The Adrian Loveridge Column – Tourism is the Only Game in Town

I wonder if our tourism policymakers and planners are any closer to having an accurate idea of exactly what rentable accommodation we have on Barbados?

Almost daily, we received requests for re-DISCOVER lunch vouchers from addresses and particular named properties, that even after four decades being involved in the local tourism industry, I have never heard of.

To me, it is very difficult to effectively promote a product, when you have no accurate idea of, in this particular case, what our overall accommodation offerings is comprised.

A similar scenario would be rather like operating a supermarket, but you are unaware of which goods are displayed on the shelves.

Discussion has taken place for years over regulating and licensing our various lodging choices, but we do not seem to be any closer into making this a practical reality.

It also must be a potential or actual minefield for our visitors, especially those perhaps looking for improved or perceived better value-for-money than offered, by what have previous be deemed our more traditional accommodation offerings.

As a matter of course, any voucher request received that doesn’t ring a bell, in terms of location and/or name, we automatically undertake a GOOGLE search and most times it is an eye-opener to see the enormous range of accommodation types and prices available.

A recent example was a three bedroom, three bathroom villa located just a five minute walk from a west coast beach at GB Pounds 121 a night or around BDS$ 320. A family of six or friends, sharing the cost would be paying just GB Pounds 20 per person nightly or around BDS$ 50.

Where comparing this with one of our source markets, it would in most cases, cost less that you would pay pro-rata shared room stay in a budget chain of hotels in England, like Travelodge or Premier Inns.

Are we, as a destination, missing an opportunity here, which could help drive additional airlift by ensuring we are fully aware of all available options?

Changing the subject, in this publication last week, the current chairman of the Tourism Development Corporation (TDC), Martin Ince, once again called for Government to re-instate the enhanced tax concessions previously granted to corporate tax paying members of that organisation to underpin tourism initiatives. I would like to fully endorse his repeated call, as from personal experience over decades trying to grow fledgling concepts into meaningful sustainable marketing successes, their contribution and support has often made the workable difference.

While it is abundantly obvious that the administration is under considerable and mounting fiscal pressure, in this particular case the rather crude saying ‘cutting off your nose to spite your face’ comes to mind.

Just look at the many projects that the TDC have supported over the years. Very few have failed, or not at least generated the investment made.

That certainly is not an honest claim which could be made by the public sector, regardless of which party was in power.

As I have repeated before, tourism is currently the only game in town and as we enter the absolutely critical winter season, we surely should be fine- tuning the sector that has any credible hope of delivering us from what otherwise could be economic chaos.

9 comments

  • Was or is there a town hall at Heywoods to discuss changes Sandals is proposing to alter the beach?

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  • The Hilton now being reported to be sold for 80 million? This is after many agree that the 100 million was less than fair market value?

    Why?

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  • I don’t think you will find any hotelier that values the Hilton at BDS $451,000 per room, bearing in mind its location potential, area of beach front and the positioning of a world class conference centre. IF it is sold at BDS $160 million, then clearly this is a fire sale rather like Blue Horizon.

    Liked by 1 person

  • millertheanunnaki

    @ David December 13, 2017 at 5:45 AM
    “The Hilton now being reported to be sold for 80 million? This is after many agree that the 100 million was less than fair market value?”

    Why? Because the forex situation is that desperate.

    In order to stave off the looming spectre of Devaluation arriving before the elections, this administration would sell the ‘lying’ bones of David Thompson ‘back to’ the devil or even EWB’s watery ashes if they could work a miracle of ‘reading-up’ the dead.

    What should be of major concern especially to the Opposition is if ‘Finder’s Fees’ were involved in this transaction and who got how much.

    That is what Mia and any journalistic sleuths worth their ‘salt’ should be following as a stinking trail and not only that of the off-putting stench on the South Coast which will definitely put more than a spoke in the remaining wheel the only one left on the economic cart to which the one-trick pony called Tourism is harnessed.

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  • @Miller

    Dont we have a few houses on the West Coast valued at 70 million plus and we are fine with selling a hotel of the newness of Hilton for 80 million? Did we not dispose of our national bank to rebuild the Hilton?

    >

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  • @ David
    Did we not dispose of our national bank to rebuild the Hilton?
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    A country full of of fools, and their money are soon parted,
    and their donkeys downgraded to junk…
    while the walk, drive and eat in sewerage.

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  • Miller first thing that crossed my mind ..who got finder fee.
    BT dlp…blp….its like trying to pick what is good or bad stuff that has made its way into the sewer on the south coast.
    Its funny when anything is sold on the island it is always worth more but by the number of for sale signs that have been in place for years that more payer never seems to arrive on the island. Lets get real if there is no money in the kitty how will the dlp severance and pension payments be made.

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  • As the young people’s lingo, the tarmac at the GAIA this evening was burst.

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