The Adrian Loveridge Column – Minister Symmonds Press Conference Triggers Alarm

Having watched the recent interview with the new Minister of Tourism and International Transport in its entirety, where he concluded that our cruise sector is in ‘a state of deep crisis’, frankly I was quite shocked.

Like many of us who have substantially invested in land-based tourism, we are left with the overwhelming opinion that our cruise competitors continue to contribute a disproportional miniscule amount to promoting Barbados and upgrading the destinations physical appearance.

According to published data, in 2017 the port processed a total of 818,752 cruise ship passengers, of which included 33.5 per cent (222,322) came from the United Kingdom, 28.4 per cent (188,970) from the United States and 12.8 per cent (85,209) from Canada.

Of the overall total, 137,541 stayed overnight, prior or post voyage, presumably in a mixture of accommodation options.

The Minister emphasised the need to upgrade and enlarge both the port and airport if we have any hope of attracting the new larger ships including the Oasis Class vessels which can accommodate over 6,000 passengers plus crew. Industry experts state that 97 new ships are being launched between 2017 and 2026, many of which will have greater capacity than currently in service.

If this is within stated Government’s plan, then where are the funds to ensure this happens, going to be found?

In real terms, our cruise sector already avoids (or even evades) the massive taxes and recently imposed unbudgeted operating costs forced onto our land based tourism providers.

For instance, will the cruise ship companies be obliged to pay the 50 per cent increase in water supplies? And, again, I repeat, will at least those 137,541 stay-over passengers be charged the new US$70 secondary airport tax (Airline Travel and Tourism Development Fee)?

Surely these are not unreasonable questions, so why is the administration reluctant to clearly enunciate the answers?

Hopefully, the newly convened 15 member National Cruise Development Commission will address these and other issues and help to identify and implement creative ways to significantly increase average cruise passenger spend per visit, taking it much closer to the typical spend in other neighbouring Caribbean islands.

Of course no-one should forget that it is in the own cruise operators interest to entice maximum spend on-board and when you consider their access to global sourcing and bulk buying, it is almost folly to think that our land based retailers could compete on anything approaching a level playing field.

So we have to offer, and ensure, that every passenger knows of unique experiences available onshore, if there is any reasonable chance of enticing more of the ships and into Bridgetown and beyond.

Sadly I believe that successive Governments have failed to transform Bridgetown into an attractive capital despite its incredible close proximity to the port. Likewise, the same could be said of Pelican Craft Village, where for decades the tenants have been complaining about the poor marketing of the facility.

And despite the rise in cruise passengers arrivals, albeit with a negative increase in spending, opportunities like the area around the Marshall Hall building have been squandered, when with private/public section co-operation, this could have been transformed into a potential goldmine, incorporating a waterside restaurant ‘village’ similar to Marigot in French Saint Martin.

We live in hope!

41 comments

  • Robert MacDonald

    Adrian: Barbados is usually not the first or second stop on most Caribbean cruise itineraries. Subsequently, the passenger has made some purchases, and what distinguishes Barbados crafts from any of the other Islands. I arrived last year on a cruise, no taxis, all that was available were shared vans. Pelican Village needs a complimentary shuttle service, first-time visitors do not like walking off the port property. Carnival, I suppose for marketing reasons prices the same cruise originating in SJU less than BGI. I am not sure how long Aida cruise lines passengers actually spend in Barbados.
    On another note, overcrowding at Grantley Adams could easily be resolved by the adjustment of airline schedules. This may require some concessions to the airline but am sure it could be achieved. I hope the Tourist Authority has success in resolving its problems. Thanks for keep us informed

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  • For those interested Adrian participated in a panel discussion on VOB yesterday (19 Aug 2018).

    http://vob929.com/downtobrasstacks/#1491496691682-8912218a-f361

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  • Ok if Symmonds see a problem that needs to be attended .instead of placing blame to take a responsibilty off his shoulders . He needs to get up off his fat a.ss and find solutions instead of belly aching
    His responsibilty requires solving any issues left undone by past govt
    This PR conference nonsense is getting to the point of asking if the blp ministers has any plans to improve what ever sector they are assigned or if these ministers have arrived at a comfort zone where placing blame is easier than finding solutions
    Enough of the sh.itt talk about what was not done and start talking about having solutions
    Right now the tourist are being asked to bear some of barbados economic problems with draconian methods
    Yet there goes the ack.a.ss symmonds running cover using blame to cover his a.ss
    A.hole get to work and do the job you were elected and paidto do
    Afterall with all the big increase you should be working harder instead of moaning and groaning about woulda and shoulda which means nada

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  • This is the same argument you used about debt your party inherited?

