The Adrian Loveridge Column – A Critique of the Carib Food and Hospitality Exhibition

Adrian Loveridge

Having spent three full days, from opening until closing, on a stand at the recently concluded Carib Food and Hospitality exhibition, I feel that I can comment fairly objectively about the first of its kind event to be held on Barbados.

First the positive aspects!

Great to see the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC) there in force allowing several smaller manufacturers and suppliers to have a presence. Likewise with the British High Commission and its trade development arm, to showcase new and exciting products, either currently not available here or increasing the competitive choice for our hospitality industry.

The networking and co-operation between the various exhibitors was outstanding and I personally never seem to be amazed at just how many of the same challenges we are experiencing, that can be shared, and often at least partially remedied.

It was also very encouraging to see and meet many of our distributors who made the effort to attend to see what new opportunities were on offer.

Now sadly the negatives!

We know from first hand experiences that mounting a show or exhibition as a first of its kind is extremely onerous, often simply from the basic ‘unknown’ components. What will drive meaningful attendance and how can we ensure that the exhibitors get a return on their investment, which in this particular case, was at a substantial cost?

Not just for the space alone, but all the other related expenses incurred with flights, hotel accommodation, local rentals and staffing costs for overseas exhibitors. While our local distributors were well represented, it defies logic that for remainder who couldn’t justify the participation costs, but still opted not to visit, despite free entry and the flexible opening times.

How on earth will they know what their competitors are doing?

Similarly, very few hoteliers and restaurant owners attended, despite the fact that it was an event that was specifically targeted towards them. Especially at a time like this when we are in peril as a destination of losing any competitive price advantage.

Recent additional tax hikes have resulted in even our most loyal repeat clientele considering other holiday choices where they can obtain better value-for-money.

Some may interpret this non-attendance as a form of arrogance and/or indifference by the tourism stakeholders to market sensibility and product quality, particularly when the event takes place in one of our quieter times.

Equally disappointing was the absence of the Small Business Association, Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association, both in terms of shared stand occupation and mention on their websites and social media platforms like Facebook of the event.

Likewise with the Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (BADMC) who seem to have missed this opportunity to highlight local offerings.

While there are costs involved for these trade associations, but we as a destination have to offset this against the hotel beds occupied, outside of the peak season, revenue generated for LESC, the many non-national exhibitors I personally spoke to who dined at several restaurants and the various transportation and other services patronized.

No investment was made by either of the state marketing or product entities to the best of my knowledge, other than a token $100 towards signage.

If we any hope of levelling accommodation occupancy and maintaining consistently high arrival numbers to become an attractive year round destination, these trade shows will play a critical part in ensuring that it happens.

54 thoughts on “The Adrian Loveridge Column – A Critique of the Carib Food and Hospitality Exhibition

  1. Well, there you have it Adrian ! As the elders say: ” Its a lazy horse who will not carry its own oats.” Throughout the “real” world trade shows are vital elements of business and net working. Try one in our country and what happens- none of the important folks show up !

  2. The longstanding objective of becoming a year-round destination has done a great deal of damage to tourism. June, July, and August are miserable months. The heat, humidity and torrential rainfall are disturbing and depressing to most tourists, accustomed as they are to drier, cooler climates.

    Do not invite tourists here in the hot season for the benefit of short-sighted hoteliers. That is like a woman going on a date without bathing for two days. Shows Barbados at its worst and kills interest in the island. Disappointed visitors spend the rest of their lives swearing off the Caribbean.

  3. Very interesting point Chad9… I never thought of it in this way but it makes tremendous sense. The first time I visited Antigua was during the summer and I am yet to erase the memory of how dry, barren and unappealing the landscape appeared. Never wanted to return.

  4. What on earth has a trade show for buyers and sellers to do with the heat of june/july/august months??

    Antigua is a low rainfall country and is dry and barren year ’round….of note is the comment unappealing landscape…..that came after closing down the sugar cane production in 1971……a lesson to the wise.

  5. Vincent Haynes is a loser.

    Adrian said: “If we any hope of levelling accommodation occupancy and maintaining consistently high arrival numbers to become an attractive year round destination, these trade shows will play a critical part in ensuring that it happens.”

    That reminded me that tourism industry professionals are forever trying to bring tourists from all over the world to Barbados during the hot season to “reduce seasonality”.

    So I made my comment about it. Entirely appropriate. If you are have trouble connecting things, VH, keep quiet.

    • @chad99999

      How do you explain the fact Crop Over was designed for the very reason you oppose and for returning nationals they have welcomed the opportunity to return in the summer time. What is your definition of tourist?

    • @chad99999

      How do you explain the fact Crop Over was designed for the very reason you oppose and for returning nationals they have welcomed the opportunity to return in the summer time. What is your definition of tourist?

  6. Decades ago the local suppliers had the hotels and restaurants tied up as far as products were concerned… would appear that nothing has changed.

  7. @ Vincent

    It may be better to leave Chad alone.
    He is brighter than you think….
    Don’t mind Bushie and go cussing him willy nilly –
    You ain’t got no whacker….!!!

    ha ha ha

  8. Bushie

    Chuckle…..Those inimitable words of Lopey shall guide me……”attack and I shall defend…..despite my age I fear no man”….usefull at our age which is close to his when we knew him.

  9. Crop Over tries to appeal to tourists from other Caribbean islands and West Indians in the Diaspora.Those populations do not account for the majority of tourists to Barbados.

    Most tourists are white people from Western countries or African-Americans. Most of these people recoil at the heat and humidity of the rainy season in Barbados.

    Trust me on this. I have heard many horror stories from pissed off tourists who made the mistake of visiting Barbados at the wrong time.

    • Why are the hotels reported at close or 100% occupancy? So too the car rental agencies? And forex levels reports a spike in the crop over months? You should redefine tourism.

  10. @ David
    What Chad is saying is that one tourist’s meat is another’s poison.

    It is one thing to be welcoming West Indians here during the summer – when hotel rates are nearer to sane and to an environment with which they are familiar.

    It is an altogether different experience for a lily white German who read a fairy tale brochure about an idyllic paradise where hurricanes, floods, sewerage overflows and horror traffic does not exists. Besides, even you must know of the shock experienced when exiting an aircraft at GAIA on a warm day after a period in albino-land…

    Marketing strategies should be guided accordingly.

    Of course, to Bushie, it is all prostitution, …but if yuh gonna run a “house of ill repute”, yuh gotta use common sense …. don’t do like Vincent and distribute flyers in church…

    ha ha ha

    • @Bush Tea

      Is that what Chad is trying to articulate!? Don’t agree with the reasoning. Tourism in the Barbados context read a mature market is suppose to be a diverse product. The crop over festival couters chad’s argument.

  11. These are the kinds of arguments that have brought the country to a stand still. How can any serious person argue that some months are too hot to promote tourism ? Pure garbage !!!

  12. Skinner

    Your statement is unsupported nonsense.

    What do you know about tourism from the perspective of the western tourist?

  13. Start wrong end wrong.

    …C45 is trying to segment the tourism market by distinguishing the ethnic origins of one as opposed to the other.

    …Adrian’s last para talks to all year tourism…..nothing about ethnic origins.

    ….note this post is about a trade show and the absence of many tourism shareholders

    ….that last para is a red herring and he should have left it out…..for the same reason why this convo is being side tracked.

    …..Bushie wha wrong wid le’ing go flyers inna church?

  14. Last year, after the Crop Over Festival, Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley told Barbadians the festival “was such a success that it was virtually impossible to find hired cars during the busiest period of the season” and encouraged car rental business owners to invest in more vehicles.

    However, owners of car rental companies said Lashley’s comments were not reflective of their business activities during the period. For example, according to an official of Keith Jones Car Rentals, their fleet of 56 cars remained mostly idle during the event.
    “And to prove his point, the official invited Barbados TODAY to photograph the large number of cars parked in the garage.” [Barbados Today: August 9, 2016]

    As it relates to the tourism, David’s comments re: “Tourism in the Barbados context read a mature market is supposed to be a diverse product.” However, the tourism officials seem to be relying on the industry’s past performances to pave the way for its future development.

    In March 2016, Professor of Economics at Colgate University, Jay Mandle, made some very interesting comments about the industry.

