St. Lucia “stealing our tourists” because Barbados tourism shareholders aren’t doing enough

Barbados not promoting the available low airfares!

This afternoon we received an email highlighting special airfares from the United States and Canada to St. Lucia.

It read ‘Airfare Sales to St. Lucia from US$99 each way’

‘Sample round-trip fares for Summer.
American Airlines, JetBlue or Delta – New York – $198 – Boston – $312 – Washington (DC) – $292 – Baltimore – $282 – Charlotte – $360 and Chicago – $312

West Jet and Air Canada – Toronto – $298’

Visit Barbados website: No promotion of fabulous bargain airfares to Barbados!

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

Not having seen these airfares before earlier this year, I then went of to American Airlines website and found a one way airfare of US$89 from New York to Barbados for travel in May.

Looking at the recently released forward hotel occupancy levels for this summer, I then went onto our national tourism website (www.visitbarbados.org) and was surprised not to find any links to details of these special fares.

In fact on the site only two airlines are mentioned, US Airways and Air Canada, and I understand we have already lost the US Airways Philadelphia service.

I have to pose the question again, is our inactively and lackadaisical response loosing us critical long stay visitors during the softer summer months?

Are ‘we’ really happy to accept a national hotel occupancy level of just 24% in August again this year?

Are ‘we’ allowing our Caribbean neighbours to ‘steal’ our market share by them being far more proactive?

Adrian Loveridge
14th May 2010

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13 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism

13 responses to “St. Lucia “stealing our tourists” because Barbados tourism shareholders aren’t doing enough

  1. Anonymous

    ‘stealing our tourists”????? WTF

    did we buy them or something?

    The sense of entitlement in the headline is amazing. St. Lucia is just doing a better job of promoting itself. Instead of congratulating itself on the job it’s doing the ministry needs to get up off of its A$$ and start doing more than “reorganising” the BTA.

  2. Adrian Loveridge

    Delta are shortly increasing their Atlanta service to St. Lucia from 7 to 10 times WEEKLY and changing aircraft from B737-800’s to B757’s which will dramatically increase seat capacity.

  3. dismanhey

    Why worry .. after all, the almighty is Bajan.

    We don’t like those white trash
    We don’t like those indo scums
    We don’t want no bleeding haitains
    We can reform the homos and their deviant lifestyles
    We dump anywhere and anytime
    We can pay through our nose for food though it is old and kept in that pristine condition by chemicals as seen on tv
    We can drink and drive and lik down people
    We can text and talk when driving..bet you can’t find too much of that around
    We still flogging children and the dog fights..wonderful.

    Hey , what is there that is not to like?…i want my tourist back

  4. bimjim

    Just went through the Toronto Star travel section here in Canada… St. Lucia wins again by a ratio of 9 to 4 properties advertised over Barbados.

    The main offender? Air Canada Vacations, which carries by far the majority of those 9 properties in their ads.

    BTW, no Barbados property was advertised by Air Canada Vacations at all.

    Somebody is falling down… I just came back from Barbados, and I heard the Tourist Board rebate promotion was to start again… it would be nice if they told somebody other than Bajans at home. Or are they just looking for votes??

    Either the hotels are not making the necessary special rates available to the airlines and travel agencies to compose their promotions, or the Tourist Board is not making enough (or any) effort to sell Barbados.

    Being a Bajan I scan the Travel section every weekend just to see how my country is being promoted. And pretty much every weekend I am disappointed… in the last few months there have been destination write-ups for St. Lucia, Grenada (I remember focus was allspice), and other places, but very little, if any, for Barbados.

    If the hotels want occupancy, it’s obviously already too late – unless they want to be in the market with Last Minute Deals and Last Minute Clubs… specials created NOW will take a month or more to bear fruit.

  5. bimjim

    Don’t forget, dismanhey, our “regional airline” (Caribbean Airlines) also normally set their airfares higher than anybody else, have no “deals”, and to get to Barbados tourists and locals have to overnight in Trickidad – very few non-stops to Barbados.

    So, when you hear Trinidad claiming to be the regional airline, please always remember that is STILL the “National Airline of Trinidad and Tobago” and, until the papers with Jamaica are signed, STILL 100% owned and operated solely by, for and on behalf of Trinidadians (that latter part will never change.)

    One way or another, Trinidad will soon dilute Jamaica’s new 16% ownership into irrelevance – and there’s no good reason why Jamaica would care about the survival of Barbados’ market anyway.

  6. Adrian Loveridge

    BimJim,

    Interesting observations.

