Adrian Loveridge Column – A Way to Breath life Into Local Tourism

Located in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the Maldives has claimed that it will become the first destination in the world to offer points when they launch their Maldives Border Miles campaign on 1st December 2020.

An archipelago of 1,192 coral islands grouped into 26 natural atolls spanning roughly 115 square miles, is the smallest Asian country by land area and population, with around 516,000 inhabitants located south-west of Sri Lanka and India and around 430 miles from the Asian continent.

It is a three-tiered loyalty programme for visitors who will earn points based on the number of visits and duration of stay. Additional points will be awarded for visits to celebrate special occasions. Arrival numbers issued by the Government indicated that the Maldives welcomed around 1.7 million visitors in 2019, up from 1.4 million in 2018.

In some respects the Maldives promotion has many similarities to the MILESCloser initiative we launched nearly twenty years ago, when Barbados was largely perceived as a destination a little further away from many of our competing islands, making it slightly more difficult and expensive to reach. At that time the miles or points required to fly to Barbados were the same, whether travelling (as an example) from California or New York, which at a stroke, took away any price differential deterrent.

Those two decades ago we also suggested to our policymakers that MILESCloser was taken a step further, by introducing a unique single destination branded credit card, in concert with VISA or MasterCard, where holders would gain points or miles to travel to Barbados and stay. This would apply to purchases and payments made irrespectively, whether in the visitors home country or while on holiday in Barbados. And while on island that same card would earn additional points and special discounts at any number of participating tourism partners including hotels, villas, other accommodation options, car rental, restaurants, shopping, attractions and activities etc. Any number of added benefits could be included for people using this proposed card to enhance the desirability and usage, including: pre-registered fast-track immigration clearance, airport/lodging transfers, room upgrades, use of airport lounge and preferred aircraft boarding.

The simple rationale was to enable that cherished guest the economic means to return to Barbados as inexpensively and hassle-free as possible, while building loyalty to the destination. Sadly, the concept was not seriously adopted and again perhaps we have partially lost-out to other competing tourism offerings that chose to seize the opportunities, when presented to them.

Clearly, the Maldives, another largely tourism dependent territory, feels that the new loyalty programme could play an important role in the slow recovery of their vital hospitality sector.

65 comments

  • Carson C. Cadogan

    In the past I told a Minister that it is a dangerous thing to have a one legged economy which Barbados is.. And that was in ”good times”. Putting all your eggs in one is not the wise thing to do. I was saying what if we had a serious Hurricane and there was major damage to the Country. We foolishly think God is a Bajan he will always protect us

    I didn’t see Corona Virus on the horizon. But here we are, better or worse. I was thinking of being struck by a powerful Hurricane.
    Adrian and his ilke think about Tourism where they have upper hand in poorly Managed Hotels and asking the Govt. to intervened by spending lots of money from the Treasury to help them out.

    I say no, let them use their own money and the Govt. concentrate on other areas of the Economy, that are crying out for development.

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  • This is a chance to change up the Economy of Barbados. The status quo must not prevail This is the opportunity to do things differently

    We now have the opportunity to emancipate the Country. With critical thinking the Govt. can move the majority people in the population from the bottom of the totem pole upwards. .

    There are BILLIONS OF DOLLARS sitting in the Banks which can be used. Let these people use their own money to help themselves. They have been babied too long at the expense of the majority people of the Country. And it is time that it should come to an end.

    Let them use their own money.

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  • Carson C. Cadogan

    Something to think about:::

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  • Week after week, Adrian writes a column with ideas on how the industry can be improved in his opinion. Every suggestion may not work, but there he is offering constructive suggestions.

    Week after week, we have others whom have made careers out of studying the various reasons that any idea for improvement presented, will not work.

    A wise man one said “Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most do.” How about offering some constructive alternatives?

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  • We have a professor of tourism economics at the UWI. Has anyone ever read anything he has ever written on the economics of tourism?

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  • Tourism today is a buyer’s market and destinations need to create and introduce incentive programs to attract potential visitors. Suggest interested parties review the recently released UWI Ramphal Centre Policy Paper titled – ” Trading Our Way To Recovery During COVID -19 : RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CARICOM COUNTRIES”.

