Adrian Loveridge, Peach and Quiet

The Adrian Loveridge Column – Tourism Sector in Barbados on the Rise

Adrian Loveridge

Adrian Loveridge

I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Breakfast Press Conference held recently Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy and trying to put partisan politics aside, in my humble opinion it was one of the best presented meetings of its kind that I have ever attended on Barbados. Apart from the many representatives of the media, several ‘captains’ of the industry attended and to be fair I have to admit that I was really impressed with the candid and relaxed way Minister Sealy responded to the many questions posed.

My single concern is in the absence of a functional website of the Ministry of Tourism, a suggestion would be to post preliminary statistics to enable the entire tourism sector and other interested parties to analyze.

One frequent caller to the Down to Brasstacks call-in programme has repeatedly alleged that the increase in long visitor arrivals has been caused by counting and including fly to cruise passengers. Clearly from the information provided, this does not appear to be the case and the less informed observers can glean factual numbers and percentages from the document provided at the meeting.

In the interest of balance we all have to bear in mind our overall tourism numbers over the last few years have not been worth boasting about. The 2015 figures demonstrate categorically, that by placing the right people in the right positions can make a huge and positive difference. Sticking with long stay arrivals, when comparing 2015 with 2014, the leading markets recorded a growth of 24.8 per cent in the USA, 13 per cent in Canada, 14.1 per cent in the United Kingdom, 3.2 per cent in Germany, Trinidad and Tobago 5.8 per cent with the Other Caribbean 13.1 percent. The two areas of disappointment were Brazil, down 26.8 per cent and Other Europe down 14.4 per cent. The Brazil figures though can be partially offset with a 19 per cent increase in the Other Central and South America market.

When you think Canada has witnessed a 30 per cent devaluation of their dollar when compared with the US$, we are extremely fortunate to have maintained and even enhanced their loyalty to the destination.

With the introduction of the new jetBlue service out of Fort Lauderdale from April, the already impressive increase in US arrivals looks like it will set new records for 2016, after years of near stagnation.

As the Minister reminded us that Florida has the third largest population of the 50 states, estimated at 20.27 million* but even more important a large percentage of that number are retired and have higher than national average vacation time.

Perhaps the most enlightening figures, possibly included to end the countless speculation about average length of stay, compared the number of day stay in 7 durations, from 1 day to 29-182 days. Only in two of them did we see any significant reduction, again when comparing 2015 with 2014. 8-14 days fell from 35 per cent to 33 per cent, across all durations and 29 – 182 days fell from 6 per cent to 5 per cent, which perhaps only reflects the current challenging global economic position.

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44 Comments on “The Adrian Loveridge Column – Tourism Sector in Barbados on the Rise”

  1. chad99999 February 8, 2016 at 5:11 AM #

    Barbadians keep congratulating themselves on the success of the tourist industry when there is little to celebrate. For example, virtually all Canadians who live in the western provinces take their holidays in the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Mexico, Las Vegas or Hawaii. Why is that? Despite decades of marketing, the patronage of the British royals, etc., we are overshadowed by French and Dutch islands (St. Martin, St. Barts, Aruba), as well as the Spanish Caribbean. Time for some serious self-criticism.

    Like

  2. David February 8, 2016 at 5:43 AM #

    Elegant Hotels Group expanding IN Barbados.

    http://www.directorstalkinterviews.com/elegant-hotels-group-acquires-waves-hotel-and-spa-barbados/412691845.

    Like

  3. ac February 8, 2016 at 7:29 AM #

    To ride the tide of economic success one has to be patience

    Like

  4. David February 8, 2016 at 7:39 AM #

    How does an improvement in tourism equate to economic success?

    Like

  5. Artaxerxes February 8, 2016 at 8:19 AM #

    ac February 8, 2016 at 7:29 AM #

    “To ride the tide of economic success one has to be patience..”

    How do you equate a supposedly improvement in ONE sector to a “tide of economic success?”

