Adrian Loveridge, Peach and Quiet

The Adrian Loveridge Column – Quality Metric Necessary

As I understand it, the recently formed Barbados Tourism Product Authority has been mandated to identify and hopefully license the myriad of rental tourism accommodation across the island.

[…]

Sadly, successive administrations have allowed these unregulated lodgings to proliferate over many years and it is now frankly a daunting task to locate, inspect and eventually ensure they all meet any minimum standard of comfort and safety.

While the word ‘iconic’ is frequently used to distinguish Barbados as a destination among others, any deficiency in the ‘product’ casts a huge negative cloud over any aspersions that we could possibly qualify for such an accolade.

Over many years, it is something that I have actively campaigned for and possibly now, not totally in vain. Not because there is any desire to restrict entry level lodging providers, but to me it is almost inconceivable that you can successfully market any product, without knowing exactly what it comprises of.

There is also the huge concern of protecting our reputation and ensuring that our cherished visitors are housed in safe and secure accommodations. I dramatically recall being woken up one night by the Police who were trying to locate a particular apartment building in our area, where an American visitor had been shot twice at close range. Needless to say that property, at the time of the incident, was not registered by our tourism officials.

There is no doubt in my mind that certainly in the past any state quality assurance department has been grossly under-staffed and clearly under-resourced. The balance that now has to be found is how to encapsulate a huge increase in registered properties without dramatically escalating the costs associated with inclusion.

The relative newcomer, Airbnb, lists over 300 rental properties alone on Barbados and a cursory check shows that very few of these are actually licensed.

My own preference would be to give each accommodation provider a unique registration number and tie everything required to that via a computer database, where the consumer (visitor) or travel agent can easily check if a particular named property is registered and has all the necessary certificates including insurance, health, liquor, restaurant, swimming pool etc., where applicable.

The onus would be on the owner to update in a timely manner and failure to do so would result of de-registration. To help pay for all costs involved, including a degree or verification there would be a small annual fee.

From 1st January 2016 the proposed threshold increase for VAT registration to $200,000 per year will obviously have some effect on the smaller lodging providers. Both from a cost of operating basis (not able to reclaim) and consequently by these operators not charging VAT which should theoretically mean that some room/villa/apartment rates will fall.

Of course they may instead choose to hike rates and pass on the extra non-recoverable VAT on electricity, maintenance costs etc.

This possibly could further erode any competitive advantage we may have over other Caribbean islands, who do not currently levy VAT, especially among our first level tourism accommodation players.

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22 Comments on “The Adrian Loveridge Column – Quality Metric Necessary”

  1. SITH October 19, 2015 at 11:16 AM #

    The world is a changing place. The greatest invention of our time is the smart phone and its ability to connect to the internet. People using Airnb are pretty tech savy. These types of sites police themselves through social media. There are other services sites such as Couchsurfing and Uber that are providing a real benefit to those who want to use them. Uber is a case in point. Lots of challenges have been put forth by the traditional industry but Uber continues to grow. They are lots of traditional taxis now using the Uber app and operating as both taxis and Uber vehicles.

    I think the answer to the new world order is “make dust or eat dust”. Put the effort into making Barbados a cleaner safer place and not into a bottomless pit of administrative costs.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. michaelallamby October 19, 2015 at 8:56 PM #

    No more regulation Mr Loveridge ; no more bureaucracy, we have enough; this sector of the informal economy provides significant support for the formal economy. What we need is less regulation. You suggestion will destroy a a significant advertising channel for Barbados tourism without any added benefits. This accommodation sector has been active for years and may have only recently come to your attention, unfortunately. It makes a significant contribution to GDP and any attempt to regulate it will drive the sector underground with significant loss of foreign exchange circulated in the informal (underground) economy. Give it up and pay attention to your contribution as a hotel owner.

    Like

  3. Artaxerxes October 21, 2015 at 9:25 AM #

    I noticed that Sandy Lane Hotel advertised a vacancy for a Laundry Manager who “will be required to be responsible for the laundry, organizing and directing a team in order to deliver a top quality product.”

    The preferred candidate must possess: “A business Degree or similar and four years of experience in a commercial or industrial laundry including five (5) years of supervisory experience; or an equivalent combination of training and experience.”

    Interested persons must submit their applications by October 23, 2015.

    I bet that Sandy Lane will conveniently NOT receive any suitable applications and will advertise for a work permit to bring in a non-national to fill the post.

    The government needs to tell the management of Sandy Lane that this shiite has to stop, and regulate the amount of non-nationals that hotel is allowed to employ.

    Like

  4. lawson October 22, 2015 at 4:58 PM #

    The reason for a need for an outsider is there seems to be a lot of dirty laundry in Barbados not just at sandy lane

    Like

  5. millertheanunnaki October 22, 2015 at 7:49 PM #

    @ David (BU):

    Is it true to say there have been some serious breaches in the integrity of the sewage pipelines in the South Coast and Bridgetown systems.

    Could it have anything to do with the recent unusually ‘regular’ seismic activity off Barbados?

    Like

  6. Due Diligence October 22, 2015 at 7:57 PM #

    millertheanunnaki October 22, 2015 at 7:49 PM

    I do not mean to make light of the seismic activity off Barbados, but you might also ask:

    Is it true to say there have been some serious breaches in the integrity of the GOB – i.e. the Cahill WtE PG plant

    Like

  7. ac October 22, 2015 at 8:03 PM #

    Hooray what a bonanza year for barbados tourism and most likely to get better,
    Once upon a time a bevy of “doom and gloomers” had crowded the hallways of Bu taking full flight heavenly with out stretch banners soaring in delight of the plunging tourism numbers barbados was experiencing
    But alas those days are way behind and the noise makers and angels of doom have descended to the ground Wuhloss,

    Like

  8. millertheanunnaki October 22, 2015 at 8:22 PM #

    @ Ac October 22, 2015 at 8:03 PM

    So what about the other destinations in the Caribbean? Aren’t they also benefitting from increasing numbers travelling to the Caribbean because of tensions and terrorism in other destinations? What about Cuba? Is Barbados doing better than Cuba?

    We can guess the foreign reserves are reflecting the bonanza in numbers.
    No need then to borrow on the foreign market for a rainy day.
    The BLP previous administration left a debt burden of approx. $5 billion. How much is it today again, ac?
    Oh, we just remembered using Irene S G arithmetic; over $ 10 billion as a result of the DLP having to borrow to pay back the $5 billion of junk bonds incurred by the BLP.

    Like

  9. ac October 22, 2015 at 8:40 PM #

    miller i am not at all concerned about the other destinations,If my memory serves me correct the other destinations were of total interest to You and Adrain tantamount to rubbing sands in barbados eyes for its dismal tourism numbers, So please do not try once again to ride that dark horse on the outskirts as you try to side swipe gleefully how well, others are doing
    but in all respect i must say that barbados is doing exceptionally well coming from the bottom of the tourism barrel and sitting high above the clouds with glorious benefits for all to see upon which you or Adrien and the other bottleneck yardfowls cannot frown.
    From this day forward the Menu to be served would Humble Pie
    Miller yours for the first serving

    Like

  10. ac October 22, 2015 at 8:44 PM #

    yes 5billion debt burden excluding the interest , that was OSA arithmetic,

    Like

  11. ac October 22, 2015 at 8:47 PM #

    very thrilled to hear of the other destinations and increase air flight for barbados ,this is very god news , for barbados and barbadians in general coming upon the heels of the shop bill which is also geared to be inclusive and incorporate tourist interest in the islands, wuhloss the leaky lips are sealed,

    Like

  12. millertheanunnaki October 22, 2015 at 9:35 PM #

    @ ac October 22, 2015 at 8:47 PM
    “this is very god news , for barbados and barbadians in general coming upon the heels of the shop bill which is also geared to be inclusive and incorporate tourist interest in the islands..”

    Has this “god” sent news been announced by the Governor of the Central Bank in his usual report for the third quarter on Barbados’s economic performance?
    With the shops opening so late and tourists shopping like it is Boxing day or Black Friday both the Defence Force and the Police would to be out in their numbers 24/7 to handle the wave of crime overpowering Barbados.

    Like

  13. ac October 22, 2015 at 10:15 PM #

    WEll bro if police are necessary! so be it the continuation of crime on this island must be controlled by any means necessary,
    However ac knows it goads u to see that everything you and the yardfowl brigade had prophesied about the tourist lack of interest in this tiny island has not been fullfilled ;
    the deep water harbour is bustling with arrivals as well as the airport,
    When i reflect on the past five years and remember the hue and cry from the abysmal articles demeaning this country i am ashamed,
    however it now gives me unending joy to know that ac was not one of the passengers traveling on the ghost ship which Adrian wrote time and time again on its way to hopelessness

    Like

  14. David October 23, 2015 at 3:44 AM #

    @Miller

    Heard the Opposition leader, let us hope what the problem is one we can fix asap, sewage is nothing to play with.

    Like

  15. ac October 23, 2015 at 5:33 PM #

    Hi Adrian when are you going to write articles like this

    Barbados’ Tourism Sector on Growth Path

    Barbados’ tourism sector is back on a path of growth following six years of recessionary conditions.
    “This year we have seen growth in all of the major areas of importance, including airlift, accommodations, and programmes to enhance the quality of our tourism product.” BTMI CEO, William Griffith said.
    “We are also enjoying favourable global economic conditions in several key source markets, the price of oil is down and travelers are gaining greater confidence and now booking further in advance.”
    The CEO was speaking during an international media briefings at the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s State of the Industry Conference in Curaçao.
    For the upcoming winter season, the island is set to realize a seven percent increase in airlift having negotiated several inaugural flights, including a new service out of Bogota, Columbia on Dec. 2. The new Avianca service will permit connections between Barbados and Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago de Chile, Buenos Aires, Panama City, Mexico, Lima, San Salvador, Guayaquil and Quito with connection times of 2.5 hours or less.
    On Nov. 7, the island will welcome two new JetBlue flights: the new Mint service out of New York and the new Boston direct service. Arrivals out of the USA are already at a healthy 27.9 percent.
    There will also be a new Thomas Cook service from Glasgow, Scotland commencing the following day. Air Canada’s Rouge service is also set to return on January 7, 2016.
    Griffith revealed that 2015 marked the start of over US $1 Billion dollars in proposed new hotel plant investment over the next five years that will produce some 2,300 rooms.
    This started with the opening of the luxury all-inclusive Sandals Barbados, which is scheduled to add some 220 rooms in 2016. This winter the Sugar Bay Hotel (formerly Amaryllis) and The Sands (formers Sandy Beach) will also open their doors as all-inclusive products, adding 300 new rooms.
    Barbados has also made significant strides in both its long-stay and cruise arrivals. Some 432, 713 long-stay visitors were recorded at the end of September year-to-date, an increase of 14.5 percent. Meanwhile cruise arrivals are set to increase by 5-7 percent, largely driven by 16 augural visits. Among those scheduled calls are the Mein Sheiff 3 and the Carnival Britannia, two mega ships, which are now able to dock following a major expansion project at the Bridgetown Port.

    very impressive and there is more not bad for a tiny island that was once shoved aside as a “has been”

    Like

  16. Adrian Loveridge October 25, 2015 at 7:51 AM #

    ac,

    YES! I am really proud that I have helped make a major contribution with the
    re-DISCOVER programme. And don’t forget Thomson DISCOVERY being homeported in Barbados and JetBlue out of Fort Lauderdale.

    Like

  17. ac October 25, 2015 at 8:10 AM #

    Good morning Mr.Love ridge Thanks for you initiative in launching the Discovery project yes a noble gesture which I have supported
    However on a higher level of reality the Discovery initiative is small and pales insignificantly in comparison to what govthas done to retool ,reshape,and remodel the Barbados hotel and tourism Industry for financial growth and long term stability.
    As a matter of fact the Discovery initiative if “removed” would not reflect major losses to the economy.
    Thanks for your input

    Like

  18. Adrian Loveridge October 25, 2015 at 8:25 AM #

    ac,

    agreed its a small contribution, but at almost no cost to the taxpayer. If I had access to the taxpayers monies then I am sure that I could make a bigger difference.

    Like

  19. lawson October 25, 2015 at 8:30 AM #

    access to tax payers money in Barbados usually leads to a bigger house not difference

    Like

  20. David October 25, 2015 at 8:46 AM #

    @Adrian

    You never listen, it does not matter what you do, it will never satisfy a yard fowl. Tourist numbers are up across the Caribbean because of improving economies in our source markets. Do we know if spend is up? Remember this is how Singapore measures real performance.

    Like

  21. ac October 25, 2015 at 10:03 AM #

    Again Mr Loveridge Thanks for your input , However i would not quibble with you on the points of “what If”
    Clearly you must understand and fully aware of the necessary goals and challenges and criticisms which the govt faced in the process of making a difference in the Barbados Tourism Product (one) of which was the financial burden and loss of revenue in the early stages of re branding and rebuilding of the Hotel and Tourism Industry
    Failure to lose sight of that significant challenge almost left the industry to vulnerability and total demise
    At least that much you should be aware of ! and another reason to challenge your comment as you attempt to infuse “Financial gain ” as the focal point one of which govt was able to meets the variuos challenges of the Tourism industry which is not entirely true
    I clearly member your articles with certain indicators or procedures whereby you stated that govt can use special localized attraction to help the tourist industry towards financial progress . i certainly hope you have not forgotten which therefore is contrary to what you would want others to believe that the govt started out with a large monetary funds

    Like

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