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  • David you did not see govt ministers on a twenty four hour naeuseating PR cycle constantly regurgitating the same ole same ole
    As a matter of fact the govt took plenty licks even when it became involved in resolving issues in the tourist sector
    This new form of governance campagain PR strategy style has more poop than substance
    Now after talking all to death the question still remains is if Symmonds has any plans in mind to solve the problems
    I dare say not as he has already have people running down a rabbit hole

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  • @ac

    At some point you will appreciate that a leader/leadership is only able to achieve anything by working through others. The fact the former government rolled out policies without getting the traction means they failed to exercise the leadership required. One of the basic characteristics of leadership therefore is being able to communicate the plan to others in a way that resonates. This is the PR business to which you referred.

    Time will tell if the BLP breaks the cycle the duopoly has established in the last 40 years. There is that number again William!

    >

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  • Btw David i am still waiting to read an article on the The Worthing beach situation wherby govt is emptying the pollutants from the sewer into the sea
    As far as i know bacteria can travell through air or by water and can multiply rapidly under the right conditions and cannot be determined by simple testing iwhere and how it will be deposited to other sections of the ocean
    Since this emptying of the swamp into the ocean has been going on for more than one month with no end in sight it is imperative that a watchful and careful eye be given on govt involvement and the long term negatives effect it can present to the tourist industry when word gets out to relevant sources in the international community

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  • @ac

    It has been going on for more than a month. It was happening seine the breech which reaches back to your government. What they have done is to remove it from the street.

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  • All i would say to your comment is that leadership without substance and problem solving cannot be replaced by a drumbeat of PR strategy
    Also this need for you to be referring to me as ac is silly

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  • Time will tell ac.

    The citizenry has to do what a vibrant democracy encourages; be coherent advocates by participating in the avenues available.

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  • Good grief
    Removing from the street and dumping the sewage in the ocean
    I guess that was govt secret plan for fixing
    So now that all and sundry knows that govt has resorted to past govt plan of pumping sewage in the ocean
    It should be clearly stated by govt as a retraction of lying to the people about having a plan to fix the sewer …that govt does not have a plan on resolving the problem However will continue as necessary to spread bacteria through out the ocean as a means to an end.

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  • @ac

    The sewage was always pumped in the ocean. The plan to use the injection wells was the plan continued from the last government. What has changed if you follow the issue closely is that they have detected many breaches in the line and it has delayed what they had projected was a ‘quick’ fix to stabilize the plant.

    Do you understand?

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  • @ David
    To be quite honest ac does have a point about these new BLP ministers.
    This business of jumping on TV trying to establish that the DLP did real shiite is not helpful UNLESS some kind of decisive CORRECTIVE actions are immediately initiated.

    What seems to be happening is that these ministers are jumping up to establish how bad things are (as if we did not know) in order to cover their own donkeys.
    They continue to keep the SAME management that worked with, and supported the DLP, in place.
    They continue to appoint clueless boards to oversee these entities – with ZERO new vision – the same friends and family arrangement that we always had.
    They continue to read the same PR shiite drafted by the SAME public servants who drafted the DLP PR shiite …. only the villains have been changed to protect the elected.
    …and they continue to spend state funds to protect their political interests – by having many ministers, parliamentary secretaries, consultants etc

    It REALLY is time that some corrective ACTIONS (including transparent investigations of past infelicities …which is the ONLY REAL sign of commitment to future fidelity) and a clear vision for the future that is BIGGER than the usual begging for FOREX to keep on doing what has failed us now for 30 years straight…

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  • @Bush Tea

    Do not disagree with you and BU pages recorded the recruitment of Halliday, a man whose resume is about selling mobile phones in Trinidad and working at a bank in a young career.

