The Adrian Loveridge Column – We Can Learn from St. Barts

I was fortunate enough to be invited as a guest to the French West Indian island of St. Barts recently as part of the Carabavia Aviation Meetup event that St. Maarten so ably hosted last month. It was my second visit to this tiny (9.7 square miles) Overseas Collectivity of France and no less impressive than the first, more than a decade ago.

What immediately stands out is the pristine condition of its entire surroundings, spotlessly clean and not a single evidence of litter in sight. Clearly the population has pride in its environs. And this, less than two years (September 2017) since the ravages of Hurricane IRMA Yes! A small number of hotels have yet to re-open, but rather than a quick-fix, they have taken the long term opportunity to use the enforced closure period to upgrade and improve their plant.

Like Barbados, St Barts is tourism dependent, but its around 10,000 inhabitants appear not to need any frequent coaxing of the benefits that industry brings. Seemingly, no-one has to remind them of the need to re-cycle or responsibly dispose of rubbish, as they fully comprehend this is an overwhelmingly standard practice in all the major markets where their visitors travel from.

The island’s total room stock comprises of less than 30 hotels, most of them with 15 rooms or less. The largest has 58 rooms and the most expensive just 12. Private villas add another 400 properties to rent, which, when you include the hotels, accommodate around 70,000 long stay visitors per year. Another 130,000 arrive by yacht.

Clearly, they have assessed the value of small boutique hotels, where guests can be pampered and as a result, return year after year. It also seems inconceivable that any new hotel construction on St Barts would NOT be built in a sympathetic architectural style in complete harmony with existing development regardless of the period.

Comparison with larger tourism led destinations is of course difficult, but for those who have opted to construct faceless, visually hideous, tall square concrete blocks which appear more at home on Miami Beach or the shores of Cancun and the Dominican Republic should stop and think exactly why people pick a particular location.

The temptation is of course always there to build as quickly and cheaply as possible, but we also have to bear in mind what differentiates us from other holiday choices within the Caribbean.

With many hotels having a lifetime use of approaching 50 years, surely within that investment some consideration should be given to its aesthetic appearance? Especially, if we wish to retain what is often quoted as the accolade of an ‘iconic’ destination.

I urge all tourism planners and policymakers to consider visiting St Barts, who have not already been. Despite our long history growing tourism, there is always more that we can learn from others, to the undoubted benefit of everyone.

43 thoughts on “The Adrian Loveridge Column – We Can Learn from St. Barts

  1. When I was a boy, we were very poor, but every one in the village knew where, when and how to dispose of litter. People seldom discarded litter into the streets by throwing stuff out of bus windows. I can’t fathom how this practice took hold of this country. If one tries admonishing a perpetrator, one is given a sound cussing. The filthy state of this country doesn’t really encourage the industry.

  2. When is the Caribbean the Caribbean?

    I recently questioned the charging of US$70 for the recently imposed ‘Airline Travel and Tourism Development Fee’ on a LIAT return ticket from Barbados to St. Maarten. This is in addition to the already existing US$27.50 departure tax.

    LIAT kindly responded stating the “Airline Travel and Tourism Development Fee is UU$35 for CARICOM and US$70 for other destinations. Since St. Maarten is not a member of CARICOM the fee is US$70’.

    I further asked if the reduced CARICOM fee applied to the five associate members which include Anguilla and the British Virgins Islands and am awaiting a reply.

    As at least part of this new tax was intended to further subsidise* LIAT (1974) Limited, until a later announcement was made to sell all or part of the 49.4 per cent Barbados taxpayer holding in the airline, is it now likely that this levy will be revisited, as it no longer may be applicable to the total initial intention?

    ‘the remaining $20 million will go towards regulation of tourism, civil aviation and our shareholder responsibilities to LIAT’.

    With our critical softer summer months dramatically affecting accommodation occupancy and tourism viability, can we expect a new statement to be made shortly?

    Adrian Loveridge

  3. Some countries take littering very seriously by imposing heavy fines for violation. When last have you heard of anyone being charged for littering in Barbados, if ever?

    We may have the law on the books but enforcement? That’s a joke. This is similar to the laws governing smoking in public places and the danger that this poses to the health of the smoker and those around them. Look at the massive fines for contravening this dictate. Contrast that with the number of public and private vehicles the belch out tons and tons of black noxious fumes with nary a backward glance in fear of discipline. Does this not pose a greater threat to the health of the nation?

    Why do we do it? Because we can.

    • The former minister of the environment piloted legislation to create environmental Police. What is the latest with it?

  4. @ David BU at 8 :18 AM.

    You are making sport at us. You cannot get regular police and want to create environmental police? What happen to the old time health inspectors? You too like empty optics and propaganda.

    • @Vincent

      All this blogmaster has done is to expose another promise by a politician that was stillborn.

  5. @ Adrian

    St. Barts has obviously designed a tourism model suitable for its geographical and cultural environment. We are doing the same for Barbados. There is little worth copying from St. Barts. But the comparison is a useful intellectual exercise.

  6. St.Barts is smaller than the parish of St. James.

    High rise buildings have a smaller foot print and use land and resources more cost effectively.

    The compromise for Barbados would be more architecturally pleasing high rise hotels.

  7. @ Hants

    High rise and architecturally pleasing do not go well together for Barbados. Barbados is a flat island .
    High rise and a friable substratum do not coalesce. We have to build within the parameters of our geography and geology. Barbados is not Canada.

  8. We do need to view issues from various perspectives. We tend to do this too often in making decisions and are surprised by the kick backs. Small foot print is a good idea. Do we really need them when there are counter indications?

  9. @ Dr. Lucas at 5 :49 AM

    When we were boys our parents,our churches,our primary schools and our secondary schools sang from the same Hygiene Hymn Book. Anti- littering laws were practiced and enforced in all these places.
    I am sure,even in those days, there were some who would curse but they were ignored. We need to get back to those days when it was the remit for the older members of society to insist that our standards be maintained.

  10. Civic pride is not one of our strengths I must admit. We seemed to have a propensity for everything DUTTY, and the public space is no exception. Better yet, maybe we could be inspired by the city of Kigali, Rwanda.

  11. @ David July 8, 2019 6:27 AM
    You seem to be saying that the propensity to litter is directly proportional to the mobility and transient nature of the people of this island.. How would you characterize the people of Singapore? At independence, Singapore had a smaller GDP than Barbados, it was worse off than Barbados by all known measurement methods. The people of Singapore are very mobile and are also exposed to the transient nature of the web: they ,however do not litter.. The people of this island despite all their pretensions are basically lacking in self-pride. There is no excuse for the littering.

    @ Vincent Codrington July 8, 2019 11:51 AM
    Your comment is on the ball.

  12. @ David

    Take for example the West Indians (specifically The Barbadians who have a habit of not queuing) queued in the UK. This change of cultural norm is called adaptation. Only one set of people refuse to adapt.

    • @Dr. Lucas

      Understand your point, the known variable in the two data is there is an existing culture and the other no?

  13. Good observation, people behave different within different cultures?

    different is the adjective
    diffentLY IS THE ADVERB

    people behave differentLY within different cultures


  14. Tipping my weave to David BU for his galliant effort to turn the BU house hold attention away from the every pressing issues that are weighing down heavily on the economy and Barbadian house hold
    Noticeably is whenever attention is being paid to the current curcumstances of barbados economy and varying criticisms given to this govt David would hastily post articles that would eventually distract or turn attention in another direction
    Hence within two to three days after Charles Herbert release and the climbing murder rate along with the death of the boy who fell in the well
    Articles were posted hastily as a muzzled to distract
    How amusing

  15. just like the drivers on the island will pull right in front of you as you are walking…. something that would never be done in Canada or you would get a boot in the side of your car littering I believe is also a result of the old class structure. Black people walk we drive so we are justified in cutting them off, …..we throw things about…. the blacks will pick it up because that is their jobs, I believe that things have become habit so now everyone thinks it is okay to cut off pedestrians and its okay to litter. all over the place…another case of white mans spilt.

  16. Tipping my weave to David BU for his galliant effort to turn the BU house hold attention away from the every pressing issues that are weighing down heavily on the economy and Barbadian house hold (Quote)


    Aren’t Adrian Loveridge’s articles are posted to BU every Monday for the past few years?

    So how come they have now become a distraction?

  17. GOREN



    • Hants

      A good initiative if we are able to get it to work. Is this where Del Maestro was to have setup his plant?

  18. If the Botanical Gardens at Waterford is created as promised it could be a prime attraction for tourists.

  19. Robert Goren go fly a kite and take GP along with u
    Have you ever thought the post was accidentally place on the wrong thread
    Have a good day

  20. GP hope Angela Cole read your submissions for Further reference to drag yuh dumb in court for ligitation action for using her name in derogatory fashion
    You are such an ole goat

  21. Mariposa, could you please explain how an article written by Adrian Loveridge and posted to HIS usual weekly BU column, be accidentally posted to the wrong thread?


  23. Robert Goren where u not complaining that i posted an issue irrelevant to the article
    So where is your beef
    Please explain
    I did explain that my comments were accidentally posted by me on this page by error

  24. We are seeing the outline of an attempt (which will fail) at a new Feminist Economy and Society.

    Create a magnificent botanical garden for the benefit of both tourists and locals.

    Mediate international disputes with the assistance of other governments headed by women, (with spillover benefits for tourism), because women are peacemakers
    (Good luck with that).

  25. Robert Goren where u not complaining that i posted an issue irrelevant to the article (Quote)

    @ Mariposa

    When did I complained about you posting an irrelevant issue to the article?

  26. There are destinations that use one event very year to attract tourits from all over the world and give the economy an instant boost. We took Crop Over and turned it into a wuk up and bashment festival. Go figure. We just have too many square pegs in round holes


    We should be asking this creep….how many of these NHC units….HE OWNS AS BROTHELS…himself.

    It is known about the dirty government ministers and their human trafficking….of young boys and girls, women and children.l

    Since in the days of BLP PREDATORS Lammy Craig and PEDO Clarke those units were misused to rape women and children….and everyone of these scum knew it…he is pretending it’s news…steupps

  28. Agreed, David BU.

    But, it’s also interesting to note “Barbados’ negotiators had also asked for a guarantee from St John’s that LIAT staff in Bridgetown would not be sacrificed at the expense of staff from Antigua and Barbuda.”

    And we all know Gaston Browne always talks about maintaining/protecting the approximately 700 LIAT employees in Antigua………and this was one of the main reasons why he wants his twin island state to acquire the majority shareholding in the airline.

    I suspect Browne would go to any lengths to protect those jobs, even if it meant sacrificing the jobs of Barbadians.

    As such, I believe Barbados’ negotiating team made a “good call.”

  29. “When contacted about the developments, Attorney General, Dale Marshall said he “certainly wouldn’t comment” on the most recent developments.

    “I am the Attorney General and I don’t investigate things. The police conduct thousands of investigations per year. This one happens to be front-of-mind for obvious reasons but I certainly wouldn’t comment on it. I certainly am not going to comment on an ongoing investigation,” he told Barbados TODAY.”

    ” Tourism is we business.”

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