Trying to Unravel Government’s Tourism Marketing Strategy

Adrian Loveridge - Owner of Peach & Quiet Hotel

Adrian Loveridge – Owner of Peach & Quiet Hotel

Is the predicted 6 or 7 percent fall in long stay visitors during the month of January directly as a result of reduced promotional expenditure by the national marketing agency, and if so, has anyone put a dollar value on the consequential loss of tax revenue collected by Government?

Is this yet another example of a failed policy decision, as when Government increased the level of VAT, only to find the overall amount gathered, went down and not up? According to the Central Bank (CBB)  from $683.4 million in 2011 to $666.6 million in 2012.

A 6 percent decrease in arrivals when compared to January 2012 would represent 3,157 less people and 7 percent 3,683. Last January was already down over the previous year, albeit only by 0.8 per cent according to CTO figures.

What we should be asking is how much those missing thousands would have spent and is the current dearth of funds to the Barbados Tourism Authority actually costing the industry and the nation’s coffers more than we can imagine.

It doesn’t just end with tax collection, but has to take into account increased benefit payments due to lay-offs and reduced spending by those fully employed. And how will this also impact on overall occupancy levels during the critical four winter months and economy of scale and expense caused as a result of lower lodging levels. Of course these precious winter months also command the highest rooms rates, which in many cases helps the individual hotels limp through the softer summer period.

Are ‘we’ being pennywise and pound foolish?

A regular long stay Canadian visitor asked me why the BTA did not exhibit at the recently concluded Ultimate Travel Show held in Toronto. With a population approaching 6 million people in the Greater Toronto Area, all of which live within an hour’s drive of Pearson International Airport added to which a BTA office in Canada’s largest city, I could not proffer an explanation. Given the climatic conditions, the time of the year and the falling arrival numbers, it didn’t seem to make any sense at all.

Then looking through the exhibitors list and seeing many of our competitors who obviously saw the value of attending the show. Why were ‘we’ not there at a national level? The only Barbadian representative was Swim Barbados Vacations. From the region, those who were present, included Aruba, Belize, Bonaire, Cayman Islands, Cuba, USVI, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica, SVG and the Turks and Caicos. Of course its not feasible to be at everything, but could not some sort of collective presence with private and public sector partners be organised to avoid, what clearly appears another missed opportunity. Despite the sub-zero temperatures and snow, provisional attendance numbers were over 12,000 persons according to Show Manager, Julie Miller. Clearly, the vast majority visiting the event, were there for the purpose of choosing a holiday. Just maybe, they were influenced to book an alternative destination choice.

Ironically, a large BTA delegation went to the CHTA MarketPlace which took place days earlier in The Bahamas. With the obvious lack of promotional funds, perhaps this event was deemed more likely to be cost -effective than the one in Canada and could result in driving higher visitor numbers.

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No Comments on “Trying to Unravel Government’s Tourism Marketing Strategy”

  1. islandgal246 February 4, 2013 at 6:36 AM #

    Tourism is now an ailing horse and the BHTA has no means to purchase medication. Some feel that Barbados can sell itself without a visual presence at these shows. Sad state of affairs. It reminds me of a dog trying to catch its tail.

    Like

  2. David February 4, 2013 at 6:48 AM #

    @islandgal

    Minister Sealy is on record in parliament saying that Barbados cannot afford the medai houses on Madison Avenue, we have to be creative. Is it working?

    Like

  3. Concerned February 4, 2013 at 8:09 AM #

    Marketing has been poor! Rarely an ad or anything in Saturdays toronto star travel section.charging tourists tax on their personal smokes, hmm

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  4. lawson February 4, 2013 at 8:30 AM #

    Sorry to complain again, another sat. has past and not one trip to barbados in the ottawa travel section. Two page article on Dominica the hidden gem of the carribean, as well as trips everywhere else but barbados.Ran into a friend at the coffee shop sunday he told me he is going to cuba last minute, just saw it in the paper and decided to get out of the cold.I asked why cuba he said no reason it could have been anywhere, he just saw the picture of palms and sand and wanted to go .Anywhere except barbados because they didnt have an ad in the paper…..
    I must comment on the lack of co-ordination between the travel editors and the tourism boards Great big two page article on dominica not one trip there advertized, same with other places. You would think the tourim boards would know when an article was about them was being done and and have many hotels ,villas, and flights in the same days paper.

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  5. Adrian Loveridge February 4, 2013 at 8:52 AM #

    David,
    The Minister is speaking with a forked tongue. The BTA’s advertising agency is MMGYGlobal (used to be called MMG Worlwide). They were appointed intitially on a three year contract (January 2009) for BDS$16 million.
    Their NEW YORK office is 245 Fifth Avenue NY10016

    Do you really think the office rental/freehold purchase is cheaper on Fifth Avenue than Madison Avenue?

    According to Clayton Reid, MMG’s CEO, they are still working for the BTA on a monthly retainer.

    Like

  6. millertheanunnaki February 4, 2013 at 9:21 AM #

    @ Adrian:

    There is no tourism strategy to unravel. This government is both financially embarrassed and bereft of ideas.
    This winter season will not be bringing home the bacon as the Governor of the CBB was banking on. Barbados is now up a creek without a paddle and no political party can save her sorry tail.
    Poor Cinderella has lost both slippers in the snow trying to get to this Winter’s ball.
    But the government don’t care since they can always fool the people that the tourism industry is a modern form of slavery and will be replaced with the planting of unoccupied houses for the processing of specialty sugars along with the export of Solar Renewable Energy to Canada and the UK.
    Instead of the tourists from these blustery cold arctic temperature places coming to Barbados in an aluminum tube called an aeroplane to be pandered to, we can ship to them canned solar energy for sun tanning and heating. Never mind we will soon be unable to pay for our imported petrol and fuel oil from Trinidad. But we can always eat the houses that have been planted instead importing food when the foreign money runs out.

    Sorry to be so ridiculous by taking the ‘mickey’ but the response by this government to our bread and butter industry really is nothing but downright scandalous in light of the bad press the country has been receiving recently. The behaviour of this government in the face of such wanton dismissal and arrogant silence on such a grave matter vital to our economic survival can only be described as their intention of killing the proverbial ‘goose that lays the golden eggs’.

    Given your consistent and constructively critical contributions on the state of our most precious forex earning industry, don’t be surprised if some idiots called for your deportation if the DLP administration is returned to office. Nothing is beyond politicians. It has happened in the past.

    Like

  7. Amused February 4, 2013 at 11:01 AM #

    @millertheanunnaki | February 4, 2013 at 9:21 AM | My friend, you are not being at all rediculous. You have put it most correctly in a nutshell.

    @Adrian, take note, but do NOT back off. Any really concerned government will listen to you and heed your warnings.

    What the hell can you expect? Due to the lack of a justice system and any sort of respect by the courts or the politicians for the Constitution, Barbados has no civil rights or liberties and this has fatally prejudiced off shore investment. Due to the CoP and the DPP, Barbados has been internationally exposed as a country where tourists, if victims of crime, are treated as criminals themselves with no respect or empathy or sympathy shown to them and instead see torture used as an expedient means to extract “confessions” from the innocent. Meanwhile, there are MANY other warm winter holiday destinations competing that DO have working justice systems and do offer protection and sympathy and assistance to vitims of crime, without resorting to the torture of suspects and coerced confessions.

    Until these matters are comprehensively addressed, our tourism market and overseas investments will be terminally affected. Yet, no wannbe MP and no political party has seen fit to use this as a platform for election. So, we can expect more of the same, no matter who gets into office, until, as my friend the Miller has pointed out before, the leadership of these parties come into the hands and control of younger and more global thinking people like, dare I say it, the statesmanlike MAM

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  8. Check-This-Out February 4, 2013 at 11:04 AM #

    Toronto Star article Jan 29/13

    http://www.thestar.com/life/travel/caribbean/2013/01/29/caribbean_travel_piton_mountains_dominate_lovely_st_lucia.html

    St. Lucia Tourism Board Toronto

    http://www.mystlucia.org/info_htm/tourism.htm

    Like

  9. Georgie Porgie February 4, 2013 at 11:15 AM #

    THE PITONS ARE UNDOUBTEDLY ONE OF THE MOST GLORIOUS SITES IN THE WORLD

    Like

  10. balance February 4, 2013 at 11:56 AM #

    “no political party has seen fit to use this as a platform for election”
    BECAUSEBOTH PARTIES HAVING OUTLIVED THEIR USEFULNESS ARE BOTH INTELLECTUALY BEREFT OF IDEAS TO MANAGE AN INDUSTRY WHICH CALLS FOR MORE THAN PLATFORM POLITICAL RHETORIC.

    Like

  11. peltdownman February 4, 2013 at 12:29 PM #

    Anybody see the Bahamas advert during the superbowl?

