Caribbean News Now!

About Us Contact Us


Jump to your country or territory of interest

Advertise with us

Reach our daily visitors from around the Caribbean and throughout the world. Click here for rates and placements.


Submit news and opinion for publication


Click here to receive our daily regional news headlines by email.


Click here to browse our extensive archives going back to 2004

Also, for the convenience of our readers and the online community generally, we have reproduced the complete Caribbean Net News archives from 2004 to 2010 here.

Climate Change Watch

The Caribbean is especially vulnerable to rising sea levels brought about by global warming. Read the latest news and information here...

Follow Caribbean News Now on Twitter
Connect with Caribbean News Now on Linkedin

News from the Caribbean:

Back To Today's News

Commentary: Tourism Matters: Great expectations
Published on December 26, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Adrian Loveridge

If there was a single phrase to describe this winter tourism season, I think it may be "great expectations."

Despite all the wild speculation, which included “this November has been one of the best Barbados had seen in a while” being made by tourism officials, the month in fact ended by recording the lowest long-stay visitors for any November during the last 11 years. It also heralded 20 consecutive months of stay-over visitor decline.

Adrian Loveridge has spent 46 years in the tourism industry across 67 countries, as a travel agent, tour director, tour operator and for the last 24 years as a small hotel owner on Barbados. He served as a director of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association, and as chairman of the Marketing Committee. He also served as a director of the Barbados Tourism Authority and is a frequent writer on tourism issues
As this is the latest in a long line of unfulfilled predictions this year, is it time for our policymakers to focus more attention on what can be achieved, rather than drift into the realms of prophecy and conjecture?

I wonder just how much longer we can go on trying to justify rewarding failure.

So much is riding on the performance of our tourism sector over the next 120-plus days leading up until next Easter Monday on 22 April, not only in terms of occupancy, but in the critical role of trying to claw back lost revenue from the last almost two lean years.

In our key market, the United Kingdom, traditionally there is a booking surge when tour operators step up their promotional activities on Boxing Day. But one of the largest travel companies, Thomas Cook, pre-empted its competitors by launching a massive sale, two weeks prior to Christmas to tempt the bargain hunters into commitment for summer 2014.

With the Brits still under economic pressure, those with stretched budgets will be tempted by the low holiday prices on offer. Inevitably this will help dilute demand for Barbados and other destinations, not perceived as providing the very best value-for-money.

While, there is very little we can do at this late stage to influence winter performance, it is going to be even more critical to launch some sort of ‘national’ programme that will drive business post-Easter.

And if the existing agencies like the Barbados Tourism Authority are unable or unwilling to fulfill their mandates due to budget restraints, then an alternative private sector marketing initiative has to be put in place.

As we end yet another year still without a tourism master plan and the vast majority of other ‘initiatives’ unfulfilled, including the ten-point plan, that same worn phrase, it cannot be business as usual simply cannot be regurgitated rhetoric for 2014.

“The tourism plantocracy are at it again… when will we have one Barbados… we need a group of people who will create a new revolution that will move us as a nation forward, instead of looking for ways of bleeding us.”

After reading these verbatim comments, I was left with an overwhelming feeling that those of us actively involved in the sector, have done, over the years a pretty dismal job of explaining the industry and the challenges we face.

Perhaps even more surprising the person who uttered this provocative statement recently was no less than the former deputy chairman of the Barbados Tourism Authority and who personally had several years to put his “revolution” in place. Could this be yet another example of not walking the walk, but just talking the talk?
Reads: 2168

Click here to receive daily news headlines from Caribbean News Now!



No comments on this topic yet. Be the first one to submit a comment.


Send us your comments!  

Send us your comments on this article. All fields are required.

For your contribution to reach us, you must (a) provide a valid e-mail address and (b) click on the validation link that will be sent to the e-mail address you provide.  If the address is not valid or you don't click on the validation link, we will never see it!

Your Name:

Your Email:

(Validation required)

Enter Code

User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment author and are not representative of Caribbean News Now or its staff. Caribbean News Now accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Caribbean News Now reserves the right to remove, edit or censor any comments. Any content that is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will not be approved.
Before posting, please refer to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

2014 Mind Your Eye

Other Headlines:

Regional Sports: