Adrian Loveridge Column – A Time for Change

After writing this column, almost religiously, every week for over ten years and a tourism specific published contribution for over two decades , the almost overwhelming feeling -under the current pandemic situation with a severe lack of good news -is frankly just to give in and stop until meaningful recovery is in clear sight.

But this would of course be defeatist and pander to an increasingly vocal minority that has for some time preached that we, as a country, have become too dependent on a single sector, while albeit at the same time, proffering no viable alternative.

In their own way though, they have a point and perhaps successive Governments have not placed sufficient priority into ensuring that all other arms of our economy were carried along by tourism and its incredible contribution to the building of our country.

Has the time finally come to better evaluate exactly how we can practically involve more people, goods and services to redress this disproportionate imbalance?

Without wishing to harp on what may appear a microscopic and at first perceived inconsequential tiny issue, I would like to return to the subject of serving imported bottled water at Government convened media conferences, which for me highlighted the need to dramatically increase the use of local products where practical.

During my nearly 60 years involved in tourism, what has stood out above all other observations, from the time while working as a humble demi-chef du rang or trainee waiter in one of Britain’s oldest hotels, to finally fulfilling a lifetimes dream into co-owning and managing a boutique hotel, was attention to detail.

A simple example is that certainly in my experience working across more than 70 countries, you could often tell if a particular hotel had a female manager, just by the display of fresh flowers in public places of the property like washrooms. This is not in anyway intended to be sexiest, just that a good manager instinctively knows what impresses their guests of any gender or disposition.

In our very early days on Barbados, I readily accepted that my wife would be a much better hotel manager than I could ever be, in almost every respect. Her degree of attention to detail, empathy to staff and guests, was way above anything that I could ever consistently achieve and it was born-out by the highest possible level of those returning to stay.

And currently, whatever your political leanings or gender preferences, is it now finally the time for our current national leader, together with her team to take the bold step in ensuring there are more tangible mutually advantageous partnerships between all sectors of our economy and reduce the reliance on foreign exchange requirements?

Or do we choose to ignore, during this uniquely challenging period in our history, by failing to address the obvious disparity between our largest industry and its need for goods, services and supplies?

124 thoughts on “Adrian Loveridge Column – A Time for Change

  1. I don’t drink bottled water, foreign or local. I drink straight from a seasonal backyard spring or the tap . Very soon we will be importing bottled air and bottled sunshine. The irony of buying bottled water is that on a per litre basis bottled water is way more expensive than tap water.

    • Buying drinking bottled has become a status lifestyle thing with Bajans. Espeicythe so-called middleclay.

  2. @ Mr. Skinner

    Thank you, very much. I appreciate your greetings. I likewise want to wish you and yours a blessed, happy, healthy and prosperous 2021. And, may all good things attend you as well.

    Racism is discussed daily in Barbados and, on almost every blog, someone continuously makes references to it.

    What surprises, me for example, is our political backyard is dirty, yet we join ‘Jolly’ Green to discuss and criticize Gonslaves and SVG politics, we talk about Gaston Browne, Donald Trump, Joe Biden, the last Guyana general elections, etc, yet our ‘political backyard is dirty.’ And, “to this day, we not had a discussion in depth about politics in Barbados.” other than the usual rhetoric,

    Come to think of it, “we’ve NOT had a discussion in depth about ANYTHING in Barbados.” Therefore, if I were to follow your logic, then, why bother commenting on any non Barbadian issue, when almost every aspect in our backyard is overwhelmed with dirtiness?

  3. @ David BU

    Barbados Underground is simply an amazing forum. And, I’ll always maintain that, it’s NOT about WHAT is written, it’s all about WHO wrote it.

    A few weeks ago, in response to a comment Donna made about short-term debt, I mentioned something about if we use the debt for productive purposes, such as financing public projects to earn revenue, it may lead to economic growth. On another occasion, I mentioned we could print money to also finance public projects. ‘Public projects’ is simply an ambiguous term that usually refers to projects that are financed by government, which could include major infrastructure works.

