The Adrian Loveridge Column – Learning From the Icelanders

icelandMy column which appeared three weeks ago, looking at increasing airlift to Barbados through Iceland, attracted many comments, some positive and others very negative!

A regular critic questioned, why on earth, would holidaymakers consider going to visit Iceland, or even use it as a transit or connection point. Well the figures seem to speak for themselves. Since the year 2000, Iceland has tripled their long stay visitor arrivals and in 2014 they welcomed 998,600 people from overseas. Not bad for a population of around 330,000. This included 180,503 from the UK, 152,104 from the USA, 85,915 from Germany and 58,293 from France. The average spend was ISK 158,914 or roughly US$1,339. My calculator does not have enough zeros to do this computation, but it would appear that tourists visiting Iceland generated more than US$1.34 billion in 2014.

What I found especially interesting is that the Iceland Tourist Board have anatomized spending in detail attributed to payment made by foreign credit or debit card and I wonder if we, as a destination, currently perform the same task. For Iceland 30.8 per cent is spent on accommodation and restaurants, 16.4 per cent on shopping, 15.9 per cent on passenger and related services, 16.8 per cent tourism relation services including sightseeing, 2.4 per cent on culture, entertainment and recreational activities, 6.0 per cent on other tourism-related aspects and 11.6 per cent on cash withdrawals.

Overnight stays of foreign visitors totalled 4.4 million in 2014 and what many might find surprising, the average stay was 6 nights in the winter and 10 nights in the summer.

While this is of course only a ‘snapshot’, because it presumably does not include people who book and pay for hotels and other tourism components through travel agents and tour operators in their home countries, it does however give a partial insight to how monies are distributed in the holiday location and I wonder if there are any lessons we can learn from this approach.

Many other comparisons and points of interest can be gleaned from their tourism statistics and I consider it compulsory reading for our policymakers and planners, as no single destination can boast having all the answers.

I will leave readers with one final conclusion though, that when visitors were asked why they chose Iceland, the overwhelming response was nature, with almost 80 per cent of those questioned giving this response.

The second biggest reason given was the people and their perceived hospitality.

The national flag carrier, Icelandair recently launched a programme called Buddies, where staff members including pilots and the Chief Executive Officer volunteer their time, free of charge, to in their words show Iceland ‘through the eyes of a local’ to stay-over visitors.

It’s an amazing concept and one I hope that the Barbados Tourism Product Authority will consider. For many years our small hotel would host what we called a round table dinner weekly, where twelve of our guests would sit around a very large circular table and we would invite a prominent Barbadian with his or her partner and they would simply talk about Barbados from their particular perspective. As well as a complimentary dinner for our speaker and companion, we would pay a small fee, which in most cases found its way to their chosen charity.


  • Interesting remarks from the head of the Product division of the tourism enterprise.!Hall-Visitors-want-to-learn-to-live-like-a-Bajan/cjds/57a81e1a0cf2cb1cfffb58e7

    David posted: “My column which appeared three weeks ago, looking at > increasing airlift to Barbados through Iceland, attracted many comments, > some positive and others very negative! A regular critic questioned, why on > earth, would holidaymakers consider going to visit I” >


  • Quote from David’s link above: Dr. Hall noted that Barbados’ tourism stood on three key pillars: cleanliness, safety and friendliness. The BTPA’s job was to protect what she termed “these important brand elements.”

    In that case maybe Fruendel should tell Down Lowe to take the SSA and give it to the BTPA for them to run.

    From today’s Nation:

    Garbage taking over

    PEOPLE USING THE car park at Brandons Beach, St Michael over the weekend had to endure the awful smells of garbage dumped there.

    People have been bringing their garbage to the bin at the popular beach facility and using it as a communal dumping spot. Refuse ranging from building materials to animal waste and entrails have been deposited there. The indiscriminate dumping has made it difficult for anyone to park near the bin given the smell it emits.(ES)

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    See pic at link:


  • Some people in Barbados take your suggestions about tourism to heart, to celebrate the Barbados 50th three fish folk from oistins are attempting to speak the queens English.


  • Yes Barbados has become a dirty place not only from poor collection effort by the SSA but poor habits by the inhabitants. Throwing garbage all over the place by young and old. What is the latest on the enforcement officers who are suppose to be out and about?

    The BU household hates to see the MTW open back trucks followed by bobcats collecting garbage. It looks so 3rd world?


  • But we are THIRD WORLD, David.


  • Lots of Canadians are using the Iceland route to get to the UK and many are just going there for holidays–good deals abound.


  • The interesting thing about Iceland is that although it is a nominally Christian country, the majority of Icelanders really, really, really DO believe in Elves. This belief is recognised by their Government and certain areas are designated by law as Elf-territory and are carefully guarded from development or road building, etc.

    Iceland is the only remaining European country where a couple can have a wholly Pagan wedding ceremony, recognised by ancient statute. And many Icelanders do marry that way, just to be sure! Wouldn’t want to upset the Elves!

    Because they have been quite isolated historically and geographically, Icelanders have been able to be part of the modern world and yet include ancient beliefs as a deep part of their culture.

    The Caribbean islanders have not been so fortunate. Those of African origin were not permitted to respect ancestors and carry out essential rituals to deities unless disguised as Christian saints and the hatred engendered by slavery fuelled the potency of those deities to become warrior protectors, rather than guardians, teachers and mind-openers.

    The Icelander’s Elf has become the Duppie in the Caribbean, a scary, uncontrollable entity whose main role is to confuse and create havoc, always an enemy about, which of course, there was, the Slaver.

    I’d encourage anyone of West African origin and Bajans are mostly from today’s Ghana to study what’s available on line.


  • Victor is it true Icelanders ask each other family names right up front to be sure they are not closely related before they even start dating which I thought I saw on tv. Maybe that’s why so many pagan weddings


  • Sandals Accused Of ‘Union Busting’ With Threatened Closure

    As of Friday, August 5, 2016


    #Tribune Business Reporter

    #TRADE Union Congress (TUC) president Obie Ferguson has accused Sandals Royal Bahamian of the “highest level of union busting”, blasting the the resort for its imminent abrupt closure, which he said was almost treasonous to the Bahamian people.

    #Mr Ferguson told Tribune Business that the TUC was “very surprised” at the Sandals closure notice and suggested that it may be connected to an ongoing dispute with the bargaining unit for the all-inclusive Cable Beach resort’s 500 plus employees.

    #The Bahamas Hotel Maintenance and Allied Workers Union (BHMAWU), which falls under the TUC umbrella, has since 2009 been seeking to negotiate an industrial agreement. Mr Ferguson announced last week that the union had filed criminal charges against the resort’s top executives for failing to negotiate a new industrial agreement.

    Full article:


  • TS St. Lucia (OFFICIAL)

    1 hr ·

    Leading hotel chain sandals resorts is dispelling rumors that it is restricting locals access to the beach. Sandals explains that a recent mishap at their pigeo…

    See more

    Sandals Clear The Air On Beach Access


  • Banned Suriname airline offered ‘lucrative concessions’ in Guyana

    Apr 16, 2015 News 0

    Dilip Sarjoe, owner of Fly All Ways Airline of Suriname, a sister company of Suriname’s Blue Wing Airlines that has been blacklisted by the European Union, was promised lucrative concessions to make Guyana one of its hubs, according to people familiar with the development.

    According to a Curacao Chronicle report yesterday, the sources also said that this development and the concessions granted to Fly All Ways are shrouded in secrecy and lack transparency.

    A Surinamese owned airline that has been banned from flying to the EU was reportedly offered lucrative concessions to make Guyana a hub.

    A Surinamese owned airline that has been banned from flying to the EU was reportedly offered lucrative concessions to make Guyana a hub.

    In order to avoid the baggage of Blue Wing, owner Sarjoe has registered the company as a separate entity.

    Blue Wing has had many accidents and has been consistently blacklisted by the EU.

    In July 2010, the EU banned Blue Wing from its skies.

    European Commission Vice President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, said at the time: “We cannot afford to compromise on air safety. Where we have evidence that air carriers are not performing safe operations or where regulators fail in their obligation to enforce safety standards, we must act to guarantee safe skies for our citizens when they travel. We are ready to support those countries which need and want to build up their technical and administrative capacity to guarantee the highest standards of safety of civil aviation. The Commission is working closely with the European Aviation Safety Agency to further strengthen its efforts in

    Ramesh Dookhoo

    Ramesh Dookhoo

    providing technical assistance.”

    “With this fourteenth update, the carrier Blue Wing Airlines from Suriname is included in the list of banned airlines following measures taken by a member state as a consequence of a series of accidents suffered by this airline, and serious deficiencies revealed during ramp inspections of its aircraft,” the press release added.

    In 2014, Fly All Ways acquired two of KLM’s Fokker 70s to ply its planned regional routes from the Paramaribo City Airport, Zorg en Hoop. The owner of Fly All Ways promised the government of Guyana to station one of the 80-seater Fokkers in Georgetown. The company will fly from Guyana to Barbados and other undisclosed destinations in the region.

    The Fokker 70s have an average age of 20 years; they were manufactured between the years 1993 and 1997.

    Dilip Sarjoe is said to be the richest man in Suriname, who owns a collection of businesses in Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and Miami. In 2008, his Rudisia Beverage Company was worth about US$500 million. He also owns a cement factory and the Suriname Times and is currently negotiating with Alcoa Aluminium, which is looking to sell Suralcao, its Suriname holding.

    In January, executive member of the Private Sector Commission, Ramesh Dookhoo, announced that ‘Fly All Ways’ has made an application to add Guyana to its routes.


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