The Adrian Loveridge Column – Barbados is a Culinary Destination

Adrian Loveridge

Our tourism planners and policymakers have declared 2018 as ‘The Year of Culinary Experiences’ and without doubt, this presents an incredible opportunity to showcase across all markets our vast choices of eating options.

Over the next months substantial marketing and media attention will be given to promoting this concept and I urge all our range of dining establishments to wholeheartedly support these efforts, to reinforce the hard earned reputation Barbados has established, with an almost unparalleled choice of eateries, and often referred to as the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean.

Hopefully too, we can involve all the suppliers, distributors and wholesalers that currently supply our hospitality sector and will largely benefit from increased volume. And perhaps the banks and financial institutions will play their part by offering enhanced benefits for those frequenting the participating restaurants and paying by the various credit and debit card options.

Maybe a weekly dinner-for-two prize on offer, for those patrons selecting a particular method of payment!

Since the launch announcement at the last World Travel Market in London, we as a destination, have already received massive overseas media coverage of the year long event, including such diverse reportage as Viestra Magazine, eTurboNews, TravelPulse, The Star, TripAdvisor, Perth Caribbean Association, Toronto Star, Caribbean 360, Frankfurt (Germany) Live, Heart, Just Travel Deals, The Telegraph (UK), Trinidad Guardian, Twitter and Enroute, the Air Canada in-flight magazine.

This promotional value cannot be understated.

If it was paid-for advertising, the entire public and private tourism sector could not justify the cost.

Last month the Minister of Tourism for Jamaica stated that ‘an entrepreneurial training and coaching programme to assist local farmers to better understand the tourism industry, will be introduced in the first quarter of this year’. Adding ‘It is really about sensitizing farmers about the demand for tourism products that they can supply and also to use the applications (apps) that we are creating to access certain information that will connect them to buyers’.

According to the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, ‘We will be using food festivals as a strategic marketing tool to tap into the lucrative gastronomic tourism market’. And ‘to ensure that more of the earnings from the tourism industry are retained locally’.

I really hope that we can follow this example and finally dispel any widespread notion that ‘we’ are not all in this together with a common purpose and objective.

Personally, after five decades in tourism, I have absolutely no doubt that our cherished visitors want to sample more locally available products and produce and frankly it’s the only scenario that makes any ultimate economic sense.

Increased shipping costs and settlement charges together with recently imposed unbudgeted higher taxes makes this an imperative to find more locally available solutions, which is now even more critical to fiscal recovery.

We have come to that stage when the talking has to stop and the implementation takes place, before any further erosion of viability and sustainability disappears from one of our last remaining foreign currency and employment contributing sectors.

35 comments

  • I think visitors have been sampling locally made products and as of late lol and when I think of barbados I do think of gastro… I dont know if you have been reading trip adviser on the sewage debacle but there doesn’t seem to be much caring for the cherished tourists. If you want to protect your product you have to be diligent honest and swift to act, I have seen none of this. Every time I am going to leave the island a woman approaches me at the airport to fill out a questionnaire….what have the tourists been saying …..truthfully….or is this just another govt make work project. I am kind of pissed that my favorite roti place is right in the midst of this mess and that every time I want to eat out or get groceries I will have to get in my car and drive to another area so I will not be unusually worried about what I am feeding everyone. So lets get real.. have the advisories been lifted, do you still have to boil water on south coast has a anyone else complained of being ill… has anyone been fired Until you can get a grip on this mess your just trying to put lipstick on a pig.

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  • To be fair Barbados has a variety of eating establishments with the prospect in store of a delectable experience.

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  • Very accurate David but if you find a worm in one apple in a basket you cannot be faulted for having suspicion of the others. Like I said before 20 of us are coming down next month many first timers, staying on the south coast, and I honestly am hoping this will be sorted out. It will be hard to say dont drink the water,dont swim in the water dont get splashed by the water dont walk in the water after singing the islands praises for the last 35 years

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  • I fully agree with Lawson, the south coast sewage mess is a nightmare for the island and the incompetent government ministers, civil servants etc. should HUNG, death penalty still on the books.

    You can not go on promoting Barbados as a serious tourism destination with all this GARBAGE MANAGEMENT. Barbados has established where it wants to be with respect to being a competitive tourism destination and it’s at the bottom of the dust bin with the other dead cockroaches.

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  • While you view has credence no system is perfect as can be found anywhere.

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  • …. the south coast sewage mess is a nightmare for the island and the incompetent government ministers, civil servants etc. should HUNG, death penalty still on the books.

    Or at the very least charged and tried for criminal negligence.

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  • The manhole by Lanterns stopped weeping now gushing!

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  • thats the answer …dont look at me …that guy over there has a bigger mole on his face…really?? You would think you would be going crazy having these advisories lifted, but in typical bajan way I am reminded of the two guys in the rum shop one asking his buddy to get up and see if its raining outside, and the other said lets just send the dog out and see if he comes back in wet.

