The Adrian Loveridge Column – Play Your Part, Place Your X

As you have probably noticed the name of this column is Tourism Matters and I make no apology for trying to fixate on this subject and desperately try to avoid what many consider the tribal pit of party politics.

Just days away from a delayed general election, which is the only chance for those entitled to vote, the opportunity to have any influence on how we are governed, I am still amazed that there has not been more constructive discussion on tourism by all the political wannabe’s and private sector leaders that have major interests and investment in the sector.

Despite those sceptics who frequently repeat ad nauseam that we cannot put all our eggs in one basket, they repeatedly do not offer any credible alternative to take us out of our current precarious financial state. If the published or announced arrival figures are even vaguely credible, even taking into account the reduced admitted average stay, this does not fully explain why there appears to be a fall in foreign exchange foreign.

We know that there has been a virtual explosion in alternative accommodation, with one of the largest OTA’s (online travel agencies) recently reporting a staggering 45 per cent growth in this form of lodging last year alone for Barbados.

Of course, as a destination, we do not actually know the full extent and number of rooms in this previously non-traditional type of accommodation offerings. Without the long awaited registration and licensing promised by successive administrations, we probably will never have an accurate room count.

And that means there is no effective method of calculating the fiscal benefit, both in terms of lodging rental or any taxes collected to the country.

Over decades many of us have called and vocally lobbied to have this worrying situation effectively dealt with, seemingly in vain. Initially, a self funding and regulating system could be simply implemented and only those who comply, would directly benefit from the tens of millions of taxpayers monies spent on destination promotion and marketing.

We are also currently walking a tightrope of protecting a destination reputation that has taken two generations to grow and build, but seem to be content to risk losing this iconic status by not invoking minimum standards of safety, health and accountability.

The other area of great concern to me is the perceived reluctance of our many financial institutions to lend to tourism projects at affordable interest rates. A recent full page print ‘ad’ offered 100 per cent mortgages at 3.40 per cent annual percentage rate. Try and get that for a tourism related business and certainly from our experience you will be met with an almost overwhelming demand for 4 or 5 times the loan required in guarantees.

Is a residential house really a lower risk, as against a growing business that will hopefully expand to provide jobs, taxes and generate local consumer demand?

There is a real timely need to look as our bankers spread, when they are currently paying miniscule deposit interest rates, while at the same time introducing regular higher charges for reduced levels of service.

While I would not dream of even attempting to influence who to vote for, I sincerely hope that those tens of thousands of disillusioned voters make the effort to place their X, as it is the only way we can play any part in the democratic system.

12 comments

  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    @ Mr Loveridge

    This is indeed the second of your articles where I have seen you enter into issues thst are topical and very important to what is going on in Barbados

    And to be truthful de ole man read it twice and noted that you made more than 6 points thst fell into the “other than tourism” ambit.

    And den de ole man had an epiphany.

    The “tightrope that you a white man in Barbados, one who comes from the very centre and scourge of institutional slavery, Englant, must walk.

    You have transplanted yourself and family to this country for 20 something nuff years.

    You have seen and lived the prejudice and overt racism thst is meted out to us niggers AND MAY HAVE BEEN AND CONTINUE TO BE ACCUSED OF BEING PART OF THAT CADRE OF EXPATRIATE

    You have put up your money and invested in the tourism plant and hired many of us nigger BAJANS over the years

    You have suffered first hand at the hands of successive nigger administrations over the years led by a host of dim witted Ministers and bvhkunts like Richard Sealy

    Yet here you are.

    IN a veritable conundrum where if you abstain from commenting ole menses like me will cuss you out for only being a parasite interested in tourismand if you comment about other topical issues A NEXT SET UH WE DOES SAY to mind you ole British backside and left bajan matters to we incompetent BAJANS

    I make no apology and say that I am one if the sceptics who believe that a mono economy tourism product must be disbanded

    But I would like to fool myself that I belong to a group who suggests alternatives simultaneously with voicing my scepticism

    Any and every visitor to Barbados should be issued a branded card that would

     Provide real-time time data entry of arrivals and departures for Immigration and other authorized parties – like the statistics department and the Tourism Marketing entities and hotels;

     Transient tracking of visitor spending and tourists’ experiences in the island – like Google maps does with your phone EVEN THOUGH IT IS OFF;
     A mechanism to facilitate an integrated visitor incentive programme – it ent rocket science Magna card or any credit card does do dat now ;
     An efficient real-time survey collection package;
     Information for the conduct of marketing research and planning of marketing strategies;

    Sadly Adrian Loveridge we nigger with whom you have contended in your tightrope perambulations these many years ARE NOT READY YET and continue to be “Hewers of Wood and Drawers of Water”

    Like

  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    @The Honourable Blogmaster your assistance please with another submission thank you

    Like

  • just my two cents . . . . .tourism is a ” kiss ass ” industry which means that the island of Barbados _ buhabdos _ BIM _ Little England _Lland of the Sea and Sun _ the Gem of the Caribbean will always be a “kiss ass “‘ island . . . . for tourists.

    Up to this very day bajans still think that tourists are all white people only.

    Like

  • Although I find the word ni**er , repulsive! It appears that some Bajans seem to think it is a term that is acceptable
    The writer, like it appears many Bajans, confuse the word service with servitude. I am a Canadian, when I go to a bar in Canada and order a drink, I do not think any less of the server , he or she is doing their job. The same applies when I visit Barbados. When I was working I served the public, that was my job. I certainly think that the public was better than I!
    Get over it !

    Like

  • @Adrian

    “perceived reluctance of our many financial institutions to lend to tourism projects”

    First it’s not precieved it’s real, as an investor my sole aim to to make money, not to promote any wise ass ideas.

    If a tourism product comes along and it’s promotion shows it has a reasonable outlook as being profitable I’ll invest, HOWEVER if government integrity and corruption are going to impact my profitability then I’m going to invest elsewhere.

    Investing is not ROCKET SCIENCE when your dealing with reputable organization, with Barbados it’s more like Russian Roulette.

    Like

  • Aren’t we positioned on the high side on the corruption index?

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  • @ David
    Aren’t we positioned on the high side on the corruption index?
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    The damn place is infested with crooks, scammers, con-men, bribe givers and takers, political whores, and Devil followers to the extent that is matched only by the level of incompetence and non-productivity that has become endemic in the God-forsaken place.

    You and this condescending language that you tend to adopt from time to time has now gone past funny..
    Spades should be appropriately labeled.

    Like

  • @David
    “Aren’t we positioned on the high side on the corruption index?”

    Apparently, what makes you thing this INDEX itself is not corrupt, BAD INDEXES are mascing corruption, their everywhere in Barbados.

    Buyer beware, reader run for cover.

    Like

  • @Wily

    The point the blogmaster attempted to make is that the index is managed by an external agency.

    Like

  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    @ The Honourable Blogmaster

    An old bajan saying is that “you cannot draw a straight line with a crooked stick”

    To understand the pertinence of that bajanism one would need to revert to the flawed process of determining the CPI

    “…The CPI is built by aggregating the opinions of a relatively small group of experts and business people in each country…”

    As such relates to the how such is accomplished and continues to be accomplished in Barbados they have consistently surveyed “the foxes that count the chickens” and those who are in perpetual fear of the powers that be.

    Say what you will about the government of the USA and its methods of intelligence gathering, The will make it their business to interview parties who fall outside these elite pooch suckers and in so dojng secure more valid assessments of the state of play which is critical for a valid CPI

    Like

  • @David

    “The point the blogmaster attempted to make is that the index is managed by an external agency.”

    You would do well to investigate the authenticity of the index and what is the credibility index of the organization.

    Like

  • Why don’t you enlighten the blog?

    Like

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