    Clearly they are trying to rehabilitate the image of the BWA to satisfy political expediency as well as bring the rank and file staff along. At the crux of the matter is that they have found out on attaining office that the solution is a messy business. One wonders to what extent the people through the government can hold former board memyand senior management accountable for the shyte that has occurred here.

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  • Robert MacDonald

    As usual, we are back complaining about the politics. Do you think that the most of these politicians are that smart? In most cases, they know as much or less than the well-informed electorate. Instead of spending an inordinate time complaining, let us hear your solutions. Who knows they might be put to use?

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  • Are you not following the discussion? The solution is firmly rooted in holding transgressors accountable.

    Liked by 1 person

  • David you keep repeating the same ole politics of blame
    On May 24th may i repeat and remind you that the people voted for CHANGE
    No excuses or blame was part of the mandate

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  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    @ Adrian Loveridge

    I try to avoid your articles because I VERILY believe that your model of tourism investment is a clever extension of the plantocracy fashioned for 2018

    however I have to remark on your quote “..For instance, will the cruise ship companies be obliged to pay the 50 per cent increase in water supplies? And, again, I repeat, will at least those 137,541 stay-over passengers be charged the new US$70 secondary airport tax (Airline Travel and Tourism Development Fee)?

    Surely these are not unreasonable questions, so why is the administration reluctant to clearly enunciate the answers? … ”

    It will become increasingly apparent that this government, while not as predominantly stupid as its predecessors, is both Orwellian and bent on teifing as much or more from get go.

    It is therefore in its interest to keep these details quiet if it permits them to hide away and negotiate kick backs with the cruise liners for a percentage of the 50% increase in water or an annual fee paid in US dollars to a US account for every passenger who does not pay the $75 increase in the departure tax.

    And to answer Mr McDonald about a suggestion to solve the problem

    All of you hotel owners need to band together and pay $15/month for a website that lists all of your issues, the time the issue was raised with the name of the minister and the current status.

    Have the site SEO optimized so that any search for Barbados hotels brings up your problems high up in the list of search results SHOWING THE MINISTER’S NAME AND HIS PICTURE

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  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    @the Honourable Blogmaster your assistance please with a recent item for Loveridge and McDonald

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  • And btw why would the present govt resort to past govt strategy of placing blame
    Where is their own orginality
    Seems to me that if present govt when in opposition found past govt placing blame as disgusting
    One would think the thought of resorting to the blame game would be avoided at all cost by them

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  • sirfuzzy (i was a sheep some years ago; not a sheep anymore)

    David August 20, 2018 9:57 AM

    I disagree with you on that point. Robert MacDonald is correct IMHO. Fix the sinking sink; correct the course so that we miss the reefs etc. That is where our energies should be first directed. Once the ship is supposedly(not a PR stunt) more stable; erect or construct the plank for those who genuinely did wrong; please don’t make it political( but that is hard for a politician). And please let true justice reign make all that did wrong walk the plank not just your enemies so to speak. The crowd chose Barbabas when they should have chosen Jesus to live. We often choose the wrong path when given clear finite choices. Dont be complicit and given into into crowd hysteria. Do the right thing and history and even the present will show u to be a wise and honourable leader.

    Remember the old adage; “there is a time and place for everything”.

    We can only hope. Just asking?

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  • Sure sirFuzzy, we cannot walk and chew gum? If flawed governance model is not fixed what will (re)occur?

    The system whether it is efficient maintenance programs, holding actors accountable to financial rules etc will be as strong as the components parts.

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  • sirfuzzy (i was a sheep some years ago; not a sheep anymore)

    David that lady on the cover of the sunday sun. I don’t personally know her; but she is what u will cal the average bajan. I don’t think she will be too pleased that we spending all the effort “to correct the wrongs; the political wrongs etc” and after the wrongs are politically addressed she is still there waiting for her wrong to be corrected?

    Politicians need to start addressing the wrongs that the average man faces int his island,. doing such will given the politician etc the credibility that they are about fixing or correcrting all the wrongs and not just about their little pet peeves or seeking political revenge.

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  • @sirFuzzy

    Do you know what the underlying issue is that affected the timely resolution of the matter? How many fingers do you have to fit the holes in the dyke?

