Adrian Loveridge, Peach and Quiet

The Adrian Loveridge Column – Reducing Dependence on Booking Agents

Last week I used a couple of web based hotel booking sites to reserve some accommodation in Charlotte and Kentucky for an upcoming trip. One of them, Hotwire, offers a variety of star rated lodging where you do not actually know exactly […]which property you are staying at until pre-payment is made in full.

The advantage to the hotel is that they can hopefully dispose of unsold inventory, albeit at a lower than rack rate, a sales model known as ‘opaque’ and the guest benefits by getting a superior room at a discounted price.

As an exercise I used the same site to look at applying it to hotels on Barbados and was surprised to see a whole range of accommodation options from as little at US$64 including all taxes per night room only and as little as US$242 all-inclusive for two persons.

Hotwire makes their profit from a percentage, which I am told is between 20 and 25 per cent of the transaction amount. It at least partially dispels the largely held myth that we are always an overly expensive destination, when comparing lodging choices. Hotwire is an operating company of Expedia who also controls hotels.com and was originally launched in 2000 by four individuals and six major airlines. In 2003 it was acquired by IAC/InterActiveCorp for US$663 million.

Clearly they appear to be quite good at what they do, having won the accolade of J.D. Power and Associates ‘Highest in Customer Satisfaction for Independent Web Sites’ award for three consecutive years, 2007, 2008 and 2009. Booking hotels and in fact just about any element of travel like car hire and airline tickets has become something of a minefield and perhaps explains why so many people are attracted to the all-inclusive concept.

When I booked a car, the price varied for the same week and identical vehicle by almost 100 per cent. In the end the lowest rate was by selecting one of the biggest brands with the added advantage of a privileged check-in and drop-off, which at a major US airport, can save a lot of time.

The question to be asked perhaps is what fiscal difference would it make to the average hotel or tourism partner if they were able to reduce some of the dependency on these booking sites and increase the level of direct, rack rate bookings?

At least some hotels promise the lowest obtainable rate can only be obtained directly on their own website, but I have not always found this to be factual. A simple example is with Hilton bookings where the most inexpensive price needs advance payment in full for a non-changeable date and is non-refundable.

But the same rate can be obtained on some airline websites at an identical price but with a bonus of additional frequency flyer miles, therefore making it technically cheaper or more rewarding.

As technology and market reach dramatically improve, many more options are going to present themselves over the coming years and it will be even more critical to be at the lead of these changes if we are going to remain competitive as a destination.

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75 Comments on “The Adrian Loveridge Column – Reducing Dependence on Booking Agents”

  1. David July 27, 2015 at 6:03 AM #

    Interesting to read Wild Coot (Harry Russell) making the same point Adrian attempted to address at the BCCI luncheon some time ago to Butch Stuart. How much of the money paid for a room remains overseas. We have given this guy 30 years of concessions in the mean while.

    Like

  2. David July 27, 2015 at 6:05 AM #

    Another interesting titbit:

    Is TripAdvisor deleting negative postings about Sandals Barbados?

     

    My Sandals holiday – I can’t find my review.

    Jul 05, 2015, 3:49 PM

    -:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

    This post was determined to be inappropriate by the TripAdvisor community and has been removed.

    To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

    Our staff may also remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason. Thanks for being a part of the TripAdvisor travel community!

    Removed on: 7:05 am, July 06, 2015

    http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g147262-i230-k8621443-My_Sandals_holiday_I_can_t_find_my_review-Barbados.html

    Like

  3. Due Diligence July 27, 2015 at 10:44 AM #

    David

    How much of the money paid for a room remains overseas?

    Money paid for a room remains overseas (Miami, New York, Toronto) less any money sent to Barbados for staff costs and the few local purchases.

    Toronto Star July 25 has full page ad for Sandals’ NEW OCHI.

    http://www.sandals.com/main/ochorios/or-home/

    I think NEW means renovated.

    Sandals website quotes lowest price for 2 people for seven nights from September 1, 2015 at OCHI = US$2,984.90.

    Sandals website quotes lowest price for 2 people for seven nights from September 1, 2015 at Barbados = US$4,480.00. (Regular Price $US$11,060.00 less Discount US$6,580.00).

    Wonder if anyone has actually paid US$11,060.00 – CDN$13,825?

    Wonder what concession Butch got from Jamaica to upgrade the OLD OCHI to the NEW OCHI?

    Like

  4. David July 27, 2015 at 10:55 AM #

    @DD

    One would imagine Sandals will transfer monies to service payroll and operating expenses only.

    Like

  5. Artaxerxes July 27, 2015 at 12:32 PM #

    There is a tourism issue that has aroused my curiosity and I’m hoping one of you tourism experts may be able to provide the necessary information.

    The May 29, 2015 edition of the “Jamaican Observer” reported that “Barbados achieved a record 171,471 long stay visitor arrivals during the first quarter of this year, breaking a long- standing 25-year figure, chairman of the Barbados Tourism Marketing, Inc (BTMI), Alvin Jemmott, has said.”

    The MoT and some contributors to BU, have attributed this recent increase in airlift to the presence of the Sandals brand in Barbados.

    Additionally, some individuals commenting on the above article are also of the opinion that Sandals should be given credit. For example, the below comments were made by one “Horatio Barnes:”
    “Sandals will not get credit for the Improvement to their tourist sector because the hate, the envy ,the bad mind still lingers on but more power to sandals resort.”

    They are essentially saying tourist chose Barbados as their destination because a Sandals is located on the island.

    The BTMI reported that arrivals from the UK, USA, Canada, Caribbean, Latin America and Germany increased by 12.9%, 27.7%, 28.4%, 10.6% and 23.6%, respectively.

    When one takes into consideration the report indicated the percentage increase reflected “long-stay visitor arrivals”, which basically meant there was no significant “turn-over” in occupancy levels, and the fact the existing Sandals hotel has a specific occupancy capacity, how can one rationally suggest Sandals was responsible for the increase?

    Like

  6. Due Diligence July 27, 2015 at 12:33 PM #

    OOPS

    Sandals NEW OCHI is not renovated – it is “rebranded”

    http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Beautiful-people-celebrating-a-beautiful-resort—Sandals-Ochi

    Like

  7. David July 27, 2015 at 1:46 PM #

    Some experts attribute the weight of the Sandals brand as delivering benefit to the overall product.

    Like

  8. Hants July 27, 2015 at 2:16 PM #

    Expect arrivals from Canada to drop. Weakening economy and low dollar.

    $1 cad = $1.54 bds.

    Like

  9. Due Diligence July 27, 2015 at 2:25 PM #

    More importantly

    CDN$1.00 = US$1.30

    Like

  10. Due Diligence July 27, 2015 at 3:59 PM #

    OOPS

    US$!.00 = CDN$1.30

    Like

  11. Adrian Loveridge July 27, 2015 at 4:47 PM #

    Art…

    Until Sandals Barbados adds some more rooms there can in all honesty be little or no direct credit to them for increased airlift and arrivals numbers at least in the first quarter. If it had remained a Couples they would have ensured that it reached close to 100 per cent occupancy. The initial numbers for the first quarter were WRONG and revised downwards later. A question we should be asking is that with an increased 10 plus percent in the first 6 months of this year, why are we not seeing the same increase in spending.
    And the unique concessions granted to Sandals Barbados were NO taxes for 25 years followed by 50 per cent taxes for the next 15 years after. Not a single other hotel on Barbados has been granted anything like those given to Sandals.

    Like

  12. David July 27, 2015 at 4:53 PM #

    The Singapore official who presented a couple weeks ago in Barbados confirmed more emphasis is on tourist receipts.

    Like

  13. Gabriel July 27, 2015 at 5:50 PM #

    Was Petra Roach’s 6 month stint as Head of the BTA based in Barbados have an impact on the increase in long stay arrivals quoted? I have not read or seen a review of her performance as acting head of the BTA.Adrian?

    Like

  14. ac July 27, 2015 at 6:09 PM #

    Construction driving growth BARBADOS appears to be gearing up for an increase in construction activity and with the prospects for m o r e g r o w t h i n t h e economy.
    This is evidenced by the higher level of activities taking place on new work sites where some construction is expected to take place.
    A l o n g Wo r t h i n g, Christ Church, workmen have been busy making preparation for work on a hotel which is being refurbished. Preparatory work has also started for a major supermarket in the Kendall Hill, Christ Church area. While on Lower Bay Street a complex there has been demolished for work on a major project.
    These developments come as the Central Bank of Barbados p r o j e c t s t h a t increased
    construction activity along with tourism will give a further boost to economic growth in
    Barbados in 2015.
    Tourism and construction should be the main drivers . In addition, it reported that public sector investment projects already underway and projected over the next three years total $567 million.
    Private investment in hotel and tourism related projects o v e r t h e s a m e p e r i od are expected to be about Bds $2million.

    this is the kind of news that investors are interested in not yardfowl gossip and perceptions top of with a salad bowl of innuendo,

    Like

  15. Artaxerxes July 27, 2015 at 6:17 PM #

    Adrian Loveridge July 27, 2015 at 4:47 PM #

    “Until Sandals Barbados adds some more rooms there can in all honesty be little or no direct credit to them for increased airlift and arrivals numbers at least in the first quarter.”

    I have to agree with your above comments, since that was how I reasoned the issue. All hotels have their capacity limit.

    Royal Pavilion, formerly Miramar Hotel, was previously owned by Michael Pemberton before he sold 49% shares to Princess Hotels. At that time, the hotel became known as Pemberton Princess Royal Pavilion. He subsequently sold his remaining 51% to Princess and the hotel was fully operated under the Princess brand.

    The hotel was bought by the international brand, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and is now known as Fairmont Royal Pavilion.

    Fairmont has approximately 83 luxury properties located in Canada, USA, Central America, Caribbean, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

    Sandals Resorts have approximately 17 properties located in islands such as Barbados, Jamaica, Grenada, St. Lucia, Antigua and the Bahamas. Tourism officials are quick to credit this brand with increased air-lift, perhaps as justification for the concessions granted to Stewart.

    Fairmont Royal Pavilion has been to operate at full occupancy levels on a regular basis, (with the lowest being between approximately 65 – 75%), and without the benefit of those “unique concessions.”

    Yet, no tourism official has credited the Fairmont brand, Royal Pavilion or its management for any increase in airlift and arrival numbers.

    Like

  16. SITH July 27, 2015 at 6:26 PM #

    If we dont get the beaches cleaned up, all of the hotels will suffer loss of future business.

    Like

  17. David July 27, 2015 at 6:51 PM #

    @SITH

    The sargassum is a natural disaster and all countries in the region continue to struggle to remove it given the pace at which it is dumping to the beach.

    Like

  18. Artaxerxes July 27, 2015 at 6:51 PM #

    The consortium includes some very interesting (and often meaningless metaphors) in their contributions.

    What these idiots do not understand that investors and potential investors DO NOT read BU as a guide (or the basis) for them to invest in the economy.

    Economic stability, how the government manages the economy, monetary policy as it relates to protecting the exchange rate, industrial relations climate, the island’s productivity level, the efficiency of the regulatory agencies, are just a few factors investors and their financial advisors analyze before making substantial investments.

    Additionally, items in the recent IMF Article IV consultation reports, such as “Directors noted the INCONSISTENCY IN GDP DATA, and encouraged the authorities to quickly resolve these issues, with help from IMF technical experts..”, would be of particular interest to investors.

    The government (and more so in recent weeks), must be given must be given a FAILING GRADE on ALL the above.

    It is true that all Barbadians would love to hear that these construction projects are undertaken to contribute to economic growth and job creation.

    However, the Popular Supermarket to be built in Kendall Hill was NOT one of the projects the Central Bank Governor usually alludes to during his quarterly economic reports.

    What about Four Seasons, Harlequin Hotels & Resorts at Merricks St. Philip, Pier Head Project and Sam Lord’s Castle to name just a few.

    On April 7, 2013, “Trip Advisor” carried a story on their web-site relative to the Merricks project, Harlequin Hotels & Resorts:

    “Harlequin Hotels & Resorts has halted operations here owing employees two months’ salary, the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) about $80 000 and several local businesses and contractors in excess of $3 million.”

    “The Britain-based company, which has been the subject of legal troubles abroad, has also moved out of its offices in Hastings, Christ Church, and the majority of its senior managers have packed up and left.”

    “Its two multi-million dollar resorts – Merricks in St Philip and H Barbados in Hastings, Christ Church – which were booming with construction activity just six months ago, are now deserted.”

    Rather than “politically spinning” the issues, perhaps you could comment (without the stupid metaphors) on the above issues. You could probably ask Irene to assist you in obtaining the relevant information.

    After all she is being paid free money……. this research should give her something to do.

    Like

  19. David July 27, 2015 at 6:58 PM #

    Grenada led the way for unprecedented concessions:

    Deal or No Deal: Grenada- Sandals Partnership Debunked

    image

    Deal or No Deal: Grenada- Sandals Partnership Debunked

    “To lay, with one hand, the power of the government on the property of the citizen and with the other to bestow it upon favored individuals to aid private enterpris…

     

    Like

  20. ac July 27, 2015 at 7:07 PM #

    If only WTE was fired up the problem of the seaweed would all be non-existent on the sea shores of barbados,

    Like

  21. ac July 27, 2015 at 7:24 PM #

    US market increasing

    The reason for this shift is the entrance of Sandals brand coming here with their strength in the US, also some deliberate work on our part in the US market. [Also] Jet blue’s relationship being taken to another level and other factors
    Sealy added, “The BTPA mandate is to regulate all elements of the tourism product and to manage all aspects of product development and quality to ensure the sector is on a sustainable footing. And this includes a series of activities, just to mention a few – destination management, research, training,product and marketing information exchange,monitoring and evaluation

    Ammm sustainability is the a maor factor that would keep barbados from ever going adrift , that is a word Mia ought to replace with Doom and Gloom.

    Like

  22. St George's Dragon July 27, 2015 at 8:03 PM #

    @ ac
    What ever happened to Sam Lords Castle? This was going to be one of the inward investment saviours of the country.
    Project Managers were going to be appointed at the end of March to sort out the design, liase with Wyndham on the revised design and organise a September 2015 start on site.
    Nothing has happened.
    Has the project been cancelled or can you update us on what the revised programme is?
    Are Wyndham still the intended operators?
    If I was a multi-national hotel chain and I was treated like this I would pull up my stumps and play elsewhere.

    Like

  23. ac July 27, 2015 at 8:15 PM #

    st george , wait Mia got hold of the info yet, just wait until she tell u.

    Like

  24. Hants July 27, 2015 at 8:30 PM #

    David wrote, “The sargassum is a natural disaster ”

    yes it is….and it stinks too.

    “SOME STOREY GAP, St Michael residents are fuming over the dumping of tonnes of Sargassum seaweed close to the area.”

    http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/70381/seaweed-stench-upsets-residents#sthash.kPRx8fOI.dpuf

    Like

  25. Gabriel July 27, 2015 at 8:42 PM #

    There must be some blight on this minority government of the Democratic Labour Party.All the rhetoric one hears from Inniss,Ince,Kellman,Sinckler,Boyce de Quisling,Stuart,Estwick,Lashleys,Byer.McClean,SanfordGarner,Lowe never in our short history of independence has so much been promised by so many and so little has come to pass.Let’s remind them.Pickerings,Heywoods,Kings Beach,Beachlands,Four Seasons,Cultural Centre near Spring Garden,New berth at Trevors Way,rebuilt Empire Theatre,Hyatt hotel on Bay St,New Hospital at Kingsland, Harlequin,Sam Lords,Skeetes’ Bay.Then there are those waiting for the stuffed envelopes of IT refunds,some surprisingly going back to 2008,repeat 2008.This is such bad news for Barbados,the Gem of the Caribbean.Jones promised some new schools.Meanwhile every year this DLP government can’t get the books balanced.Talk about confusion for governance?Thats the reality of this country today.

    Like

  26. St George's Dragon July 27, 2015 at 8:42 PM #

    @ ac
    I am not in contact with Mia. How about you tell me what is going on? After all, the DLP is meant to be running the country.

    Like

  27. St George's Dragon July 27, 2015 at 8:47 PM #

    @ Gabriel
    Presumably, the site clearance on Lower Bay Street that ac mentioned is for the Hyatt. I may be wrong. I wouldn’t bother to ask her, though, she will probably suggest you ask Mia Mottley.

    Like

  28. St George's Dragon July 27, 2015 at 8:53 PM #

    @ Gabriel
    You mentioned the new schools promised by Jones. That’s another tender that the Government never acted on. They had the promise of money to build the new Eductech schools but never even got around to looking at the consultants’ tenders. Another one for Mia to tell us about because the Government presumably doesn’t know what is happening.

    Like

  29. ac July 27, 2015 at 9:20 PM #

    why is it that articles that place barbados in a positive “light ” is never posted on BU you can always check the facts outside of what is written in the newspaper,
    however when the news is negative lie or dam lie Bu never miss a heartbeat to post it,

    Like

  30. ac July 27, 2015 at 9:23 PM #

    Wuh Gabriel uh think money grow on trees and now that the garbage is piled additional money has to be targeted for clean up ,thanks to the brilliant idea of the Unions,

    Like

  31. Due Diligence July 28, 2015 at 12:52 PM #

    St George’s Dragon July 27, 2015 at 8:03 PM #

    What ever happened to Sam Lords Castle?

