Monthly Archives: January 2013

Aviation expert: Loveridge wrong about LIAT’s aircraft choice. ATR is the answer for the Caribbean.

ATR-600-Caribbean

“The ATR is an airplane that is built for fuel economy. Given that fuel is one of the 3 largest portions of an airlines annual operating budget this is a big deal.”

by PltFlyng

After reading BFP’s “What’s with LIAT’s choice for new aircraft?”, I have to conclude that Adrian Loveridge might be a tourism expert – but he is no aviation expert and that is certain. Let me give you some enlightenment on the aircraft choice here in question.

For one the Caribbean market is a small and fragmented. Experience has shown that the 50 seat size is about the largest size of aircraft that is sustainable on inter-regional routes. Even so there are many routes which will struggle to fill 50 seats. This is why for years LIAT continued to operate 3 Dash 8-100s. With 37 seats they could provide route frequency on certain lower density routes and still maintain high load factors. Any time you are flying around with empty seats its bad for business and flying around below your breakeven load factor just means that segment is losing money and being subsidised by other routes.

Herein lies the inherent problem with the Q400. It is a 70 seat aircraft.

Additionally it is also a turbo-prop designed as a light jet replacement what that means is that yes, while it is fast it achieves this speed by giving up fuel efficiency.  The break even for an industry standard Q400 on the high density low cost Indian and European markets is approximately 57 – 60% It is estimated that in the higher cost operating environment in the Caribbean the breakeven load factor for the Q400 would be in the range of 66 – 70% which means you would need to fill 45 – 47 seats approximately on average just to break even. This would prove difficult in the current travel climate in the Caribbean.

The other problem with the Q400 is airfield limitations. Some airfields in the LIAT network would require the aircraft to be weight limited for departure due to the field length or the proximity of terrain and obstacles or tailwinds. St. Vincent is not the only consideration. This means possibly cutting some services (Nevis for example) and that you would be limited as to how many passengers and bags you can carry out of some places.

For this trade off what does the Q400 bring to the table? Effectively nothing.     Continue reading

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados

Where will Burger King Barbados get its beef patties?

Hey… I’m just asking!

And are large food franchises really any worse than smaller operations?

The Guardian: Burger King reveals its burgers were contaminated in horsemeat scandal

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Filed under Health

Barbados lawsuit over rally death: 16 years before the courts

Justice Delayed Barbados

Here we are in the middle of an election campaign and we’ve just received a key performance indicator about the last two governments of Barbados: BLP and DLP: Sixteen years to complete a civil trial over an accidental death at a road rally.

Bajans are so used to outrageously low standards that we hardly know what should be ‘normal’ anymore. Sixteen years of hell before the courts and all we can think of is that we’ve seen cases take longer: twenty and twenty two years. So sixteen years isn’t so bad.

Is it?

Read the full story in The Nation here

Rally Club at Fault in Death

A WOMAN whose son was killed 16 years ago when a race car plunged into a crowd of spectators during a rally event has won a law suit against the Barbados Rally Club.

Althea Strickland sued driver of the car Darrin White and the Barbados Rally Club for the death of her son Rodney Strickland on June 16, 1997. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law

Barbados Tourism Authority ignores Toronto Travel Show: Why?

Toronto Travel Show

The largest travel show in Toronto Canada took place last weekend – Toronto’s Ultimate Travel Show – and the Barbados Tourism Authority was missing in action. The Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Turks and Caicos were there: so was Japan!

How about that? The BTA has an office in Toronto and Lord knows how much we spend in that market – but we didn’t attend the largest travel show in one of our prime tourist markets. Why not?

Maybe there is a good reason that we didn’t attend. Maybe the show is not a good venue? Maybe it is too expensive compared to results generated in past years?

Or maybe we just couldn’t be bothered. Maybe our staff blew the budget on other promotions? Maybe the budget is gone gone gone?

Whatever happened, three readers alerted us to the fact that Barbados was a no-show at the largest winter travel show in Canada.

BTA: Over to you… what happened?

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Barbados election called for February 21, 2013: Integrity legislation, Freedom of Information, Conflicts of Interest rules all dead dead dead

barbados wave flag

BLP, DLP: all the same!

Barbadians are going to the polls on February 21, 2013, and as most folks realise, it doesn’t make a lick ‘o difference which party you vote for.

Both parties’ platforms are indistinguishable from each other whether the subject is economics, social programmes, the environment, tourism, offshore banking or any other issue. It just doesn’t matter who you vote for: nothing depends upon it. Barbados will not be one wit better off under either party.