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  • sirfuzzy (i was a sheep some years ago; not a sheep anymore)

    David August 20, 2018 10:51 AM

    Our governance model is not that flawed, IMHO, we got flawed person that administer it. They say if you can build the highest fence i know someone that can build the longest ladder. etc

    eg, if you are speeding along ABC hwy and are spotted by a police officer who chases you down; lecturers you about speeding and then proceeds to start to report u for the offence. You offer him/her vip tickets to “Soca Rolayle” if he gives u a chance. If he/she accepts your offer; tell me which law or change to a law or new law on the books will stop him/her again from accepting such; furthermore what will stop you again from offering such?

    If not laws; its enforcement; and enforcement requires persons of integrity, and integrity like morality cannot be legislated.
    We have planted too many potatoes and want to reap casavas but complaining because we reaping potatoes.

    like it or lump it; that is the truth. by the way if you can explain this for me “too honest too poor”

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  • @ sirfuzzy
    Your impulsive inclination is flawed.
    It is like the typical patient who goes to the doctor with a chronic illness and whose MAIN priority is to restore their ability to continue living the VERY lifestyle that caused the chronic situation in the first place…
    A painkiller a day is the prescription.

    It is not difficult to predict the outcome of this thinking…

    The solution for a chronic illness is to understand and CORRECT the underlying causes, and to allow the body to then NATURALLY regulate itself.

    Unless we can address our ROOT failures, the dog is effectively dead…

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  • @sirFuzzy

    Bush Tea as usual is able to avoid the fluff of the argument by cutting to the bone. To add: we are at a tipping point. We will not have a better opportunity to burn the mattress that is infested with lice to rid ourselves of the infestation. It does not mean that until the underlying issues are addressed ‘maintenance’ measures will not be implemented to ensure a level of operations.

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  • sirfuzzy (i was a sheep some years ago; not a sheep anymore)

    @ Bush Tea August 20, 2018 11:10 AM

    Bushtea is taken as a beverage or a medicine. I will take it as a beverage on this occasion.

    If your house or neighbours house in on fire; assuming you did not set it on fire in first place or u like the sight of fire(pyro sumting); I am sure you will be inclined to call the fire department first; all the other investigative forces can came later. but first its getting the file under control to minimise the damage to the property or the surrounding properties.

    As u help fight the blaze you may be thinking who RH did this to me; but i think u will consider taking those actions later; but first we out the fire.

    We can walk and chew gum. but if we are need to be on a journey i will start with walking(the journey) and the chewing can follow.

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  • Of course sirFuzzy, all you commented is correct and more.

    If arson/negligence is in play the authorities have an obligation to investigate the cause as well to prevent others being affected by the event.

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  • sirfuzzy (i was a sheep some years ago; not a sheep anymore)

    David August 20, 2018 11:15 AM

    To add: we are at a tipping point. We will not have a better opportunity to burn the mattress that is infested with lice to rid ourselves of the infestation. It does not mean that until the underlying issues are addressed ‘maintenance’ measures will not be implemented to ensure a level of operations.

    I dont see any politician in close knit Barbados tipping the load over to expose all and sundry. It will be as usual “a political hit job”. And i dont expect any other than political causalities and thus nothing that deals with the crux of the matter. We got weak ppl with weak minds in strong powerful places.

    Laws don’t mean shyte unless we have ppl with integrity to enforce them. ful stop.

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  • Understand your position sirFuzzy. We have to keep probing for the faultline.

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  • Last evening the Hon PM spoke of the interference of the private sector in what is a government initiative to purchase second hand vehicles for the SSA.There was a time when we engaged the Crown Agents to purchase on behalf of the Government . Kudos to the PM for this shot across the bow of these low life scum who in church every Sunday in stiff and starch collar and tie and praising their god and looking down at the black man like he is not a member of the animal class called homo sapiens.These crooks and favour seekers cum dispensers of the tax payers money( corruption is another form of taxation) have now been put on notice.Stop the charade or be exposed.Btw how come high priced and high powered,gas guzzling vehicles are not up for review and appropriately taxed on landing at Barbados.When in 1978 or 79 Tom brought the hammer down on brand name cars and household units,fellows on the opposing side went ballistic.Time to suspend again,high valued imports which put a strain on our foreign reserves.