    As the saying goes on BU, “bullying is an addiction, the perpetrator must find a victim.” The usual predator came out to drop his usual snide remarks, “Some people come on and talk crap abut economic growth as if they know what they are talking about, leaving the simple questions unanswered. Where is this growth going to come from? Tell us in simple terms.”

    I happened to come across the following comment:

    January 4, 2021 6:05 PM#: “Instead of defaulting on our domestic and external debt, the government should have embarked on a massive infrastructural programme, sending the bulldozers in to the slums and then rebuilding. I have explained this numerous times on BU.”
    “Such a policy may LEAD to ECONOMIC GROWTH and an increase in tourists, but that would not be the aim; the intention would be an improvement in living standards.”

    Interestingly, “the simple questions were (similarly) left unanswered.”

    I know the individual may purposely opt to use what he describes as the ‘Bajan trick of remaining silent’ or create an opportunity sometime later, to cowardly hide behind his computer to make snide remarks or hurl personal insults and abuse.

    However, I’m going to ask the question anyway. If he’s MATURE enough he will ANSWER, especially if he’s serious about the type of debates he’s always calling for on BU.

    Seeing how he seems to believe ONLY he knows what he’s talking about when he talks about economic growth………..

    ……….I’m asking him kindly to please “tell BU in simple terms, where is this growth going to come from?”

    • @Artax


      The blogmaster has been at this long enough to know that we can learn from everyone IF we listen.

  4. @ David BU

    I agree.

    We could learn something from each other in this forum. Instead, we have some dishonest, hypocritical people who contradict themselves and look down upon others, while promoting themselves as ‘intellectual demigods’ that own the patent on intelligence.

    They come here ‘talking’ about being factual, yet, when they mislead BU, rather than being ‘man enough’ to admit they’re wrong, they talk about fabricating things to get cheap laughs.

    They are not as clever as they pretend to be.

  5. William Skinner January 5, 2021 8:59 AM

    @ Artax
    “Well said. However, why would we expect a discussion about racism in Cuba when we to this day, have not had a discussion in depth about racism in Barbados.
    That’s the conversation we need to have.Can’t question my Neighbour about his dirty backyard if mine is dirty.
    All the best to you and yours in 2021. May all good things attend you.“(Quote)

    Thanks for your well wishes. Please note that my response was in reference to your comment that we don’t discuss racism in Cuba. I did not say anything about Barbados backyard totally dirty etc. I have reprinted my post above . A thousand blogs can “ reference” racism in Bim but that does not equate to any in-depth look at the issue.
    @David said that the PM has indicated that Trevor Prescod and Rodney Grant have been identified to examine the issue.
    So, that’s where I stand and I think my initial response to your post was to the point and was in no way any broadside attack.
    My logic is simple and any logical conclusion should be kept in context. If my child is out there stealing and breaking the law, I would have great difficulty in calling somebody else’s child a thief .That’s all my friend. Nothing more nothing less.

  6. @ David
    The consumption of bottled water is no different from why we eat fast food. It’s a question of convenience. Wherever the market takes us , we usually follow.For example,we have lovely beaches and a great climate yet we go to gyms and many of us now have air conditioning units in our homes.
    It’s the same with transportation. The fad is to have eight cylinder trucks . However we go mad if we are to pay 20% of our children’s university education. We opt to spend $200 per week on gas .
    We produce the finest runs in the world but we opt to drink brandy and scotch. Whom are we trying to fool?
    Taking into consideration that folks in St. Lucy are getting brown water, the question of the purity of our water supply comes into focus.

  7. William Skinner January 6, 2021 8:10 AM #: “Please note that my response was in reference to your comment that we don’t discuss racism in Cuba. I did not say anything about Barbados backyard totally dirty etc. I have reprinted my post above . A thousand blogs can “ reference” racism in Bim but that does not equate to any in-depth look at the issue.”