    Do you feel it is necessary for you to comment of EVERY article? Sometime if you don’t know what to write, you could a short break from BU.

    Like

  6. ac February 8, 2016 at 9:09 AM #

    Why do you feel it necessary to reply/comment on every thing ac write ? Do you think it is time you take a Break by simply scrolling past my comments and focus more of your time on the issue,

    Like

  7. David February 8, 2016 at 9:11 AM #

    Here we go again.

    Like

  8. David February 8, 2016 at 9:31 AM #

    O dear, what is the matter now.

    http://www.cnbc.com/2016/02/08/zika-virus-putting-americans-off-vacations-in-latin-america-caribbean-poll.html

    > Here we go again. > > On 8 February 2016 at 13:09, Barbados Underground comment-reply@wordpress.com > > wrote: > >>

    Like

  9. Vincent Haynes February 8, 2016 at 9:32 AM #

    Economic success need the other sectors to kick in as well as a change from depending on brand name/large hotels to mom&pop type operations where the average bajan has a full stake in the sector.

    Like

  10. Hants February 8, 2016 at 9:37 AM #

    Lower dollar bringing more tourists.

    Toronto also surpassed 4 million international visitors for the first time in 2015 with hotels in the Toronto region selling a record 9,647,500 room nights, an increase of 2.6 per cent.

    Overall, Toronto welcomed 40.4 million visitors in 2015 who spent a whopping $7.2 billion during their trips.

    Like

  11. Roverp February 8, 2016 at 9:49 AM #

    I believe that we need to read more on what is tourism success…. http://www.oecd.org/cfe/tourism/Indicators%20for%20Measuring%20Competitiveness%20in%20Tourism.pdf

    Like

  12. Artaxerxes February 8, 2016 at 9:57 AM #

    chad99999 February 8, 2016 at 5:11 AM #

    “Despite decades of marketing, the patronage of the British royals, etc., we are overshadowed by French and Dutch islands (St. Martin, St. Barts, Aruba), as well as the Spanish Caribbean. Time for some serious self-criticism.”

    @ chad99999

    I have to agree with your above comments.

    St. Barths is a small island (8 sq miles) and although a bit expensive, it offers an excellent tourism product. Their accommodation comprise mainly of luxury villas. The Dutch islands, Saba and St. Eustatius, are also destinations that attract tourists. The tourism marketing strategy of these islands seems to be based on marketing the indigenous characteristics and culture, such as local foods and the landscape.

    @ ac

    Hmmmmmmm………. and you felt inclined to respond rather than scroll pass my comments? YES, I will CONTINUE to COMMENT on the SHIITE you post.

    Like

  13. Hants February 8, 2016 at 10:12 AM #

    Advantage Aruba.

    http://www.aruba.com/things-to-do/nightlife/casinos?tid=139

    Like

  14. Green Monkey February 8, 2016 at 10:13 AM #

    Investigative reporter Jon Rappoport explains why the Zika scare as is being promoted in the mainstream media lacks a sound backing in science. Even the Wall St. Journal is starting to question if it has not been overblown. The following link is audio only, no video:

    Rappoport’s has more reports on the Zika virus and other stories on his web site nomorefakenewsDOTcom

    Like

  15. David February 8, 2016 at 11:18 AM #

    Thanks Roverp, pages 7&8 give a number of indications for measurement we have not seen implemented in Barbados.

    Like

  16. Hants February 8, 2016 at 12:00 PM #

    @David the fear of Zika will force the Government of Barbados to dealwith the garbage and mosquito problem.

    Like

  17. ax February 8, 2016 at 12:21 PM #

    Economic success is not dependant on a one size fit model. It takes years of development looking at how other countries formulas have worked successfully and taking what is of beneficial to improve on(ours)
    The fact that barbados is experiencing succsess in tourism is not because of one formula but a combination of varying formulas taken from successful models and utlised them to their benefit.
    Again i say riding the tide of economic sucesss takes patience. No one person is smart enough to have all the answers that drives a countries economic sucess
    Have a nice day

    Like

  18. Hants February 8, 2016 at 1:40 PM #

    Like

  19. Hants February 8, 2016 at 1:46 PM #

    http://www.chumfm.com/BreakfastinBarbados2016.aspx

    Like

  20. Hants February 8, 2016 at 1:47 PM #

    At last “BARBADOS” is on Toronto TV screens. Love to see that name.

    Like

  21. David February 8, 2016 at 3:48 PM #

    Obama to ask Congress for 1.8 billion to fight Zika.

    Like

  22. Well Well & Consequences February 8, 2016 at 3:59 PM #

    Good news for Toronto’s tourism industry Hants. I am sure everyone is happy without bowing and scraping to the touristsm everyone’s comes out a winner. There is a relatively new hotel chain now in Waterloo I plan to try…..Delta.

    Like

  23. Well Well & Consequences February 8, 2016 at 5:41 PM #

    We must all throw up a pray for these ladies and their babies that there is no link to Microcephaly.

    “Zika confirmed in three pregnant women

    THE MINISTRY of Health disclosed today that the three latest confirmed cases of the Zika virus have occurred in women who are pregnant. The latest results from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) bring the number of confirmed cases to seven.

    Related articles

    According to a statement from the Ministry, the three women have been notified of the results and have been counselled.

    “Specialised obstetrics care will also be provided to monitor the progress of their pregnancies,” the statement added.

    The Ministry advised the public that pregnant women were at risk of getting the Zika virus at any trimester in their pregnancy. However, it explained that the overall link between the Zika virus, babies with small heads and neurological abnormalities, was still under investigation, and therefore, the relationship between the virus and microcephaly had not been established.

    “The situation is still evolving and information is being updated regularly. The Ministry of Health will continue to roll out its response based on the local, regional and international experience,” the statement said.
    As a proactive response, the Ministry has developed and disseminated guidelines to guide general practitioners, obstetricians and other health care providers in the clinical management of women who have the Zika virus during pregnancy.
    According to the statement, the guidelines were developed with the full cooperation and input from the Obstetrics and Paediatrics Departments at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. (BGIS)”

    See more at: http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/77609/zika-confirmed-pregnant-women#sthash.rVRd4tkM.dpuf

    Like

  24. millertheanunnaki February 8, 2016 at 6:01 PM #

    @ Hants February 8, 2016 at 12:00 PM #
    “David the fear of Zika will force the Government of Barbados to dealwith the garbage and mosquito problem..”

    Hants, the GoB is the biggest offender. The properties for which it is directly responsible are some of the biggest breeding grounds for of mosquitoes and other vermin seen as vectors of diseases inimical to good public sanitation.

    Just take a tour of Bridgetown, a so-called World Heritage site boastfully promoted as a tourist attraction, and you will see the filth and grime on display. How can you promote Bridgetown as a heritage site and there are no public conveniences to minimize the presence of shit and piss in many of the alleys of old smelly Bridgetown?

    When next you are in town just pay a visit to the partially demolished old Fairchild Street market and you will be shocked at the balls of human faeces, the perfumed air of stale urine, massive piles of garbage and stagnant water providing the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes and obese rats only a short walk away from the QEH.

    Like

  25. millertheanunnaki February 8, 2016 at 7:32 PM #

    @ Adrian Loveridge:
    “One frequent caller to the Down to Brasstacks call-in programme has repeatedly alleged that the increase in long visitor arrivals has been caused by counting and including fly to cruise passengers. Clearly from the information provided, this does not appear to be the case and the less informed observers can glean factual numbers and percentages from the document provided at the meeting.”

    Adrian we are sure you have heard the expression (phrase): “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics”.
    So which one do you think the MoT was providing you with? The administration with which he is inextricably bound up has a track record of all three. How many times have you heard the MoF pronounced on the coming on stream if numerous projects with secured financing in place only to be woefully disappointed by the many duds. Wasn’t the same MoT in whom you have laid your trust of naivety only a couple of years back so convincingly upbeat about the game changer effects the Four Seasons, the Pierhead Marina and the Sugar Point Cruise Ship Terminal projects were going to have on direct tourist arrivals and on the Barbados economy in general?

    The proof of the pudding is in the eating; not in the talking, old scout. In other words bullshit talks but money walks to energize the economy.

    We will only ascribe glory to the MoT and his Canute-like band of followers if the other Caribbean destinations have not witnessed such ‘similar’ stellar performances in the tourism business.
    The gist of the argument with the MoT is if Barbados’s stellar 2015 performance for long stay arrivals is an outlier when compared to the rest of the tourism dependant Caribbean destinations.
    ISIS and its affiliates have done a fantastic job in driving traffic to the English-speaking Caribbean.
    We should be grateful including the MoT.

    But before he can get any outstanding kudos from the man-in-the-street he has to show them the money the tourists are spending to ‘revitalize’ the local economy so that they can choose your hotel as the ideal location for their staycation to keep you from packing up and selling.

    Like

  26. NorthernObserver February 8, 2016 at 10:54 PM #

    @WW&C
    “There is a relatively new hotel chain now in Waterloo I plan to try…..Delta”
    The hotel maybe new but Delta has been around for eons. The Delta Chelsea in Toronto has been a Bajan favourite for many years, The Delta [Armoury?] in London forever. The Delta in Kingston for at least 35 years

    Like

  27. Colonel Buggy February 8, 2016 at 11:27 PM #

    Hants February 8, 2016 at 12:00 PM #
    @David the fear of Zika will force the Government of Barbados to dealwith the garbage and mosquito problem.
    ………………………………………………………………………….
    You think so? Check this out. Queens Park Bridgetown.

    Like

  28. David February 8, 2016 at 11:30 PM #

    This the canal adjacent to Weymouth B and Queens Park in the World Heritage site of Bridgetown?

    Like

  29. Well Well & Consequences February 9, 2016 at 7:11 AM #

    Northern, I saw that one being built in Waterloo 2013, yeah, it’s relatively new, I never stayed in it, but plan to.

    Like

  30. Due Diligence February 9, 2016 at 1:22 PM #

    @Hants February 8, 2016 at 1:47 PM # 
 At last “BARBADOS” is on Toronto TV screens. Love to see that name.

    Indeed – Love to see that name.

    Even if it is in the context of a give-away contest that has been replayed every year for 30 years.

    See 1986 promo at:

    See 1990 promo at:
    http://ytune.pk/watch/TTcVkVK5MW0/1990-1045-chum-fm-breakfast-in-barbados-contest-with-roger-marilyn.html

    Basically same-old, same-old.

    But does it produce results beyond the approximately 100 lucky long-stay visitors who visit for free – 64 lucky winners and the their guests, Roger, Darren & Marilyn + Crew, and BTMI hangers-on from Toronto?

    Has BTMI measured the benefits?

    Do the winners return as paying customers?

    Do the non-winners decide to pay and go to Barbados to see what all the hoopla is all about?

    Like

  31. Due Diligence February 9, 2016 at 1:41 PM #

    Here’s a thought for BTMI.

    Get some exposure to Barbados as a tourist destination via front page articles in the Travel sections of the major Canadian newspapers like these from the February 6 editions of the Globe and Mail (St. Kitts) and Toronto Star (Belize).

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/travel/destinations/small-island-major-charm-why-its-time-for-nevis-to-come-out-of-st-kittsshadow/article28552734/

    http://www.thestar.com/life/travel/2016/02/06/belize-is-paradise-for-adventure-travellers.html

    Must be less costly to bring a single writer and his/her guest to visit and write a glowing story, and possibly lead to more visitors; than to bring a gang of lucky winners and entourage.

    Like

  32. Hants February 9, 2016 at 2:08 PM #

    @Due Dilligence,

    Coca Cola has been advertising constantly since it was created.

    Sandals and Jamaica has been advertising “one love” monthly for years. They change the video but not the song.

    My semi professional award winning…………opinion…. is that the Chum tv ad is “popping” and there is good reason to believe their radio competition is effective.

    Their listeners include a lot of rock n roll / pot heads from the 70s and 80s ( mostly white Canadians ) who are now successful professionals.

    Like

  33. Due Diligence February 9, 2016 at 2:45 PM #

    Hants February 9, 2016 at 2:08 PM #

    There is no question the Chum TV ad is driving listeners to 104.5 FM and their radio competition is effective in increasing their audience.

    But, does it increase tourist arrivals in Barbados?

    In the story at http://www.barbadostoday.bb/2016/02/04/barbados-ranks-low-for-innovation-byer-suckoo/ , Minister of Labour Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo says despite its high level of education, Barbados has “an inefficient capacity to innovate”.

    Could it be that Barbados needs to be innovative in its marketing – instead of using same-old, same-old.

    And, don’t forget that Sandals raped the Barbados taxpayers for every tax concession known to man.

    Like

  34. Hants February 9, 2016 at 3:04 PM #

    @ Due Dilligence,

    Barbados needs to be innovative but there is nothing wrong with the Chum campaign and I KNOW it has been positive for Barbados.

    I also believe that the BTA now BTMI in Toronto has done a good job over the years.

    Like

  35. Hants February 9, 2016 at 3:16 PM #

    @ Colonel Buggy,

    It is good to keep reminding the Government and the Ministry of the environment that Barbados is a nasty stinking place an it want cleaning up.

    Like

  36. Due Diligence February 9, 2016 at 3:36 PM #

    @millertheanunnaki February 8, 2016 at 7:32 PM #

    ……Wasn’t the same MoT in whom you have laid your trust of naivety only a couple of years back so convincingly upbeat about the game changer effects the Four Seasons, the Pierhead Marina and the Sugar Point Cruise Ship Terminal projects were going to have on direct tourist arrivals and on the Barbados economy in general?…………

    Here is what the MOT said about Sugar Point in 2012 at:

    http://www.sugarpointbarbados.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Executive-Summary-Brochure-Email.pdf

    WelCome

    Welcome to Sugar Point Barbados, the latest and certainly the newest standard for cruise facilities in the Western Hemisphere. Sugar Point will be where it’s at: welcoming, appealing, entertaining, full of retail options including celebrity brands, offering you a taste of Barbados – food, craft, personalities.

    The Government of Barbados has vested full confidence in Barbados Port Inc., along with its investment group, to spearhead the development of this facility. While Sugar Point will cater to the cruise passenger, one and a half million per year once the facility is in full swing, it will also cater to a full range of users, including five hundred thousand plus land based tourists, and over two hundred and fifty thousand Barbadians who will be encouraged to regularly sample the Sugar Point brand.

    So, if you are a tourist to the island, a cruise passenger for the day, here on business, on a long vacation or short stay, don’t miss the opportunity to experience Sugar Point. And if you are interested in investing in Barbados’ future,
I certainly invite you to explore every opportunity to make Sugar Point part of your investment port folio.

    Barbados offers you Sugar Point, taking us now into the future.

    Hon. Richard Sealy
    Minister of Tourism and International Transport

    Here is what the same MOT, and occasional Acting Prime Minister, said in February 2016 at:
    http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/77372/sugar-deal-sour

    Sugar Point deal may turn sour

    GERALYN EDWARD,
    Added 02 February 2016
    t

    THE LAVISH $500 MILLION Sugar Point Cruise Pier facility that was set to transform the Harbour Road to Bridgetown seafront stretch has fallen flat and may never get off the ground.

    News of this was broken by Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy who indicated that the proposed public/private sector project might never see the light of day given the island’s fragile economic position.