    Mandle explained: “The problem is that tourism’s success created a strong tendency towards Barbados’ total factor productivity dead end. Obviously it is not itself a high tech industry. But more importantly it limited the country’s productivity because it was not a source of personnel, who on the basis of their industrial experience could bring potential new industries to life.”

    He pointed out that the skills learned and utilized in the tourism industry were of limited use in new sectors of economic activity.

    “To make matters worse, tourism in Barbados is a mature industry. Its future growth will not replicate that of the past. With that being the case, the tourist industry will not be able in the future to fill the role of the leading sector in a growing Barbados economy like it did in the past,” he added.

    Chad99999 may have a point that should be analyzed and discussed further.

  15. It is absolutely true that Crop Over has made July one of the biggest months in the tourism calendar.

    But tourists from Canada, the UK and the US (excluding Caribbean nationals) strongly prefer the dry “winter” season experience.

  16. @ Chad99999 (who I thought was Dougie0

    I is an ole man and dese highfalluting subjects I really should keep way from

    But leh me ask a few questions

    when you doing your advertising for Christmas shopping does you wiat pun the ever of the 23rd and put ads in the newspapers?

    Next question.

    Where in the world is there a winter, or wintry like climates right today?

    De ole man was taught that, the way the world is shaped that, there are places right now that are experiencing winter.

    So Chad, from me illiterate standpoint, de ole man was further made to understand that “hot climes, where white peoples can come and manufacture tanned skinned, with melanoma, in two weeks” (like Trump and he painted skin) would be the part of the objective for marketing the cuntry to people with and objective of leaving dem winter countries and coming to ours in June July and August, (notwithstanding El Nino) am I right?

    While they may not be many, it may still be enought to keep the lil shops open whu you tink?.

  17. But Artax how can your post be associated with the merely provocative words offered by Chad45?

    You speak via those quotes about an accepted precept in marketing…life cycles. The professor in your quotes asserts a valid 101 thesis on our mature tourism market and its inherent issues.

    But coupled to that concept are the various innovations and modifications one attempts to refresh a product old in the tooth n essentially commodotized…Crop Over was such an ‘innovation/modification’.

    It originally did its job perfectly by attracting a different/new consumer to the product thereby generating revenues not normally expected and also extending the season year long.

    On its face therefore as others stated Chad’s remarks are illogical.

    The tourist leaders developed a strategy to find revenue during the dog-days of summer n hurricane season and here we have a wag dismissing the successful strategy as ineffectual because a certain type of tourist don’t come or don’ t appreciate this period….although so MANY others do.

    Or phrased nicely: “…life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get”

    …Undoubtedly any tourist enjoying the low-season chocolate variety of summer travel to Barbados knows what their box can offer.

    Chad makes ABSOLUTELY no logical sense with his screed.

  18. Dribbler

    I have no objection to tourism officials targeting their marketing appeals for Crop Over to Caribbean nationals and West Indians abroad.

    But their strategy is much more ambitious than that, particularly since the Rihanna phenomenon. They are marketing Crop Over globally, to all tourist segments, and that is what should be criticized.

  19. Piece

    If you don’t understand my argument, just live for 20 years in a cold climate, then make two quick trips to Barbados — one in January, and the other in August.

    You’ll feel the difference.

  20. Why is this C45 idiot persisting with his quible over the summer tourist and the winter tourist.

    Does he not realise that the summer tourist brings in more cash than the rich winter ones of the west coast who pre-book&pay overseas.

    As has been stated for a decade or two Bim has been able to attract the diaspora and neighbouring Pelaus for this period,who are tourists…..kudos to them.

  21. Chad45 I would refrain from Vincent’so words of love and affection @1:23…loll… but bro your 1:13 borders on mind numbing brain freeze talk for the sake of talking…..which is what I think your entire commentary is anyhow.

    You are suggesting that the CROP…..CANE CROP…OVRR spectacle that is a real indication of back breaking labor with all its associated historical, societal and physiological linkages should …just whimsically be changed to a cooler month to facilitate the white tourists.

    My brother go get a whiskey with your lunch…fah real. Steeeupse.

    I say again…on this point you make NO sense…..

  22. I seem to recall Grenada and other Roman Catholic Caribbean islands changing their Carnival celebrations from before-Lent to August, just to help out the Ministry of Tourism.