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  • Didn’t say that, not sure how you reached the conclusion.

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  • You have a platform, no free passes when it comes to the health of the island …personal,economic, or other wise make who is responsible accountable, someone should be fired if just for appearances sake, if I misunderstood what you meant by no perfect system can be found anywhere sorry

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  • millertheanunnaki

    @ David February 26, 2018 at 7:06 AM

    Sounds like the PM talking.

    Agree 100% with Lawson.

    Who is asking for perfection? What people expect from a high-cost destination like Barbados is the ‘satisfactory’ meeting of those expectations as sold to the visitors.

    But what do you expect from an administration which finds great comfort in blaming others (despite repeatedly ignored warnings) for turning a former highly regarded South coast locale -capable of rivaling any Mediterranean top spot and even surpassing many- into a cesspool of piss-poor sanitation.

    We are not talking about the invasion of the beaches by the Sargassum seaweed through Mother Nature’s actions.

    We are talking about manageable man-made problems like the garbage ‘beautifying’ pitiful Barbados where an administration can impose additional onerous taxes on the populace under the guise of buying garbage collection equipment and almost 2 years later the trucks appear to be just figments of the authorities’ imagination.

    Now how do you explain that to visitors to your “lovely well-kept” island paradise?

    Do you really feel that these people can fix the South coast sewerage situation even though they cannot even place a decent order for equipment to remove the tons of garbage and waste literally littering the entire country?

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  • Sewage, crime and the constant decline of Barbados in human and economic terms are constant topics amongst tourists from airport to the hotel and at beaches.

    I know many tourists being appalled that Barbadians cannot manage their once beautiful island and mismanaged it into a huge rubbis bin.

    Many fear for their investments (villas etc pp) and consider to relocate their assets to more island with better management.

    Indeed, the black elite and their white “donors” do not care about these facts.

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  • Adrian: It is nice to hear of all the mention of the culinary diversification one can find in the world press about Barbados. However, the mention of sewage and boiled water advisories will eradicate that from a potential tourist mind instantly and will replace it.Until the government takes positive steps to permanently eliminate the problem, tourism will suffer.
    On a personal note, I have been eating in an establishment in Lanterns Mall for the past 6 weeks and have suffered no ill effect. However, entering the mall is rather distasteful. I wish Barbados all the best in cleaning up this blight on Beautiful Barbados.

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  • “However, the mention of sewage and boiled water advisories will eradicate that from a potential tourist mind instantly and will replace it.Until the government takes positive steps to permanently eliminate the problem, tourism will suffer.”

    Well put!

    In the same way oil and water do not mix so too exquisite din(n)ing and sew(er)age.

    One is a delicious and invitingly input to fine living the other is the output that must be discreetly disposed of under the most sanitary methods with the least fanfare for partisan political grandstanding.
    Sewage flowing in the streets in a so-called high-end tourist destination is not (and should not be treated as) a temporary inconvenience found all over the world like the potholes on the Bajan roads but a seriously disastrous man-made event which can lead not only to the human death but also the wiping out of the country’s main source of vital foreign income.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Bernard Codrington

    The Miller grinding fine today. No littering today. Concur with submissions so far.

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  • Just like a driver can be charged by the traffic cops with “driving without due care and consideration”, when a situation warrants it a politician should be subject to a charge of “Prime Ministering without due care and consideration,”

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  • Have to agree with Miller

    For those of us that think the South Coast sewage mess is far removed from Tourism and a small local problem only. think again. Look at this Canadian advertisement from 9 years ago that was very popular and see how the Caribbean is being sold to many Canadians. Many years of this type of marketing has shaped their view. No small matter

    Coincidentally, I am not aware of any action that was taken by Caribbean destinations to refute this ad which casts negative perceptions on them…..9 years ago (with similar ads every year since)

    David, you and the BU blog have a very important role to play in not only facilitating the news but also positively shaping minds and elevating the level of thinking to change what passes for acceptable in Barbados. The NRA in the USA is feeling the impact of a social movement propagated by social media for the first time and it is powerful. We must be the change we seek and no longer leave it to politicians only to dictate our future.

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  • Oops…..previous video was actually not the correct link even though it is based on the ad I was referring to. Here is the correct link. The recording quality is not great but you can see how the Caribbean is being positioned

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  • Must commend Adrian for his unbridled and unwavering promotion of Barbados tourism.

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  • @Bajebroad

    Noted, the model we use is to encourage many to the blog to share their views.

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  • PoorPeacefulandPolitePensioner

    While not denying the health threats, the damage is done already and the best damage control is to stop focusing on it and perhaps highlighting some of the good in Barbados instead. We do have other excellent restaurants and eateries within reach. “FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE DO SOMETHING MORE THAN BITCHING TO HELP RESCUE YOUR ISLAND. FEED US THE FANTASTIC” (Comment added by a group of repeat tourists)

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  • millertheanunnaki

    @ PoorPeacefulandPolitePensioner February 26, 2018 at 4:38 PM

    Well PPPP, why not start the ball rolling?