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  • sirfuzzy (i was a sheep some years ago; not a sheep anymore)

    @Gabriel August 20, 2018 11:50 AM

    Kudos to the PM for this shot across the bow of these low life scum who in church every Sunday in stiff and starch collar and tie and praising their god and looking down at the black man like he is not a member of the animal class called homo sapiens.These crooks and favour seekers cum dispensers of the tax payers money

    In the naval and coast guard world a shot across he bow is used to tell the driver or captain of the boat(s) to yield or to steer the boat away from my ship.

    I hope u are right; i would have preferred a shot into the hull. that would have been the type of action David prefers(lol) to eliminate those of that ilk?

    Time will tell; i just hope it is not a PR stunt. Cause a shot across the bow maybe telling the other driver u getting ahead of me (the flag ship) or keep within formation.

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  • The panel discussion about the cruise business was very informative. Adrian should be complimented for his balanced contribution.
    Barbados has been in the tourism business for over sixty years but successive governments thought that blue waters and white sands were all that was needed. Putting square pegs in round holes. Putting people with no knowledge on Statutory Boards, placing party hacks in overseas offices, have brought us to this point. The last fifty two years being wasted and now we jumping ’bout like chickens with their necks off because we realising that reality is on our doorsteps. All the nonsense has ruined every single industry.

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  • “Hon PM spoke of the interference of the private sector in what is a government initiative to purchase second hand vehicles for the SSA.”

    But will she do anything about it?

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  • Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right

    @ Mariposa

    From time to time de ole man has been noticing that you have been belabouring the Chairman Mia Mao Ze Jong government with the failure of the sewerage system.

    De Grandson sent this Stoopid Cartoon to provide a context o this Shy*te problem so that you can use it as ammunition against the Mia Regime.

    No need for you to send any “thank yous”to the grandson for this sticker,.

    I dont think that it will fit on your car, and you would have to have a very big “bumper” for it to stick on you!

    You can be assured that, because it chronicles the stewardship (or is that the Stuart-shit?) of the Demonic Larceny Party, it is going to get major mileage across Barbados (and across the Whatsapp world) in a hurry heheheheheheheh

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  • But PDYR

    No more excuses
    Yuh say dee past hovt didnt do a goodjob
    So let me see wuh amunition this govt have in it”s arsenal to fix de dam sh.iit problem

    Steupse dat cartoon means nuttin the dems dont run things in this country nuh more
    So now”We de people”looking fuh solutions
    Enough of de blame
    Cant tek dat sh.it to de bank
    Yuh ge muh drift

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  • TheophiliusGazerts

    @PUDRYR
    Gotta go with Mariposa.
    That war was won and is over.
    A new team has taken the field

    @Mariposa.
    You are doing what Barbados once did “Punching well above your weight”

    @Enuff
    You are right. Not a yardfowl but a yard duck.
    Sh%t%ng up de place

    Good night

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  • Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right

    @ TheophiliusGazerts

    While you might say that that war was won and was over up to a few days ago it was all that came out of Mariposa’s mouth as she sought to ascribe the blame for the effluent and the injectio wells and the shyt*** on the new administration of Chairman-Mia-Mao-of-the-Long-March-&-Breakfast fame

    What the Stoopid Cartoon has done conclusively has made her STFU about that Graeme Hall ball of pup.

    Cause now it is clear, for all and sundry, to see that EVERY SINGLE BALL OF JOBBY THAT FLOWED IN THE STREETS OF BARBADOS was as a direct result of the Demonic Larceny Party, David Bulldog, John Whisper and Richard free Will the Whale.

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  • couple of things
    are those people flying in and out on private jets charged a departure tax
    if you come in on a ship and take a plane out are you charged when you leave
    are you charged when you leave on a ship
    how much extra will it cost me if i dont get sick on the south coast

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  • @A. Dullard.
    Time is longer than twine. Time will (may??) tell. Keep on inhaling and exhaling.

    @Gabriel
    “….time to suspend again, high value imports which put strain on our foreign reserves.”
    Could not agree with you more. This materialistic iggrunt “I must have it” approach is crippling our people.

    @Sir Fuzzy
    “Politicians need to start addressing the wrongs that the average man faces in this Island.”
    So true Sir.
    I do not think that they know they role beyond quickly becoming unapproachable and rich. I may be wrong!

    Like

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