; improved hotel plant and additional accommodation options; and the strengthening of the island’s digital marketing strategy, led by a new destination website.

    “Based on the reports coming from our tour operators, this is the light at the end of the tunnel. We will continue to work with them and incorporate their feedback, and the suggestions from the visitors themselves, so that we can maintain this growth path,” the BTMI CEO said.

    Click here to receive news via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)


  18. ac June 9, 2016 at 6:09 AM #

    Pray tell of any Hotel who has been in barbados for lo many years and who have reaped substantial benefits from taxpayers money that have invested so much time and resources by expanding their product whereby they can contribute to the growth of barbados economy Say whatever one likes about the concession given to sandals in the long run when tab against the economical and growth of barbados sandals would have given back financially and economically to the barbados economy in a shorter period of time than many of the leading hotel name brands ,
    Any blp yardfowls who want to laughed out loud at what sandals is providing towards the Barbados economy is indeed a yardfowl extraordainaire
    Sue Springer one of those vocal opposing Sandals presence on the island had no other choice but to eat crow while praising Sandals


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