Tag Archives: Tourism

Tourist slams Peach and Quiet Hotel on TripAdvisor. Owner replies…

“Yes! My wife does get a bit snooty on the odd occasion. I will have a word with her.”

How Adrian Loveridge handled a bad TripAdvisor guest report…

Changing the BBQ, having a word with his co-manager

by Marcus

In a recent BFP article TripAdvisor’s Brian Payea coming to Barbados we told you how the tourism industry was thrust into an unknown and frightening world when the internet arrived and, much to their horror, hotels discovered that tourists could post unedited reviews and photos online.

This is such a big deal that many foolish hotels sought to curtail free speech rather than to engage disgruntled customers. Hotels didn’t want to explain, apologize and sometimes have to admit that a customer had a valid complaint.

Imagine that… some hotels don’t want to listen to customers and use what they say to make the business better. What a novel idea! How foreign a concept to those who think they know it all because they run a government-owned hotel with a bottomless bank account.

But running away from bad internet reviews means that only one side is heard. That is foolish these days when over 80% of tourists research their vacations on the internet before booking. (I can’t remember where I heard that but it sounded reasonable.)

Some customers can’t be pleased no matter what. Others are put off a hotel for one minor issue – but I think that most people consider the entire experience and product and give a fair opinion when asked.

Then again, I’m not in the hotel business. Peach and Quiet Hotel owner Adrian Loveridge is though, and how he handles the very rare bad review on TripAdvisor is instructive for anyone in the tourism or service industries. BFP readers know we like Adrian and Margaret, but even with that disclaimer we are blown away by Adrian’s candor and integrity in how he handled this complaint. What a pro, and what a decent person. Hope Margaret doesn’t bop him one! :-)

First, for interest…

Overall Ratings: Peach & Quiet vs. Time Out at the Gap

According to TripAdvisor, Peach & Quiet has 123 visitor reviews, with 100 rated “Excellent”, 17 “Very Good”, 2 “Average”, 3 “Poor” and 1 “Terrible”.

That contrasts with “Time out at the Gap” with 118 visitor reviews, with 10 rated “Excellent”, 23 “Very Good”, 40 “Average”, 25 “Poor” and 20 “Terrible”.

Now the bad review of Peach and Quiet, and then Adrian’s response…

Peach & Quiet “Could do (much) better…!”

Date of review: May 16, 2011 – New Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Consumer Issues

Barbados Tourism Authority targets Russia: Good idea?

What will be the BTA’s Return on Investment for Russia’s “My Planet Travel Awards”?

by Nevermind Kurt

The few Russian visitors I personally meet while working or at the beach are nice enough people. They are polite in their own way, keep to themselves and are quiet except when they’re not quiet and then they are boisterous and happy, not the mean drinkers that I sometimes see from elsewhere. They have money. The ones I see generally bring their children along. I think that some of the “keep to themselves” impression comes from the language difference. When their English is better the Russians seem friendlier because you can talk to them. That is my experience and, as they say, your mileage may vary!

The Russians are easy enough to please as tourists and they are a pleasure after dealing with finicky and unfriendly Germans. Some stereotypes exist because they’re true, you know. Continue reading

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Adrian Loveridge’s Tourism MATTERS – Remembering David Thompson and looking to the future

My deepest sympathy goes out to Mrs. Mara Thompson, her daughters and entire family.

I would like to hold onto my special memories of the late Prime Minister and recall one of our few exchanges.

Soon after his illness was announced, you could see the strain on his face, and in a simple attempt to bring a smile, I emailed him a YouTube extract of a BBC ‘Yes Prime Minister’ episode.

In his inimitable style, a few minutes later, a message came back, ‘Adrian, Thank you, it’s my favourite programme’. Continue reading

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

Adrian Loveridge’s Tourism MATTERS: Getting creative, making more with less.

At least one Barbados hotel is renting rooms by the hour.

Will Adrian’s Peach & Quiet Hotel target the same “niche” market too? Read on! :-)

by Adrian Loveridge

There are different versions, but my favourite is when the ‘going gets tough, the tough get creative’. It probably comes from spending most of my working life trying to turn tiny marketing budgets into big picture realities. What prompted this was reading the classified section of the local papers and seeing one of our accommodation competitors renting its rooms by the hour.

Concluding that this property is targeting a particular niche clientele, we cannot let any market share be eroded. We think therefore that in many cases, hourly rates might be to optimistic, so of course the obvious answer is to offer a per-minute rate. Continue reading

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Tourism MATTERS – New column by Adrian Loveridge in Barbados Business Authority

Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner.

