The Adrian Loveridge Column – Competing to Win!

Adrian Loveridge

Adrian Loveridge

Leading UK based specialist insurer, Columbus Travel Insurance Services Ltd trading as Columbus Direct recently published the results of a survey which was picked up and carried in most major British newspapers in print and online including mass circulation tabloid, The Sun.

Based on the responses of 2,000 British adults it revealed that 16 per cent of people or eight million Brits have opted for a staycation this year in the United Kingdom rather than travel abroad as the Pounds now buys less Euros and Dollars than it did at the beginning of last year.

Way up there in terms of choice are US Dollar currency actual or pegged destinations where GB pounds 500 buys GB Pounds 70 less than it did in 2016.

Conversely those heading to other long haul destinations such as Japan, Mexico and Malaysia will get better value for their Sterling when compared with August 2016.

The Sun which boasts a daily print and PC readership of 4.36 million highlights a number of ways on ‘How to save money’ with a small number of holiday tops. It was encouraging to see that No.3 on that list was to ‘choose a fixed-price set menu in restaurants to ensure you’re not over spending’. It appears many holidaymakers especially the Brits and Canadians are heeding this advice as this is reinforced by the increased number of requests for the re-DISCOVER lunch and dinner voucher.

No. 5 on the Sun savings is ‘Claim back local sales tax on shopping’ and they mention Singapore and Morocco in particular who appear to both have well-thought-out and implemented schemes in place. Is this an area where Barbados can be more proactive?

Our Chamber of Commerce and various trade associations surely can devise a much wider scheme where the scope and depth of a greater number of participating merchants can be enhanced.

Clearly, with years of internal inflation we have become a very expensive destination and I doubt that many of our visitors consider that we truly offer value-for-money any longer. To the better-off visitor, this of course is only one consideration but the recent record number of long stay arrivals with depleted spending is starting to take a toll, according to the many tourism partners I have personally spoken to.

At the media and industry conference hosted by the Minister of Tourism last week I suggested that Government may consider lowering the rate of VAT on stand-alone restaurants, activities, attractions and car rental to 7.5 per cent, the same percentage as most hotels enjoy. At best the suggestion received a very lukewarm response, but where this has been enacted in other holiday destinations, in every case it has driven more arrivals and more net spend, which has resulted in a higher overall tax contribution to Government coffers.

Staying with lower prices drive demand, it was interesting to see American Airlines offer a fare of US$189 return from Miami at US$198 in the opposite direction (presumable the VAT element). Perhaps most surprisingly, this fare, at the time of writing this column, was available during most months of this year. With JetBlue’s announced reduction in their Fort Lauderdale service, it would appear AA is fighting back.


22 Comments on “The Adrian Loveridge Column – Competing to Win!”

  1. Vincent Haynes February 27, 2017 at 10:27 AM #

    Sadly successive govts have done little to think out or offer incentives to individuals to come up new attractions as our product is very shopworn at this time and over priced.


  2. David February 27, 2017 at 11:03 AM #


    Was that you waxing lyrically on the talk show today?


  3. Vincent Haynes February 27, 2017 at 11:06 AM #


    No I have never been on a talk show and if you are referring to the impassioned ag. man I did not agree with his solution as incentives rather than penalties work better.


  4. David February 27, 2017 at 11:13 AM #


    In a Barbados context can we say what will work better?

    Why can’t we adopt a mix of approaches?



  5. Vincent Haynes February 27, 2017 at 11:21 AM #


    Human nature is the same anywhere carrot and stick,his was only the stick mine is a stick in the background with incentives as the main offer.


  6. Bernard Codrington. February 27, 2017 at 11:21 AM #

    @ Vincent at 10m :27 A M

    Do you think the fiscal gap will ever be closed or narrowed if the GOB continues to give tax concessions to every conceivable economic transaction.


  7. David February 27, 2017 at 11:24 AM #


    The success of the tourism industry is manufactured on the back of concessions.


    Why was the voice of the MoA missing from the discussion yesterday?


  8. Bernard Codrington. February 27, 2017 at 11:30 AM #

    Why is there a disconnect between the published increases in tourist arrivals, tourist length of stay,tourist expenditure and the foreign exchange in the local financial system? Where is the leakage and why? Are these published statistics alternative facts?


