The Adrian Loveridge Column – What Will be in the Black Box?

Adrian Loveridge

As this could well be one of the last Tourism MATTERS’ column before the imminent budget, even if it’s my humble and probably futile attempt to influence Government policy, I would join with those who are far better informed and make a passionate plea that no additional or higher taxes are imposed on the tourism sector.

In fact I remain convinced that a lowering of the VAT (value added tax) to 7.5 per cent across all tourism offerings, would not only attract more visitors but encourage larger numbers of locals to frequent our restaurants and hotels, which in itself will help increase overall spending and importantly higher foreign exchange earnings across the entire sector.

Without a single exception this has worked across every other destination that has adopted and implemented the concept. From all early indications reduced hotel occupancy for the first three months of this year, we are in serious danger of becoming a perceived or in actuality an over-priced holiday destination. In three decades frankly I cannot recall the subject of value-for-money being raised so often in the public domain by potential and repeat visitors through various social media outlets.

Of course any concerted effort to reinforce that we can truly offer an affordable product for our targeted markets does not rest with Government alone. While we have collectively built an enviable reputation for our gastronomic offerings, regionally and some would argue across the world, many of those cherished customers simply cannot understand how a $6 piece of fish becomes a $60 main course in many of our restaurants. And our competition has become relentless.

Take Groupon which has an incredible following and usage in most of our source markets as a simple example. Many tourism businesses have learnt how to use it effectively, to stimulate early booking tables at restaurants and fill lower accommodation occupancy periods in hotels and villas. There is nothing rocket science or complicated about its usage, just a basic understanding about controlling your revenue.

As an example, if each of the current 25 re-DISCOVER partners accept a booking under the terms offered serving just 10 diners per night, six nights a week and 50 weeks of the year, it generates an additional BDS$300,000 in turnover annually. The ‘doubting Thomases’ will of course argue that this revenue would not constitute its most profitable overall contribution and they would be right. But, they would then have missed the point.

That extra $6,000 per week created by a joint promotion does not cost the individual partner restaurant a single cent in marketing costs, but could well pay the land taxes, rent, insurance, water, electricity and other fixed operational costs, therefore increasing the percentage of profit on other business attracted.

Participation in joint initiatives like re-DISCOVER also strengthen the length and breath of the tools our national marketing agency has to work within our main visitor originating sources, especially when at least two of these (United Kingdom and Canada) are currently experiencing significant currency challenges when compared to US$ pegged destinations.

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24 Comments on “The Adrian Loveridge Column – What Will be in the Black Box?”

  1. Lee May 8, 2017 at 6:55 AM #

    Agree with your plea and also that most business operators here need a survival course in marginal cost pricing. We are barbarously overvaluing our offerings everywhere !


  2. William Skinner May 8, 2017 at 8:23 AM #

    @ Adrian
    You write about a $6. piece of fish
    becoming $66. You are very late to
    the party . Forty years ago when flying
    fish was cheap, the tourists were paying
    much too much for fish and rice and peas.
    We over priced ourselves long ago. It
    is obvious you were not around then.
    The sad thing is that the greedy hoteliers
    never reinvested but lived extravagant
    lifestyles. You sow what you reap. Many
    never paid in the workers national
    insurance; dedicated themselves to
    chasing vendors off the beach; engaged
    in racist behavior and abandoned the
    properties after squandering the profits.
    Successive governments turned a blind
    eye to these and other nefarious acts.
    Now they must take up scarce resources
    to prop up the new breed of owners
    who are no better than the ones they
    replaceed? Really.


  3. Vincent Haynes May 8, 2017 at 8:24 AM #

    We have a situation that govt rightly or wrongly sees loads of money in various areas be it true or false that they want to get their hands on…..for whatever reason……,so far they have not been able to come up with a viable plan to extract it from tourism the lowest hanging of the fruit.

    This budget will see another attempt at this exercise.


  4. David May 8, 2017 at 9:07 AM #

    Here is the issue, there is over one billion dollars said to be in the pipeline for tourism, connect the dots.


  5. Robert May 8, 2017 at 9:35 AM #

    I am in full agreement, Adrian. I am a retired airline employee and have been coming to Barbados for over 50 years. I am seriously considering elsewhere for my winters, as have many of my cohorts have already done. They are killing the proverbial golden goose.


