The Adrian Loveridge Column – Airbnb Push

Adrian Loveridge

I must admit that after hearing the phrase Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) after the still to be fully explained 3S SRL (road widening project), then more recently the companies associated with the Barbados Sandals development, CPH Property Holdings and Grand Cass Management, not of course forgetting the Cahill saga, it is perhaps no wonder that many of us have developed a natural concern over these arrangement’s. It seems they are an extraordinary easy vehicle for elected Governments to keep the populous and taxpayers, in at least partial darkness.

Much discussed Airbnb have signed a number of MoU’s and one of the most recent was with the World Bank which largely- the words of a recent TravelMole article- ‘effectively washed its hands of tourism in the couple of decades ago after it assisted countries to develop high density mass tourism as a condition of aid in the 1970’s and 1980’s’. Destinations that attracted World Bank treatment then included Tunisia, Bali, Morocco, Kenya and The Gambia. The bank still has some US$4 billion of hotel investments left over from their ‘heavy-duty tourism development years’.

It now appears it is changing its objectives and together Airbnb and the World Bank will examine ways in which emerging destinations use new technology and platforms which include Airbnb ‘to create economic opportunities for communities that have not traditionally benefited from tourism and hospitality’.

Initially pilot projects will begin with India and Sri Lanka, but I sincerely hope that combined efforts will not be restricted to the giants in tourism and small developing states like Barbados and elsewhere within the Caribbean.

Resulting from the just concluded ‘Tourism Knowledge Exchange 2017: Delivering on Inclusion through Tourism’ the consensus was that ‘sustainable tourism is no longer a niche market but as a core contributor to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Personally I view this as a critical factor in our next step in further developing tourism on Barbados. Frankly we have so much more to do if we have any real hope of maintaining a desirable, often called iconic destination. I hope that Airbnb will use this amazing opportunity to play its part in making our myriad of accommodation offerings and the destination more sustainable. Over the years I have lobbied, seemingly in vain, to develop rural tourism and create ‘centre’s’ of employment outside the traditional beach, city and urban areas. I still feel there is an untapped significant market for a small group of Plantation Inns, rather like St. Kitts and Nevis have developed so well. And whether these are created and put into use by a single owner or owners or undertaken by a group of likeminded Airbnb type co-operative partners, each vested with a financial interest, it really does not matter. Airbnb, with its overall size and influence could also play a much more significant part in areas like re-cycling and help us become a model of sustainability.

At least to me, this would negate the views in some quarters that tax avoidance and regulation are not the main concerns, but that they really want to be a responsible committed tourism partner.

11 thoughts on “The Adrian Loveridge Column – Airbnb Push

  1. Personally I view this as a critical factor in our next step in further developing tourism on Barbados. Frankly we have so much more to do if we have any real hope of maintaining a desirable, often called iconic destination.

    Well said…..totally agree.

  2. Mr, Loveridge, you are an older man that I am and even though the age of spirit bears no relationship to the age of form I would wish to comment on this article while noticing the fact that it has garnered 4 responses.

    Circa 1997, Graham Clarke approached the government of Barbados with a full blown proposal for community tourism in St George that predated the AirBnB model and it was killed.

    De ole man knows of a chap who several years prior made a similar proposal for said community tourism under the moniker Heart of Barbados which was also ammmmm shelved (though the parties stole the name)

    What you are saying as it relates to AirBNB has a more sinister implication when a commercial company can leverage the assets of International Development Institutions in this manner UNDER THE GUISE OF EMPOWERING THE COMMUNITIES in the target destinations.

    For the average Bajan WHO DOES NOT KNOW THIS and who has not enrolled with AirBNB they would not know that AirBnB determines the price that they will accept your property into their stock at.

    And then they resell that stock AT PREMIUM even above the price that you might have given them initially!

    So too with Travelocity, Expedia, and all the rest of the virtual rapists.

    Yet, with all of this, none of you will campaign to collectively market your properties and create the virtual ecosystem through which we will own the the product, its pricing and its marketing and eradicate the strangle hold of these AirBnB chaps.

    This is just colonialism in reverse Loveridge where the medium of enslavement is virtual and we niggers and others who have taken on the lot of the niggers, are being subjected to a different manacle.

    Having said that, because de ole man is reborn as “a man of viable alternatives” I will say to you that there is a mechanism that will outshine every single one of these agencies and which NONE OF THEM HAVE THOUGHT OF.

    De ole man jes gots to find a VC who will underwrite it …..heheheheheh….you know any Loveridge….?

    That solution would make you the best thing next to sliced bread if you were to facilitate it but then again de ole man sits and watches these things and intones to myself “where there is no vision, the people perish…”

  3. Piece

    Let the Bimmers get their feet wet with a structured programme, as they are doing now and after learning it and getting their name on the open market take it over… can retain airbnb on your terms then or discard them…..this is far better than the the overseas hotel situation with very little coming in.

    • All markets are dynamic and will change -who remembers the walkman? What has replaced it today? Who remembers DOS operating system? What has replaced it today? Who remembers the mobile car phone? What has replaced it today? Who remembers EDGE? What has replaced it today? Today we have Airbnb on the rise and a government with reportedly 1 billion worth of investment in the traditional product. Go figure!

  4. KINGSTON, Jamaica, Friday July 7, 2017 – Karisma Hotels and Resorts intends to pump US$1 billion in a hotel development outside of the resort town of Ocho Rios on Jamaica’s northern coast, over the next decade.

    Karisma’s chairman Rafael Feliz said the company plans to construct 5,000 rooms under its ‘Sugarcane Project’, which he said is a testament to “our belief in the future of Jamaica’s tourism.”

    Read more:

  5. @ David,

    I don’t know what concessions were given by government.

    An addition of 5,000 rooms would seem to be good for their economy.

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