    Like

  12. David February 4, 2013 at 1:52 PM #

    @Peltdownman

    Word is that BAH ad cost 8 million?

    Like

  13. David February 4, 2013 at 1:53 PM #

    Jamaica got some good coverage.

    Like

  14. Fractured BLP February 4, 2013 at 2:51 PM #

    Owen Arthur says 2013 is about LEADERSHIP .

    Why is he ducking from the leadership debate between himself and the Prime Minister ?

    But then again in 2008……as PM Arthur he DUCKED the debate with the then Opposition Leader !

    We found out why later !!!

    Miller , in case you forgot…..go and CHEQUE it out !

    2013 is heading the same way again….!

    Like

  15. millertheanunnaki February 4, 2013 at 5:27 PM #

    @ Fractured BLP | February 4, 2013 at 2:51 PM |

    We all know you are just one fractured if not broken record stuck in the past of a pre-2008 political landscape of Barbados. The world has moved on and it would do both you and the DLP good to take on board the constructive feedback on our tourism industry that is freely given here on BU by those who have nothing but genuine interest and concern for this once beautiful and proud country called Barbados.

    Most of us –some near or past retirement age and heading for the departure lounge for the Light in the heavens- have nothing to gain financially or else wise other than NOT asking what this country can do for us or “what is in it for me” but what we as individuals can do to see this country move forward positively and not go the way of surfacing degradation and despair.

    We don’t want this country to be known as the blighted “Badbados” now fast becoming a shadow of her former self.
    Do you get where we are coming from, Fractured? Or is that too much to ask of your fried brain cells sautéed in yellow blinkered oil and the devil’s lying potpourri (DLP) sauce?

    Like

  16. Fractured BLP February 4, 2013 at 5:40 PM #

    Miller , understandably you are a tormented soul .

    Go take a bush bath .

    Like

  17. millertheanunnaki February 4, 2013 at 6:05 PM #

    @ Fractured BLP | February 4, 2013 at 5:40 PM |

    Au contraire, it’s well with my soul! The miller has already booked a one-way first class ticket; with a special massage with anointed oil on offer.
    What about yours, you Fractured fool, for on the 21st yours it will be required of you!

    Like

  18. David February 4, 2013 at 7:27 PM #

    Like

  19. Sargeant February 4, 2013 at 10:51 PM #

    @David

    CBS charged between 3.8 & 4 million for a 30 second Super Bowl Ad, if that commercial ran on the main CCBS feed it would cost about 8 million US. What is the Bahamian Tourism advertising budget? One other thing they allow Casino gambling in the Bahamas (not to locals) so that pulls in a lot of tourists.

    In Canada the Super Bowl is simulcast so unless one has a satellite with a US feed or make the trip to a bar you’ll see very few US commercials during the game.

    What do you think of this commercial?

    Like

  20. David February 4, 2013 at 11:21 PM #

    @Sargeant

    Bahamas can almost be described as the 51st state of the US, its main tourist market. There is justification in using the Superbowl opportunity for them in this context.Personally the BU household is split in out support of the ad.

    Like

  21. Sargeant February 4, 2013 at 11:24 PM #

    @Miller
    You should ignore “Fracture” and ask the BLP to accept the “constructive feed back” from the Hotelier come Feb.22-2013, since you are so sure that they will assume Office. But…. Mr. Loveridge tried to provide “constructive feedback” to the BLP before and as you know that “feedback’ was rejected and the former Minister of Tourism was so insulted when Mr. Loveridge posed a question to him on the airways that he stormed out of the studio muttering something about “a poor black man”.

    We have heard about the $64,000 question in the US, in Barbados our bar is set a little lower so that question became the $40,000. The DLP was so enamoured of Mr. Loveridge that when it came to power he was immediately placed on the BTA Board but alas that didn’t last long. So assuming the BLP regains power will the Minister be willing to listen to Mr. Loveridge? Will he let bygones be bygones? Is he older and wiser? (older he is ,wiser the jury is still out but given his attack on a man who is deceased I doubt that)

    I am assuming that a BLP Gov’t will see the return of the Minister after all he is still their spokesman on Tourism affairs (but he may be shunted off to some Dept. where he can do no harm e.g. Minister without Portfolio.)

    Like

  22. Sargeant February 4, 2013 at 11:35 PM #

    @David
    I heard conversation around this ad before I even saw it, there was no ad extolling the virtues of Jamaica during the Super Bowl but the subliminal message is priceless because Jamaica became part of the conversation and immediately people who want to get away will think of going there when they see the ad.