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  • Over the decades and changing governments, we have not looked at our tourism model to find out if it has been financially profitable for government. We have failed to get our tourism leakage rate down to 40%. We have placed square pegs in round holes in government’s ministry and the other tourism organizations of government. We have had no real plan except to increase tourism visitor arrivals. We have failed to establish strong tourism linkages.

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  • And to give concessions.

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  • Hoteliers need to use their own money to bail out the Tourism Industry instead of sitting on their fannies waiting for Govt. to do everything while they keep their monies in offshore banks and other places. I am not in agreement with using taxpayers from the Treasury to prop up Hotels.

    It is time for Hoteliers to show some intelligence instead of sitting and waiting for FREE MONEY from the TREASURY.

    USE YOUR OWN FUNDS FOR A CHANGE. Why should Govt. bail out Hotels?????

    Is the Govt. going to bail out my Snow cone Cart?????? I am a businessman too.

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  • @ Carson

    Or they should appoint you as an economic consultant. We still do not know the conditions under which these family-owned and badly managed hotels are bailed out. Is it equity for debt? Is it a loan? Do we audit books before offering a bail out? How about denying any help to those who owe VAT, national insurance or any other debt to the state?
    Another condition should be to look at their business models. How about a sale and lease back? How about new business models?
    @Carson there are so many ways in which government could act. My preferred choice is equity for debt and toll it all under a sovereign wealth fund, managed a hands length from the government of the day.
    Plse pass this on to Prof Persaud for free. Tell him it is my contribution to the future of Barbados. This is what we are. Keep an eye on the BLP giving that Bds$300m to the hotel class.

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  • @ Stanton Carter,
    Plse post a link. I am not sure if this paper is by the tourism economist, but if it is it confirms all that has been said about our academics – they write fr a small clique.
    These papers should be in the public space, to encourage and drive public discussions.

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  • Rover p,

    Good comment. All I ever hear about is a plan to increase arrivals. That does not automatically result in any real benefit to Barbados.

    How much do they spend and with whom? How much of that money remains in the island? How many linkages are their with other industries.

    How beneficial is tourism to Barbados?

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  • CORRECTION – THERE

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  • Carson C. Cadogan

    Many Hotels are badly run. I would not bail them out. And like you rightly said many owe Central Govt. tons of money in taxes and other duties, I would make them pay it back first.

    Many already have loans which they refused to repay and are now waiting with bated breath FOR MORE FREE MONEY. The Treasury should not be use in that way. Over the years they have accumulated much funds, let them use these funds. They were not in Business for nothing.

    What new Business models are they bringing t0 the Barbadian public????? Or is it the same old, same old????? Because that cant work.

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  • P24 of the Throne Speech addresses high level government’s approach.

    https://gisbarbados.gov.bb/download/throne-speech-delivered-september-15-2020/

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  • For those that may not know all over the world the tourism sector has been applying for aid. In the USA for instance it was the airlines and the cruise ship sector lead by Royal Caribbean, who saw their share value drop from around $135 USD pre covid to a little under $40 post covid. Such too was the case with the big airline companies out of the USA and the UK. If you recall a few years back it was the automotive sector in the USA all except for Ford from memory. Today they have bounced back and repaid their loans with interest.

    The point is no company i know of can see a 80% fall in business and maintain its structure post covid unless it had massive levels of retained earnings and high margins. I am not aware that any of the hotels here with the exception maybe of Sandals enjoys this luxury.

    For those that may not remember Cave Shepherds allocated $30M in losses for this year because of covid. How many of you understand that is years of retained earnings lost in one year!

    So yes we can argue the hotels run badly or whatever, but let me ask wunna a question. What you got in the short to medium term to replace tourism with? What wunna got that going employ the 40,000 that been lay off? What have you heard Sinkyuh and his crew of thinkers have come up with to diversify the economy?

    The point is we have no replacement for tourism nor are we planning for one. You all realise the cruise ships that anchored all over the Caribbean have not moved and next month is November? The word is most will not return to service this winter either so wunna brace for a bleak season.

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  • …In other news. The 2nd wave of Sars Cov 2 is well underway. Many European countries, including our #1 source market, are implementing curfews and and other mobility restrictions. Expect cases and deaths to increase significantly from current levels during the winter months.

    At this time the writer should take a sabbatical from writing and take up something more productive.

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  • peterlawrencethompson

    @ John A October 26, 2020 3:43 PM
    I been trying to tell wunnuh all this every since April, but Adrian like ent ondestan.

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  • @ PLT

    My friend you preaching to the converted. As you know I wanted that $300M the boss lady throw at tourism divided among tourism and agriculture as well as alternative energy. My view was if you can’t earn a USD then save a USD instead. I guess lettuce heads and solar panels ain’t as glamerous as shiny hotels even if dam empty.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @John A

    The 300 million was not given to the sector, there is a process to draw down on it.

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  • @David

    Yes but only tourism based entities have access to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @John A

    Are there schemes setup for other segments?

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  • @ David.

    At this stage no I have not heard of any.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ John A

    Let us look beyond the abuse of public funds to shore up a corrupt business class, let us assume that the virus continues in to Q1, Q2 next year and the leading vaccine candidates do not work and international travel comes to a halt. What next?
    Remember, we are now ten months in to CoVid and since March it has been a global epidemic. Has Barbados pre-ordered any vaccines?

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  • @ Hal

    From what i was told orders can not be placed yet for any of the vaccines out the USA or Europe. You might be able to get a few Russian ones though. Lol

    I think the most telling sign is the fact that the cruise ships scattered around the region have not been moved. Now we hearing they may sit out the season at anchor in many cases.

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  • Here we are preparing for hordes of English people.. But you know that it funny. They have treated poorly our Descendants to this day. Racism against against our Descendent by the English have never been worse. Recently there was the Wind Rush sandal. Not a Govt. in the Caribbean, , including the Barbadian Govt., intervened on their behalf, it was as though they didn’t exist. They did nothing on their behalf.

    Yet welcome the English with open arms. More than they ever did for us. Remember ‘Powell”????>

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  • Carson C. Cadogan

    should be ‘scandal’ on line three.

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  • Remember the Teddy Boys of England. They maimed and hundreds of people from the Caribbean including Barbadians

    What do we think about that ????? Where were our Academics???? What did they do????

    But our PRIME MINISTER AND SIR HILLARY BECKLES find time to intercede in GUYANASE INTERNAL AFFAIRS.

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  • Nathan Jolly Green

    Carson C Cadogan you are a scandalous trouble maker. You really do not understand the hotel industry how every day a hotel is closed the loss of not just income, but the operating costs of the property which keep coming even if they are shuttered.

    The trade says that 30% of hotels world-wide including groups will go out of business by 2021, perhaps you will be happy to see the 50% possibility for Barbados become a reality.

    Barbados is so lucky to have a wonderful tourist industry. They are so fortunate to have professionals like Adrian Loveridge. He never gives up keeps working hard, dreaming scheming, he is amazing.

    Then all you can do Mr Cadogan is criticise and pull down. You seem to have a little racist running through you, I hope my perception is wrong.

    What have you ever done to help the situation, it will be great to hear about that.

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  • Nathan Jolly Green

    Well I have just looked up all your outstanding achievement’s and wonder what has gone wrong to turn you into a bitter old man? What has happened to turn you so venomously against the hotel industry?

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  • Today’s Nation Editorial.

    Tough times not going away
    THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC will be with us for the foreseeable future. This is evident largely from the fact that as we enter the final two months of this year cases of the deadly virus show no sign of abating in the United States, and a second wave has now gripped other places, especially Europe.
    It is therefore clear that a return to pre-COVID-19 normal, if such a thing is ever possible, will not happen before 2021.
    We already know this has implications for Barbados, not only from a health standpoint but in relation to our livelihoods and the entire economy.
    Barbados depends heavily on tourism, and a return to restrictions, including lockdowns and curfews, would negatively affect international travel, as was the case before July.
    The potential ripple effect of this would be fewer visitors journeying to Barbados.
    It will therefore be important to learn how the economy performed in the first nine months of this year, and the outlook for the remainder, as well as 2021. This will come tomorrow when Central Bank Governor Cleviston Haynes holds his third-quarter news conference at the Courtney Blackman Grande Salle, Tom Adams Financial Centre.
    The last time the governor reported on the economy the news was not good. Barbados, having registered two consecutive quarters of decline, fell into recession. The Central Bank boss said economic output fell by 27 per cent in the second quarter, and 15 per cent for the six months ended June 30.
    This negative performance was largely due to tourism declining by 50 per cent in the first half of the year, as long-stay arrivals fell by 54 per cent and cruise passengers by 34 per cent. Since then, the country has been reopened to regional and international commercial flights and visitors have been journeying here for business and pleasure.
    While we await what Haynes has to report, including on unemployment, the cost of living, debt management, economic activity, tourism sector output, Government’s revenue and expenditure, and the foreign reserves,
    present circumstances suggest that the economic malaise Barbados has been in will not abate this year.
    People are still not travelling as they usually do, rapid testing is still not prevalent, and the production of a safe and reliable COVID-19 vaccine remains uncertain.
    When these factors are added to the increased cases of the virus we are now seeing, including in the Caribbean, even non-economists can reasonably conclude that these tough economic times are not going anywhere fast.
    The International Monetary Fund and World Bank have predicted the economy will grow by 7.4 per cent in 2021. At this stage that seems like an extremely optimistic outlook and it will be important to hear what the Central Bank’s forecast is in comparison.
    There is no need to be pessimistic about the future since ultimately the world will recover from COVID-19, but optimism and hope, tempered by reality and pragmatism, are what we need now to survive and eventually thrive.
    While we await what Haynes has to report, including on unemployment, the cost of living, debt management, economic activity, tourism sector output, Government’s revenue and expenditure, and the foreign reserves, present circumstances suggest that the economic malaise Barbados has been in will not abate this year.

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  • ‘In no danger’
    Governor says Central Bank’s finances in better shape
    by SHAWN CUMBERBATCH shawncumberbatch@nationnews.com
    THE CENTRAL BANK says it is not in danger of becoming dysfunctional while awaiting a major financial injection.
    Two years after losing $1.6 billion in Government’s debt restructuring for local investors, the bank has not yet been recapitalised.
    The COVID-19 pandemic’s emergency financial demands on Barbados prompted the authorities, with the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) agreement, to push back the deadline for this to happen by six months to December 31.
    Governor Cleviston Haynes said in the bank’s recently released 2019 annual report that “the bank’s financial performance improved in 2019”.
    It recorded a $15.3 million profit in 2019, with total comprehensive income of $36 million for the year.
    “The increase in foreign reserves raised earnings from its external assets . . . . The bank has reasonable expectations that [it] will continue to meet its operating requirements over 12 months from the reporting date.
    “There are no pending legal or regulatory proceedings against the bank that may, if successful, result in claims that are unlikely to be satisfied; and no changes in legislation or Government policy are expected to adversely affect [it]. . .
    “Government, the sole shareholder, has pledged continued support to the bank, including the development of a recapitalisation plan,” it added.
    Based on information published by the IMF, in exchange for its existing portfolio of Treasury bills, Treasury notes and debentures, the Central Bank “received a portfolio of equally-weighted tradable benchmark Treasury notes and debentures with maturities ranging from five to 25 years and a portfolio of three-month treasury bills”.
    The IMF explained that “the new securities provided to the [Central Bank] during the debt restructuring ensure that it has an adequate income stream to meet operational expenses”.
    The Bank’s recapitalisation plan was to have been completed by June 30, but the IMF said its related technical assistance mission, scheduled for March, “had to be postponed due to the coronavirus crisis, and is now planned for the second half of the year”.
    Govt funding
    The Central Bank’s debt restructuring losses related to its heavy funding of Government via the purchase of Government securities.
    In addition to the recapitalisation programme, there will be a new Central Bank Of Barbados Act,
    including provisions to regulate its financing to Government.
    Based on the draft legislation, there will be restrictions on the total amounts of such advances and a clear repayment policy will be in place. It will also set out the availability of profits to be distributed, and a hierarchy on how this will be done.
    The bank explained in its latest annual report that investments in securities were now being pursued to maintain economic stability and not to maximise earnings.
    “Total income increased by $2.9 million partly because foreign exchange gains of $10 million arising from the appreciation of the Barbados dollar against the [IMF special drawing rights] and improved earnings on interest from deposits ($4.4 million) and securities ($6 million) offset the decrease in Treasury bill income of $19.8 million from the reduced Treasury bill holdings under the debt programme,” it said.
    Its 2019 financial statement included “unrealised gains of $11 million on the foreign securities’ portfolio related to upturns in the international market.
    “Total recurring expenses increased by $5.6 million. Salaries and allowances decreased but retirement benefits rose by $5.6 million, as a result of the actuarial cost of supporting the bank’s staff pension plan post the debt restructuring. The increased interest cost of $2.2 million related mainly to interest on the IMF borrowings,” the report added.

    Source: Nation

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  • @Hal

    “managed a hands length from the government of the day.”

    Hal you drinking that poor Bajan acholic rum again to think this statement is remotley possible. ANYTHING under Barbados “minor” government control will be CORRUPTED for personal gain. A sovergien wealth fund is only possible in countries that have WEALTH, OF WHICH Barbados has none.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Wily

    The people get the governments they deserve.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Hal Austin – Oct 26,2020, 1:15PM
    Here is the link:
    https://shridathramphalcentre.com/src-releases-policy-document-trading-our-way

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  • Sandy Lane staff, BWU to talk
    WORKERS at Sandy Lane Hotel are set to meet today with the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) to deal with several issues relating to the five-star resort’s restructuring plan.
    According to one staff member, one of the proposals would involve cutting salaries up to 50 per cent.
    The employee, who did not want to be identified, said staff were recently sent letters in which the company informed them about the reopening on November 1.
    The worker said though staff would be happy to get back to work, they would not be pleased at earning much less, especially in the current tough economic times.
    Efforts to reach BWU deputy general secretary Dwaine Paul for comment were unsuccessful up to press time. However, a union representative confirmed that the meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at BWU headquarters, Solidarity House.
    The luxury West Coast resort was closed months ago because of the tourism fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
    On Sandy Lane’s website, the company said it was very excited about the upcoming reopening.
    “All 114 bedrooms, suites, penthouses and The Villa have undergone extensive restorations during the past several months to ensure that they are in pristine condition ready for your arrival. We will be sharing more details with you about our much anticipated reopening in the coming days.
    “In the meantime, all of the team here at Sandy Lane look forward to welcoming you back home, in the not too distant future,” the statement said. (TG)

    Source: Nation

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  • @ David [BU]:

    Do you know what’s the latest with the erection of the Hyatt hotel?

    Why is the current political administration no longer touting it as the economic game-changer for country and, by extension, the phoenix for Bridgetown?

    Why is this administration ‘talking’ about turning the Government HQ location into a site for a conference centre?

    Isn’t the ‘World’ going into cyberspace?

    Is this administration ‘encouraging’ citizens to conduct business over the internet?

    Isn’t the current administration conducting ‘Cabinet’s’ business and even the country’s Parliamentary affairs on viral platforms?

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  • @Miller

    There was a comment from government spokesman a few weeks ago citing COVID for the slowdown in tourism related projects in the pipeline. As you can appreciate this is understandable, predictable even.

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  • @ Stanton Carter

    Thanks

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  • @ David October 28, 2020 9:30 AM

    We do not understand.

    Isn’t the Hyatt erection first a construction project much needed to stimulate job creation and economic activity in the local economy with its promised multiplier effects?

    Why not go ahead with its construction so that the hotel will be ready to welcome the ‘vaccinated’ guests in a post-Covid 2022?

    Why can’t we simply accept that there is no US$ 175 million sitting around to spend in a sunset industry?

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  • @Miller

    Hopefully those seized with the pertinent information will feel inclined to respond.

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  • Hotels can be converted to Condos or rental apartments and vice versa

    Golf courses can be converted to vegetable and food crop farming ( credit Cubangovernment minister ) and vice versa

    Roads can be repaired. Beaches can be kept clean.

    Bridgetown can be rejuvenated.

    The possibilities are almost endless.

    Surely the BU brainiacs and maguffees can come up with a plan to save Barbados and make it prosper.

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  • @ Hants

    It’s a case of supply vs demand. Right now we have massive supply and little demand. Remeber too even in good times pre covid the industry struggled to get an annual occupancy level above 60%. This winter we would be blessed to even see a 60% occupancy in winter farless year around.

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  • fortyacresandamule

    The ”loss” made by the central bank due to debt restructuring is immaterial. Those ”losses” are not funded from the budget. The ministry of finance can easily remedy that with a little accounting magic. Just issue more new notes to cover the bad notes and you are good to go.

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  • @ John A

    During the 2007 Cricket World Cup local hotels had a 70 per cent occupancy – and that was at a time when we had ships and pre-BNB accommodation.
    I reckon it must now be about ten percent. Quarantined travellers must be their biggest customers.

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  • fortyacresandamule

    @David. Our ancestors survived without tourism for years, we will have to do the same, but with severe belt tightening and adjustment in lifestyle. Over five years ago, I drastically reduce my consumption of wheat flour and rice. I have experimented with some sweet potato, plantain, and cassava flour since and no turning back for me. I just reaped two acres of potatoes last week to make flour.

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  • Critical Analyzer

    Simple fact, the tourism sector is here to stay and can never be replaced. However, they should never have been treated different from any other business and millions should not have been made available to them alone. Unfortunately, we are all in the tourism industry whether directly or indirectly.

    Support should have been more across the board and taken two forms:

    1) Financial Support NIS to extend the unemployment benefits period to 3 months after the state of emergency declaration ends. This would immediately take the salary pressure off businesses, offer a proper safety net to laid-off employees and keep the economy turning over until businesses have a sense if they are still viable post COVID.

    2) Offer zero or super low interest loans to businesses once they open their books to scrutiny to support their operational expenses during the same state of emergency.

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  • Can never????

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  • @ Hal Austin

    If you look at the Covid Test numbers every day, one can approximate the arrivals number. USA, UK, and Canada are all high risk so all get second tests. There are about 225 tests per day being done. So, we are now Oct 31 and the new protocol of a second test went into effect a couple of weeks ago so the testing must be very close to the average daily arrival number.

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  • @ Traveller

    Do visitors go in to quarantine after the first test, even those that are negative? What is the infection rate in Barbados? I am still keen to see the figures for average monthly deaths in 2019, and those for this year so far. Just a statistical comparison.

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  • And oh dear, David! The “any idiot can play cricket” comment came from the FATHER OF THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION! A great influence in her life?????

    Something to think about.

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  • @Donna

    The man is ole school in the mould of Lammie Craig. You should not place too much in it. The error is with the political strategist not giving him talking points to hit.

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  • Oh dear! Wrong blog!

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  • @Hal Austin

    Yes, everyone has to quarantine at a approved hotel/facility, even those with a negative first test, They get released after a second negative test.

    I was just trying to estimate the average daily arrivals. I think the number of daily tests is a pretty good indicator of that given the below requirements( copied from the govbb web site).

    “Is the 2nd PCR test mandatory?
    Yes, it is now mandatory for Travellers from High -Risk and Medium-Risk countries to receive a 2nd test while on island.
    You will be retested 4 to 5 days after the date of your first accepted negative test. Typically this will be on day 2 or 3 after arrival, once your test was taken 3 days prior to arrival.”

    All arrivals from high risk countries must quarantine at a approved hotel and have a second test. That includes Canada, USA and UK and some smaller arrival destinations. . If you are arriving from Canada you maybe able to get tested at the airport but you still have to quarantine after that and get a second test ,which is this case is going to be 5 days after you arrive.

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  • ” The Government of Canada has put in place emergency measures to slow the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in Canada. You must quarantine for 14 days, provide contact information and monitor yourself for symptoms subject to any Order made under the Quarantine Act imposing isolation or quarantine requirements upon entry.”
    https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/diseases-conditions/2019-novel-coronavirus-information-sheet.html

    Thr BTMI should target Canadians who work from home.

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  • Cummins sees no big fallout
    . . . As UK goes back into lockdown
    The United Kingdom shutdown could be a positive for Barbados, reasoned Minister of Tourism Senator Lisa Cummins, who said the country had anticipated the move and increased its advertising there.
    “As we watched on a daily basis as the numbers surged and the responses being given by the medical team, we were anticipating a full UK lockdown and it is for that reason for the last three weeks almost we have been ramping up our emphasis on longstay visitors. Forty per cent of our advertising has been focused on that,” she said.
    Yesterday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the four-week shutdown beginning Thursday was to prevent a “medical and moral disaster”.
    Johnson said “no responsible prime minister” could ignore figures suggesting deaths would reach “several thousand a day”. The UK recorded another 21 915 confirmed coronavirus cases yesterday, bringing the total since the pandemic began to 1 011 660.
    Cummins said it was unfortunate that the UK numbers were climbing, but Barbados was also making sure that travel was safe and that people were able to visit and not integrate into the population until they were tested and cleared.
    “That is important because our hotels have to be able to reopen. Our hotel workers, many of whom live among us, have seriously struggled since March, so for us it is not about closing borders or closing shop, it is about ensuring we promote safe travel, where we are able to keep people employed and keep businesses open. It is that balance for everyday Barbadians to be able to put food on their tables while being able to do so safely. We need to find that delicate balance,” she said.
    Cummins explained that the UK visitor averaged seven to 14 days and, with quarantine included, there would not have been many travellers, hence the focus on long-stay arrivals for the 12-month Barbados Welcome Stamp programme introduced in July. There were about 3 000 applicants split almost evenly for the US and the UK seeking to work remotely for a year to fill the void created by the COVID-19 pandemic. “They can come to Barbados, stay here for a year, our website is live, our accommodation has stood up for the last month or so, and most of our hotels have reopened. We still require persons to have a test three days out and they will still be tested on arrival but if you are coming for a year, testing for two days after and staying in quarantine is a lot more palatable then if you were coming for five or seven days,” she stated. Flights out of the United Kingdom and the US have been gradually returning after Barbados lifted its twoand- a-half-month lockdown on June 15.
    Cummins said there was some pressure placed on the health system within the last few months as more cases came in and persons went into isolation but many of them, she pointed out, were asymptomatic and not in any real medical danger and the health system had coped with them.
    Meanwhile, tourism expert William “Billy” Griffith said while the shutdown in England, as well as the rising coronavirus cases in the United States, is not encouraging news for Barbados, it was still
    too early to tell its impact.
    “It is too early to tell, but the fact is that a lockdown of the UK for one month will not necessarily be a good thing for our tourism going forward. It’s not encouraging news at this point in time and the only other thing I would say is that, in addition to the news out of the UK, the news out of the USA is equally not as encouraging,” said the managing director of WCG Consulting, which specialises in tourism marketing and development Meanwhile, the US recorded at least 100 000 new COVID-19 cases yesterday. It was the second day in a row the country broke its daily new case record after reporting more than 91 000 infections on Thursday. (AC)

    Source: Nation

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  • @ David

    On the eve of LIAT returning to the skies, Guadeloupe-based Air Antilles has increased its service to 8 weekly flights between St. Lucia and Barbados and 4 weekly flights from Barbados to Dominica.

    Perhaps Gaston Browne should look at LIAT servicing routes from Antigua to Anguilla, St. Kitts/Nevis, Montserrat, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Marteen, St. Barthelemy, British Virgin Islands……….

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  • @Atax

    The lucrative routes are in the south.

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  • @ David

    I know, but with the number of airlines servicing the south, LIAT will have a tough time reintroducing itself into the market. Additionally, the airline had a terrible customer service record…….. from the rude booking agents in Antigua to delayed flights for several hours.

    But, that was during a time when there weren’t many other airlines to choose from. And, based on their experiences, I don’t believe customers’ impression of LIAT would change immediately, simply because ‘(1974) Ltd.’ has been replaced with ‘(2020) Ltd.’

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  • @Artax

    LIAT still has top of mind brand awareness. If the price is right with good customer service forced by the competition it may be able to win back business.

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  • @ Traveller

    If CoVid tests give an indication of the number of travellers, does that include locals who have been tested? By the way, has the minister of tourism said why she has such confidence in tourists from the UK? The UK government has discussed using ice rinks as mortuaries in one of its risk assessments. Does this indicate a people who will be travelling soon.
    Jobs are on the line, even Transport for London has just got a loan of £1.8bn because it is in financial trouble. Is that a good indicator of future t ravelling?
    NHS staff are tired having to work for nine months without a break, does that indicate they want to travel to Barbados for a holiday? They have to come up with new ideas.

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  • @Hal Austin

    There is no local community spread so I assumed any tests included for locals would not be significant. Returning nationals have to be tested so they would be included in the test numbers. The number of second tests can also give a pretty good inference as to flight loads compared to capacity. On a day when 2 BA flights come in, 1 Virgin, 1 AC, 1 American, 1 Jet blue, and 1 carib, 1 euro wing there are about 1500 seats. available. That is without “bubble” travel. If we see the number of tests significantly growing then we know average airlift is coming back to a reasonable capacity..

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