    Speaking yesterday during a wide-ranging Press conference at the Ministry of Tourism’ Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre headquarters, Sealy said: “Sugar Point is a huge project. It is an expensive project. It is a good project and one that we would love to see take place but the question of Sugar Point would have to one of timing and affordability.”

    The ambitious project, which was the brainchild of Barbadian investor Gline Bannister, would have involved the creation of 20 acres of reclaimed land off Trevor’s Way, construction of three cruise piers, 215 000 square feet of retail, food and an entertainment space with the possibility of a hotel development to complement the facility.

    You also said “The proof of the pudding is in the eating; not in the talking, old scout. In other words bullshit talks but money walks to energize the economy.”

    Apparently the money walked away.

    Like

  37. Hants February 9, 2016 at 4:15 PM #

    Politicians make promises.

    I follow what is happening in the rest of the world.

    Where can you find a billionaire willing to finance Sugar Pointless.

    Like

  38. Due Diligence February 9, 2016 at 4:39 PM #

    Hants

    Good one – Sugar Pointless

    MOT and DLP gang should have lined up the billionaire willing to finance the project before rolling out the the grand plans just four months before the February 2013 election.

    Like

  39. Hants February 9, 2016 at 4:41 PM #

    Let google be your friend. The world is effed up and on a roller coaster.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/world-stocks-down-growth-jitters-1.3439750

    Like

  40. Due Diligence February 9, 2016 at 6:28 PM #

    Hants

    You sure know how to make a guy feel good – LOL

    I gotta get on the phone to CHUM FM tomorrow to win a BIB trip to cheer me up

    Like

  41. Green Monkey February 10, 2016 at 1:15 AM #

    Zika Fear Falters says CorbettReport.

    Like

  42. Green Monkey February 10, 2016 at 11:02 PM #

    [b]Argentine and Brazilian doctors name larvicide as potential cause of microcephaly[/b]
    Report by Claire Robinson

    A report from the Argentine doctors’ organisation, Physicians in the Crop-Sprayed Towns,[1] challenges the theory that the Zika virus epidemic in Brazil is the cause of the increase in the birth defect microcephaly among newborns.

    The increase in this birth defect, in which the baby is born with an abnormally small head and often has brain damage, was quickly linked to the Zika virus by the Brazilian Ministry of Health. However, according to the Physicians in the Crop-Sprayed Towns, the Ministry failed to recognise that in the area where most sick people live, a chemical larvicide that produces malformations in mosquitoes was introduced into the drinking water supply in 2014. This poison, Pyriproxyfen, is used in a State-controlled programme aimed at eradicating disease-carrying mosquitoes.

    The Physicians added that the Pyriproxyfen is manufactured by Sumitomo Chemical, a Japanese “strategic partner” of Monsanto. Pyriproxyfen is a growth inhibitor of mosquito larvae, which alters the development process from larva to pupa to adult, thus generating malformations in developing mosquitoes and killing or disabling them. It acts as an insect juvenile hormone or juvenoid, and has the effect of inhibiting the development of adult insect characteristics (for example, wings and mature external genitalia) and reproductive development. It is an endocrine disruptor and is teratogenic (causes birth defects), according to the Physicians.

    The Physicians commented: “Malformations detected in thousands of children from pregnant women living in areas where the Brazilian state added Pyriproxyfen to drinking water are not a coincidence, even though the Ministry of Health places a direct blame on the Zika virus for this damage.”

    They also noted that Zika has traditionally been held to be a relatively benign disease that has never before been associated with birth defects, even in areas where it infects 75% of the population.

    More:
    http://gmwatch.org/news/latest-news/16706-argentine-and-brazilian-doctors-name-larvicide-as-potential-cause-of-microcephaly

    Like

  43. Exclaimer February 13, 2016 at 7:38 AM #

    “US and Cuba to formalise deal allowing 20 flights a day between countries
    Officials will sign deal on Tuesday allowing flights from US to Havana as part of a gradual loosening of restrictions set to transform Cuban tourism”

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/12/us-cuba-sign-deal-flights

    Like

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