    @ Mr. Skinner

    It’s either we have a communication problem or my problem is the way I construct my sentences. Perhaps I don’t use the appropriate words to fully explain myself.

    My saying’ “it’s worth discussing,” was not meant to be interpreted as “we don’t discuss racism in Cuba.” It was meant to be a generalized statement to mean, similarly to anything else, ‘it’s worth discussing.’

    Also, I NEVER mentioned anything to suggest you “said anything about Barbados backyard totally dirty,” so I’m not sure from where you got those thoughts. I simply made the statement in response to your comment re: “Can’t question my Neighbour about his dirty backyard if mine is dirty.”

    You wrote, “why would we expect a discussion about racism in Cuba when we to this day, have not had a discussion in depth about racism in Barbados.”

    Let me rephrase. “Come to think of it, “we’ve NOT had a discussion in DEPTH about ANYTHING in Barbados.” Therefore, if I were to follow your logic, then, why bother commenting on any of our neighbour’s issues, when almost every aspect in our backyard is overwhelmed with dirtiness?”

  8. RE Barbados Underground is simply an amazing forum. And, I’ll always maintain that, it’s NOT about WHAT is written, it’s all about WHO wrote it.

  9. @ Cuhdear BajanJanuary 5, 2021 10:11 PM
    “I don’t understand why we as families and as a government waste money on imported bottled water. And why we increase the amount of plastic waste int the environment..”

    Now that’s what one would simply call ‘Common’ sense; not so, “Simple Simon(e)?

    Barbados is going to be hurt badly in the coming years because of the people’s refusal (and actively encouraged by their government) to adhere to that old saying of cutting and contriving in order to live within one’s means as immortalized in song by RPB.

    Barbados is a coral island sealed with a clay ‘bottom’ and dotted with natural springs from spring Hall in St Lucy to the ‘river’ land in St. Philip from Pothouse ‘spring’ in St. John to ‘spring’ Garden in St. Michael.

    Why are Barbadians importing and consuming forex-burning stale water in plastic bottles?

    Barbados is not Saudi Arabia or Qatar or the U.A.E.

    Shouldn’t the BWA have by now, given its decades of existence, established a profit centre selling ‘purified’ spring water labelled the ‘Best of Barbados’: but highly recommended to quench your thirst (on the cheap)?

    Does the presence of the fountain in Heroes Square or that of the Montefiore fountain represent nothing to modern Bajans?

  10. Economists fear effects of another lockdown
    THE BARBADOS ECONOMY is likely going to take yet another hit as a result of the recent outbreak of coronavirus on the island, but the extent of it will depend on whether Government is forced to shut down the island for a second time.
    This is the consensus of two local economists, both of whom are warning that another shutdown is going to be a blow that the private sector will likely not recover from.
    According to Michael Howard, Professor Emeritus in economics at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Government would be best advised to put a short ban on flights from the UK until they get a handle on local spread. He said that the timeframe in which the country can bounce back will depend on how quickly authorities can control the spread and avoid having to shut down the economy.
    Howard said that as long as Government can avoid a shutdown, there should be no further slide in jobless numbers, which is currently approximated at 40 per cent.
    “We cannot afford to go to a full lockdown as persons are suggesting at this time because it is going to set us back considerably. We are only left with the option of following the protocols and trying to survive this way. If we go into community spread and then a lockdown, there is no hope for this economy reviving in the next two or so years.
    “If this persists the tourism industry will have to shut down again, England is already on lockdown and we don’t yet know how that is going to continue to affect Barbados. I believe that right now we are in for some serious trouble down the road,” said Howard.
    The economics professor also pointed out that Barbados’ marketability is likely to also take a hit now that the country is categorised as a high-risk jurisdiction. He added that programmes such as the Welcome Stamp hinged heavily on the ability to sell Barbados as a safe haven, a status, he said, that is now in serious jeopardy.
    Heavy impact
    “I see a setback, I can’t measure the extent of the setback, but I know that as long as we move out of the category of low-risk jurisdiction to what some persons may consider to be a very high risk, it is going to impact a lot of things. I think it is going to affect investment, it is going to affect travel.
    “One of the biggest selling points for Barbados during this pandemic was that the country was considered a safe destination. So all these things are going to take an additional toll on the economy and this is quite unfortunate,” he lamented.
    This view was supported by former banking and finance lecturer at the UWI, Cave Hill Campus, Jeremy Stephen, who told the
    DAILY NATION that Barbados’ ability to salvage 2021 boils down to the speed at which Government can control the outbreak, which resulted in close to 300 cases in four days. He argued that this comes at a time when there is not much to write home about with regards to economic activity in the last quarter of 2020, which is normally the best performing part of the year.
    “According to Prime Minister Mia Mottley we have tens of thousands of visitors on the island when normally in the winter season we would have hundreds of thousands. So it is safe to say that the spend is already down to begin with and the economy would have been down in the fourth quarter of last year.
    “So to start the first quarter of the year in this manner is not a good sign, but what could really exacerbate it is how uncontrollable it turns out to be and what remedies that Government may seek to apply. I get the impression that Government may be hesitant to go back into a full lockdown and as a result you wouldn’t expect the worse of the worse as it relates to economic fallout,” Stephen said.
    He added: “If things turn out that they can’t control it and the country is forced back into a lockdown, as we would have witnessed during the earlier parts of last year during that first lockdown, it will pretty much decimate the entire economy with the exception of one or two sectors.”

