The Adrian Loveridge Column – Tourism Product Needs a Coat of Paint
While the early indications are that our economy is showing some signs of recovery, I still believe our most potentially challenging obstacle remains the inability to effectively implement.
In theory it may be great to have large boards considering all sorts of possible ways to improve how we do business in tourism or any other sector, however, unless these groups are focused and efficaciously implement the solutions discussed, it results in very little improvement.
While graphically recalling some of the first boards that I sat on and hearing the often repeated comments of, why are we discussing the same things that we did twenty years ago. Let us not continue down that route again. Consequentially from a lifetime involved in tourism, it is also very easy to get branded as a lone wolf or not seriously considered as a team player.
In reality, very little is achieved by individuals and we all need the support and assistance by others who usually add a different perspective to objectives. The balance is to approve projects that can be taken to a logical and meaningful conclusion in a cost-effective way. Tenacity can be interpreted as high-handedness and putting strict time limits on extracting decisions from those involved can prove negative, rather than positive, but it’s frequently the only way the task in hand can be completed.
As we rapidly approach the peak tourism season, with perhaps at no period in our recent history, being so critical at this time to our financial wellbeing. My sincere hope is that our policymakers will focus and aggressively pursue projects that have a realistic hope of fruition.
Those fortunate few who have been appointed to the various boards and committees have to seriously ask themselves, can I make a positive contribution or should I step aside and let someone more capable take my place?
There also appears to be more than few glaring areas from a tourism perspective which need immediate attention, including substantial upgrades to Oistins, St. Lawrence Gap and Bridgetown.
The price paid for the ‘product’ by our visitors this winter, will in most cases, be higher than they have ever been confronted with before, due to the imposition of various new taxes.
It therefore seems unreasonable, that they will not in return realistically expect some improvements, even in the most basic of provisions like adequate and clean lavatory facilities, in what we proudly boast is our most visited attraction.
No reasonable person honestly expects Government to do everything, so perhaps corporate Barbados can play a greater contribution. Like, I am sure, very many others much admire the ongoing initiative by our indigenous paint company, under a banner that ‘Preserves Heritage’ to highlight our very special architecture.
What a difference a couple of coats of paint could make to so many other neglected and often derelict buildings across the island.