The Adrian Loveridge Column – ‘Third Parties’ Weak On Tourism

Over the years, I have made a conscious effort to try and avoid petty party politics, but the next election could well fundamentally change the existing governance status quo that many of us have grown contemptuous of.

Now with a choice of several other parties, all striving to become electoral aspirants, perhaps among the widespread disillusionment, there is a sufficient voter groundswell that could see these minority parties taking at least four or five seats in Parliament which could quite possibly eliminate any outright single party majority.

Would this, in itself help eliminate the current tribalism and lead to better Government?

I have been absolutely dumbfounded from a tourism perspective by the lack of public and media discussion by these new parties and the majority of their representatives about this critical sector and the way forward. Until any other part of the economy demonstrates any meaningful recovery, where are the ideas and tangible proposals that could convince us involved in tourism to vote for you?

I raised this point with one of the named candidates and she kindly pointed me in the direction of their website home page. While I personally found some of stated objectives a little vague, at least that party had made some attempt to voice their views.

Looking through the recently published list of candidate hopefuls, very few have any substantive proven record in tourism and that seriously concerns me. Up until the general election date is called, I would have hoped that the media could be more proactive in putting the various candidates together to discuss the very many concerns with the vested members of the public and private sector tourism players.

Certainly any serious investors would want to know what the various political groups have in mind, if they are going to commit any meaning funds. Tourism usually requires long term investment with some remote hope of ultimately securing a return. The many thousands of people directly or indirectly employed in tourism and those dependent on these wage earners also want to know, which party or political group will give them the best chance to remain employed.

So I call on those political ‘wannabes’, especially those with some experience in the industry to let us know what your priorities are and to articulate what you plan to do for tourism over the next five years?

I make the same plea to our sector leaders, shapers and shakers to ask questions now, so at least we have some idea how level the playing field is likely to be, should the administration be changed.

Will further taxpayer owned accommodation plant be sold off at far below market values?

Will future investors qualify for unique extraordinary tax concessions already granted to solitary operators?

What incentives will be put in place to stimulate domestic tourism?

These are serious questions that need to be asked and answered, way before we are asked to place a cross on any polling paper.

19 comments

  • Bernard Codrington

    @ Adrian Loveridge

    If the third parties have nothing in their publications ,obviously they have no policies/strategies for the tourism industry that differ from the established parties.
    Perhaps they have read the suggestions of the stakeholders and are not moved to include them.
    Alternatively ,they will release the policies closer to election time.

    Perhaps it is time to restructure/ diversify the economy ,which would imply diverting more resources to emerging industries.The tourism industry may be on a plateau or declining trajectory.

    Please factor these rambling thoughts into the equation.

    Like

  • millertheanunnaki

    “So I call on those political ‘wannabes’, especially those with some experience in the industry to let us know what your priorities are and to articulate what you plan to do for tourism over the next five years?”

    If they really want to be the new kids on the block of tourism movers and shakers they need to be prepared “to boldly go where no one has gone before” in marketing Barbados as a new-age medical tourism destination.

    What about ‘selling’ Barbados as the Eden of the Caribbean for medical tourism with the marijuana plant in its naturally-grown environment the herb for the healing of the body and for the relaxation of the troubled soul under that tree that grows right in the Josephine area of paradise.

    That should help mitigate the ongoing South coast sewerage fiasco which has left Barbados holding the shitty end of the tourism advertising stick.

    Why not suppress the fecal odour by a ‘burning’ whiff of incense infused with tropical perfumes from a blended variety of cannabis sativa made and rolled in Barbados?

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  • @Bernard

    There is a lot one can say about the tourism business. Surely the type of concessions, the leakage of foreign exchange, the abuse of work permits, the efficient integration of local agriculture products, tax structure etc.

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  • Bernard Codrington

    @ David at 2:29 PM

    Precisely the point. If they do not have a strategy for tourism, what else do they not have strategies and policies for?

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  • @Bernard

    A reasonable observation, the challenge for these third parties is that they cannot afford to rock the boat and on the flipside they need to be disruptive in their policies to appeal to the independent voter. No win?

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  • Millertheannunaki, I agree with most of your comments. There are many implications regarding marijuana which could be addressed more indepth. In terms of medical tourisim, i was thinking in terms of reputable medical school(s) that could provide tangible and intangible benefits to the health care system as well as economic benefits beyond employment. Just visited Costa Rica and they have capitalized on eco tourism which accounts for more than 70% of their toursim business. But of course, we have demolished our argricultural land, built houses that many cant afford and have not diversified what we have left. Where there is no vision, the people perish.

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  • Bernard Codrington

    Jean at 2:44 PM

    We have to play the hand that God/ Nature bequeathed to us. We have and are doing quite well with the Sun,Sea and Sand. We need to protect these but seek out other industries in a diversification strategy.
    We must also ensure that the disbenefits of tourism do not exceed the benefits. Are the externalities of tourism being correctly costed? For example would we have needed a south coast sewage system? Did the growth of tourism on the south coast contribute yo the overload? Is the whole of Barbados to pay for this? Should tax concessions be given or taxes imposed? When Barbadians travel abroad and stay at hotels they pay hotel taxes.

    There are no free lunches every economic activity has intangible and indirect costs which are ignoed at the taxpayers peril

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  • Bernard Codrington

    That should read “ignored at the taxpayers peril”.