    The Jamaica Tourist Board received a “product placement” without spending a farthing.

    Like

  23. Taximan February 4, 2013 at 11:44 PM #

    Around here good news is frowned on but the number of cruise ships in Bridgetown Harbour of late are fantastic to see. Glad to see taxi drivers on the go with happy tourists everytime you drive on Spring Garden.
    Dont expect to hear fromLoveridge and Bad News Dass on the cruise ship success because obviously a marketing strategy is at work.

    Like

  24. Adrian Loveridge February 5, 2013 at 4:43 AM #

    Taximan,
    ‘a marketing strategy is at work’

    Interesting observations, but I am afraid the facts speak for themselves:

    CRUISE SHIP ARRIVALS 2012 (P)
    Arrivals DOWN 15.2 per cent (thats 92,408 LESS passengers)
    Landed Passengers DOWN 19.3 per cent
    Number of Vessels DOWN 8.4 per cent

    In fact of the total of 517,436 cruise ship passengers, ONLY 98,532 passengers left the ships for the whole of 2012.
    THATS LESS THAN ONE IN FIVE (or 19 per cent)

    Mr. Taximan if you are doing well. GREAT!
    But that is certainly NOT the result of any successful marketing strategy.

    Figures compliments of Barbados Statistical Service.

    Like

  25. David February 5, 2013 at 6:13 AM #

    @Adrian

    Walk us through the cruise ship numbers as posted by BSS.

    http://www.barstats.gov.bb/files/documents/Dec_2011_and_2012_compared.pdf

    Like

  26. Adrian Loveridge February 5, 2013 at 6:20 AM #

    David, I think my previous posting to Taximan says it all, but to elaborate.
    Of all the 2012 cruise ship passengers, only roughly 19 per cent were deemed by the BSS as ‘landed’. In other words left the ship. Of this total 98,532 ‘landed’ passengers this included ‘direct-transits or transfer passengers, tourists and Barbadian Residents, so the actual number that COULD have spent any money is way below 98,532 or less than ONE in FIVE of total cruise passengers.

    Like

  27. David February 5, 2013 at 11:01 AM #

    The Guyanese immigration issue a few years ago exposed the inefficient MIS setup at the Immigration Department. What is the status?

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  28. Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right! February 5, 2013 at 11:22 AM #

    @ David

    It still languishing but Ermine Griffith will tell you differently

    Like

  29. Taximan February 5, 2013 at 11:40 AM #

    @ Loveridge ,David,

    Of all the 2012 cruise ship passengers,

    Hello peoples its 2013 wake up the Bridgetown Port is bursting at the seams with big arse cruise ships everyday I am a taximan you cant fool me.

    Like

  30. David February 5, 2013 at 11:48 AM #

    @Multimoniker aka Taximan

    BU will defer to your anecdotal view. It is truly the silly season.

    Like

  31. Gabriel Tackle February 5, 2013 at 1:14 PM #

    @David
    Yesterday’s Telegraph(UK) carried a story on a study done by PWC for BA,Virgin,Ryanair and Easy Jet and it’s calling for the abolition of the APD tax,currently estimated to yield 10-12Billion UK pounds to the treasury but which the study forecast can lead to an immediate boost to the UK economy and input 16 Bn Pounds by 2015,pull it out of its current recession immediately and provide 60,000 jobs in the UK by 2020

    Like

  32. barbadostripadvisor February 5, 2013 at 2:44 PM #

    we better hope AL-Qaeda dont bomb one of them cruse ships or that done.
    as for barbados.the world now knows what barbados is.i have spoken to several white women who were robbed,cheated on,and used to get a jet ski by bajan men.so the world is catching on to the bajan way.lies and filth.
    http://wp.me/p31iji-2p

    Like

  33. lawson February 5, 2013 at 3:28 PM #

    Taximan meets taxman I made nothing business really bad… no ships

    Like

  34. Adrian Loveridge February 5, 2013 at 3:34 PM #

    Taximan,

    ‘bursting at the seams’

    Hopefully this will continue past February.
    To make that happen 2013 will have to average an almost 18 per cent increase in cruise ship passengers JUST to make up for 2012, let alone show a meaningful increase
    How likely is that Mr. Taximan?

