How Do We Invigorate Our Tourism Product?

Adrian Loveridge - Owner of Peach & Quiet Hotel

Adrian Loveridge – Owner of Peach & Quiet Hotel

I suppose you can put it down to my naivety, so long in coming, so many great expectations and then in hindsight, the reality of the situation. Almost 40 percent of the eligible electorate chose not to vote, the status quo re-elected for a second term by a precariously small majority and just microscopic adjustments made to the governance of an industry in crisis. At least, that seems to be the scenario, so far.

Clearly there are plus points. Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner, appointed as a Parliamentary Secretary in the reconfigured Ministry and Tourism and International Transport, when many of us years later are still puzzled why the two bodies were ever separated in the first place. The Senator brings her abilities in marketing to the table at a time when this discipline is needed more than ever.

Shadowing the Ministry is Member of Parliamant Santia Bradshaw and while I don’t want to diminish her abundant legal qualifications, I am far from convinced we need or want any more lawyers involved in tourism policymaking. But she is also an entrepreneur and after looking at her website, I was personally impressed with the high level of presentation. Hopefully she can add value and youthful objectivity to the sector from a constructive opposition stance.

Now is the time for solutions.

A line in the sand has been indelibly etched: to re-state what many of us have been saying for months. While the global recession and the dreaded APD tax have helped stifle growth in visitor arrival numbers, they are not the sole causes of our dismal performance in tourism. Now this has been established beyond any reasonable doubt, it is time to move on and implement policies that will restore viability to the industry.

‘All the signs suggest Caribbean tourism is rallying’ and a ‘5.4 percent growth rate outpaced the rest of the world’. These comments attributed to Chairwoman of the CTO, Beverly Nicholson-Doty when referring to statistics for 2012. With Easter just over two weeks away, traditionally arrival volumes start to fall very soon after. This means we are currently facing an extended softer eight long summer months without any national marketing plan in place. What really puzzles me is that both Government and the BTA have failed to explain the fiscal challenges they are currently encountering honestly to the private sector. There has been this cloak of silence, while the public sector seems to enjoy this assumed comfort of continued employment almost at any cost.

But as we enter the shoulder season, thousands of tourism workers have genuine concern, whether they will keep their jobs or have working hours severely reduced to dramatically lower living standards for them and their families. Frankly, it has been an appalling job of public relations in keeping the private sector fully informed and ‘we’ should all learn from this.

Following the tragic events of 911, with all the then associated impending doom and gloom that threatened our number one industry, a meeting of key players in tourism was convened to brainstorm our options at that time. It was, in my opinion, one of the most productive meetings that I have attended in twenty five years. Maybe, its time again, to put the politics aside and focus exactly how we are going to kick-start what fuels our economy.

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No Comments on “How Do We Invigorate Our Tourism Product?”

  1. millertheanunnaki March 12, 2013 at 1:00 PM #

    @ Watching | March 12, 2013 at 11:15 AM |

    Unless you are involved in the same foreign exchange earning sector you are in no position to criticise Adrian for his efforts.

    But what can one expect from a person whose taste of mediocrity and rating of high or outstanding performance is measured by your evaluation of the recent electoral result as
    “spectacular” win of a 2 seat margin from a previous 20 +1. But let us grant you the pyrrhic victory, even if by hook or crook.

    However, before you carry on your futile attacks on Adrian, it would do you a world of good to take on board David of BU’s comment @David | March 12, 2013 at 12:20 PM |
    “@watching/observant/1000 pounds of blubber etc”.
    Take heed and watch your idiotic comments about people who are making a significant contribution to this country in earning foreign exchange to support the imported conspicuous consumption habits of lazy bastards like you.


  2. Bush Tea March 12, 2013 at 1:43 PM #

    @ GP
    Pope Shiite!!
    Bushie don’t want no “Popeship”, ….how about a motion for Islandgal to be constrained to swear obedience to Bushie from henceforth…. :)


  3. ac March 12, 2013 at 1:51 PM #

    Yeah david i read that too sounds familiar. here that swan song everyday coming from BLP yardlows .however the gist o the article highlights the reality and decline of tourism in the Carribbean.


  4. Georgie Porgie March 12, 2013 at 1:55 PM #

    I not sure you can handle Island girl’s garden But could you teach ac to spell, use punctuation, some logic and how to keep quiet when she has nothing to say of substance?


  5. ac March 12, 2013 at 2:15 PM #

    Hey gorgie porgie wha.s up doc. wuh happen that new job fire yuh ass .see u got plenty time to be all up in people.s bizness how about finding a garden that u could mow down.or dat too much work fuh u to do. maybe u could try a little viagra.


  6. islandgal246 March 12, 2013 at 2:59 PM #

    “how about a motion for Islandgal to be constrained to swear obedience to Bushie from henceforth…. :)

    NEVA HAPPENING ….You got to swear obedience to ME BUSHIE first then things will heat up!


  7. old onion bags March 12, 2013 at 3:06 PM #

    Bush man on a lease….I could just picture it….Hear Islgal…” dat…hurry up too.”….


  8. watching/observant/1000 pounds of blubber etc March 12, 2013 at 5:26 PM #

    David | March 12, 2013 at 12:20 PM |
    @watching/observant/1000 pounds of blubber etc

    You are dishonest in your rebuttal of Adrian’s argument. Why don’t you compare Barbados to one of the other islands which has experienced growth?

    What untreated crap are you and your sidekick BLP yardfowl miller coming with. You fully support Loveridge in his ad naseum misleading arguments based on cherry picked data to show the rest of the Caribbean is growing and Barbados is not. Isnt that so?

    Now its been pointed out to you the growth Loveridge harps on is (1) mostly in the non English speaking Caribbean eg DR, Aruba and (2) even powerhouse Jamacia with the unmatched promotion muscle of Bolt, Marley,reggae, movies, proximity to US etc is seeing big declines you get on your high horse with lies of dishonesty in rebuttal. Where is the dishonesty? Read what the former Jamaica tourism Minister said. Its his details not mine. The rebuttal is clear, honest, factual.

    We know the blog is yours and you can attack and distort as you please and more often than any individual blogger still it does not change the truth no matter how much monikers you pin on me.

    The reality is the English speaking Caribbean is having a hard time in tourism because of the world economic crisis not Barbados alone as YOU, Loveridge and your lapdogs miller and islandgirl gleefully want us to believe. Ive got a plane to catch. I’ll be an arrival statistic in Washington DC by noon tomorrrow .


  9. Prodigal Son March 12, 2013 at 5:48 PM #

    I think that firstly, Barbados tourism needs in bit of shaking up starting with Petra Roach in the UK where we have lost a lot of ground.

    The UK is supposed to be our premier market. Petra has been there too long, all she does is sucks up to whom ever is in charge so that the status quo can remain the same. She is only interested in her position in the UK and her “hob knobbing” with the who’s who. Our UK market is not doing well because of low staff morale, they cannot stand Petra’s management style or the lack of it. Petra socializes, not market Barbados. That is our problem.

    We could have done something to counteract the impact of the APD in the early days when it first was imposed. This government has put little money into marketing but instead opted to put money into GOL airlines which made no sense.That money was wasted, big time. I suggested a while ago that this same money could have been used to lure UK visitors to Barbados. It is always better to build on what you have rather than trying to re-invent the wheel. One way could have been offer some kind of credit to offset the APD once the visitor got here, not from the UK.

    I do feel that we would have lured more visitors. Jamaica must be doing something to counteract the APD as they are getting the lion share of UK visitors. So ac, dont talk about no world recession or blame OSA.

    To top it all off, just before elections, the PM told the Chamber that they are looking at exploring South Africa. This is a non starter, a waste of taxpayers money.


  10. watching/observant/1000 pounds of blubber etc March 12, 2013 at 5:54 PM #

    @Prodigal Son | March 12, 2013 at 5:48 PM |
    Jamaica must be doing something to counteract the APD as they are getting the lion share of UK visitors.
    Prodigal this is an incorrect and erroneous statement check the data before you publish.


  11. David March 12, 2013 at 7:23 PM #

    @watching/observant/1000 pounds of blubber etc

    The problem with you and those of your ilk is that whenever you are challenged you have to resort to disingenuous positions but all are reading and can draw conclusions.

    Leading up to the winter period when the Governor stated that this it was a make or break season, what was your response when it was pointed out that Barbados had found itself in a precarious position? You posted article after article to show that Barbados’ performance was good. Some of us told you to wait that it was premature. Now that there is the reality that our product has underperformed in comparison to the region you come with a different position.

    No one is saying that we are not operating in tough times but we are saying we can do better. It took this government 5 years to rollout a tourism master plan document which STILL has to be operationlized. On this blog we have asked why no presence in Ottawa in the important Canadians market. We were told at the 11th hour we registered a booth last week but same old tacti; no buzz at the Barbados booth while the domestic presence, Cuba and others had the buzz. We could go on.

    Stop the partisan bull crap, the idea is that we have to use our tourism budget smart and if we go by the feedback from the operators in the market, Barbados is not being seen. Until we find an alternative to replacing the forex which tourism brings in we need to do all that we can to be the #1 in the Caribbean. Out survival depends on it.


  12. millertheanunnaki March 12, 2013 at 6:03 PM #

    @ David:
    Any access to a summary of the Estimates?
    Heard, en passant, there is projected to be a deficit in excess of $1 billion for the coming financial year? Is there any truth to that?


  13. David March 12, 2013 at 6:51 PM #

    @Miller, see the bolded below.

    Estimates laid in Parliament

    Government’s Budget, setting out the Estimates of Expenditure and Revenue for the financial year 2013-2014, was today laid in Parliament.

    It is estimated that Government’s total expenditure for the financial year 2013-2014, on the accrual basis, will be $3 873.9 million.

    When converted to the cash basis, total expenditure is $3 808.6 million, an increase of $227.5 million or 6.9 per cent over the revised figure for 2012-2013. Of the amount approved for 2013-2014, $2,994.0 million represents current expenditure, while $879.9 million represents capital expenditure and amortisation.

    Wages and Salaries are expected to increase over the revised amount for 2012-2013 by $14.4 million or 1.8 per cent to $823.8 million. The increase is due to increments.

    Expenditure on goods and services is expected to decrease by $54.8 million to $378.0 million. Current transfers are also projected to decrease, declining by $28.9 million or 1.9 per cent to $1,037.0 million.

    The repayment of principal and interest on Government’s debt is expected to account for $1.3 billion compared to the revised projection of $1.1 billion.

    On the accrual basis, current revenue for the next fiscal year is projected at $2,625.0 million. On the cash basis, current revenue is projected at $2,590.2 million, an increase of 7.0 per cent over the revised revenue of $2,420.7 million for the financial year ending March 2013.

    When amortisation of $721.6 million is taken into account, a deficit of $496.7 million on the cash basis is expected, representing 5.3 per cent of GDP.

    The Estimates for the 2013–2014 fiscal year include these provisions:

    (i) A current subvention of $145.5 million is being provided to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital;

    (ii) A subvention of $101.7 million has been provided to the Barbados Tourism Authority to facilitate marketing and promotion;

    (iii) Invest Barbados has been allocated the sum of $4.5 million to carry out its operations;

    (iv) $10.0 million has been provided to the Barbados Tourism Investment Inc. to carry out work on capital projects;

    (v) Grant funding of $26.7 million is expected to be received to assist in carrying out the following programmes:
    Human Resource Sector Strategy and Skills Development;
    School Plan Enhancement & Refurbishment Programme;
    Technical Services to the International Business and Financial Services Sector;
    Technical Cooperation Facility and Support to Non-State Actors; and
    Technical Assistance to the Office of National Authorising Officer.

    (vi) A current subvention of $34.7 million and a capital subvention of $3.4 million has been provided to the Sanitation Service Authority;

    (vii) An amount of $27.0 million has been provided to the Barbados Drug Service for the purchase of drugs;

    (viii) A current subvention of $71.3 million has been provided to the University of the West Indies;

    (ix) A current subvention of $21.3 million has been provided to the Welfare Department;

    (x) Skills for the future programme under the Ministry of Education has been provided with an amount of $7.0 million; and

    (xi) The Low Income Housing Project under the Ministry of Housing has been provided with $4.5 million. (Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs/BGIS)


  14. millertheanunnaki March 12, 2013 at 7:33 PM #

    @ David | March 12, 2013 at 6:51 PM |

    Thanks, David.

    It seems as if no transfers/subsidies have been provided for the Transport Board and the BADMC. Or are they subsumed somewhere under the parent Ministries?


  15. David March 12, 2013 at 7:42 PM #


    To be fair to the process we should wait for the Estimates document.


  16. millertheanunnaki March 12, 2013 at 7:45 PM #

    @ David | March 12, 2013 at 7:42 PM |

    Just a bit overly enthusiastic to assess where we are going, that’s all.


  17. Adrian Loveridge March 13, 2013 at 7:38 AM #

    ‘a subvention of $101.7 million has been provided to the Barbados Tourism Authority to facilitate marketing and promotion’.

    What proportion will go to settle outstanding bills, what percentage will be spent on administration rather than marketing and promotion?

    Will more be spent on leasing/purchasing luxury SUV’s?


