The Adrian Loveridge Column – Working Harder to Encourage Greater Tourist Interaction in the Bridgetown Area

Adrian Loveridge

Adrian Loveridge, Hotelier

Frankly I have always felt that it is essential for so many reasons to involve all sectors of the economy, large and small, in the business of tourism. In an interesting experiment the Tourism Foundation, 100 market traders at the Montego Bay Harbour Street Craft Market, have received business training and guidance on what types of products visitors are looking for__how to approach tourists effectively, how to improve sales techniques plus tips on running a profitable business. At the same time tour operators are being asked to encourage customers to visit the market in order to boost income for local traders.

The Tourism Foundation was founded in 2003 as a UK registered independent charity. According to its website, its mission statement and objectives are to support destination stakeholders – including tour operators from the relevant source markets, destination stakeholders, local tourism businesses and local communities – to develop and deliver a programme of activities that optimizes the overall benefits of tourism.

The initiative is part of a wider plan by the Travel Foundation to improve the impacts of tourism in the area and it will be rolled out to other tourism resorts across Jamaica in the future. Training is being carried out by a local association, the Tourism Product Development Company Ltd (TPDCo).

In the words of the Travel Foundation’s Head of Sustainable Practice, Julie Middleton, ‘we’re continuing to work with market traders, the Parish Council, TPDCo and others to ensure that the market offers a vibrant and enjoyable experience for tourists and to support local traders’. Adding ‘we also need to ensure that tourists know about the craft market and what it has to offer, so we are asking tour operators to include it in their excursions and to promote it’. Also part of the initiative has been to develop a walking map of Montego Bay and an insider guide to the area, highlighting local attractions.

Could this be a model to redress the concerns and frequently aired woes of our own Pelican Village Craft Centre?

Perhaps spearheaded by the dynamic Chief Executive Officer of the recently formed Barbados Tourism Product Authority!

It appears that we have all the existing parts and expertise and maybe it’s just the co-ordination that is needed.

While the larger companies continue to down size, right size or consolidate, it must be obvious, even to the less enlightened, that it will be our smaller businesses and enterprises who will significantly soak up unemployment and create new financial opportunities.

Increased visitor interaction with our traders and craft people is also a great way to build our destination awareness and helps to spread the economic benefits generated by tourism more equally throughout society.

My own thoughts would be to develop a passport like map, which embraces Bridgetown offering an incentive, like a 10 per cent discount on presentation with participating partners, which could then be easily monitored for cost-effectiveness and the implementation expenses fairly shared across the ultimate beneficiaries. The ‘document’ could either be accessed online or distributed through strategic locations like the Barbados Tourism office located in the port.

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20 Comments on “The Adrian Loveridge Column – Working Harder to Encourage Greater Tourist Interaction in the Bridgetown Area”

  1. David January 23, 2017 at 6:38 AM #

    The authorities in Barbados can borrow from the setup in the Bay Area, San Francisco, St. Marten and a few other locations.

    Like

  2. Artax January 23, 2017 at 8:18 AM #

    Yes, a very good idea, David. Or the tourism authorities could also use a model similar to that of St. Lucia’s Craft Market, which is located in Castries.

    There are also a number of food vendors In the Central Market offering a variety of local delicacies for sale. The market exhibits an environment that reflects the St. Lucian culture.

    In MY opinion, I would love to see Barbados use the Pelican Craft Centre for similar purposes, rather than to display the “green monkey” and “Mother Sally” characters, which I believe we have gone past a few years ago.

    Like

  3. Vincent Haynes January 23, 2017 at 9:29 AM #

    We need to establish craft markets in areas such as Pelican,Holetown,Speightstown,Belleplaine/East Coast road,Bathsheba,Martins bay,St.John Church,St.George Church,Crane area,Oistins,Accra just off the top of my head that can be modified.

    We need to stop the importation of foreign souvenirs and think in terms of local products using our pingwing&leaves for craft,our sand for glass blowing,clay for pottery and our Black belly sheep hide for leather works as shown below.

    Sheep skin goods
    A MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH has been made involving the Barbados Blackbelly sheep, which has the potential to revolutionise the industry and rake in significant sums.The…
    nationnews.com|By Nation News author
    http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/92750/sheep-skin

    Like

  4. Artax January 23, 2017 at 10:27 AM #

    Vincent Haynes January 23, 2017 at 9:29 AM #

    “We need to stop the importation of foreign souvenirs and think in terms of local products using our pingwing & leaves for craft, our sand for glass blowing, clay for pottery and our Black belly sheep hide for leather works as shown below.”

    @ Vincent

    I agree with your above comments 100%.

    However, we may need to rid ourselves of the mindset that the products of Barbadian craftsmen are inferior to those that are foreign made` and instill a culture that subscribes to what you outlined in your contribution.

    Unfortunately, this task may prove to be a difficult undertaking, especially against the back-ground under circumstances where, for example, our Crop Over costume designers and political parties preferring to have their costumes and campaign T shirts, respectively, made in Trinidad & Tobago, as opposed to our local garment industry.

    Like

  5. Vincent Haynes January 23, 2017 at 10:38 AM #

    Artax

    Thanks for your input and based on a thumbs down on my post,your last two paras are spot on.

