Adrian Loveridge Column – Barbados Welcome Stamp a ‘Hit’

There can be no reasonable doubt that the 12 month Barbados Welcome Stamp initiative has brought the destination an almost unparalleled level of media and public awareness and kudos to all those involved in its conception and ongoing content enhancement.

Amongst, the latest exposure is the planned Lion Television Scotland 60 minute documentary, which in their words, will ‘follow adventurous British families and individuals as they take an almighty plunge and relocate in the middle of a global pandemic, to work remotely from Barbados’.

According to the news release ‘the documentary will follow millennial Ashley, who only needs his laptop to work as a 3D digital animator, young family Kris and Brigitta and their three children who have been enrolled in a local school and Steve and Amanda. Amanda has recently retired and plans to get to know the island and its locals, while Steve works remotely for a pharmaceutical company’.

When filmed and edited the show will be aired on the UK’s Channel 4.

Popular shows on this channel, like Celebrity Bake Off have recently attracted overnight audiences of 4.4 million and Googlebox, a television reality series, 4.9 million. Interestingly, the TV Station reported, following extensive research, they have recorded up to a 38 per cent year-on-year growth to the number of 16 to 34 year olds tuning into the channel, bucking past trends. This at a time, when many conclude, that younger demographics are almost exclusively sourcing information and entertainment through other social media options.

Jo Street, Channel 4’s Head of Daytime and Head of Hub, Glasgow, who oversees the UK wide daytime commissioning team, said ‘Welcome to Barbados will bring audiences some much needed sunshine and give them the chance to escape the harsh realities of 2020, whilst dreaming about life in a hammock, on the beach… Now where do I get my Visa’?

This sort of extensive coverage can only impact positively on a destination, while helping drive additional long term visitors.
Each of these so-called ‘digital nomads’ of course requires somewhere to stay, a rented apartment, house or villa. They all have to eat, whether shopping in supermarkets or dining at our myriad of eating establishments, possibly hire a car on a long term basis, whilst paying their fair share of taxes to Government.
It has to be a win-win for everyone.

Since the Barbados Welcome Stamp was launched it has been expanded to offer a number of goods and services of particular interest to visa applicants, to make temporary relocation less challenging.

Hopefully all our tourism partners will fully evaluate the potential of this new market source and target their particular product by offering added special concessions and discounts. After all, they are beneficially piggy- backing onto this pioneering proven concept that has not cost the individual sector players a single cent in promotional costs.

123 thoughts on “Adrian Loveridge Column – Barbados Welcome Stamp a ‘Hit’

  1. Govt tweaking BEST ‘to help hotels’

    Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley yesterday announced there would be several tweaks to the Barbados Employment and Sustainable Transformation (BEST) programme, which would allow for greater buy-in from the hospitality sector.
    Last week, officials at the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) revealed they had written Government on challenges which some owners were facing in getting into the programme, which is geared at using state loans to keep employees on the payroll at 80 per cent of their salary for the next 18 months. Currently, there are 40 tourism-related businesses, just over 20 of which are hotels, accessing the one-month-old programme.
    During a press conference at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Mottley said that after a meeting with the stakeholders on Friday, some changes would be made, which were likely to add to the 1 000 employees already retained as a result of the programme. She added that issuance of preference shares to Government as criteria for accessing the BEST programme was not something which all hotels had the capacity to do, and that Government had committed to finding suitable alternatives.
    Preference shares
    “In fairness, the programme has been in operation for only a couple of weeks and the BHTA has written to us, asking us to tweak the programme because there are others who may want to come in but are finding it difficult. For example, preference shares may not work for them.
    “There was confusion as to whether the Hilton Hotel could benefit, and we have clarified that, because it can, and that is 345 employees there alone. There are some people who are leasing properties and, therefore, for them that would not work, and we need to find a way to help those companies that don’t own assets and determine how Government will treat to them.
    “We have to ensure that there is balance between what we expect and what they expect, so it is very much a work in progress.
    “One of the reasons that we were not floored by the United Kingdom shutdown was because what we have
    done here can sustain us for the next two years. We do realise that in some instances we may have to own an equity position in some of the hotels going forward, but as I explained to the hoteliers [Friday], that is going to require an analysis of each entity’s books and we could not do that in time to stabilise employment and the hotels.” (CLM)


  2. Can someone explain to me what is wrong with

    1) Unemployment being extended until March or the end of the state of emergency and
    2) Offering 0% interest Keep the Doors Open loans to assist them to maintain their operations if they can prove significant loss of revenue arising from the current situation.

  3. @PLT and Hal Austin,
    There is a program on Channel 4 called “Escape to Barbados” which is showing now on UK TV.
    Your travel passport idea appears to have caught on for a small minority of people.

  4. I just saw it. Heard Petra Roach claimed @PLT’s idea came from the prime minister. I was not impressed.


    @ Hal



  5. @Hal,
    I have just watched the programme. The final part was concluded by some red-skinned woman. As she spoke, the penny dropped. It dawned on me that, that this programme was probably financed and sponsored by the Government of Barbados. It felt like an advertisement punctuated by government propaganda.

    Hal, please tell me that the government of Barbados did not use taxpayer’s money to finance that programme. Would such a trick be beyond them?

  6. @TLSN

    I agree. I was not quite sure if the poor quality was Channel Four or just the idea. It was very poor. I cannot see why Welchmanhall Gully was even involved.
    It was a programme about a single man, an elderly couple and a young family. But, predictably, our tourism officials will see it as a success.

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