  23. VH is clueless

    The idea that the summer tourists bring in more money is demonstrably false, and I don’t know who created the myth that tourists who book overseas don’t make a contribution to foreign exchange reserves, or whatever. That is nonsense.

    The people making these claims should go back to school for remedial classwork.

  24. leave crop over alone and concentrate on getting chop over, people running around acting like jason is not good for tourism any time of year.

  25. dpD

    One tries to be kind but C45 can be trying at times… dogmatically stick on a non-point…..ah well takes all types to make this world.

  26. @ Loveridge

    I always got to mek a comment about your obvious disconnect with the average joe, i wonder why?

    You said and i quote “…Some may interpret this non-attendance as a form of arrogance and/or indifference by the tourism stakeholders to market sensibility and product quality, particularly when the event takes place in one of our quieter times…”

    Maybe the thing is that what you are interpreting as “arrogance” might just be

    (a) that has consistently been a waste of my fracking time since every year i have been there I have gotten zilch from that exercise

    (b) none of the real movers and shakers are going to be there so why bother

    (c) i simply do not have the time to go there because right now (i) my light bill about to be disconnected (ii) de bank looking to foreclose on my property (iii) i wasting my freaking time in these collective campaigns that Loverige love to talk bout all the time.

    Do a google search for accomodation in Barbados.

    What comes up in google?, Tripadvisor, and a whole set of expatriot rather international online booking providers none of which are Bajan and which do not have Barbadian investment NOR INTERESTS at heart.

    The point that Chad 45 could have extrapolated and made is that irrespective of whether these people come in blazing summer, winter, hurricane or cyclone the fact is that the online systems that are front and centre in the cycle of provisioning AND WHICH Loveridge went to pains to speak about in a previous bog ARE NOT OWNED OR CONTROLLED BY Loveridge nor the rest of the small hoteliers who are catching their collective asses.

    THey are not like Sandals with their inhouse platforms that harvest all of their sales BEFORE dem rapist get first dubs t the tourist market.

    And that is where Loveridge and the rest of them need to put some serious effort in those systems and SEO strategies instead of getting away to all these trade shows that he loves to talk bout afterwards when a feller jes cant mek it there.

  27. @ The Honourable Blogmaster

    What you have forgotten and what your big toenail has as chitin amounts to what this new IT expert that dem hire going present for the BTMI david.

    And you dun know that.

    Dem ent got one cent among demselves in IT intellect.

    You only mekking sport doah.

    Leh me tell you how a feller does get test for an IT job in Merica for a similar job?

    De job application will ask for a feller who knows perl, php, CSS and Java and all de rest.

    Youwrites in and say dat you know dese tings and you went to Harvard and all de rest.

    You come in and you interview


    First interview you employee does give you a test in all de shy*te dat you claim to know and if you pass den you gets part II but otherwise you through de edoes.

    NO Honourable Blogmaster, tell de ole man who bout heah at BTMI gine interview he scvunt?

    Steupseeeee, you is a real gallows bait doah heheheheheheheh, you know how to yank people chain good

  28. In future articles, I hope Adrian will directly address any feedback he has received from visitors about the heat and humidity of the period between June and August.

    Given all the complaints I’ve heard, especially from Canadians, about the unpleasantness of those months, it is shocking to me that people like David, Vincent Haynes, William Skinner and Dribbler are unconvinced by the unassailable advice I have offered, for free, in this forum.

    But then again, one of the reasons I don’t live in the Caribbean is that I know most West Indians are too pig-headed to learn much from anyone.

    • @chad99999

      Should the other islands in the Caribbean do as you have suggested as well? After all those islands represent the competition.

  29. C45

    Chuckle….ah duz realy gotta laugh at the straw man you put up,so like a jack russel dog you can shake it to oblivion……have fun.

  30. Look David, Chad can be a prick when he chooses. However there is no point in denying the obvious- he has a good point.

    One of the easiest paths to failure is to shout for “fish, fish” when you are really selling duck.

    Long term success in tourism (as in prostitution) comes from identifying your target market, understanding their needs, providing solutions to these needs, marketing your solutions, and then living up to your word again and again.