    Like

  6. Bernard Codrington. January 23, 2017 at 11:03 AM #

    @ Vincent Haynes at 10 :38 AM

    I am tempted to say Et tu Vincente? I am sure that your suggestions are already in place. Some of them have outlived their effectiveness for some reasons which should bear some research. The Pelican Village experiment was the largest example. This was the late Vere Browne’s job at IDC version 1.

    I too endorse Artax last paragraph and it should include the loud concerts and little expositions of policies at public political meetings. that is why they get a lot of noise and no signals. The last terms must be interpreted in the engineering sense.

    Like

  7. David January 23, 2017 at 11:25 AM #

    In other words it is not only about craft, it is about pushing what is indigenous. What defines Barbadian. Are we proud od what defines us? How do we make it compelling for ALL.

    Like

  8. Bernard Codrington. January 23, 2017 at 11:34 AM #

    Given the high cost of living , the high standard of living of Barbadians and the high end of the tourist market which Barbados attracts, craft markets should not be a significant method of extracting tourist dollars.
    One of the main reasons why craft works are imported is the fact that the local supply is almost non existent. Crafts are products of countries with larger populations and lower levels of development.

    Like

  9. Bernard Codrington. January 23, 2017 at 11:44 AM #

    David @ 11: 25 Am.

    Well said , David. We do not need to follow any body. The feedback is tourists like openness, our welcoming behaviour as well as our high standards of integrity. That is why we have to guard it like the Crown jewels and stem any deterioration as early as possible.

    Like

  10. Vincent Haynes January 23, 2017 at 12:10 PM #

    Bernard Codrington. January 23, 2017 at 11:03 AM #

    I recall the the Pelican experiment very well with individuals like Greaves,Brown,Yearwood,Martindale and others whose name do not readily spring to this ancient mind.

    We like to reinvent the wheel or possibly this is the opportune moment for my suggestion of reviving and adding to the former concept to come to fruition on the back of the sheep skin project with the support from the recently formed BTPA.

    We have loads of local material in the gullies,streams,govt&private plantations and long pond in the Scotland District……..the vision,will and work ethic to do something with it, is what is lacking generaly……..we still have a small number of individuals here blowing glass,doing pottery,craft work,cotton garments,etc,etc.

    Our will to stop being mendicants,importing all things and lapping up all wisdom lies outside our shores has been sapped over the last 40 years in a very insidious manner,that I fear is irreversible.

    Like

  11. Bernard Codrington. January 23, 2017 at 12:32 PM #

    @Vincent

    How about making ,using the excess supply of sheep hide, $3000 handbags for upmarket fashionistas? Vuitton sells a similar PVC bag for twice that. What about driving shoes of the same material. We must go into the areas that give us the biggest bang for the dollar. No pun intended.

    Like

  12. Vincent Haynes January 23, 2017 at 12:39 PM #

    Bernard

    No disagreement……as I suggested let the rest of our local products piggy back on this possible high worth project…..a pity we never got the papers for the black belly sheep.

    Like

  13. Bernard Codrington. January 23, 2017 at 12:46 PM #

    We do not need any papers for our blackbelly sheep. It is ours. Do you see T&T wasting taxpayers money to recover a patent for the steel pan? Why is it that we allow outsiders to set agenda for us , sapping our creative energy and charging us to boot for doing so ?

    Like

  14. Vincent Haynes January 23, 2017 at 1:01 PM #

    Bernard

    Never said we needed it,I said it would have been usefull to give it more of a cache for marketing purposes.

    Like

  15. Artax January 23, 2017 at 4:15 PM #

    @ Vincent

    Don’t worry about the “thumbs down.”

    There are certain immature individual(s) who immediately interpret contributions mentioning the word “government” or suggesting government should do “a” or “b,” as a politically motivated criticism of their beloved party and would not hesitate to assign a “thumbs down” to those contributions.

    Like

  16. Hants January 24, 2017 at 10:26 AM #

    GEORGETOWN – President David Granger is convinced that Guyana could produce partially every commodity that is required in the hospitality industries in the Eastern Caribbean.

    “Every egg, every avocado pear, every fish, every pak choy, bora anything that we want, tomatoes, (can be produced right here)”, the President said.

    See more at: http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/92794/granger-grown-guyana#sthash.3k9wzS0R.dpuf

    Like

  17. Vincent Haynes January 24, 2017 at 10:36 AM #

    Hants January 24, 2017 at 10:26 AM #

    Quite true…..in the 90s at the height of the attempt by OSA to unite the Caribbean,Guyana was identified as the breadbasket of Caricom and the other territories were each ascribed roles in IT,Tourism,Oil,Manufacturing,etc,etc

    Like

  18. Colonel Buggy January 24, 2017 at 1:28 PM #

    Bridgetown, today . Two cruise ships in the Bridgetown Port.
    This is Cavans Lane, gateway to the outer careenage and The Screw Dock

    Like

  19. lawson January 26, 2017 at 7:29 AM #

    Col the problem with this is barbados is not ahead of the curve signs should be placed at either end of the street saying Unisex Open Air Sustainable Urinals problem solved

    Like

  20. David January 27, 2017 at 8:02 PM #

    Two or three hotels among the winners, no Barbados though.

    https://click.e.tripadvisor.com/?qs=907907cc4dbc25f94853f5a3cdd86483b7f96f1ad80e3c96faeb176878384fdad71449f959a5dc3a

    Like

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