    Like

  35. Jus Mekkin Sport February 5, 2013 at 3:38 PM #

    Lets leave all the extraneous destructive elements to our tourist industry to one side for a minute.
    “Charity begins at home”
    We have enough “home bred” destruction at large .
    How many would be tourists to Barbados ,give us a miss because of :

    The Police Comissioner Mr Dottin,who makes ” Clusoe” appear as a genius,who infers that whites are so stupid as not to know one Bajun from the next,.
    Who absolutely instills confidence ,that tourists will be safe in Barbados.
    While at the same time,women tourists are raped ,prominent visitors are stabbed as they enter the multi million $ house they have rented.
    Then we have:
    A Director of Public Prosecution Charles Leacock.
    Who Allows Murderers to “get away with Murder”
    Makes statements that women who refuse sex to men are “Provoking” the men therefore justifying,these same men to kill them.
    Allows men who torture and kill a young white girl to plead Manslaughter .

    All of these matters receiving massive International press coverage that far out weighs the pityful coverage of the “good side ” of Barbados ,therfore negating the value of advertising visiting “Heaven on Earth”
    It would appear that the chances of visiting HEAVEN are vastly increased by simply VISITING Barbados,when these two individuals are allowed to hold the posts they do in Barbados.

    What happens when the Learned Professor and his good lady return to UK and announce that they had a wonderfull time in “Heaven” and barely escaped with their lives.
    This fast on the heels of the ladies who were raped and were ignored by the police.
    Not forgetting the young white girl violently tortured and Hanged by two killers at her home in Barbados.

    How much damage do the Police Comissioner Mr Dottin and DPP Charles Leacock do to the Barbados Economy??
    Why we tolerate them to still be in a position to inflict still more blows to the MAINSTAY of the economy of Barbados.
    They should be INVITED to resign at once.
    The MASSIVE negative publicity that these two INCOMPETANTS have generated contributes greatly to the perception internationally ,that Barbados is NOT the place to visit.
    Lets fix the things we can fix ,then worry about those we are not able to influence.

    Like

  36. David February 5, 2013 at 3:48 PM #

    Commissioner Dottin indicated at his most recent press conference he may have to open his file on the Crawford matter. What is stopping him from doing it now? Is the matter ‘sub judice’?

    Like

  37. David February 5, 2013 at 4:21 PM #

    Former Minister of Tourism Noel Lynch has accused the government of not paying its bill in the sector, we assume BTA obligations. Will Minister Sealy feel inclined to rebutt any time soon?

    Like

  38. islandgal246 February 5, 2013 at 4:24 PM #

    David is the Commissioner stating that he has a cold case now?

    Jus mekkin sport….I totally agree with you, it seems that no one is capable of cleaning up the mess. TOTAL INCOMPETENCE!

    Like

  39. Adrian Loveridge February 5, 2013 at 4:41 PM #

    David, Is this the same Noel Lynch that stood up in Parliament and said ‘No loan (categorically) No loan by Government to charter the Carnival Destiny’
    or the same as left the BHTA with tens of thousands of dollars of UNPAID VAT or a number of small hoteliers with unpaid bills for various sporting events while he was President of AAA?
    Lest anyone has a short memory!

    Like

  40. David February 5, 2013 at 4:43 PM #

    @Adrian

    The said very one but does it make his question moot?

    Like

  41. Adrian Loveridge February 5, 2013 at 4:56 PM #

    I think the point in question is that I have never heard Minister Sealy deny that the BTA owes money, but I have heard several things that the former MOT has said that were completely untrue. I suppose that I am questioning honesty and integrity against not saying anything at all.

    Like

  42. Georgie Porgie February 5, 2013 at 6:51 PM #

    What has become of CCC- THE DLP PIMP ? iS HE DEAD?

    Like

  43. Hants February 5, 2013 at 7:41 PM #

    Prime time ad running on CTV news daily at 6pm in Ontario

    http://www.chumfm.com/Contests/Contests/Win-Breakfast-In-Barbados-with-Roger,-Darren-Maril

    Like

  44. Taximan February 5, 2013 at 9:06 PM #

    Nice Hants fabulous advertising for Barbados, you know who is not going to like this. You entering?

    Like

  45. David February 6, 2013 at 6:03 AM #

    A reminder about what Barney said back then. It seems this Youtube is beginning to bounce around the Internet:

    http://www.islandjournal.net/reportc.htm?section=caribbeannewsnow&story=Letter:-Carnival-Destiny-schedule&id=771&catid=7

    http://barpublish.bits.baseview.com/story/289003736690845.php

    Like

  46. Check-This-Out February 6, 2013 at 3:11 PM #

    I see in Barbados today that The Minister of Tourism announced plans to provide more avenues for tourists to spend more money in the island.