    Any idiot can photoshop some pictures and entice some victims to jump in, … for quick gain. …but the consequences will be severe and long-lasting – especially with the advent of Trip Adviser.

    Our wet season is hot, drenching wet, (especially for tourist mulling around in unknown places), muddy – when our roads become river valleys, and frustrating – when events get rained out, postponed, cancelled etc due to weather.

    Any short term gains we make by attracting UNSUITABLE tourist during such periods will be destroyed many time over when a few pissed-off ones get on to Trip Adviser.

    Summer could be marketed to Bajans abroad, other west Indians, and to those looking for a cut-rate visit on the understanding that it could be chaotic and adventurous…

    Wunna gotta be careful with Chad….
    He is MUCH brighter than he (deliberately) seeks to portray with his provocative posts…

  31. Bush tea are you Chad’s Brite-advisor…give me a break wid the marketing synopsis that has been analysed, revised and re analysed 100 different ways.

    What Chad is arguing is a NULL point which he chooses to recast as a new Einstein theory….

    WHO does NOT know low season, wet season rates are racked up for a freaking GOOD reason?

    What great advice is Chad-illusion dispensing that tourism planners have not considered and has not been on peer reviews at Priceline,Orbitz,Expedia etc all for the last 10 plus years?

    And how much more target marketting can one do than invite revellers and adventure spirited folks to a cavalcade of poetry in verse called calypso, special events and some historical tales wrapped into the heat of summer and call it Cross Over.

    You and Chad brightness can surely be spent extolling other troublesome issues rather than telling us that Bajan summers are hot and not an ideal tourist period.

    Good heaven’s bro but didn’t the prior years of 50% ando 60% discount rates on hotels rooms, hotel closures for renovations and all those market conditions long ago tell us that!

    Seriously, we are having THIS as the crux of a discourse in 2017…and passing it as ENLIGHTENED SMART chatter.

    Well brand me now fully enlightened by you two smart wags.

  32. Bushie

    Chuckle…..I was about to deal with you and this hot sweaty strawman erection of C45 and wonder of wonders ably supported by you……but dpD has stolen my thunder and consigned the strawman to the nether regions.

    Excellent point when last have you heard of hotels closing for summer as it was back in my day?

  33. chad99999 July 17, 2017 at 2:03 PM #

    “I seem to recall Grenada and other Roman Catholic Caribbean islands changing their Carnival celebrations from before-Lent to August, just to help out the Ministry of Tourism.”


    ……….. and St. Lucia changed their carnival celebrations from February to July to avoid it coinciding with Trinidad’s carnival and to attract more visitors.

    However, Crop Over (Harvest Home) was originated as a festival to celebrate the end of the sugar cane season and to mark the culmination of a successful sugar cane harvest.

    You must also bear in mind that the festival is distinctly unique from the carnival festivities in other Caribbean islands.

    Crop Over is not a tourist festival and for you to suggest it should be moved to April or October just to appease tourists is not only ludicrous, but defeats the main purpose of the festival.

  34. LOL @ Vincent
    This may well be a tree to high for you and the dribbly Bajan in North America..
    You know what happens when you climb too high? … something shows….

    Wunna must learn to try to LISTEN to what a fella is saying.. instead of focusing so much on WHO is saying it …and HOW they choose to say it…

    Bushie challenges anyone to interpret what dribbled out at 8:41 AM … cause the bushman sure as hell can’t…

    In response to your silly question about why it may not be wise to advertise a brothel among church people …. perhaps it is because you may be overwhelmed with demand…

    ….or perhaps you may find your establishment targeted for shutdown by the prudes of society. in any event, TARGETING your customers carefully – and then CUSTOMISING your product to meet their very specific needs is the genesis of success in our modern world.

    MercedesBenz DOES NOT seek to entice the Vincents of this world as customers – cause you would become a liability when you see the bill for basic repairs and maintenance…. next thing you on line pissing vex.
    They go after the Froons and Baloneys who have full access to the monies of brass bowl, and thus have no concerns about operational costs, jealous neighbours etc.

    All Chad is saying is to be CAREFUL not to push the sale of Summer conditions to visitors who are UNLIKELY to be able to deal with the consequences well….

    …any way…
    Chad don’t pay Bushie very well as his press secretary, …and besides Bushie’s ass is on go-slow in solidarity with the damn unions…… never mind Caswell…. 🙂

  35. The Crop Over festival, when compared to the carnivals in the other Caribbean islands is “rigid” and controlled too much by the police.

    Why can’t Bridgetown Market go from Saturday and end Monday night at 8pm?

    Stall owners have to pay the NCF exorbitant fee for stall spaces and patrons usually converge on the highway after 5pm when the outside is much cooler. The police shut down activities at 8pm, which mean the stall owners do not have adequate time to “make money.”

    During Vincy Mas, the activities in Kingstown go from Friday until Tuesday night at 8pm.

  36. Bushie

    Chuckle……yup…yuh def pun a go slow,as I cannot figure out what yuh saying de mind like it ain wukkin up to speed.

    When I was in the tourism business eons ago, summer was our down time,many of us closed,then we were able to expand the kadooment and attract the diaspora and friends also the neighbouring islanders…..hey presto no more down time.

    Note the diaspora and friends are annual return visitors who seem not to have a difficulty especially their northern friends with our climate.

    Ah can see why C45 not paying you….as you made a piss poor case on a NULL point as dpD calls it….that youngster is growing from strength to strength…..good brain.

  37. Chatter out of T&T:

    Prime Minister Gaston Browne has bluntly stated that the announced five-month temporary closure of the Sandals Grande Antiguan Resort & Spa is “an act of hostility” and a play for concessions.

    In an invited comment from the Dominican Republic, the prime minster last night told the state media, “It it is what I think it is; it is clearly an act of sabotage and I am saying that no investor should be able to treat our people in that way”.

    We cannot afford any more corrupt vanity mega project where billions are given away and the nation then pays a heavy price, bailing & subsidising companies like Petrotrin and CLICO/CLF etc.  Funny how the rich & powerful minority whine and moan about subsidies and help for the poor & vulnerable but are silent about billions to corporations, State companies etc. SANDALS is already a corrupt project, info hidden from the people, a company chosen by a Prime Minister with open procurement (that is not corruption?), and alleged give away of prime land and incentives. Alleged, because they hiding everything… so soon we will get this crap they are now having in Antigua where a country is held ransom and blackmailed for more concessions. Instead of treating Sandals like a modern day colonial massa, let us spend the hundreds of millions in developing the Tobago infrastructure, getting more direct flights to Tobago, creating a unique Tobago tourism product, a T&T tourism product, and upgrading existing hotels, B&B, inns, etc

    Understand what SANDALS is all about: another franchise operator, slightly different from the obscene Starbucks et al, who are all importing almost everything and exporting the profits, leaving a few crumbs for the locals; Sandals’s properties are enclaves in the host territory, parasites sucking the blood of the hosts, with very few opportunities for locals to participate in their money making mint, partly financed by the locals, like the $billion land give away and unknown incentives. And, they can close down or leave anytime, but if you develop your own with your own people involved and participating then these people and the country will reap the rewards and they are staying right here, sustainable, not running away, not blackmailing and threatening to extract more from the nation.  You people in government, don’t be naive and stupid, don’t be a puppet for massa, don’t let down the people of T&T, don’t be outsmarted by conmen leaving the poor people to clean up the sh!t afterwards.

    Union estimates Sandals closure will cost A&B millions

    July 18, 2017

    Prime Minister Gaston Browne has bluntly stated that the announced five-month temporary closure of the Sandals Grande Antiguan Resort & Spa is “an act of hostility” and a play for concessions.

    In an invited comment from the Dominican Republic, the prime minster last night told the state media, “It it is what I think it is; it is clearly an act of sabotage and I am saying that no investor should be able to treat our people in that way”.

    Over 700 employees of the top flight Dickenson Bay resort will be affected when it closes for the first time in 25 years. Many of them expressed “shock” at the temporary closure notice.

    “Caught with our pants down” said one worker, who has been employed with the company for over 18 years.

    “It’s a blow, we did not expect anything like this to happen, it will have a chain reaction on every household because we have a situation in that both breadwinners are working for the same company,” the woman said.

    Another female employee agreed that the closure would have a devastating impact on her colleagues. “When I think about my colleagues, for example, who have car loans; mortgages and so on, how is that going to work out?”the woman asked.