  9. Bernard Codrington. February 27, 2017 at 11:37 AM #

    David at 11:24 AM
    Unless the success of an industrial sector translates to the success of the nation it is dysfunctional/ counterproductive.


  10. David February 27, 2017 at 11:38 AM #


    We need ask a rep from the BSS.

    We need to understand how stopover/cruise numbers and land-based are managed by the statisticians.


  11. Bernard Codrington. February 27, 2017 at 11:44 AM #

    @ David at 11:13 AM

    Mixed approaches only make sense if they are internally consistent. I think that this is part of the problem .We have a pot pourri of ideas ,measures etc.,glorified as strategies and hope they will work. Very often they are conflicting.


  12. Bernard Codrington. February 27, 2017 at 11:56 AM #

    @ Adrian Loveridge

    How true is it to say that the level of inflation is internally generated? Most wages and managerial salaries have not risen for almost 5 years?The cost of imported goods and services have risen exponentially over the same period.


  13. Vincent Haynes February 27, 2017 at 3:04 PM #

    Now I have heard it all the MoF has just blamed Airbnb for the decline in tourist revenue…..nothing about tax concessions or tourist packages being paid overseas…..yes I am aware that under Airbnb the new kid on the block fx is collected overseas as well but to put all the blame for last years decline on them is ludicrous.


  14. Vincent Haynes February 27, 2017 at 3:14 PM #

    Bernard Codrington. February 27, 2017 at 11:44 AM #

    That is the crux of the matter no cohesive plan,ticking all the boxes for the next 25 years in 5 year increments and this where concessions will be used to achieve the plan.


    The lack of the MoAg. on call in is most likely is due to his present disagreement with the govt.,in any case Leroys comments should find favour with him.

    I hope you are listening to the MoF sitting next to the future PM,advising us that all is well and certain things just have to be tweaked…..nothing to worry about and he will reveal more during the estimates……the state of the economy is fine……capiche…


  15. David February 27, 2017 at 3:19 PM #

    [Barbados Underground] Comment: “The Adrian Loveridge Column – Competing to Win!” Bin B Barbados Underground


  16. William Skinner February 27, 2017 at 11:40 PM #

    In all serious : What are the attractions to make visitors part with their money? Maybe Adrian could tell us how we can revitalise the industry outside of restaurants and duty free shopping. How are we competing in product development? We bring them here, they go on the beach, eat and drink then what ? Tourism brings billions into America. Go to any state and one would find attractions solely for tourists. Millions of visitors go to Florida to visit Disneyland. Millions go to Orleans to enjoy music entertainment and food. What are we really selling? Why have the hoteliers not place our culture on an attractive footing rather than occasional presentations, usually ad hoc and sometimes devoid of any sequence ?


  17. David March 1, 2017 at 5:53 PM #


    You read the letter to the editor in today’s Nation newspaper? The author threw some lashes in you. No doubt you will respond?


  18. Adrian Loveridge March 2, 2017 at 5:52 AM #

    I have not seen the letter but Mr. Jordan is entitled to his opinion whether its informed or otherwise.


  19. Exclaimer March 3, 2017 at 3:31 AM #

    “It is not a simple issue. I know some people have gone public making statements that I don’t necessarily know I can agree or disagree with in the absence of some proper research being done on it. It is a reality in Barbados, yes, but it is also something that has in many ways dovetailed with a huge part of our accommodation plant.”

    RICHARD HEALEY, In Barbados Today.

    Above are the words of a so-called MInister. He is talking specifically about the impact that Airbnb may be having on the formal local hotel sector. The above paragraph is revelatory as it highlights that we have a group of ministers who are both incoherent and who are incapable of thinking.


  20. Colonel Buggy March 4, 2017 at 9:01 PM #

    Coming to a Hotel , or hospital, near you!


  21. Yatinkiteasy March 6, 2017 at 6:37 PM #

    I wonder how many realize that Airbnb gets all the money from the guest up front when booking with them, even if its a year down the road? The Host only gets the payment 24 hrs after the guest checks in .Yet, people book with them . This alone demonstrates that the Hosts are offering better value for money that most hotels.



  1. Sinckler’s Spiel | Barbados Underground - February 27, 2017

    […] the bigger issue of the robustness of the fundamentals which support the local economy. To quote BU commenter Bernard Codrington,  “Unless the success of an industrial sector translates to the success of […]


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