The Adrian Loveridge Column – Superior Dining in Barbados

rediscoverOne of our strengths as a destination is the myriad of choice in dining experiences and it was especially encouraging to see that the annual culinary event, previously called the Food Wine and Rum Festival is being re-branded, extended throughout the month of November and its promotion stepped up this year.

I would however make one impassioned plea to our planners that the details of the 2016 event are posted much earlier than normal, to help maximise forward airline bookings and enable potential visitors to take advantage of often lower airlines fares which are revenue controlled by the different carriers.

Of course we are very fortunate to have top restaurants including The Cliff, Camelot, Lone Star, Tides, Champers, The Fish Pot, Zen, L’Azure and several others, but it is just as appealing to have many more affordable eating experiences. Some time ago, we branded a re-DISCOVER voucher for one of our largest car rental companies. With a fleet of around 130 vehicles and based on an average rental period of seven days, typically having a driver and one passenger per car, this could easily amount to over 13,000 people per year. Of course the car allows our visitors to explore the island and visit different eating options. By monitoring feedback from an inbuilt holiday competition entry form in the voucher, we see that the average number of restaurants frequented is at least three different establishments by each user during their stay.

The rental company also saw at the time that it was a great, an inexpensive (50 cents per renter) way of giving added value in the shape of a 10 per cent discount to their clients at over 30 restaurants and provide a marketing advantage over competing companies.

Now some villa rental agencies have come onboard, again with exactly the same shared motivation. They know their guests are going to eat out and in the wake of weakened value of currencies in the United Kingdom and Canada, are looking at creative ways to soften that blow.

My own thoughts are that we can find a win-win way of incorporating all the component parts of our tourism partners into a ‘passport’ type product for the month of November to coincide with the various events. This would extend to attractions, activities and shopping opportunities.

I still think that while it is enviable that we can boast that Barbados is an iconic destination that people strive to visit, while many of the rich and famous make it their second home. In reality the vast majority of regular returnees are ordinary working people searching to obtain value-for-money.

More great news regarding airlift with the re-commencement of the direct nonstop JetBlue Boston service from November and which will now become a year round service, plus a second weekly flight on Sundays from 4th December until the end of April 2017. This will open up the potential of 4.59 million people who live in the Metro Boston area and less than an hour’s drive from Logan International airport.

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2 Comments on “The Adrian Loveridge Column – Superior Dining in Barbados”

  1. chad99999 June 13, 2016 at 1:26 PM #

    Although promotional events, advertising, and, lest we forget, airlift, are important to the tourist trade, there are many other things that determine whether the industry thrives or not.
    For example, the quality of hotel and restaurant managers is really important. (This column never tires of berating government tourist agencies for their shortcomings, but never addresses the management problems that are evident in privately owned hotels and restaurants).
    Also important, the availability and cost of capital to finance new tourist businesses, the cost of electricity, the reliability of the water supply, the creation of new tourist attractions, the management of agricultural and urban wastes, marine pollution, etc, etc.
    I would suggest that this column consider some of these questions, rather than focus just on a small set of marketing problems facing the industry.


  2. Colonel Buggy June 18, 2016 at 10:20 PM #

    The Sargassum seaweed appear to be once again launching an invasion on our shores. It is beginning to build up River Bay. It would be interesting to see how the National Conservation Commission, under Minister Lowe , responds. Last year we were told that a piece of equipment to remove the seaweed from the beaches was purchased. But it would not surprise me like the QEH elevators and the gifted Ambulance from Korea, that it was not left in the open to rust away.


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