    The Antigua & Barbuda Workers Union (ABWU), announced at a press conference yesterday that the fivestar resort will close for up to 5 months effective September 20, 2017 for “essential maintenance works”.

    However, the nation’s leader had earlier told OBSERVER media, that the closure was not in any way linked to the Antigua & Barbuda Sales Tax (ABST) dispute.

    “That’s a settled issue. It was immoral for Sandals to hold on to trust money collected on behalf of the state. There is no way they could have justified that.”

    Browne said the hotel group recently requested a waiver in duties and taxes on food and beverages, but it was deferred “considering that the other hotels would have made similar demands resulting in the reduction in tax revenues”.

    The PM said it was explained to the Sandals officials that the government’s finances were in a very “precarious position” and it would plunge the government’s finances into a crisis if duties were waived on food and beverages.

    “We had a balanced budget for the past two years due to the increase in revenue and fiscal prudence. In the circumstances, we are likely to run a deficit and would have to borrow to fund the deficit,” Browne said.

    Meanwhile, Tourism Minister Asot Michael has refused to comment on the matter.

    However, callers to the Voice of the People radio programme complained bitterly about the closure indicating that it will be the workers who will feel the pinch.

    “My whole generation of the family works at Sandals and this man just got up and closed the property for five months. Somebody stop being blind and stupid, “one caller said.

    The callers also questioned the reason for the closure given that the resort will also be closed during the busy winter period.

    In a sideline interview after yesterday’s news conference, Chief Shop Steward Aulingston Nicholas said the news was shocking and came without prior warning.

    “I have been working with the company for 10 years as a Bar Supervisor and it is the first time we are really closing. I have always worked five weeks and occupancy has never been below 50 per cent,” Nicholas said.

    In a July 14 letter to the General Secretary of the ABWU David Massiah, the company’s Chief Operating Officer Shawn DaCosta indicated that Tourism Minister Asot Michael, along with Public Safety & Labour Minister Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin were formally advised by a letter dated July 13, 2017.

    In the letter, the company made the assurance that it would honour all its obligations to its workers. The letter also outlined that the company “recognised the importance of reopening as quickly as possible and will endeavour to do so”.

    During yesterday’s news conference, the ABWU General Secretary told reporters the union viewed the proposed closure as a blow to the national economy.

    “Our research indicates that the company’s payroll loss to our members would be in the region of US $3 million. Taxes to central government over US $615,000 and to various vendors who supply services to the company, over US $ 3.7 million,” Massiah said.

    (More in today’s Daily Observer)

  38. Interesting news out of Antigua, Mr Blogmaster. That alleged type of ransom is common by all corporations and the burden are on the gov’t technocrats and experts to be more astute at forestalling such actions.

    @BushTea July 18 at 10:07 AM …

    I had to ‘like’ your comments because as usual they are the epitome of the best of blogging hubris! LOL.

    Tussling with you and the other BU folks is an excellent brain exerciser (as Vincent alluded to) and it also shows CLEARLY why people like Fruendel and his team succeed: we, the many, are all creatures of dissembling, half-truths of ego stroking boastfulness, just like them!

    And you senor are a past master at that. Examine your retort…for a moment.

    Boldly you state: “ Wunna must learn to try to LISTEN to what a fella is saying.. instead of focusing so much on WHO is saying it …and HOW they choose to say it…”

    Read that TWICE. And then read what you said in the same amazing breath, just as boldly I presume: ”Bushie challenges anyone to interpret what dribbled out at 8:41 AM … cause the bushman sure as hell can’t…”.

    Surely not a contradiction, right! LOLLL.

    The Bajan “sale of Summer” accommodations is directly and specifically offered with special considerations…thus there is NO ONE tourist who can claim legitimately that they are unable “to deal with the consequences”.

    Wasn’t it Disney who invited guests to a resort in an alligator infested locale and who REFUSED to place warning signs around the resort’s wading pool because they did not want to alarm those guests….didn’t an alligator eat a child for dinner!

    Now, THAT is CONSEQUENCE no one can deal with!

    Which BTIC official or Bajan hotel owner invites guests HERE in the blistering summer heat and refuses to provide adequate warnings about weather conditions, possible crime, mosquitoes and all and sundry. NONE.

    We dismiss the trite Chaddian ARGUMENTS because they lack any viable current worth yet you claim that we are attacking the author himself…. Alas, YOU then proceed like the lurking alligator to attack us. Too amusing!

    You certainly can twist from pillar to post in a single breath-taking jaw-snap, can’t you. Or in good Bajan voice, the pot trying hard to call the kettle black. LOL.

  39. David

    Hmmm…..that would suggest a threat to whoever wishes to renegotiate any deals with Sandals……Let the Govt of Bim be warned.

  40. One final warning on this subject: Ideas that are popular are not always correct.

    Dribbler et al are unable to see the obvious.

    The tourist industry is based on many things: magical thinking, illusion, fashion, the desire of middle-class vacationers for novelty and adventure while staying safe, social status, etc.

    The selling of Barbados as a tropical paradise will be successful until it stops being successful. The island is a Third World country with poorly designed towns and villages, shoddy housing, narrow, cluttered, filthy streets and beaches, noisy, unreliable buses, annoying water shortages, etc. The contradictions between image and reality already create considerable cognitive dissonance in the minds of many tourists, if the academic studies are to be believed, so there is always the danger that if you push things too far, tourists will revolt, and put an end to their voluntary participation in The Game of Fantasy upon which the industry depends.

    You guys are pushing it. The popular idea that it is a win-win proposition to invite tourists to Barbados during the heat of June and July, and the tropical storms of August and September — provided you offer price discounts and remind your visitors of the special challenges they will face during the “off-season” — is playing with fire. There is only so much crap a visitor will put up with in order to have the satisfaction of boasting about his foreign vacation to the folks back home who can’t afford to travel.

    Mark my words.

  41. As if getting 40 years of concessions were not enough, now Stuart/Sandals is involving the real thieves, the crooks from Wall Street, cause he is not liquid enough and got big dreams.

    Just a matter of time before all his hotels are owned by wall street, these are not the sprats he swims with in Barbados, these are sharks…lol

    “Sandals would be smart to keep its stronghold in the Caribbean against increasingly bigger hotel companies that don’t specialize in all-inclusive resorts or the Caribbean region.

    Sandals Resorts International is looking to Wall Street to help finance as many as a dozen new Caribbean hotels as the luxury resort manager ditches its conservative strategy of building just one project per year and keeping debt right down.

    CEO Adam Stewart, who runs Sandals with his father, Gordon “Butch” Stewart, said the closely-held company is not for sale and has no immediate plans to go public, contrary to rumors. Instead, it’s looking beyond the regional Caribbean banks it has traditionally used, to fund the biggest expansion in its history.

    “We’re open to taking on more debt to build more than on hotel at a time. We want to build three or four hotels a year,” Stewart said in a telephone interview. “We are trying to look for bigger capital to grow. We know exactly what to do and how to do it. But up until now we’ve been restricted by the balance sheet of regional banks.”

    The company, which owns and operates 23 resorts across seven Caribbean islands, is in talks with Deutsche Bank and others to raise money as it weighs the new projects, including four hotels it plans to build next year, Stewart said. While he declined to say how much he is seeking to borrow, the company next year is spending about $375 million to build a 580-room Barbados hotel and around $500 million to construct a resort on the island of Tobago in the southern Caribbean.

    “We’re not looking at $200 million any more,” he said.”

  42. I notice in the paper that there is to be a sick out, last year was a go slow at the airport I am tired of being a pawn in your tourist trap whether its under reporting crime or under reporting seaweed I am tired of this . So when I come down next week I have decided to take a phraze right off the front page of the paper when dealing with the dilemma of how much to tip…..SORRY I AM CLOSED

  43. Lol….

    There goes any good service ya planned to get, of course ya can always go holiday in trumpland, it’s open for business 24/7.., and the west indian carnival labor day is 1st week in Sept.

  44. Labour day in canada was a chance for people to march for better working conditions unlike you celebrating thinking it was a day for pumping out kids w e have mothers day for that. Service in barbados is hit and miss and is not surprising since as you say all us white people look alike we canadians are probably mistaken for frugal brits. Trumpland ha you probably are ready to kiss his butt since he put cuba on hold

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