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  • millertheanunnaki

    @ jean February 5, 2018 at 4:44 PM #
    “Millertheannunaki, I agree with most of your comments. There are many implications regarding marijuana which could be addressed more indepth. In terms of medical tourisim..”

    Just trying to think (to use a cliché) out of the trite box full of banalities on how to move the Bajan tourism product forward to reflect modern realities.

    Medical tourism, like sports tourism, has been bandied about by the powers-that-be for the last 20 and more years. The old St. Joseph hospital was earmarked as the springboard for that niche tourism market.

    Don’t you think it’s time that the spoilt and protective child grow up and earn its keep in this brave new tourism world of niche marketing like Costa Rico on of the environmentally healthiest places on God’s green Earth?

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  • “could see these minority parties taking at least four or five seats in Parliament”….then their tourism policies are irrelevant….not forming a government. And we know the D and B will produce manifestos containing so much, accomplishing 2% will be a challenge.
    The patient Barbados is well beyond an ‘annual check-up’. It is hemorrhaging both internally and externally, with a multitude of broken and non-functioning parts. The best thing any future government can do is to stabilize the economy, and mend the broken. This will benefit all. Including tourism.

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  • Bernard Codrington

    @ Miller at 5:35 PM

    On the ball again. There is no way that the tourism industry, at this stage, can be described as an infant industry requiring the high level of subsidies that it is getting. We made that mistake with the sugar industry and we are in danger of repeating it with tourism.

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  • Theophilius Gazerts 263

    Nominate this guy for something.
    If more Bajans as dedicated to our fields as this man is to his, the island would be firing on all cylinders

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  • LOL Theo whats surprising is usually if you see a white guy banging his head against a wall talking what most people with no clue, consider gibberish he has a better chance to be sent to black rock that nominated for something.

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  • Hi Adrian:

    I trust that you will read this. Please note that our policies will benefit all industries, including the Tourism industry.

    Managing all government services in accordance with the highest international customer-focused standard (ISO 9001) will result in satisfactory tourist experiences, eg: airport (immigration, customs, red-cap and taxi), infrastructure (roads, water, natural gas and sewerage systems), sanitation (garbage), security (police), NCC (beaches), etc – essentially most aspects of a tourist’s experience.

    Reducing and simplifying taxes should reduce the input costs of the tourism accommodation properties and restaurants, which would allow them to offer more competitive rates.

    Effectively addressing corruption means that you will not have to overpay for the increased cost of goods and services.

    Best regards,
    Grenville

    Liked by 1 person

  • JEAN

    RE i was thinking in terms of reputable medical school(s) that could provide tangible and intangible benefits to the health care system as well as economic benefits beyond employment.

    CAN YOU EXPAND ON THIS?

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  • Thank you Grenville and noted.

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  • @ Mr Loveridge,

    Dear Sir,

    Can you kindly advise which party or candidate it is you might be referring to?… as Solutions Barbados has referred to improving the Barbados tourism product & client experience and the candidate Julie Chaulbaud has spoken about the “tourism product” in November@ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6PR0nH9RBw

    P.S regarding the comparison of the 3rd parties, I would remind you to review that the current opposition BLP is fielding a line up of approximately more than half new candidates. Also to my knowledge many of the candidates in SB have a mixture of local and intl. business experience, varied investment interest in hospitality service businesses, academic experience (including graduate and postgraduate research on tourism product), as well as significant career experience in tourism industry services from hotel dept. management, airport & seaport passenger operations.

    Regards,

    Fallon Best
    Candidate For The City of Bridgetown
    Solutions Barbados

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  • Thank you Mr. Best. First time I have seen the video but sadly almost inaudible due to low volume. I think that those of us who have spent a lifetime in tourism (since 1966) should not have to search out information which may effect who we vote for. I would love to be able to listen to your candidates contribution on tourism but need it to be louder.

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  • Talking Loud Saying Nothing

    Meanwhile in the real world Stuart continues to demean his role as Prime Minister of Barbados.

    “PM says ‘thank you’
    Stuart fetes repeat visitors”

    “Prime Minister Freundel Stuart took time Wednesday evening to say “thank you” to some of the visitors who have invested heavily in Barbados by returning to the country several times yearly.

    He expressed Government’s gratitude during the second Repeat Visitors’ Reception for 2018 at Ilaro Court, at which four persons who visited the island over 295 times were singled out and saluted.

    They were United Kingdom national Richard Gardiner, who was on his 100th visit; Teresa Joy-Gallant, who visited 80 times; Patti Austin, who chalked up 75 visits; and former BBC journalist/author and sailor Jimmy Cornell, who came over 40 times.

    “Your coming here is an affirmation of your confidence in our country . . . and it would be churlish if I did not say thanks to you for the confidence you continue to show in our country,” the Prime Minister told the gathering.

    Stating that people were experiencing very challenging times all across the western world, he said it was necessary for them to carve out for themselves a haven.

    “Barbados provides that little oasis to which you can repair when life gets a little difficult,” he suggested.

    Stuart said that as early as the 17th century, Barbados was described as a welcoming society and it had continued in that historical tradition, even building on it.

    “We are satisfied that our building [on that tradition] has not been in vain because with every passing year, we are able to attract more and more people to this country,” he stressed.”

    Source: (BGIS)

    Like

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