Author Archives: BFP

Re-Discover Rewards campaign attracting and keeping tourists

re-discover barbados

Going Local helps tourists get value – and keeps Bajans employed

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

While I can see the attraction of corporate Barbados offering Caribbean cruises as competition prizes or sales inducements, it is difficult to accept what if any real benefit the country gleans from the exercise. Payment almost certainly would ultimately be made in foreign currency (FX) to ship operators who legally avoid any significant taxation and largely employ extra regional crew.

We have been heartened at the initial response to recent launch of re-DISCOVER REWARDS vouchers by local companies – especially as many of those who have responded are looking at it from a national perspective. These businesses have made a considered decision to help protect Barbadian jobs, whether directly in the hospitality industry or sub-sectors like agricultural, food and wine distribution. Many of the participating restaurants have also made a conscious effort to use locally available produce, which again helps retain the foreign exchange and hopefully spread earned revenue right across the society.

While not wanting to use this column for propaganda or promotion, I just wonder how many people have figured out that this initiative is (to the best of my belief) absolutely unique across the Caribbean. It is a point that has not gone unnoticed by both our tourism planners and potential visitors to Barbados.

It was truly heart warming to receive a social media posting recently from a professor in Canada, who stated that one of the deciding factors why they chose Barbados over another Caribbean island was the fact they could eat every night of their stay at a different affordable restaurant, even over a three week stay.

Part of the battle is persuading the yet to be convinced various dining establishments to understand the concept. As with all businesses, there are fixed costs regardless of the number of customers. The first ten patrons per night at a set menu price perhaps will not be the most profitable, but they help negate those otherwise irrecoverable overheads. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy

Muslim-only housing development in Barbados. No Christians or Jews allowed to purchase homes in new community.

Muslim Barbados housing

Muslim Association says “Barbadians have nothing to fear.” (What a statement!)

Is this what we want for our Barbados?

Muslim Housing Development No JewsOne can only imagine the howls of outrage if a construction company announced that only Christians would be allowed to purchase new homes in a brand new Bajan subdivision… and rightly so. Can you imagine on a sign “No Muslim Buyers Allowed” ???

Yet this is exactly what our political class has agreed to in relation to Bajan Christians and Jews when it issued building permissions to the Muslim organisations involved in building Barbados’ newest housing development.

After hundreds of years of slavery, and then another hundred years of colonisation, exclusion and segregation based upon race, skin colour and class, ordinary Barbadians do not take kindly to being told they are not eligible to purchase a home because they are not of the proper religion. Bajans do not like being told that they are second class citizens in their own country.

The message from the Muslim spokespersons that “Barbadians have nothing to fear” is a statement that these people consider themselves to be outside of the wide and inclusive Barbados citizenship and community. Is this what we want for our Barbados?

Muslims wish to self-enclave, to not be part of the wider Bajan community

Muslim schools in Barbados teach our young people that “Hijab is compulsory… hide woman’s beauty as protection from rape” and “Beheading, chopping off your hands, severe beatings are Islamic rules, nothing wrong in it” (See BFP’s article about the Muslim Girls School.)

There can be no debate that these Islamic values and teachings are anti-Bajan, and destructive to our national character. They are against everything that this country stands for. Muslim teaching about the value of women is stuck somewhere before the dark-ages, but for some reason liberals excuse the fact that the Koran not only allows, but instructs, husbands to physically discipline their wives.

Yet, our so-called political leadership has agreed to allow the establishment of a community that excludes ordinary Bajans and upholds values that are foreign and destructive to our nation.

This is a dangerous precedent that weakens Barbados and undermines everything we have struggled for in the past 150 years. By all means, let people believe what they want to believe no matter how vile or outrageous. Freedom and democracy demands tolerance. But we draw the line when our government gives approval and support to an exclusionary enclave based upon religion and values that are in total opposition to the Bajan culture and national character.

I wonder: what would Bussa think of this?

From The Nation newspaper. We have to reprint it all because that newspaper has a habit of revising history:

HOUSING VENTURE

A new community exclusively for Muslims has been started at Clermont, St James.  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Human Rights, Religion

Answering Loveridge about Barbados tax concessions to Sandals

Sandals' Butch Stewart doesn't look like he's starving to death.

Sandals’ Butch Stewart doesn’t look like he’s starving to death.

by William Skinner

The granting of concessions to the hoteliers is a capitulation on the part of the Barbados government, which now finds itself with a one step forward two steps backward economic policy; trying to please an essentially lazy and backward corporate class while inflicting serious blows on the already poor and economically downtrodden.

The hoteliers in Barbados have clearly demonstrated that they have failed to capitalize on an industry that has been in existence for over sixty years. They have whined their way into the taxpayers coffers, on the spurious grounds that the concessions granted to the well established Sandals Group should be automatically theirs for the taking.  In other words, while very few of them can ever boast or hope to come close, to demonstrating that they can ever reach Sandals’ heights, they have blackmailed the government into giving them similar benefits. It’s akin to a fourth division footballer demanding the same salary and perks of a first division superstar!

Be that as it may, they have also refused to sign on to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which will be used to monitor  they operating in good faith with the agricultural community and other businesses , to ensure that the process is not exploited. In other words, the government wanted some formal agreement that the benefits will trickle down to local businesses. Low and behold, the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) said that it will not sign any MOU. Imagine a beggar being so bold faced, to be a chooser as well! It was very pitiful and embarrassing to witness a minister backing down from this group.  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy

The Bajan way? Set the house on fire – shoot the intended victim when they try to put out the fire

Neipaul Trotman beach murder Barbados

Dear Barbados Free Press,

Or should I say “Dear Lord, OH LORD!”

Is there something I’m missing about living on this rock? Have you ever seen and heard of so much violence?

Neipaul Trotman (above) is shot and murdered at Fitts Beach in broad daylight at 11am while playing with his infant son. A dozen tourists witness his execution. Then a day or two later Cyprian Payne was sleeping when somebody firebombed the home. The man comes out to fight the fire and is shot numerous times, and is hanging onto his life by a thread at the hospital.

We built a pedestrian overpass at The Pine so that folks could safely cross the ABC highway and now thugs are throwing concrete building blocks onto the vehicles below. There have been several serious incidents and injured motorists.

A week ago Dwayne Johnson was traveling in a ZR van when he had words with another man. Only words. That man shot him in the back right in the ZR van!

Am I going crazy, or is this island going crazy? It never used to be like this.

Yours truly,

Mr. Meters.

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Police

Afra Raymond talks about Corruption and Citizenship at The Cloth Propaganda Space

by Afra Raymond

The ‘Unconquered‘ discussion series is hosted by Robert Young’s The Cloth at #24 Erthig Road, Belmont…Attilah Springer – aka Tillah Willah – is one of the livewires driving this initiative…

I was invited by Tillah to speak at the ‘Conscious Citizenship‘ meeting on Wednesday 13th August 2014, along with Dr. Kevin Adonis Browne, author of the searching new work ‘Tropic Tendencies’…the session was both heated and edifying…it was real, even when Browne ramoujayed on rhetoric!

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Filed under Corruption, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption, Trinidad and Tobago

Tourism businesses must do more to help themselves

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

While this may not be universally accepted by all, can and should the private sector tourism industry do more to help itself?

The simple answer must be yes!

I firmly believe there are so many more ways that we can build smart partnerships to build our destination awareness in all the key markets.

As an example, many years ago we persuaded the three largest villa rental agencies to jointly produce a full page ‘ad’ that appeared in leading travel magazines like Caribbean Travel and Life. By collectively sharing the costs they were able to attract an audience that would have been price inhibitive if attempted individually.

As first you may think that you were collaborating with the ‘enemy’ and handing valuable business to your competition, but in today’s reality the consumer is savvy and well informed. They can make a defined choice based on their own preferences.

There would be nothing stopping our car rental agencies, major attractions and small hotels doing exactly the same and ideally, in one concerted effort, together.  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Boycott LIAT for a day

Robert Pitcher Barbados LIAT

Fun N’ Sun publisher Robert Pitcher is calling upon Bajans and people throughout the Caribbean to boycott LIAT Airlines for a day in protest of the airline’s high fares and low-quality service.

That’s all well and good, but the real question is: Should Barbados and other governments be involved in the airline business at all – especially when LIAT hasn’t made a dollar profit since it was founded?

If there is one thing we’ve proved over the last 100 years, it is that governments cannot run businesses in a profitable manner. It is impossible.

What governments can do though, is to subsidise government businesses so that they squeeze out all privately-owned competition. Can we say “RedJET” ?

In our past, a case could be made for a government subsidised national or Caribbean airline to bring tourists, business people and trade from over and away and also island hopping. With the explosion of affordable air travel this is no longer a necessity… and if we choose to subsidise air travel to the island, it is much easier to give money to Virgin Air than to run our own airline.

It’s time to kill LIAT dead dead dead.

Pitcher: Avoid LIAT

BOYCOTT LIAT FOR a day.

That’s what publisher Robert Pitcher is calling on the regional public to do to send a clear message to the airline that they are fed up with its high airfares and poor quality service.

He also advised the regional governments looking to invest in the island hopping airline to keep it afloat not to put a cent into it until it changes its board, which he contends, is not suited to oversee the affairs of running a modern airline.

Instead, a group of successful Caribbean businessmen from the separate territories should be appointed to the board with a Caribbean chief executive officer at the helm who understands the market.

Speaking at a press conference at his Rendezvous Gardens, Christ Church offices this morning, Pitcher a director of Fun N’ Sun publishing, also took issue with the announcement that LIAT would be flying to Haiti four times weekly from December.

Pitcher said presently the airline cannot even service their existing routes efficiently and this move would be to a country where loads would be doubtful, similar to the unsuccessful route to the Dominican Republic.

… read the rest of this article at the Nation Pitcher: Avoid LIAT

Thanks to an old friend for suggesting this article!

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism