Adrian Loveridge, Peach and Quiet

The Adrian Loveridge Column

Adrian Loveridge

Adrian Loveridge

Reputations in the tourism industry I suspect in most types of businesses can take decades if not a lifetime to build, but can be lost in seconds, if staff or sometimes management are not appropriately informed and fail to effectively communicate with a common purpose.

Out of the blue we received a rather disturbing email from a named and self identified ‘disgruntled prospective customer’ stating that they had tried making bookings at three separate current re-DISCOVER partner restaurants and were told on each occasion that they were no longer part of the promotion.

As the ‘disgruntled prospective customer’ had not initially named the three restaurants, we naturally responded requesting this critical information. It actually transpired that one of the dining options had never  participated in the peak winter months, as is their choice. They informed us and within 24 hours, their posting had been removed from our website.

The second restaurant replied within minutes and clearly stated that they were indeed still enthusiastically participating and they were going to remind all staff of this.

The third restaurant named was contacted but despite several emails and Facebook messages we are still awaiting clarification.

Perhaps we all really need to spend more time appraising the consequence and effect of the social media. No longer can any businesses afford to ignore its customers, either potential or existing and justifiably retain any meaningful reputation. All credible co-operative marketing initiatives require the full time proactive involvement of every partner, especially those likely to garner the biggest financial gain. If this does not translate into an ongoing reality, then the substantial support from national agencies and sponsors will soon disappear and they will become the most reluctant to join any similar initiative in the future.

We have these incredible advantages over some of our Caribbean competitors and while trying recently to defend why our prices were above many alternatives destinations in the region to inquiring minds, the subject of gastronomic ailments or simply put, food poisoning came up.

Not that long ago, four British tour operators paid out GBPounds 5.5 million (about BDS$16.5 million) in compensation to 963 adults and children who contracted some form of gastric illness in a single foreign owned hotel during a one year period. Of course I am not going to mention the hotel name or country within the region, but it reinforces that we need to better highlight the pros and cons of having a higher price destination and all the positives that emanate from it.

Of course it is not just down to the gross discomfort caused to the holidaymakers or the cost of compensation which will presumably be paid for by insurance or the offending hotel, but the fact what appears to be lax management has allowed a situation to mushroom out of control and alienate nearly a thousand people directly and many more potential travellers who may have booked that particular property and destination.

No individual or business is immune from the occasional mishap or service challenge, but it’s how you deal with the problem that makes all the difference.

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11 Comments on “The Adrian Loveridge Column”

  1. Anthony Davis February 15, 2016 at 5:24 AM #

    Are you insinuating that having a higher price destination precludes people coming down with food poisoning or any other disease? What I think that you in the Barbados tourism industry should be more worried about is the coming on stream of the Cahill Energy waste-to-energy plant. This plant will not only pollute the atmosphere more than it is at present, but will need gallons of water which will be then lacking not only in households, but in businesses – including hotels. I think that the BHTA should take a good look at what that company has been given to operate here!

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  2. David February 15, 2016 at 6:22 AM #

    Any comment about the congratulations the MoT has been receiving for his last press conference?

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  3. chad99999 February 15, 2016 at 10:01 PM #

    While it is certainly essential for managers of tourist industry establishments to be responsive to customer concerns and complaints, that is not enough. What we need are managers who closely observe more successful competitors in other countries (competitive intelligence) and borrow the elements of their methods and strategies that are most profitable. Is that happening often enough? How could a country like the Dominican Republic be out-performing Barbados by a mile?

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  4. Colonel Buggy February 15, 2016 at 10:12 PM #

    20 ,30 years ago we saw ourselves as the leaders in tourism in the Caribbean.Today we are still holding on to that view, like the other one which says we are the most educated people in the Caribbean, with 99.something literacy. And damn if we will follow or copy others.

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  5. David February 15, 2016 at 11:14 PM #

    Let us hear what Hugh Riley has to say tomorrow.

    http://www.eturbonews.com/68520/caribbean-tourism-organization-reveal-regions-2015-performance-t.

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  6. millertheanunnaki February 16, 2016 at 12:33 AM #

    @ David February 15, 2016 at 11:14 PM

    One would have to be a knucklehead to believe the tourism figures reported by the Barbados propaganda officials are genuine. Who is going to prove them to be “misleading or wrong”?
    Do you really believe that the unemployment figure in Barbados is merely around 12% of the eligible workforce? How can so many people be fired over the last 5 or so years both from the private and public sector without a commensurate increase in job creation enterprises or projects in an environment of negative economic growth?

    What about the thousands of young people who have left school over the past 3 years but are unable to find work or have simply given up like some of the adults?
    Thank the devil for the underground economy or else many young Bajans would be considered denizens of an imaginary workforce.

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  7. David February 16, 2016 at 12:35 AM #

    @Miller

    It depends on how those doing the measuring have defined or redefined the unemployment number. You should recall the challenge from the Central Bank to the BSS.

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  8. Colonel Buggy February 17, 2016 at 4:54 PM #

    Perhaps the answer lies here.
    “Described by TripAdvisor users as being well-kept with no rubbish, The Baths in Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands, stole the show in 16th place.”

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  9. Due Diligence February 17, 2016 at 7:30 PM #

    Just to advise that Sandals has run two full page ads in the Toronto Newspapers for Sandals BARBADOS in the last few days, one this past weekend and one today in the Globe and Mail.

    It is good to see BARBADOS in the travel sections; but, where are the other properties and BTMI?

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