    Has nobody told him that tourism was down 5.5% last year; in part because it already cost more to visit “The Island” than to visit other islands. Tourists are looking to spend less of their hard earned money on discretionary spends like vacations.

    Like

  47. Adrian Loveridge February 6, 2013 at 4:06 PM #

    Check-this-out,

    I read the MOT’s comments with almost total disbelief.

    ‘Hotels are about sleeping’ was the classic comment and clearly demonstrates there is so little understanding about the industry by our policymakers.
    I challenge the MOT that it is not really too late to LEARN. Join me at 4am tomorrow at our little hotel and stay with us until we go off duty at 11pm (if we are lucky) to understand just what a ridiculous comment you have made.
    In your five years, Mr. Minister just how many of around 160 hotels (that are still open) have you visited or stayed in?
    And you are going to ‘intensify the links between tourism and agriculture, heritage and the green economy’. So why haven’t you done that over the last five years?
    What happened to the promised re-structuring of the BTA ?

    Surely, you are not going to blame that on the recession?

    Like

  48. Gabriel Tackle February 6, 2013 at 4:40 PM #

    @Adrian
    They restructured.They sent packing Vertically Challenged L Austin Husbands former Harrison College student and former Barclays Bank clerk now relegated to a Sand Street humbug in his native village.

    Like

  49. David February 7, 2013 at 6:00 PM #

    Like

  50. Hants February 7, 2013 at 6:10 PM #

    David why are you promoting St.Lucia tourism?

    Like

  51. Hants February 7, 2013 at 6:12 PM #

    Like

  52. David February 7, 2013 at 6:18 PM #

    @Hants

    The objective here is to see what other s are doing especially if some believe they are doing it better than us. How is St. Lucia able to grow in markets where we are losing?

    Like

  53. islandgal246 February 7, 2013 at 6:19 PM #

    I am going to St. Lucia , then take a ferry to Martinique , from Martinique another ferry to Dominica and then to Guadeloupe by ferry. From Guadeloupe to Antigua by ferry and then a flight to Barbados. A perfect holiday for an islandgal! Thanks David!

    Like

  54. islandgal246 February 7, 2013 at 6:33 PM #

    “How is St. Lucia able to grow in markets where we are losing?”

    Just look at the video! We should ask what is it we have that others don’t have and how can we improve! Listen folks let us get real, St. Lucia is fresh, it is green. it is pretty, it is CHEAPER than Bim and has more scenic beauty than we have. St. Lucia here I come!

    Like

  55. millertheanunnaki February 7, 2013 at 6:41 PM #

    “David why are you promoting St.Lucia tourism?”

    St. Lucia has many attractions to keep the tourists entertained in a most eco-friendly environment without having to walk through streets strewn with garbage and annoying human pests. Only thing St. Lucia does not have (compared to overly expensive Barbados) for the modern eco-conscious tourist are coral bleached beaches that are no longer the main attraction for those aware of the dangers of skin cancer. They would much prefer to drive or walk through the Soufriere mountains and get a sun tan than to lie on the beaches of Barbados to be harassed continuously by “scruffians” offering sex and drug for sale.

    Until Barbados gets its act back together and offer tourists more to do, less harassment and unsightly garbage pile up, and definitely value for money as advertised in its misleading ads, tourism will continue to go downhill especially in the UK market of which much is known.

    Like

  56. islandgal246 February 7, 2013 at 6:56 PM #

    RE Barbados video …..”No fast food conglomerates?” I wunder what KFC, Subway and Burger King come under? Hants I got to tell yuh…. We video ent saying a pang! Um telling nuff lies!

    Like

  57. Georgie Porgie February 7, 2013 at 7:13 PM #

    How is St. Lucia able to grow in markets where we are losing?
    ADVERTISING!

    The drive from Castries to the Pitons and Soufriere etc is boring and expensive by taxi.
    The drive from Castries to the North is more like 1792 in Florida-brightly painted houses. There are more interesting tourisy places to go to in Bim and more interesting things to do.

    Like

  58. islandgal246 February 7, 2013 at 8:03 PM #

    GP it is evident that you are not into natural beauty and that it bores you so that type of tourism is not for you! But wasn’t it you who professed on a similar blog that the Pitons are world renown for their beauty? Like yuh got two faces nuh!

    Like

  59. Georgie Porgie February 7, 2013 at 8:21 PM #

    ISLAND GAL
    I DO LOVE THE PITONS BUT I HATE THE DRIVE TO GET THERE!
    I HAVE ALWAYS LOVED THE PITONS SINCE 71 WHEN I SAW THEM FIRST.
    STILL LOVE THEM. WENT DOWN THERE TWICE BY ROAD LAST YEAR AND ALSO BY SEA

    BUT A RAIN FOREST IS A RAIN FOREST! WE HAVE THEM HERE TOO AS YOU KNOW WELL AS YOU HAVE BEEN ON STOP AND STARE WALKS THROUGH THE GULLIES AND WALKED IN ST JON AND ST ANDREW.

    Like

  60. Fearless February 7, 2013 at 8:22 PM #

    Hants | February 7, 2013 at 6:10 PM |
    David why are you promoting St.Lucia tourism?

    Hants not only David , island gal and the Loveridges of this world promote St. Lucia and the rest of islands over Barbados you would be surprised the number of traitorous locals who do similarly. On the other hand Simon Cowell, Oprah Winfrey,Tony Blair , Rihanna et al sing Barbados praises as the ultimate vacation spot. The dont want to see another Caribbean island.

    The difference is the celebrites dont have an axe to grind. Rihanna spends every moment away from her hectic schedule in Barbados and she could go to the moon with her money. islandgal, David and Loverdige on the other hand denigrate Barbados at every opportunity while urging tourists to go elsewhere. They then turn around to lambaste the GOB for not advertising Bdos.

    Like

  61. Georgie Porgie February 7, 2013 at 8:36 PM #

    FEARLESS
    Actually Sandals ads are often seen on American tv for Sandals, St Lucia- which seems to be sold out for most of the year..So is the Almond brand hotel that we had to sell down there.. The service there was great!

    Like

  62. islandgal246 February 7, 2013 at 8:38 PM #

    GP we do not have rain forests here we have dry forests, I enjoy both. I love trekking through the bush. We need to plant more trees and have more green areas instead of putting up concrete jungles.

    Fearless yadda yadda yadda!

    Like

  63. Hants February 7, 2013 at 10:11 PM #

    I am yet to see a contribution that considers the actions of the countries from which we get tourists.

    Major Canadian cities increased their stay in Canada advertising. So did the USA vacation destinations.

    Barbados would have lost market share for this reason and because Bajans are slow to react to change.

    Think about this.

    In 2011, the Toronto region welcomed 9.8 MILLION overnight visitors from over 200 different countries.

    Like

  64. David February 7, 2013 at 11:03 PM #

    @Hants

    By the MoT’s admission we have cut back in advertising because of a lack of money. Did we not post on earlier blogs that feedback from the Bahamas Tourism Conference a few weeks ago the feedback was Barbados’ lack of visibility in the market? This feedback came from the operators in the market.

    Like

  65. millertheanunnaki February 7, 2013 at 11:13 PM #

    @Fearless | February 7, 2013 at 8:22 PM |

    Listen Fearless, no one is putting down Barbados, as you would wont to imply, because of some DLP government. We had DLP governments before and one that pushed tourism big time and even had a white Englishman called Peter Morgan who was an outstanding Minister of Tourism, if not the best.

    What we are concerned about is the sudden deterioration of the standards in the industry and quality of facilities and offerings in recent years.
    All we are asking is to treat the ‘goose that lays the golden forex egg’ with some, if not utmost, respect, care and consideration.

    Do you think that Rihanna could be more Bajan than many of us on this blog?
    We want to see more and better housekeeping standards applied like keeping the place clean (as we used to do before this recent inurnment to filth and unsightly garbage), stop harassing visitors, reduce the crime, offer good service and value for money and diversify our attractions that were once known and enjoyed like Sam Lord’s Castle; Graeme Hall Swamp and Nature Sanctuary; Andromeda Gardens; hiking and arranged round-the-island walks and tours in the gullies; Bajan Helicopters; more diving and snorkeling; more night life involving live shows and performances instead of the continuously loud recorded indiscernible boringly long “wuk-up” music. What has happened to our own local music and live performances?

    We need to do some damage control and offer reassurances to potential visitors given the recent but consistent bad press coverage in our main source market. We need to stop seeing every foreigner or visitor as a potential sucker to be ripped off or easy game for sexual advances or to make a drug sale.

