Daily Archives: April 12, 2012

Firebombing followup: Barbadian businessman’s family still stalked

by David Weekes

Two nights ago two men came back to my cul-de-sac at maynards.

When my neighbours came in, (the same Brits who were firebombed last week Tuesday), the men DID NOT BUDGE when the lights of the car the visitors were driving, shone on them.

These stalkers remained unconcerned about the fact that they were bathed in the car’s headlights.

The Brits remained in their car for 5 minutes. The men remained in the cover of the overgrown bush and trees and DID NOT MOVE.

The visitors finally made a dash for the house and there they called the police who arrived five minutes later. By the time the Police arrived the men had left.

Yesterday I left the house to go for some foodstuff. During that time a white truck started to do what I can only describe as stalk the area. Take a look at the video my daughter made of the vehicle that was loitering in my area for about 15 minutes. (Link here if the embedded video doesn’t work.)

Watch how when she goes to one side to video the vehicle they reverse to the other side and watch how she moves to that side they drive forward. She (unfortunately) did not call the police. She was not able to get their truck number. My neighbours were sleeping at the time.

By now most readers may realise that I am not as paranoid as some detractors to this firebombing incident have claimed that I am. My neighbours indicate that the police still think it is a prank even in the face of these two men who are unafraid and do not shy away, even if the full glare of headlamps.

I must now spend thousands of dollars to clean lots 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 31, 26, 27, 22 and 23 around my home that respective owners have left unattended, spots where the bush is so high and provides lurking areas for these emboldened stalkers.

Of course to date my attempts to reach The Rt. Hon Owen Arthur and the Rt. Hon. Haynesley Benn (the BLP & DLP representatives respectively) have been unsuccessful. To the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Ms. Navanethem Pillay, she who so recently passed through Barbados. I would only say that all is not so hunkadorie in this “Gem of the Caribbean Sea”,

My daughter and I, and my UK neighbours, have become veritable prisoners in our homes at the mercy of what the police call “pranksters”

If I should fall here Lupo, do not let me fall alone.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Corruption, Crime & Law

Adrian and Margaret Loveridge shut down Peach & Quiet Hotel

April 17, 2012 is the last day

by Inverness Fanboy

Many in the Barbados tourism and hotel industry are crying the blues, but Peach and Quiet Hotel is going out with a bang after the ‘best ever’ winter tourist season in a quarter of a century since Margaret and Adrian Loveridge first took over. After spending a third of their lives doing 18 hour workdays, it’s time for the couple to back off a little. To them I say “Guid Luck!”

Peach and Quiet at Inch Marlow wasn’t always an award-winning hotel, but 25 years ago when the Loveridges bought the ‘fixer-upper’ they believed that if they worked hard enough and cared enough they could make a go of it. The hotel itself is situated on what is one of the most beautiful outpoints on the island – but without the hardworking owners and staff, it would only be a dead collection of buildings much like some of the abandoned and rundown establishments that now dot the coastlines of Barbados and every other Caribbean island.

The glory days of Caribbean tourism when every hotel was full with little effort are long, long gone. Those establishments and tourism economies that really care about delivering their best product and shaping that product to suit changing times and client expectations, survived and will continue to survive. Many didn’t survive though, and many more won’t survive the next few years.

The contrast between guest reviews at TripAdvisor for Peach and Quiet and the governnment-owned Gems Hotels is telling – and on a larger level well illustrates a good example of where Barbados’ national tourism product can improve. There are ‘better’, ‘cheaper’, ‘newer’ and more upscale hotels in Barbados, but year after year the same clientele return to Peach and Quiet, often booking a year or more in advance just to make sure that there will be room during their chosen time. For many, Peach and Quiet is the primary destination, rather than Barbados itself.

The Loveridges eschewed the mass-marketed, low-margin tourism model and instead provided excellent value in their chosen niche. Visitors could find cheaper hotels, lesser hotels for the same money, and better hotels for a whole lot more money but nothing that really delivered the same experience and service levels for anywhere near the price. The bar was an ‘honour system’ where guests could pour a punch or take a beer and sign the list. That trust and simple welcoming gesture helped to define the mood of Peach and Quiet. (Editor’s note: Obviously Goin wid Owen or Cliverton were not P&Q guests because that system wouldn’t have worked!) :-)

The repeat visitors and loyal clientele meant that Peach and Quiet didn’t have to spend horrendous sums on advertising to lure new customers every year. A newsletter emailed to the existing customer base filled most of the rooms six and nine months in advance with a reminder that certain weeks were ‘filling up fast’! 90% occupancy was often the norm when other establishments struggled to do half that number.

On a national level the Barbados Tourism Authority is constantly spending huge sums ($100 million plus annually) forever chasing after new one-time clients in new markets instead of devoting sufficient energies and financial resources to improving and maintaining our product quality and offerings. Sure, any business needs new customers, but developing and maintaining a loyal customer base is always a better business plan than forever seeking new single-visit clients. You would never know that by watching the BTA.

Perhaps the BTA should look at the operational strategies of Peach and Quiet and several of the other similarly successful operations on the island. The ‘same old’ methods can work year after year if they are the right methods. Product quality is king. Purchased artificial hype and promotion are secondary. That is the lesson that Barbados should learn from Adrian and Margaret Loveridge’s success.

Further Reading

April 11, 2012 – Barbados Today: Shut Down

November 3, 2011 – BFP: Telegraph Travel gives Barbados hotel 10/10 for value, 8/10 overall

August 24, 2011 – Barbados Today: For Sale

January 18, 2011 – BFP: How a small Barbados hotel thrived with hard work and the right attitude

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism