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Commentary: Tourism Matters: Meaningful solutions can and must be found, and implemented
Published on May 12, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Adrian Loveridge

Even after fifty years in the tourism industry, one thing that never ceases to amaze me is how the industry is constantly changing and barely a day goes by without some new insight or revelation emerging that affects the way we do business.

adrian_loveridge4.jpg
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
Probably one of the biggest paradigm shifts has been the internet and this is still constantly evolving. Concepts that ten or twenty years ago would have then been thought far-fetched are today in everyday practice generating new sources of revenue and employment.

But I wonder if we place a high enough value on the source and management relating to much of this information, particularly when you see websites at a national level being so poorly maintained and frequently found outdated.

For many visitors, especially those travelling here for the first time, this is often an early point of reference to assist in decision making and selection choice. Therefore it is critical that the quality of our site has to be at least to the standard of our competitors.

Hopefully this will become a priority for the new Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI), and they will return the day-to-day operation of www.visitbarbados.org to local people with proven ability, knowledge and who fully understand the product offering.

Another area of concern is the tardy release to the public and industry of tourism arrival figures. It is difficult to understand why details are not disclosed until weeks after the stay-over dates. Surely, they are compiled on a weekly basis, with no part of the month requiring more than seven days, to evaluate and report.

March 2014 numbers were finally posted on the Barbados Statistical Service website on May 5, showing a 5.6 per cent decline of stay-over visitors when compared with the same month, last year.

Yet again it is not a happy picture and absolutely contrary to the earlier heady predictions made by our policymakers of a good winter season.

Chiefly concerning was that the USA was down again by 19 percent, Canada by 14.1 percent, Trinidad and Tobago by 21.5 percent and other CARICOM by 15.3 percent. The UK recorded a 4.9 percent (900 persons) increase and other Europe 28.6 percent (809 persons).

However, this did not mitigate an overall decline of 3,000 visitors across all markets for the entire month.

It was very refreshing to see the new interim BTA CEO/president solicit the views of many diverse people within the sector and I am sure the vast majority of the industry hopes that this will help stem almost two years of decline. Collectively, meaningful solutions can and must be found, but unless they are fully implemented, it remains a pretty pointless exercise.
 
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Comments:

Carson C. Cadogan:

In the recent past two news stories in the Caribbean have once again alerted citizens of the Caribbean of the danger of criticizing for criticizing sake.

In Grenada a well noted Hotel insider in the Caribbean was forced to make a very powerful statement regarding myopic Barbados Hoteliers including Adrian Loveridge.

"Veteran Caribbean hotelier and former recipient of the Caribbean Hotelier Of The Year Award, Sir Royston Hopkins, has warned Barbadian colleagues of the consequences of failing to embrace Sandals Resorts."

"Sir Royston owns and operates Spice Island Beach Resort in Grenada, a 60-room luxury boutique hotel that commands rates that rival Barbados’ best known tourism property internationally, the five diamond Sandy Lane Hotel.

“Anyone who speaks in a negative way about Sandals coming into their country has to be insecure, because Sandals is the leading Caribbean brand.

It is the most recognised and biggest individual hotel company owned by an individual, so nobody has more recognition worldwide as a brand than Gordon “Butch” Stewart – he is the don, he is the leader in the Caribbean and his is the biggest privately owned hotel company in the world."

We all know that Barbadians Hoteliers including Adrian Loveridge are dead set against SANDALS HOTELS operating in the Barbados market space. This morbid fear and dislike of the SANDAL HOTEL GROUP is mind boggling. We all know from his writings week after week that Adrian Loveridge is the cheer leader of this anti Sandals group. The main reason for their opposition is the fact that the Democratic Labour Party Government was in the forefront of inviting SANDALS here to Barbados.

Another story carried by Caribbeannewsnow, crystalised the politics of division being played out here in Barbados by members and supporters of the opposition Barbados Labour Party.

"There are cases in Caribbean politics where members of the electorate who support the opposition party recoil from supporting the programmes of the government, even though they benefit from them. They see nothing that the government does as positive, and some even withdraw from society, until the next election when they hope their party wins. They see any support of the government as helping it, and betraying their own party."

By Oliver Mills

Readers please note that Barbados Labour Party opposition members and supporters will go to any length to discredit the Barbados Government.

Carson C. Cadogan:

In the recent past two news stories in the Caribbean have once again alerted citizens of the Caribbean of the danger of criticizing for criticizing sake.

In Grenada a well noted Hotel insider in the Caribbean was forced to make a very powerful statement regarding myopic Barbados Hoteliers including Adrian Loveridge.

"Veteran Caribbean hotelier and former recipient of the Caribbean Hotelier Of The Year Award, Sir Royston Hopkins, has warned Barbadian colleagues of the consequences of failing to embrace Sandals Resorts."

"Sir Royston owns and operates Spice Island Beach Resort in Grenada, a 60-room luxury boutique hotel that commands rates that rival Barbados’ best known tourism property internationally, the five diamond Sandy Lane Hotel.

“Anyone who speaks in a negative way about Sandals coming into their country has to be insecure, because Sandals is the leading Caribbean brand.

It is the most recognised and biggest individual hotel company owned by an individual, so nobody has more recognition worldwide as a brand than Gordon “Butch” Stewart – he is the don, he is the leader in the Caribbean and his is the biggest privately owned hotel company in the world."

We all know that Barbadians Hoteliers including Adrian Loveridge are dead set against SANDALS HOTELS operating in the Barbados market space. This morbid fear and dislike of the SANDAL HOTEL GROUP is mind boggling. We all know from his writings week after week that Adrian Loveridge is the cheer leader of this anti Sandals group. The main reason for their opposition is the fact that the Democratic Labour Party Government was in the forefront of inviting SANDALS here to Barbados.

Another story carried by Caribbeannewsnow, crystalised the politics of division being played out here in Barbados by members and supporters of the opposition Barbados Labour Party.

"There are cases in Caribbean politics where members of the electorate who support the opposition party recoil from supporting the programmes of the government, even though they benefit from them. They see nothing that the government does as positive, and some even withdraw from society, until the next election when they hope their party wins. They see any support of the government as helping it, and betraying their own party."

By Oliver Mills

Readers please note that Barbados Labour Party opposition members and supporters will go to any length to discredit the Barbados Government.


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