    This is from the January 16, 2015 Advocate

    Chinese team expected to visit Sam Lord’s Castle

    A team from the China Exim Bank is expected to visit Barbados “very soon” to carry out an inspection of the historic Sam Lord’s Castle site.

    The St. Philip property will in an estimated two years be a fully operational 450-room hotel, and the castle will be restored.

    The US$200 million project is part of a memorandum of understanding between the Barbados Tourism Investment Inc. and the Government of China.

    “The team will be interacting with relevant share holders for them to make a final assessment. If approved, they will submit the whole project to the government to be ratified,” revealed Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China to Barbados, Wang Ke.

    Whoever has responsibility for the Sam Lords project might be well advised to look into the Baha Mar project in the Bahamas.

    See June 29, 2015, article

    Baha Mar Resorts To Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, Blames China Construction For Delays

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/erincarlyle/2015/06/29/baha-mar-resorts-to-chapter-11-bankruptcy-blames-china-construction-for-delays/

    Baha Mar, the massive new resort in the Bahamas that has been plagued with delays, announced today that it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

    The $3.5 billion new development, to contain four hotels, a Jack Nicklaus golf course, and more than 40 restaurants, was supposed to open in December, then March. But that hasn’t happened. Developer Sarkis Izmirlian blamed the delays of his dream project squarely on the contractor, China Construction America, which is majority-owned by the Chinese government.

    “The general contractor repeatedly has missed construction deadlines,” Izmirlian said in a statement. “This has caused both sizeable delay costs and forced the resort to postpone its opening. Unable to open, the resort has been left without a sufficient source of revenue to continue our existing business.”

    Baha Mar’s board of directors decided that Chapter 11 “is the best path to provide the time to put in place a viable capital structure and working relationships to complete construction and successfully open Baha Mar,” Izmirlian announced in the statement. The filing was made in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

    The construction process has been problematic on several fronts. On top of the delays, it was politically fraught: hundreds of Chinese were shipped in as workers despite the fact that the unemployment rate is high. Local contractors who were involved complained that they were regularly paid late. At least two Chinese workers have died on-site, one in May when he was electrocuted by a power line while driving a dump truck; a Bahamian worker was crushed by a crane in April.

    Like

  32. St George's Dragon July 28, 2015 at 1:32 PM #

    @ DD
    After the article you point out, Government issued tenders for project managers to take the project forward. They never even reviewed the tenders, let alone appointed anyone to the role. Nothing has been done on Sam Lords despite the fact that they had a loan arranged, a contractor identified (Chinese) and it was meant to start on site in September 2015. Bearing in mind it’s one of the main projects identified by Sinckler and Worrell to allow the economy to recover, that’s just plain dereliction of duty.

    Like

  33. Due Diligence July 28, 2015 at 4:01 PM #

    UPDATE

    Baha Mar Contractor Seeks Chapter 11 Dismissal

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/baha-mar-contractor-seeks-chapter-11-dismissal-1437504571

    Chinese contractor says bankruptcy proceedings belong in the Bahamas

    By STEPHANIE GLEASON

    July 21, 2015 2:49 p.m. ET

    The Chinese contractor for a stalled $3.5 billion project in the Bahamas wants the developer tossed from bankruptcy in the U.S., even if a judge in the Bahamas decides Wednesday to recognize the company’s chapter 11 filing.

    A motion to dismiss the bankruptcy of Baha Mar Ltd. filed Monday by China Construction America Inc., an affiliate of China State Construction Engineering Corp., argues that the bankruptcy proceedings belong in the Bahamas. The resort and 14 of 15 entities that filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. are located in the Bahamas. The contractor called the U.S. filing improperly aimed at allowing current owner Sarkis Izmirlian to remain in charge and added that the Bahamian government agrees.

    In a statement Tuesday, Baha Mar Ltd. said it would oppose the motion to dismiss but added that it wants “to achieve a consensual resolution of the issues” and is in ongoing discussions with both China Construction America and its lender, the Export-Import Bank of China……………..

    The resort is of great importance to the Bahamas. It is expected eventually to employ 1.5% of the island nation’s population and represent 12% of gross domestic product, according to lawyers for the project. It is thought to be 97% completed, with all structures finished, but requires inspections and other final tasks to be finished before opening to the public.

    The project is estimated to have 2,200 rooms in four hotels, which include the Hyatt, Rosewood and SLS Lux brands. The site will also include luxury condominiums, an 18-hole golf course, a 100,000-square-foot casino and a nightclub designed by singer Lenny Kravitz.

    Like

  34. David July 28, 2015 at 4:51 PM #

    Didn’t the MoF announced during the recent budget debate the sod will turn at Sam Lords in September?

    Like

  35. Hants July 28, 2015 at 5:20 PM #

    “DURING THE FIRST six months of 2015 Barbados recorded 303 592 long stay visitors, the first time the destination has ever topped 300 000 visitors in the January to June period in the 29 years of recording air arrivals tourism statistics.”

    http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/70421/record-tourist-arrivals-half#sthash.FqAjQzKd.dpuf

    Like

  36. ac July 28, 2015 at 6:27 PM #

    Thanks to govt working along with Butch Stewart with both marketing teams working to position barbados among the best of the best worldwide for enjoyable holidays, u couldn.t beat such expertise with a cou cou stick wuh loss nuf nuff belly hurt to the BLP misfits,Every time they try to pull down barbados God always make a way out of no way to build barbados up
    Now wunna can beat up on ac all wunna like,, I just going have me a rum and coke slam a few dominoes and lol. at wunna braying donkeys,,, HA! HA! HA!,

    Like

  37. ac July 29, 2015 at 6:19 AM #

    Move over St. Lucia here comes Barbados Tourist numbers at brek neck speed, Tek dat Adrian Loveridge,, HA! HA!,

    Like

  38. David July 29, 2015 at 6:21 AM #

    Here are links to the press release yesterday. Even the news the tourism people have arrested the slide has not sparked any enthusiasm. We are in a truly dark place.Are these provisional numbers?

    https://barbadosunderground.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/btmi_barbados-new-air-arrivals-record_final.docx

    https://barbadosunderground.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/preliminary-statistics-june-2015.pdf

    Like

  39. ac July 29, 2015 at 6:34 AM #

    Why don.t you naysayers just give up and recognize that Barbados has come from a dark place of economic slide ///////and for once stop the urge to resist and depreciate the positive movement of its economy, You naysayers should be applauding instead of applying roadblocks to detour and repel.

    Like

  40. Adrian Loveridge July 29, 2015 at 9:45 AM #

    Very encouraging if the figures are accurate this time, but the question still has to be asked, why are we not seeing a much greater increase in FX exchange earnings? I will ask again what percentage of Sandals Barbados revenue in actually coming to the island?

    Like

  41. Artaxerxes July 29, 2015 at 10:13 AM #

    Adrian Loveridge July 29, 2015 at 9:45 AM #

    “Very encouraging if the figures are accurate this time, but the question still has to be asked, why are we not seeing a much greater increase in FX exchange earnings? I will ask again what percentage of Sandals Barbados revenue in actually coming to the island?”

    Yes, I agree that the tourism statistics are very encouraging (if they are indeed accurate).

    However, I cannot understand how DLP officials and supporters are able to equate the increased in arrivals with the presence of a Sandals hotel in Barbados. Where is the statistical data to substantiate this claim?

    As I have mentioned in a previously post, we have international brands in Barbados, such as:

    Fairmont Hotels & Resorts: (with approximately 83 luxury resorts, worldwide);
    Hilton Hotels & Resorts: one of the largest hotel brands in the world, with “are over 530 Hilton branded hotels across the world in 78 countries across six continents.”
    Radisson Hotels: “an international hotel company with more than 990 locations in 73 countries.”

    Exactly what marketing skills Butch Stewart possess that the owners/operators of the 3 hotel chains mentioned above seem not to have?

    Why has tourism officials not seen it fit to praise Fairmont, Sandy Lane, Hilton and Radisson similarly, as is being done to Stewart, who is basically a new player in our tourism industry?

    Perhaps those individuals, who are mentioning Sandals, could present some evidence to BU, of that hotel’s link to the increased arrivals.

    Like

  42. Due Diligence July 29, 2015 at 10:47 AM #

    Artaxerxes July 29, 2015 at 10:13 AM

    “Exactly what marketing skills Butch Stewart possess that the owners/operators of the 3 hotel chains mentioned above seem not to have?”

    Butch has a massive newspaper and TV budget in the US and Canada -which occasionally mentions Sandals Barbados – and which use misleading prices – up to 65% off – off what?

    This is from website pricing for Sandals Barbados

    Rates include the following promotion(s):
    • $300 COMPLIMENTARY 60 MINUTE COUPLES MASSAGE
    • $45 ONLINE BOOKING SPECIAL
    • 50% OFF
    • COMPLIMENTARY SNORKEL SUNSET CRUISE FOR 2
    • $1000 air credit per room.

    So called discounts reflect the tax concession squeezed out of host countries.

    And of course the back slapping, and glad handing, and donations.

    Fairmont, Hilton and Radison just go about their business, so it is not the necessary for Sinckler, Sealy and Stuart, the 3 Ss (or is that asses) to suck up to them.

    Like

  43. ac July 29, 2015 at 11:15 AM #

    Put it this way Sandals brand has the ability to give back in the areas of employment .in the area of productivity. In the area of purchasing power and other economical derivatives that put an economy in a positive mode. So this constant red herring i of wanting to infuse diatribe on a platform “of how much Sandals”should take into account those apparatus that have been put in place by Sandals to enchance Barbados tourism product instead of behaving like the dog and the shadow

    Like

  44. Artaxerxes July 29, 2015 at 12:31 PM #

    “Put it this way Sandals brand has the ability to give back in the areas of employment in the area of productivity. In the area of purchasing power and other economical derivatives that put an economy in a positive mode.”

    The above comments are UTTER RUBBISH!!! You are basically implying that a VIBRANT TOURISM SECTOR did not EXIST in Barbados, PRIOR to the arrival of the Sandals brand.

    According to Trivago.com, there are approximately 539 hotels in Barbados. For years these hotels have been providing employment and contributing to the social and economic development of this island, (in the absence of the “generous concessions” that were granted to Sandals).

    Additionally, the fact that many hotels have a reputation for soliciting repeat visitors, which suggests that guests are pleased with the level of service they receive. This can be attributed to a high level of productivity.

    It is therefore indigenous for you to imply that Sandals, (which is ONLY ONE hotel), has been the savior of Barbados’ tourism product.

    I am of the firm belief you are out of your depth in commenting about the hotel industry, since you have been basically making numerous generalized statements, without being able to provide any concrete evidence to substantiate your position.

    Based on your usual political agenda, you are obviously more concerned with defending the government’s decision to grant those concessions to Sandals.

    To make this “discussion” more informative, I beseech you, please present the necessary data to BU, to substantiate your statements, relative to Sandals contribution to our tourism industry.

    Failure to do this will only emphasize the fact that you are “politically spinning” this issue.

    Like

  45. Artaxerxes July 29, 2015 at 12:33 PM #

    ****It is therefore disingenuous for you to imply that Sandals, (which is ONLY ONE hotel), has been the savior of Barbados’ tourism product.

    Like

  46. ac July 29, 2015 at 1:06 PM #

    Sir u can interpret my comments which every way it firs onto your political agenda but facts are facts and my comments in reply to those who have used a tactical error of making an unfounded assumption of wanting to know how much the Sandals brand is taking out of the country with a toxic level to cast suspicion. Based on that tactic ac brought a sleuth of well founded and noteworthy formulas built around the Sandals brand that have already given back in as much to recover what if anyFx Sandals might vtake

    Like

  47. Artaxerxes July 29, 2015 at 2:58 PM #

    And where are the facts? Once again you are making generalized statements that are not making any sense.