    Source: Nation

  11. PROVEN acquires 50.5 per cent stake in Barbados manufacturing company

    Friday, January 08, 2021

    A view of Roberts Manufacturing factory plant in Barbados

    Proven Investments Limited (PROVEN) through a recent sale agreement with Massy Properties, a company in the Massy Group has acquired a 50.5 per cent stake in the Barbados-based company, Roberts Manufacturing Limited.

    The transaction, to be considered at a cost of some US$21.5 million or a little over $3 billion, will provide PROVEN with the opportunity to increase its footprint in the real sector. The real sector of an economy is the sectors that produce goods and services.

    “This purchase demonstrates our bullishness on the economic outlook, and tangibly allows us to participate more in the real sector which is poised for tremendous growth on the aftermath of the pandemic; that has heightened the demand on consumer goods and services,” said Christopher Williams, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of PROVEN Management Limited, investment managers for PROVEN Investments Limited, in a recent company news release.

    PROVEN said its foray into this type of business will further diversify its portfolio helping it also to grow through acquisition in the real sector throughout the Caribbean and Latin American regions and create value for its shareholders. With this addition, the company’s structure now includes a treasury division, private equity and real estate investments along with developments in the commercial and residential segments.

    Roberts is a 21-acre industrial complex consisting of large manufacturing plants and produces a wide variety of margarines, shortening, soya bean oils and animal feed products which are distributed to over 15 markets regionally and internationally.

    The Massy Group, in commenting on the strategic move, said that “The sale of this successful business is consistent with the group’s strategy to focus and optimise its current portfolio, and to position itself to capture growth opportunities.”

    PROVEN, however, said that completion of the transaction was subjected to regulatory TaboolaPromoted LinksYou May Like Le rituel simple pour détoxifier votre foie (faites ceci chaque jour)Foie Santé Votre horoscope 2021: Si précis qu’il donne des frissonsL’Extraordinaire Chris PROVEN APO is backJamaica Observer Intestins: Un truc simple pour les vider entièrementNutravia ECONOMY SHRINKSJamaica Observer

    “Closing is scheduled to take place three business days following the receipt of all regulatory and governmental confirmations, approvals, and acknowledgments, save that the closing date may not be extended beyond 30 days,” a report posted to the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) website stated. Read More

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  12. Surprise that the Boeing crash has not drawn a single statement on BU. Was expecting the stock to tank, but it remains relatively unmoved.

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