The Nation has agreed to publish in the Barbados Business Authority, a weekly column dedicated to tourism written by myself  from Monday 13th September, 2010 entitled Tourism MATTERS.

The column will be about 500 words and offer topical, constructive, objective views with some alternative suggestions to grow our tourism industry. It will be non-partisan.

I feel in many ways, that even bearing in mind the global economic challenges confronting us that we are missing so many marketing opportunities and in many cases our thinking has become stagnant. Continue reading

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Barbados government website incorrectly states visitors can bring 200 cigarettes duty free

Welcome to your Barbados vacation… Is there anything else we can do to piss you off upon arrival?

Trip Advisor.com is probably the world’s premier travel website for “been there, done that” advice on destinations and there is some discussion going right now about tourists being ambushed by Barbados Customs.

It seems that the Barbados Government website advises tourists that they may bring 200 cigarettes into the country duty free… but when folks arrive they discover that’s not true and are asked to pay big duties.

The Barbados Government website sets up the tourists with bad information and the Customs people pick ‘em off when they arrive. Like shooting fish in de barrel! Continue reading

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Exclusive Breaking: UK Travel Agent now selling St. Lucia holidays “10 to 1″ over Barbados!

In a stunning reversal of the way things were only six months ago, travel agent Sandra McLeavy of Holiday Experts says she is now selling St. Lucia holidays over Barbados ten to one in favour of St. Lucia!

Ms. McLeavy attributes the turnabout to a heavy tourism campaign by St. Lucia and some changes over the last little while in Barbados. As Ms. McLeavy has visited Barbados some 13 times, we Bajans and the Barbados Tourism Authority might want to at the very least give her views a read. Continue reading

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Hartley Henry tells Barbados tourism industry to Shut Up. Adrian Loveridge replies…

‘I get tired sometimes hearing the cliché lines of complaint from hotel spokespersons in particular. This constant begging for more is not directed at any single governing party. It is a culture of bellyaching that needs to stop’.

The number of tourism and especially hotel-oriented facilities doing direct marketing in the tourism marketplace can be counted on a single hand. Yet, as a body, they have adopted this ‘gimmuh’ mentality, which effectively forms one’s mirror image of certain industry practitioners’.

Prime Minister Thompson’s main political advisor Hartley Henry let’s fly at the Barbados tourism industry in the Barbados Advocate article ‘Mind your (tourism) business’

Prime Minister David Thompson & principal advisor, Henry Hartley

Hartley Henry demonstrated “how far he is removed from the truth and reality of this industry.” Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business & Banking, Politics, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism

Do we need armed officers at each Barbados school? Shot fired during school canteen robbery

Violent criminals know the Barbados Police Force is understrength by 100+ officers

When two thugs burst into the Parkinson School canteen just after lunch on Friday and fired a shot to terrorize the staff, they knew that they could probably get clean away. That’s because criminals, like the rest of us, have noticed that patrolling police officers are a rare sight in Barbados compared with even two or three years ago.

According to the story in The Nation, canteen owner Nancy Lynch was taken to hospital and another woman had a gun placed right against her chest as people screamed and ran from the masked men.

In our school.

Where our children are.

Where we send them every day to learn and be safe.

School Principal Orson Alleyne wrong about one thing…

“It is frightening to think that in this society we can come to the point where people can think they can come onto a school compound and perform such acts, and in broad daylight,” … school principal Orson Alleyne

The truth is that the thugs don’t think they can rob a school in broad daylight with our children there – they know they can do it because they, like the rest of us, watched the politicians squeeze the budget of our Royal Barbados Police Force for the last 15 years.

Dale Marshall - Policing not a priority

Former Attorney General Dale Marshall told potential Barbados police recruits that they shouldn’t expect to be paid anywhere near what they could earn elsewhere as police officers. That said everything about what Mr. Marshall’s priorities were. (To be fair though, Dale Marshall’s government did give us a hell of a Cricket World Cup party over a few weeks for only a half a billion dollars or thereabouts.)

Policing and community safety was not a priority for the Mottley/Arthur BLP government and it is not a priority for the current DLP government. That’s why our police force doesn’t have the money to attract and hire the more than 100 officers who haven’t been replaced.

An Insider Talks

Continue reading

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

Barbados Hotel Occupancy down 27% during our peak month!

“A staggering fall of 27%, despite increased airlift out of Canada and the US!”

Is the traditional Barbadian Hotel a dying breed?

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

I was tempted to pose this question after studying a recent accommodation occupancy report produced by the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association.