    I am challenging you to present the supporting evidence to BU, which would adequately substantiate your position, and are mentioning “political agenda.”

    In similar manner how you have been constantly, in this forum, asking Mottley to present her LEC, I am asking you to direct BU to an article, web-site or any relevant data pertaining to this issue, so we can read the facts for ourselves.

    Once again, I’m suggesting that you have absolutely no knowledge of the benefits to be derived from Sandals, since you have not produced any facts.

    You will remain committed to the task of defending the DLP and their decision to grant the concessions to Butch Stewart.

    That is your “political agenda.”

    Like

  48. ac July 29, 2015 at 5:52 PM #

    Sir i have already laid out the many assets attributed to Sandals and which have played a very important role in helping to rebuild the Tourism industry
    1 employment, 2 productivity 3 marketing ,4 purchasing power, 5 ,influence,
    all five of those when combine are in themselves solvable and attractive items that generate millions of dollars to the Barbados tourist industry,

    Like

  49. Artaxerxes July 29, 2015 at 7:31 PM #

    How can a hotel, which has been operating in Barbados for a few months, be responsible for rebuilding the tourism industry?

    WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE?

    The same assets you attributed to Sandals could also be attributed to many other hotels in Barbados.

    SANDY LANE, for example, offers “employment, productivity, marketing and purchasing power” as well. It is a luxury hotel offering a high end product that caters to the “rich and famous” and could also be considered as one that “generates millions of dollars to the Barbados Tourist Industry.”

    You seem to be suggesting that Barbados’ tourist industry was non-existent or in decline, until Sandals bought a hotel in the island. And that simply is not true.

    Like

  50. ac July 29, 2015 at 9:05 PM #

    do you think that Sandy lane influence is stronger than Sandals giving Sandals worldwide exposure and appeal that is by having hotels in various countries throughout the world .however that is not to discredit Sandy Lane who is known to be among some of the top ten best hotels in the world, but that is where it stops,
    The difference being that Sandals has an edge when it comes to the five assets i listed because it brands is widely publicized to target a cross section of the market which means more people would be aware of a sandals than a Sandy lane whose interest is to be selective in their marketing strategy to those in the upper echelons of society.
    therefore one can argue that overall Sandals purchasing influence and employment out numbers Sandy lane as it cascades multiple countries giving Sandals a much have bigger share of the tourism market which place them in a strategic position to control
    Yes Sandy lane is a big Gun but it appeals to a selective few which limits their control or influence outside their marketing strategy,

    Like

  51. Bush Tea July 29, 2015 at 9:31 PM #

    @ Artax
    Shiite fella, you must be a descendent of Balaam from the bible….
    He was the last person documented to have spent so much time discoursing with a donkey…
    You inherited his genes or wuh..?

    Liked by 1 person

  52. ac July 29, 2015 at 9:50 PM #

    bush shite wuh yuh doing over hear uh mean you got to stick uh ugly big nose in every body back side, uh ugly ole igrunt drunk. btw ova dey on another blog a man called blackman seeking uh advice uh ole skunk..

    Like

  53. Ataxerxes July 29, 2015 at 10:44 PM #

    Bush Tea July 29, 2015 at 9:31 PM #

    “@ Artax, Shiite fella, you must be a descendent of Balaam from the bible….He was the last person documented to have spent so much time discoursing with a donkey…You inherited his genes or wuh….?”

    Hahahahahahahahahaha

    Bushie, that’s a good one. Don’t forget the patience of Job.

    Like

  54. Colonel Buggy July 29, 2015 at 10:53 PM #

    Was it an oversight ? I cannot recall seeing the Carnival Liberty listed in the Nation, as docking at the port today.

    Like

  55. Ataxerxes July 30, 2015 at 12:32 AM #

    You mentioned “Sandals worldwide exposure and appeal that is by having hotels in various countries throughout the world.”

    Sandals Resorts are NOT located “in various countries throughout the world” as you have erroneously suggested, but in the CARIBBEAN islands of Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia, and Turks & Caicos.

    You have also implied “Sandals cascades multiple countries giving (the brand) a much bigger share of the tourism market which place them in a strategic position to control.”

    Whereas Sandals operate 16 resorts, which are confined to 7 islands in the Caribbean, brands much more popular than Sandals, such as Fairmont Hotels & Resorts (owners of The Fairmont Royal Pavilion) operate approximately 83 luxury properties in 19 countries WORLDWIDE; and Hilton International operates over 530 Hilton branded hotels in 78 countries across 6 continents.

    Both Hilton Barbados and Fairmont Royal Pavilion, (using your statements)

    1) are also “widely publicized to target a (wide) cross section of the market, which means more people, would be aware of (their properties).”
    2) “have influence that is by far “stronger than Sandals, giving (their) worldwide exposure and appeal that is by having hotels in various COUNTRIES THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.”
    3) “therefore one can argue that overall (Fairmont or Hilton) purchasing influence and employment out numbers (Sandals) as (both hotels) cascade multiple countries giving (them) a much have bigger share of the tourism market which place them in a strategic position to control.”

    For years, Royal Pavilion, which has a record of constant rare of high occupancy levels, can be considered one of the hotels that have been contributing to Barbados’ tourism product and to the social and economic development of the island. They have been able to achieve these tasks without the generous concessions granted to Butch.

    Consistently high occupancy levels indicate a corresponding level of employment, productivity, purchasing power, marketing and influence.

    it is quite obvious you do not have any knowledge of the hotel industry and are struggling in your attempt to represent Sandals. Your main objective is to defend the DLP’s decision to grant Butch those concessions. You are doing a very poor job.

    Here endeth the lesson.

    Like

  56. ac July 30, 2015 at 5:24 AM #

    well bring the facts that Royal Pavillion compartively speaking contributes and outweighs Sandals in all five catergories mentioned ..bearing in mind that Sandals has more hotels in the carribbean .

    Like

  57. Bush Tea July 30, 2015 at 8:02 AM #

    Man Artax…
    ..yuh hear the woman is a rabbit (f)
    left she nuh!!!

    Let she and the Donkey converse …. they understand each other.🙂

    Like

  58. Artaxerxes July 30, 2015 at 11:38 AM #

    You have responded, as I anticipated, with more unsubstantiated generalized statements. I shall, for the FINAL time, highlight the folly of your arguments on this issue, while takining into consideration the “five categories” you alluded to.

    I don’t have to bring any facts, you are the one who has been making generalized statements concerning this issue, and have failed to bring any evidence to substantiate your claims, which makes your argument weak. The ONUS is on you to prove your assumptions.

    Recall Sandals Barbados was opened On November 6, 2013. At this stage, only Sandals’ officials would be in a better position to analyze what impact or INFLUENCE the hotel’s MARKETING STRATEGY has on Barbados’ tourism product.

    So far, there isn’t any evidence (reports, statistical data, etc. from Sandals or ANY OTHER SOURCE) to suggest that such task was undertaken.
    In the absence of such information, HOW DO YOU KNOW Sandals “outweighs” other hotels “in all five categories mentioned?” WHERE CAN THE STATISTICAL DATA be found to SUPPORT your claim, or is this only an ASSUMPTION on your part?

    Yes, Sandals Resorts International (SRI) has approximately 16 hotels in the Caribbean. The only way the hotel can significantly contribute to EMPLOYMENT and PURCHASING POWER in Barbados, is if Barbadians are offered employment opportunities in the islands where Sandals Resorts are located, and if Barbados becomes the main venue from which purchases for ALL Sandals resorts are made.

    If we use the hotel’s relationship with and preference for Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum as an example, Barbados cannot expect any significant purchases of Bajan rums. Interestingly, a check of Trip Advisor’s web-site revealed guests at Sandals Casaurina complained there was NO brand of Barbadian rum was available at the time of their stay.

    Basically, PRODUCTIVITY is a ratio between input and output at a given quality level. As it relates to this issue, productivity must be defined and measured within the context of SRI and desired objectives as outlined by its mission statement, and NOT Barbados.

    Once again, you have proven you do not have ANY KNOWLEDGE of the hotel industry. Essentially, your main aim is to justify the DLP’s decision, while trying to convince BU (and in the absence of supporting documentation), that despite the criticisms of those concessions granted to Sandals, the hotel was able improve Barbados’ tourism product.

    ALL OF YOUR COMMENTS ARE BASED ON POLITICALLY BIASED ASSUMPTIONS AND NOT FACTS.

    Like

  59. Due Diligence July 30, 2015 at 12:16 PM #

    Absolutly Clueless AC

    When one company has the advantage of not paying duties and taxes, while its competitors do not enjoy the same concessions, it has an edge over its competitors to outspend its competitors in other expenses, including on advertising.

    Butch flexes his massive Marketing Might by running full page ads 2 or 3 times a week in the major newspapers in Toronto (and in other major North American cities).

    Today’s ad in Toronto is a full-page ad on the back page of the Toronto Star Travel Section (cost about CDN$10,000.00.)

    The ad is for Beaches.

    Butch must be using his concessions to “place him in a strategic position to control” by creating brand awareness for the Beaches brand, so the tourists will flock to the Beaches Barbados Resort when it opens (in 2025?)

    Like

  60. ac July 30, 2015 at 1:05 PM #

    Rolling my eyes. all ac would say that Butch competitive spirit is unmatched to any named brand Hotel in Barbados well except sandy lane and maybe Crane whose brands even though well known attracts a tourist of a higher financial bracket
    You guys can kick the can the premise of my argument is that the sandals brand over all attracts a substantial amount of the tourism market worldwide

    Like

  61. Artaxerxes July 30, 2015 at 1:11 PM #

    Due Diligence July 30, 2015 at 12:16 PM #

    “When one company has the advantage of not paying duties and taxes, while its competitors do not enjoy the same concessions, it has an edge over its competitors to outspend its competitors in other expenses, including on advertising.”

    That is correct DD, I did not remember to include that “advantage” in my assessment. And Butch also benefited from similar concessions in Grenada.

    What people don’t want to realize that business people are always looking for “suckers” to exploit, and Barbados is the perfect “mark” for such an undertaking. Our exchange rate gives them certain advantages.

    For example, since the Trinidadians have basically taken over our wholesale and retail sector, thet have not made any significant investment in Barbados. What they decided to do, was to almalgamate some of the retail outlets, closed the pharmacies, hardware stores and lumber yards, while retrenching employees in the process. Hence, there is a reduction in operating costs.

    Trinidadian products now grace the shelves of their re-branded supermarkets, which many of us seem very eager to purchase.

    They leave enough of the profits generated in Barbados to continue operation of businesses here, while taking advantage of BD$1.00 = TT$3.21 to finance investment and expansion in Trinidad.

    Like

  62. Due Diligence July 30, 2015 at 1:37 PM #

    ARTAX

    I think it is fair to say that not all business people are always looking for “suckers” to exploit; but Barbados does seem to have more than its share.

    Like

  63. lawson August 1, 2015 at 12:29 PM #

    The wonderful gap, going for breakfast with my wife and daughter one of the resident panhandlers starts calling me a honky and told us to go back home, then threatened to kill me my white bajan wife and daughter with the neck of a glass bottle he had in his hand.just as the police were driving by they put him up against the car quickly but I had seen him go after someone in a car just previous.THis is what barbados has come to . After years of coming this has to be the worst year for us and we will have to think of going to places like sandals so youu dont have to deal with the riff raff

    Like

  64. ac August 1, 2015 at 1:43 PM #

    Lawson next trip try Jamaica . lots of friendly faces but don’ tell the natives that you are from barbados and never mention the secret words Shanique Myrie good luck

    Like

  65. St George's Dragon August 1, 2015 at 1:55 PM #

    If you mention Shanique Myrie to Immigration at Grantley Adams, they give you the finger, apparently.