If David Thompson was alive today, he would be facing serious questions about his involvement with CLICO and Leroy Parris. Thompson might even be facing a lawsuit or a criminal investigation about the time when he was CLICO’s lawyer. But Thompson conveniently died and that took care of that.

Owen Arthur? Well, where do we start? All the corruption under the Arthur regime still happened. His depositing election funds into his personal bank account happened. The VECO contract for the prison happened: awarded without tender to a company that never built a prison. When the Alaska Veco scandal broke showing that the company bribed politicians all over the world, the Attorney General Dale Marshall met with company officials for ten minutes and announced, “Not here. Nothing like that happened in Barbados.”

Sure. We believe Dale Marshall… and we’ve got some Florida swampland to sell you too: just like CLICO bought with your hard-earned retirement savings.

What is to be done? Easy… VOTE INDEPENDENT

How to stop this nonsense? That’s easy folks. Go to the DLP and BLP rallies. Sing the songs, chant the chants and don’t do anything different: because you KNOW what happens to those who break the party ranks.

BUT THEN… On February 21st, go to the poll and vote for anyone but the DLP or BLP. Let’s punish them. Let’s remove their legitimacy because of their long record of corruption, lies and profiteering.

Whatever you do folks: on the day, VOTE INDEPENDENT!

39 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Politics

Promoting Barbados as a tourist destination: doing lots with little funds…

Small hotel or 300 people around the pool? Tourists love small!

Small hotel or 300 people around the pool? Tourists love small!

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

Much has been made of the lack of funds available to the Barbados Tourism Authority and reported outstanding debts, severely limiting the ability of the organisation to effectively market the destination. Whatever, the facts are, those of us that have spent almost an entire lifetime in business have learnt, usually from necessity, to do a lot with very little.

There are so many ways that you can raise the ‘brand’ profile, often at low or no cost. TripAdvisor, is perhaps one of the very best examples.

Around 6,000 hotels have recently been awarded the so called Oscars of the hospitality industry, Traveler’s Choice Awards, in various categories for 2013. At first you might say, 6,000 hotels, that’s an awful lot. But when you then consider that those who receive this coveted distinction are selected by the highest ratings in a single year out of over 650,000 listed hotels in 82 countries across nine regions, worldwide – so less than one per cent make the grade.

As you would expect, many individual properties and savvy destinations now go into hyperdrive, using this incredible opportunity to highlight their product with media mentions and press releases at zero cost. The ratings are entirely generated and positions gained by guests personal experiences who have actually stayed in the featured accommodation providers.

What could be a better accolade than reviews and opinions based on the feedback from those who really matter… their guests?

The proof is in the pudding.

I am pleased to report a small number of hotels on Barbados are winners for this year and I would expect  that our national marketing agency will take every opportunity to highlight them, while at the same time growing awareness for the destination. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

How Harlequin damaged Barbados reputation

Does this look like a vibrant healthy construction site to you?

January 2013: Does this look like a vibrant healthy construction site to you?

“Our government gave Ames and Harlequin the benefit of our country’s reputation – and when the Harlequin house of cards falls, it will be the reputation of Barbados that is harmed the most.”

Barbados H Hotel 3

There are so many Caribbean islands with the same Carib sand, sun and water. So many Caribbean islands with friendly people and special cultures not found on other Caribbean islands. Each island nation has its own cultural flavour, its own beauty and its own special offerings to attract tourists and offshore investments.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll keep on saying it: there are other Caribbean islands more beautiful, more unspoiled, more private and certainly cheaper to visit than Barbados. Why then, do people come to Barbados and keep returning? What is it that we have that brings the world’s elites here instead of some other Caribbean islands?

Security and safety is a big issue. Although Barbados has fallen down on the job lately, we’re still a whole lot safer than say, Jamaica, the Bahamas or even Bermuda. We’ve lost some ground, true, but we’re still way ahead of so many other islands in terms of tourist safety.

But the big asset we have that differentiates us and attracts the tourists and investors is the perception that Barbados is a stable society where good laws protect investors, tourists, retirees, and citizens. This is so important, and has been front and centre in Bim’s long term success. Without this perception that Barbados is a land of laws, we are no better and probably worse than some of the competition.

And then came Harlequin.

When Barbados allowed Mr. Ames and his bunch of brigands to sell from plans without putting deposits into a trust account: we allowed Mr. Ames to ride upon our good reputation. We allowed Mr. Ames to collect money based upon the public knowledge that Barbados is a safe society, where people are protected by good laws. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Consumer Issues