    What do you think should be done, PRAGMATICALLY SPEAKING, to rescue poor pitiful Barbados other than to sweep the dust under the carpet or pour the gushing sewage in the GHS?

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  • The smell is awful on the South Coast.

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  • PPPP can you please say which ones are not under a boil water advisory, in the area where we will be staying I will be glad to frequent them next month.
    I remember going on a singles cruise and one of the stops was the dominican republic, the local bar was a brothel and some of the fellas took a chance and got a leg over. When we were back on board I was more than happy to tell the girls about the escapade, when the women in fear of catching something would ask who the guys were I would only say I will tell you who it wasnt….me.

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  • South coast residents say their health is under threat from mosquitoes and the sewage stench.

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  • Welcome back jocular Lawson…
    The serious Lawson was out today and I could not break a smile

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  • The smell is awful on the South Coast.

    Is it any wonder when you have a Niagara Falls of sh!te flowing in the street?

    https://plus.google.com/photos/photo/102163528790604335551/6526923935517541186

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  • Is this dangerous for cars? Do they start to rust? Oh gosh!

    It is a fact that the ruling black elite refused free help from patrons of Sandy Lane. Guess why. Donors don´t bribe like so-called local buzzinezzmen.

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  • SEWAGE

    A DEM stallwart who recently moved from the South Coast to St. Lucy goes to the doctor: “Doctor, I have a headache. Can you help me, please? The doctor gives him some medicine, but it does not work. The DEM goes to the second and third doctor. They fail as well. Then the DEM goes to a shaman who lives in one of these many caves. The shaman listens to his patient and tells him: “Plaster your walls with shit, then your pain is gone.” A week later, the DEM stallwart returns to the shaman and thanks him: “Oh Lord, it helped! My headache is gone. But why?” The shaman replies: “A typical case of homesickness!”

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  • @ Adrian

    A very good column. However, like everything else it is a case of better late than ever. Taxi men , beach vendors and hotel workers, have long promoted Bajan cuisine to the tourists. The greed of local hoteliers, did all in their power to dissuade tourist from frequenting small locally owned, mainly black establishments. There is a lot more I can say but in the interest of hoping for the best, I opt to leave it there. I can say as one who was intimately involved in a small tourist business, I heard with my own ears a white tourist guide telling tourists, who had asked about cou cou,our national dish, not to eat it ’cause it was mainly fed to dogs ! I am glad that necessity is the mother of invention because we now have no choice but to turn inward. The small black businesses were systematically squeezed out of the tourism opportunities.

    @ Bajeabroad
    “David, you and the BU blog have a very important role to play in not only facilitating the news but also positively shaping minds and elevating the level of thinking to change what passes for acceptable in Barbados. The NRA in the USA is feeling the impact of a social movement propagated by social media for the first time and it is powerful. We must be the change we seek and no longer leave it to politicians only to dictate our future.”

    I could not agree with you more ! At least one other has joined the much maligned Carl Moore, who made this exact point two years ago to BU and was cussed. David’s perennial excuse is no different from how PM Stuart handles the country. David has gotten into the habit of calling people Jack asses as soon as they question his positions. He is no different from the politicians he daily attacks. He has also bluntly refused to upbraid some characters on the blog , who should have no place in proper public discourse.

    Finally, this is one of the most interesting discussions, I have read about the sewage crisis. The government is to squarely blame for allowing the situation to reach such an embarrassing level. I understand the importance of tourism, and have made a bit of money from some related ventures but the government has really ignored the health of its own citizens, who live in the affected areas. I don’t keep my house clean for guests, I do so for my children.
    I would venture to suggest that in terms of tourism fall out, we will have probably lost about somewhere between $10 and$ 20 million USD in repeat business over the next five years. And that may be considered conservative by the real experts.

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  • Paros and taximen are up in arms,after finding out the govt has known about this sewage problem for years they feel they have been improperly maligned for the smells of urine floating around the streets when the the actual culprits are people using their toilets.

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  • Flush once if you want the status quo
    Flush twice if you want a change in govt.

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  • @ David who wrote ” How in heaven or earth can any of you sleep at night? ”

    How many of them live in the affected areas ?

    They all drive luxury vehicles and can block outside air when they drive through smelly shitty

    sewage.

    @ David who asked ” You mean none of you have any shame? ”

    The answer is…. OBVIOUSLY NOT!!!

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  • Nothing better than sitting in a “First clas” eating establishment enjoying the culinary fine fare, breathing through a resperator to reduce the sewage stench and look out side to see toilet paper chasing a turd into the ocean.

    My exact expectations of a fine tourist destination.

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