    Like

  66. lawson August 1, 2015 at 2:06 PM #

    AC you seem nonchalant that someone is threatening tourists in the gap, strange

    Liked by 1 person

  67. Hants August 1, 2015 at 2:15 PM #

    @Lawson,

    Sorry you had that experience.

    This kind of lawlessness will damage the Tourist industry if it gets out of control.

    Like

  68. ac August 2, 2015 at 9:18 AM #

    Cruise numbers up

    If the current trend continues, Barbados can expect a bumper cruise season this year.
    Indicating predictions of 585,000 passengers by year end, Chief Executive Officer for the Barbados Tourism Management Incorporated William Griffith outlined that there would be a five per cent increase over the 2014 figures, driven by more ships being added to the cruise schedule.
    In fact, he said that in the 2015-2016 winter season, twelve new ships would come to call, including the Brittannia and Mein Schiff III, while mega-vessel Norweigan Breakaway was expected to make several stops here.
    “The introduction of the two major vessels, Brittannia and Mein Schiff, means big business for Barbados as it relates to home porting and increased airlift into the island. This new business will also impact cruise and stag activity for passengers staying on island either before or after their cruise,” he added.
    Chairman Alvin Jemmott outlined that there have already been 52 cruise ship calls for the first six months of the year with 115,231 passenger arrivals and increase of six per cent in calls and 12 per cent in passenger arrivals over last year’s performance.
    Cruises will not be the only area in which more passengers will be seen, as Griffith highlighted that during the Crop-Over season, Caribbean Airlines would be increasing airlift through 408 additional seats between July 22 and August 2. Meanwhile, from September 10, there will be a daily service out of Kingston, Jamaica and three flights out of Nassau, the Bahamas

    Can help but notice that the Adrian Loveridge voice has remained silent amidst all of the good news Coming from the Barbados and Hotel tourist industry

    Like

  69. David August 2, 2015 at 9:59 AM #

    Barbadians are happy tourism arrivals up, what we are not happy about is the forex reserves is down!

    Are we earning more tourist from tourist receipts or are we spending at a high level.

    Around the mulberry bush we go when will the political poppycock stop nobod knows.

    The other thing we have to keep our eyes on is how the sargassum seaweed issue will affect the industry next year.

    Like

  70. ac August 2, 2015 at 3:33 PM #

    Spending from Barbados visitors increased by five percent despite a reduction in the average length of stay, said Alvin Jemmott, BTMI’s chairman. .

    Like

  71. ac August 2, 2015 at 3:48 PM #

    Barbados is the Caribbean’s Most Competitive Tourism Economy

    What’s the most competitive tourism economy in the Caribbean?

    It’s Barbados, according to the latest edition of the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness report.
    The report, which covers 141 economies in the $7 trillion travel global sector, is published every two years.
    And while Barbados is not the most-visited destination in the Caribbean (an honor that belongs to the Dominican Republic), it got the top spot due to strong rankings on its prioritization of travel and tourism, environmental sustainability and ground and port infrastructure, among other categories.
    The report analyzes economies on a total of 14 different “pillars” organized into four subindexes: Enabling Environment, Travel and Tourism Policy and Enabling Conditions, Infrastructure and Natural and Cultural Resources.
    The pillars, which included everything from country brand strategy rating to the reliability of police services, are then calculated based on data from the WEF’s Executive Opinion Survey and other quantitative data.

    Like

  72. ac August 3, 2015 at 7:34 PM #

    Adrian did you take notes of all the tourism events and activities that having been taking place along the width and breadth of Barbados, not to mention the high profile celebrities that took to the street to enoy Crop over like lewis hamilton and his boo girlfriend Rhianna and one of my favourite girls from the atlanta house wives claudia
    How about naming your next article “SO Captivating “as a celebration to all the wonderful good news that is happening inside the tourist industry in Barbados,
    Recently there was an article in one of your favourite newspaper in the Caribbean which gave barbados props from the excellent job it was doing in increasing tourist to the little 166sqmiles, even the mentioned of your best friend butch was part of the article.

    Like

  73. ac August 3, 2015 at 8:18 PM #

    Here is something nice for you to read David and Adrian see if wunna agree on this maybe u both can play shuffle board have fun

    http://caribjournal.com/2015/08/02/barbados-has-big-tourism-plans/#

    Like

  74. ac August 3, 2015 at 8:44 PM #

    right now AC is in Tourism heaven remembering the days when Adrian could not wake up fast enough in the morning to put these depressing articles about Barbados tourist industry ,man today i am smiling no actually grinning from ear to ear,
    the likes of miller and prodigal and some other strays have disappeared leaving the field wide open to say and do as i please

    God bless Barbados and may his presence continues to shine a positive light in the midst of those who had prophesied Doom and Gloom.

    Like

  75. ac August 5, 2015 at 7:56 PM #

    a blast from the past . Adrian Loveridge

    Barbadian tourism marketing prowess used to be the envy of most of our regional neighbours.

    Nowadays, ‘we’ have almost become the laughing stock in the Caribbean, when plan after plan is proclaimed publicly, then months and sometimes years later, the majority fail to materialise in reality.

    ””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””

    must i remind you Sir that Rome was not built in a day,

    OH by the way since David has muzzled you ac takes much delight in rubbing salt in your eyes all by myself and also having not to response to those who would kick my butt in defending your toxic attacks on govt proposals for the tourism industry which include rhianna promotion which u believe was a waste of tax payers money,.

    Like

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