The BHTA, according to its website, represents ‘over 80% of the total room stock on the island’, divided into three categories. Luxury, ‘A’ Class and ‘B’ Class, which includes many of the smaller properties, apartments and guest houses!

2009 average occupancy by month were as follows:

January – 54%
February – 82%
March – 66%
April – 56%
May – 48%
June – 34%
July – 32%
August – 24%
September – 45%
October – 63%
November – 65%
December – 69%

According to a list published by the Barbados Tourism Authority up until 15th December 2009, there were a total of 6,606 rooms across the 152 registered accommodation providers.

Therefore if you accept that the BHTA statistics are representative for all registered properties that means that over 3,094 rooms remained empty every single night of 2009.

Or put another way, a mind boggling 1.13 million empty room nights or the capacity to accommodate another 322,686 long stay visitors, based on an average 7 night stay and two persons per room.

BHTA figures for the first four months of 2010 do not look anymore encouraging, with January being the only month that showed any occupancy growth over last year.

Perhaps most alarming of all, February, traditionally our peak earning month, witnessed a decline from 82% in 2009 to 63% this year. Continue reading

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Canadian news media reports “outrage” at tourist killer’s sentence. Schwarzfeld family says “Sentence made no sense.”

Canadians still following the Terry Schwarzfeld story

Adrian Loveridge interviewed by Ottawa Citizen

The sentencing of Curtis Joel Foster in the killing of Canadian tourist Terry Schwarzfeld and the subsequent appeal by the Barbados Director of Public Prosecutions continues to be news in Canada.

The Ottawa Citizen published a weekend article Barbados sentence ‘unduly lenient’ as did the CanWest news agency in papers across Canada. The Canadian press interviewed Schwarzfeld’s sister, Joan Schwarzfeld, and hotelier Adrian Loveridge, who chairs the safety and security committee of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association.

Former Attorney General Dale Marshall – Embarrassing

As well, the Ottawa Citizen focused upon the idiotic (our description) comments of former Attorney General Dale Marshall – who is quoted as saying that Foster’s sentencing should have no impact on tourism from Canada.

Judging by the articles in the Canadian press and the comments online from both Canadians and Bajans, Dale Marshall is totally out of touch with his constituents and the rest of the world on the danger to our tourism industry if Barbados is perceived to be uncaring or soft on violence against visitors and citizens.

Prospective tourists can get over the fact that a visitor was murdered while strolling on a beach in broad daylight – provided they believe it was an isolated incident and that Barbados citizens and our government and courts responded appropriately.

In our opinion, Canadians still believe that Barbados is one of the safest tourist destinations in the world – and rightly so, because Barbados still provides about as safe a vacation as can be had anywhere.

Where Barbados fell down in this case was in the initial response and incident handling, and also in our government’s poor treatment of the victims’ families who were ignored and kept in the dark throughout the process.

Court dates were set, decisions and deals were made and actions were taken by the DPP, the police and the government without basic courtesy or concern for informing the victims’ families. Often there was not even a phone call or an email to inform family members as to an important event as the case processed through our courts. The Schwarzfeld family told the Canadian press that they were not being informed of important developments by the Barbados authorities. Like everyone else, they mostly heard about the deals and delays through the news media or this blog.

Where did the law stop and politics begin?

The decision to not proceed on the murder charge against Foster may have been properly taken according to the best legal advice – but there is also a suspicion in Canada, Barbados and elsewhere that the government simply wanted to avoid the drawn-out publicity a lengthy murder trial. Undoubtedly the failure of our Royal Barbados Police Force to note and address Curtis Joel Foster’s long series of violent crimes against tourists at Long Beach would have been a central issue in any trial.

So the prosecution offered a deal and asked for 16 to 20 years. To the utter amazement of everyone, the judge gave 10 years – proving that Dale Marshall has at least one other neighbour on whatever different planet he lives on.

Had Foster received what Bajans and Canadians consider a reasonable sentence in all the circumstances, the government of Barbados would have happily seen this case fade from the public eye with the average tourist believing that justice was done. That is not to be though.

Two Lessons for Barbados

There are two main lessons that Barbados should take away from this unhappy event. Firstly, we failed to do our best to protect visitors and citizens against a known threat at a specific location. As we mentioned in our article Guilty plea in killing of Canadian tourist Terry Schwarzfeld raises official hopes that the story will now go away, that was basically a police leadership and competence problem that is as yet unresolved.

Secondly, we failed the family and friends of Terry Schwarzfeld and her daughter-in-law Lauana Cotsman by failing to keep them informed about court dates and decisions in the prosecution of the person who killed their loved one. Oh, our government and politicians were good for a couple of weeks after the murder, but then it all fell apart in the long run because we have no real plan or crisis handling team in place for incidents involving foreign visitors. We wing it every time with no checklist and no institutional memory of what went right or wrong last time.

This is part of a larger problem that our government shares with our news media: in a crisis we prefer cover-ups instead of acknowledging problems and implementing proper responses. We used to be able to operate like this because the government could control the flow of information both locally and abroad.

That was before YouTube and a camera in every mobile phone. That was before instant messaging, blogs, FaceBook and personal websites. That was before TripAdvisor and a host of other travel websites and forums.

We don’t seem to learn the lessons we need to. Six months after the Schwarzfeld beach murder, the British press reported British Tourist Shot, Robbed Near Sandy Lane Resort Barbados On June 4, 2009 – Victim Alleges Silence By Barbados News Media, Hotel, Tourism Authorities.

I am surprised and disappointed that as a country that relies almost exclusively upon tourism for our economy, Barbados has no crisis handling team or plan for the long term management of situations involving foreign visitors. If we did have proper management in place, members of the Schwarzfeld family would not be telling their fellow Canadians that Barbados did not care enough to keep them informed about important developments surrounding the death of their loved one.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Crime & Law, News Media, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism

Striking British Airways staff “will lose their travel concessions permanently”

“Despite the ballot results, I wonder how many staff will actually strike. Of BA’s 13,500 cabin crew, 7,500 voted to strike. Around 1,500 commute to work by air from Europe and around Britain.

BA has said any staff who strike will lose their travel concessions permanently, making commuting very costly, and to most probably unaffordable. And for the non-commuters, those cheap holidays in Barbados will be gone for ever.”

letter to The Telegraph from John Ratcliffe, Aberdeen

Will British Airways Staff really go through with it?

Management seems to be making a point and so is the union. In the middle will be Barbados and every other tourist destination serviced by British Airways. It has been a rough decade for Bajan tourism starting with 9/11, then continuing with the economic slide and some very expensive mistakes like Cricket World Cup and the unrewarded spending of millions upon millions to tap into the US market. Couple that with the cruise lines that are squeezing the life out of every supplier and now another British Airways strike in the works.

And it doesn’t matter what you do on this rock, it’s all connected with the tourists in one way or another. You might think that you sell plumbing fixtures for a living but the truth is – you work for the tourists as much as the people behind the desk at the Hilton.

Folks: save your money and look after your family and friends, because something tells me it’s not getting a whole lot better anytime soon.

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Guilty plea in killing of Canadian tourist Terry Schwarzfeld raises official hopes that the story will now go away

Murdered Canadian tourist Terry Schwarzfeld

Curtis Joel Foster 25, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in Barbados High Court on Wednesday, January 20, 2010. He will be sentenced on February 17th next. (Canada.com news here)

Canadian tourist Terry Schwarzfeld was walking at Long Beach at the south coast on February 28, 2009 with her daughter-in-law when Foster attacked and robbed them in broad daylight. When the women resisted, Foster used a piece of wood to club them. Mrs. Schwarzfeld never recovered from her head injuries and died in Canada after she was flown back in a coma.

On the surface this brings some small resolution for the victim’s family and friends, but as much as the word “closure” is thrown around by the news media, we know that the people who loved Terry Schwarzfeld will never forget the circumstances of her passing. Good Bajans everywhere offer their sympathies and regrets and pray that her family and friends will not be lacking in strength and support.

Tourist Murder happened after police ignored a year of robberies and rapes at Long Beach

As much as everyone now regrets the murder of Terry Schwarzfeld, it turns out that a blind man on a fast horse could have seen months in advance what was eventually going to happen to some poor soul at Long Beach.

The Royal Barbados Police Force had to admit publicly that the organisation failed to note the violent crime rampage against tourists at Long Beach for over a year preceding the murder. Long Beach was a robbery and rape “hot spot”, but we Bajans and the tourists were never warned. Neither was there a coordinated police response to stop the attacks.

It turns out that the Commissioner of Police failed to appoint staff to record and analyze crime types and locations to note “hot spots” so that sufficient police resources could be assigned to protect the public or to arrest Curtis Joel Foster and stop his reign of terror. It took the murder of a tourist before anyone paid attention, and even then the police, the government and the Bajan news media initially went into their standard “cover-up” mode that happens when a tourist is attacked. (See BFP’s article Ottawa Citizen Newspaper, National Canadian Coverage: “Bajan Media Ignores Attack On Women. Feisty Barbados Free Press Only Outlet To Speak Out For Schwarzfeld”)

Have Barbados Police Ever Heard Of A Crime Map???

