The Adrian Loveridge Column – Tourist Arrivals UP, Garbage Collection DOWN
I have now held a full driving licence for fifty years and I still graphically recall the words of my instructor during the last lessons leading up to taking the test. He stated that the very best drivers look the farthest up the road to calculate any potential dangers or challenges to avoid last second decisions which could have disastrous consequences.
It’s really no different for our tourism planners and policymakers and it becomes an essential prerequisite if you have any hope of maximising the effective use of any marketing budgets.
In a recent report commissioned by the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) unveiled 12 destinations to watch in 2018 as ‘part of their latest travel trends’. The destinations were chosen for a variety of reasons including offering a unique travel experience or are hosting a special event this year, ‘while some are now more easily accessible for British tourists’.
They are in alphabetical order:
Argentina; Arizona; British Columbia; Germany; Malta; Montenegro; Nepal; New Zealand; Rwanda; St. Lucia; Sweden and finally Turkey.
ABTA’s report also ‘picked up on a taste for alternative destinations, partly due to concerns about ‘over tourism’.
For me, two things stand out. First that only one Caribbean destination is mentioned and secondly that some countries listed are not necessarily low cost choices.
ABTA’s research concluded that in 2018, ‘27 per cent of holidaymakers are planning to visit a country they’re never been to before and 32 per cent are expecting to visit a resort or city’.
Adding, ‘value for money and increased awareness of responsible tourism are also set to shape holiday choices’.
ABTA’s chief executive Mark Tanzer stated ‘Popular TV programmes like Blue Planet II have put sustainability issues firmly in the spotlight, increasing awareness of the impact that larger numbers of visitors can have on some of the world’s most popular destinations’.
Adding ‘We expect these factors to inform people’s choices about where and how they holiday next year’, meaning 2018.
Certainly any visitors staying at our various accommodation offerings in the Inch Marlow area over the entire Christmas period would certainly have seriously doubted that Barbados has a sustainable and responsible tourism policy, when they were confronted by ‘mountains’ of uncollected garbage.
Rotting food attracting swarms of breeding flies, rats, stray dogs and fowl with strong winds dissipating waste over a huge area.
Of course, it would be easy to blame the residents, but frankly they often have no idea which day or even, if, there will be a collection during any particular week.
Can other non-tourism related Government Ministries and departments not understand the images of this discriminate waste creates in our visitors eyes, hugely overshadowing the blue skies and seas, the sunny weather and memories of their human interaction with locals?
As a business, we do not get any state garbage collection. We recycle everything possible and pay for a skip to be emptied regularly.
After the poorly thought-out Municipal Solid Waste Tax was abolished, the administration simply added (in our case $8,600) to our land tax bill annually, inflicting yet another unbudgeted financial burden to try and absorb, for absolutely no service provided.