    I wondered about Air Canada Vacations, so I went onto our national website (www.visitbarbados.org)
    and they are not listed as one of the ‘PREFERRED TRAVEL PARTNERS’ so presumably they are not participating on the single national marketing initiative ‘Spring to Barbados’ ?

    Perhaps thats WHY they have not listed any hotels on Barbados!

  7. Adrian Loveridge

    Ah! The plot thickens.

    I was under the impression (as I think most tourism players on Barbados are) that ANY national website was meant to represent ALL our main markets,but if you read the introduction to the SPRING to BARBADOS promotion it reads ‘we’ve partnered with a number of preferred tour operators throughout the United States’.

    So website viewers are left to guess whether or not Canada is included in the only national marketing initiative.

    Likewise with the United Kingdom and Europe!

  8. oh my

    this is why we pump millions of dollars each year into tourism and have grand overstaffed offices in europe and north america.

  9. Fedup

    What great deals, encouraging fares….. North America to Caribbean for less than US$300…………….
    here is my ‘deal’ on wonderful regional carrier to neighbouring Tobago …. less than 200 miles away…. meal plan = micro bag of chips and small fruit juice…
    Regular Fare (BGI to TAB): $89.00 USD
    Sales Tax: $13.35 USD
    Passenger Facility Charge: $27.50 USD
    Airport Development Tax: $2.50 USD
    Fuel Surcharge: $16.75 USD

    Regular Fare (TAB to BGI): $109.00 USD
    Sales Tax: $16.35 USD
    Passenger Facility Charge: $7.50 USD
    Airport Development Tax: $15.95 USD
    Airport Authority Taxes: $1.50 USD
    Fuel Surcharge: $16.75 USD

    Subtotal for fares: $198.00 USD
    Subtotal for taxes: $118.15 USD

    Total price: $316.15 USD (BD$632.30)

    What great marketing we have in the Caribbean!!!

  10. Adrian Loveridge

    Now let me think if I have the figures right!

    I have been told that ‘over’ 60% of the BDS$92 million marketing budget allocated for the BTA for the last fiscal year was spent on E commerce.

    We then have a single national marketing programme which is only geared towards less than 24% (US – 122,306) of the total (other markets – 396,258) of long stay visitors that came to Barbados last year.

  11. Taurus

    Move to St. Lucia then.
    I am talking to Adrian Loveridge and BimJim. They shoot magistrates and police there regularly. Send us a report when you settle in.
    Bye!

  12. 124

    Listen bajan people, #1- St.Lucia’s grand plan is to wipe Barbados out of the water simply because their are a more beautiful island than Barbados, so they are using that to their advantage. #2- They are so jealous of what Barbados has accomplished and what we are still accomplishing as a small nation that they simply think that they have want it takes to steal what we have to become us. Barbados can and still will always have bigger, better and more than St.Lucia because, we are by far more intelligent people than they are. Barbadian companies are the ones building the roads, hotels, villas, plazas, malls etc. in St.Lucia. If it wasn’t for the stupid bajans allowing the St.lucians to use us in this manner, then alot of the B.S. that is going on will not be happening. Mr.Alan Chastent(if his name is spelt correctly) and his fellow St.lucians are very dangerous human beings and never absoulotely not be trusted for anything. If Barbadians don’t wake and smell the coffee and keep an extremely sharpe eyes and ears out on this St.lucians, Barbados will not exist anymore, because from day one that has been their plan. Barbados had independence way by far many years than St.lucia and those retarded people did not have enough common sense to design the ugly, stupid looking flag in different colors and their rum bottle is exactly designed like Barbados Mount Gay rum bottle, in my personal opionion that is what you call a very JEALOUS COPY CAT. There are many other things that their are copying and stealing from Barbados. It is up to us and not them if we bajans and the Barbados Gov’t if we allow this nonsense to contine. There is still alot more that Barbados has that St.Lucia doesn’t , that’s one of the reasons why we are by far way more modern and educated than they are. Go the St.lucia websites and see many things that they are trying to copy and steal from Barbados.

  13. muah

    lmao, 124. hater much?

    It’s no wonder why Caribbean unity is still so illusive- with such senseless animosity. There is so much infighting among the islands; every island I go to, there is some negative undertone about another nationality. It is not as if St Lucia has conducted a smear campaign against Barbados, it just happens that there was more active marketing done for this year to try to cushion the low season. Perhaps the BTA could have stepped up its game like Mr. Loveridge suggests.
    Why can’t we just get along? and cease this ridiculous feuding? With Barbados officials preaching that inter-regional travel is now more important than ever (and I am in agreement), maybe there should be an effort to sensitize the public to be more tolerant of visitors to the country, starting with those close to home. :)

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