  18. Well Well March 13, 2013 at 8:02 AM #

    Appears as though the government is still consistently pouring money into the marketing of tourism. What amount actually goes into marketing is a good question, how efficient are the ones who are supposed to be doing the marketing is another. Everyone should take into consideration that tourists, in this now acknowledged depression, are still looking for bang for their buck. Cuba and Dominican Republic allows you to stretch your dollar really far and are exceedingly beautiful and larger islands. Barbados remains overly expensive.


  19. millertheanunnaki March 13, 2013 at 8:17 AM #

    @ Well Well | March 13, 2013 at 8:02 AM |

    You could make as much constructive criticism to this administration as you want. You can tell them that many of the problems besetting our tourism are virtually homegrown and do not require lots of money but the political will and enforcement of the laws. But you will be spitting up in the air and whistling in the wind.

    As long as this administration has the scapegoat called “International Recession” to ride like a dead horse or the local whipping boys to lash out at to like the BHTA, the BLP and even Adrian Loveridge they will continue to ignore you and the likes of islandgal to this country’s economic peril, unfortunately.

    Don’t be surprised if this country is confronted with another credit rating downgrade in the coming months reflecting a further loss of investor confidence or a write-off in this country’s ability to recover since it is continuing to kill off the tourism goose that lays the forex golden egg.


  20. Well Well March 13, 2013 at 9:28 AM #

    Miller……………..I do see where it is becoming increasingly useless to point out REALITY for those self-serving individuals who actually care nothing about the future of the majority on the island. I am waiting to hear what their arguments will be when it becomes evident that there is no more money to pour into tourism and they can no longer use the 10 year old recession that is now a monster depression, as an excuse. I await the rating agencies downgrades. One thing that would be a constant, all the businesses and hotels now owned by the minority population will be sold to foreign investors when the time comes, so too will all government (the people) owned businesses.


  21. BAFBFP March 13, 2013 at 12:24 PM #

    Hi Georgie ..

    Get a load of this


  22. Georgie Porgie March 13, 2013 at 12:37 PM #



  23. Prodigal Son March 13, 2013 at 2:05 PM #

    How is the government going to bridge the 1 plus billion dollars gap between income and expenditure?


  24. Roverp March 13, 2013 at 3:37 PM #

    Tourism cannot be business as usual. Many things have to be fixed and plenty things need to change.


  25. Adrian Loveridge March 13, 2013 at 3:49 PM #

    Roverp, So much agree but almost 3 weeks since the election and everyone seems to be sleeping. Do we have a crisis in tourism or not?
    Four of our previous guests currently occupy the only two rooms that are filled in another hotel and yesterday they said it is the quietest they have seen Barbados in twenty five years. And this is the peak winter season.


  26. David March 13, 2013 at 7:47 PM #


  27. islandgal246 March 13, 2013 at 8:01 PM #

    Hmm…That is one vulgar video but it is the truth about what some Tourist come here for. What can we do about this kind of publicity? The beach bums will feel empowered after seeing something like this and will harass all female tourists. Can we teach the Bums to be more discreet and wait for the women to approach them? Sun Sand and Sex or should it be SEX sun and sand?


  28. islandgal246 March 13, 2013 at 9:37 PM #

    Bushie this one is for you!


  29. BAFBFP March 13, 2013 at 9:49 PM #

    Who gave permission for these people to put me in that video. I seekin’ legal advice now…


  30. Nobel Soothsayer March 13, 2013 at 9:51 PM #

    ‘All the signs suggest Caribbean tourism is rallying’ and a ‘5.4 percent growth rate outpaced the rest of the world’. These comments attributed to Chairwoman of the CTO, Beverly Nicholson-Doty when referring to statistics for 2012. With Easter just over two weeks away, traditionally arrival volumes start to fall very soon after.



  31. islandgal246 March 13, 2013 at 9:54 PM #

    Baffy…..which one is you?


  32. Bush Tea March 13, 2013 at 10:04 PM #

    We can see why you like that video IG.
    …the woman mad as hell ….just like you :)


  33. BAFBFP March 14, 2013 at 12:58 AM #


    I is the fella on the horse …


  34. Piece Uh De Rock, Yeah Right!! March 14, 2013 at 7:07 AM #

    @ Baffy

    But dat rastuh got hair pun he head en you gravatar used to be bald, you like you telling lies Baffy.

    Whu u does use de Wax fuh Baffy, to wax dat bald head or de bald pooch cat?


  35. mrcorrecto March 15, 2013 at 9:34 AM #


  36. Colonel Buggy March 18, 2013 at 5:11 PM #

    Does not take long for bad news to travel fast.


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