  6. lawson May 8, 2017 at 1:08 PM #

    By the looks of things if you want more tourists you may have to give the use of a gun with every car rental or hotel stay


  7. Hants May 9, 2017 at 7:24 PM #

    THE GOVERNMENTS OF Barbados and Canada today signed a new Air Transport Agreement which is envisaged to not only increase airlift and long stay visitors in both countries, but also give aircrafts “the flexibility to operate without directional or geographical limitations”.


  8. vincent haynes May 9, 2017 at 7:38 PM #


    Not too sure what that translates too….how does it assist you?


  9. lawson May 10, 2017 at 6:29 AM #

    Hopefully the agreement was they wont fly air rouge into the island, and have real planes not cattle cars. I remember flying ward air all the time there it was great, giving westjet a chance soon to see if it is better than air canada.


  10. Adrian Loveridge May 10, 2017 at 8:15 AM #

    With WestJet’s order for a firm 10 x Dreamliners (B787) with options for another 10 it opens a world of possibilities. A Vancouver and/or Calgary to Barbados route maybe?


  11. Hants May 10, 2017 at 8:32 AM #

    @ Vincent Haynes who wrote “Hants Not too sure what that translates too….how does it

    assist you?”

    I am a Bajan born Canadian citizen living in Canada.


  12. Vincent Haynes May 10, 2017 at 8:44 AM #

    Hants May 10, 2017 at 8:32 AM #

    Does it mean quicker,easier,cheaper,more flights to Bim?

    Thats the the objective of my question not your nationality or place of permanent residence.


  13. David May 10, 2017 at 9:56 AM #

    Interesting to note all the markets declined or experienced anemic growth except the US and Canadian markets. Wasn’t there a plan to grow the non traditional markets?


  14. Hants May 11, 2017 at 8:19 AM #

    @ David,


  15. Hants May 11, 2017 at 9:51 AM #

    @ David,

    I thought the CEO ( son of Butch) was groomed to wear sandals. lol

    “The valuation of the company was not revealed, but the sources said it could be worth well over US$1 billion,

    including debt.”


  16. Adrian Loveridge May 11, 2017 at 12:10 PM #

    Would any new owner inherit the 40 year tax concessions? If so it would certainly give them a great advantage over the rest of the industry.


  17. David May 11, 2017 at 12:22 PM #

    One would assume the concessions would move to the beneficial owner of Sandals but we have to read the agreement between Butch and government.


  18. Vincent Haynes May 12, 2017 at 1:36 PM #
    Give us a break! | Barbados Today
    Give us a break!
    The over 1,000 Airbnb hosts in Barbados now have a voice to fight on their behalf for “fair” and “positive” legislation. Founder of the Barbados…


  19. David May 12, 2017 at 1:42 PM #


    If the government regulate the Airbnb crowd what choice do they have except to accede?


  20. Vincent Haynes May 12, 2017 at 2:01 PM #


    The worth of a lobby group.

    …..Sandals has room capacity for 283 if memory serves and does a heap of adds.

    …..BimAirbnb so far as its growing daily has a room capacity of over 1000 and the free daily power of the internet.

    I would strongly advise any govt to leave the golden goose alone and collect its money normally as the laws allow.


  21. David May 12, 2017 at 3:14 PM #


    The value of Sandals can be found in the brand and weight of the advertising dollar.

    BTW is there a culture in Barbados of lobbyists outside the money class forcing government to do anything?


  22. Bush Tea May 12, 2017 at 3:33 PM #

    Typical of the ‘industry’…

    ‘Businessman’ uses his charm to woo attractive lady into his clutches
    She turns up in her 40-year tax-free best dress…
    ‘Businessman’ gets his fill of ‘wuk-ups’ to his heart’s content…
    …and then pimps her out to the other vlow life predators of this world…
    …making himself a financial killing in the deal.

    Wunna can call it what ever wunna want to….


  23. Jesse Grillo June 26, 2017 at 1:47 PM #

    curious about guaranteed results hermosa ad-copy marketing? I enjoyed reading this. hermosa marketing manhattan beach marketing and redondo marketing.


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