    Is that too much to ask or are we being disloyal sons and daughters because we don’t march to your blind nationalistic and jingoistic come-hell-or-high-water drum of partisan political incompetence?

    Skipper, we want back our Bajan tourism heritage and style of good manners, courtesy, helpfulness and with the goal of fulfilling the visitors’ dream vacation beyond expectation even if they are prepared to pay a premium.
    Anything wrong or unachievable with that mission statement?

    Like

  66. Adrian Loveridge February 8, 2013 at 5:00 AM #

    I for one,are NOT trying to promote St. Lucia or anywhere else over Barbados. I currently, and have for 25 years made my living from tourism in Barbados, I do NOT have any other income or foreign investments. EVERYTHING I have is right here. BUT I KNOW ‘we’ can do better.

    Look at the figures:

    2012 –
    Long stay DOWN 5.5 per cent (31,421 people)
    Cruise DOWN 15.2 per cent (92,408 people)

    The Central Bank Govenor and others have gambled on a good winter season, so lets look at January 2013.

    USA – DOWN 11.1 per cent
    Canada – DOWN 18.4 per cent
    UK – DOWN 2.4 per cent
    Trinidad – DOWN 40.6 per cent

    Overall (all markets) DOWN 8.2 per cent

    There is NO way that we should be DOWN 18.4 per cent from Canada in January and my column (I believe) graphically illustrates some of the reasons.
    If marketing funds are limited then you HAVE to prioritise exactly WHERE you can generate the best return. Its therefore a simple choice, the Bahamas or Canada. Nobody on this planet can convince me that the BTA could not have place a couple of people for a day and a half at the Ultimate Travel Show in Toronto. But there again, its not as sexy as staying in the Bahamas and perhaps they wouldn’t have got there per diem expenses in Toronto.
    I have been absolutely AMAZED at the lack of constructive conversation coming from the current ruling party and total dearth of solutions. In less than two weeks ‘we’ take to the polls and that also applies to the 1,000 plus tourism workers that have lost their jobs over the last year or so.

    Miller, mentioned Peter Morgan and I would also add St. Harold St. John to show that I am not partisan. The BIG difference with these two gentleman is that they knew they did not know all the answers, so they spoke to the people (at all levels) that did.

    Like

  67. Adrian Loveridge February 8, 2013 at 12:40 PM #

    What is being done by the tourism marketing people to maximise the opportunities caused by the current weather conditions in the US and Canada?

    Like

  68. lawson February 8, 2013 at 2:23 PM #

    What they should be doing is creating a mindset that Barbados has never been cheaper for canadians to travel to because you are tied to the american dollar and we have been trading above par. But they are probably still in the Bahamas because the weather is horrible up here.

    Like

  69. Hants February 8, 2013 at 3:32 PM #

    millertheanunnaki wrote “Skipper, we want back our Bajan tourism heritage and style of good manners, courtesy, helpfulness and with the goal of fulfilling the visitors’ dream vacation beyond expectation even if they are prepared to pay a premium.
    Anything wrong or unachievable with that mission statement?

    Absolutely brilliant.

    @Adrian Loveridge. You ask very difficult questions.

    I just spent half hour this morning clearing snow so I could drive to work. Then another half hour clearing snow off my car so I could drive home.

    Given that there is a BTA office in the GTA (Toronto) they would have enough evidence to suggest that a little advertising of sun,sand and rum punch could be very effective.

    Buh doan mine me. I ent nuh tour ism expurt.

    http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013/02/08/schools_open_but_buses_cancelled_as_storm_hits_gta.html

    Like

  70. Adrian Loveridge February 8, 2013 at 3:52 PM #

    Hants, looking at the GTTA website and seeing the volume of flight cancellations today including perceived sun destinations like Tampa and Orlando, I hope there wasn’t an empty seat on Air Canada or WestJet today to Barbados. The 18 per cent fall in Canadian arrivals for January is a real concern.

    Like

  71. David February 9, 2013 at 8:01 AM #

    Melville said she was concerned about Barbados’ performance “because when you look at the information on tourism the tourist arrivals are lagging behind that of the region”.

    Further concern was the fact that although there was some recovery in UK travel Barbados was still lagging behind other tourist destinations in three region, which she said “suggests that there are some structural issues that are involved in the competitiveness of the sector”.
    http://www.barbadostoday.bb/2013/02/08/more-of-the-same/

    The quote above confirms what Adrian et al have been saying. It is good that it comes from a supposedly independent source; Caribbean Development Bank.

    Like

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