Locating crime hot spots and detailing sufficient officers to protect the public and arrest the culprits is not rocket science, ya know.

As we’ve seen in countless television shows: the police put a big map of the area on the wall. When there is a robbery or violent crime, the officer puts a pin into the map at the location. The colour of the pin tells the type of crime. Then the officer says, “OH! Look at all the pins at Long Beach over the last few months. Rape, robbery, assault. I guess we’d better have a closer look.” Then the officer reads the descriptions of the culprits as given by the victims, notes the time and day of the week and other circumstances and says, “Hey, this looks like one guy is doing this, does his attacks late in the afternoon against lone women tourists at Long Beach. I guess we’d better watch the place or dress up a female police officer like a tourist, have her partners remain hidden and see if we can arrest this man before he kills somebody.”

The police don’t even have to use a fancy computer program, just pins on a map. If our police want a fancy program to map out the crimes, they might want to try using Google Maps for free as many other police forces do. It is really disgusting that Google offers a solution that could have saved Mrs. Schwarzfeld. But, hey – Commissioner Dottin didn’t see fit to put up an ordinary map and some pins on the wall so ya can’t really expect him to be knowledgeable ’bout something as sophisticated as Google Maps that children use to assist them with their school geography projects.

“Somebody” failed to note the violent crime rampage against tourists at Long Beach for over a year. “Somebody” failed to detail sufficient police resources to protect the tourists and arrest the suspect.

And because of those police failures, Canadian tourist Terry Schwarzfeld died – and our most important industry is further imperiled as it is being pummeled by the economic crisis.

“It is time for the Royal Barbados Police Force to have the dynamic leadership and resources that it needs to protect Barbadians, our visitors and our economy. It is time for our government to realize that policing and public safety are more important to our economy than our beaches. It is also time for Commissioner Dottin to do the honourable thing.”

Further Reading

For more background on the year of violent crime at Long Beach and crime statistics, check out BFP’s article Barbados Advocate Covers Up Police Failure To Respond To Theft, Gunshots At Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary

BFP articles about Policing and the Terry Schwarzfeld Murder

October 12, 2009: Police urge Bajans to not walk alone in secluded areas, be wary of strangers approaching your home

September 7, 2009: Terry Schwarzfeld Tourist Murder: Preliminary Hearing Begins against accused Curtis Joel Foster

August 30, 2009: Murdered Canadian Tourist Terry Schwarzfeld Called “White Trash” – Senior Advisor to Barbados Prime Minister Publishes Articles on Same Racist Website!

June 29, 2009: British Tourist Shot, Robbed Near Sandy Lane Resort Barbados On June 4, 2009 – Victim Alleges Silence By Barbados News Media, Hotel, Tourism Authorities

March 23, 2009: Arrest In Terry Schwarzfeld Barbados Tourist Murder – But Can We Trust Our Police?

March 19, 2009: Barbados Tourist Attack Now Murder: Canadian Victim Terry Schwarzfeld Dies In Ottawa

March 9, 2009: Ottawa Citizen Newspaper, National Canadian Coverage: “Bajan Media Ignores Attack On Women. Feisty Barbados Free Press Only Outlet To Speak Out For Schwarzfeld”

March 8, 2009: Update – Barbados Tourist Beating Victim Terry Schwarzfeld – Condition Worsens “Significant Brain Damage”

March 5, 2009: Canadian Women Attacked On Barbados Beach – Shocked Barbadians Offer Regrets, Sympathy and Best Wishes To Victims, Families and Friends

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Police

Former Tourism Minister “Instant Millionaire” Noel Lynch hired by Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association


Good luck to the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) – they will need it. The organisation hired defeated Barbados Tourism Minister Noel Lynch as its new Deputy Director General and Director of Membership.

Hey, we hope the CHTA has much more luck than Barbados citizens did in getting accountability and answers from Noel Lynch about where the money went when he was in charge.

Mr. Lynch was part of the cover-up that denied Barbados citizens any accountability for the hundreds of millions of dollars of their tax money thrown into the black hole known as the GEMS Scandal – Hotels and Resorts. And what a scam it was!

Then there was the disaster of the Cricket World Cup and the outright lies Lynch told us about the event even when it was plainly apparent to all that he was lying. Lynch settles upon a fiction in his mind and that becomes reality. Cricket World Cup was his baby and it was a frankenstein that will take us a generation or more to pay off. (Tourism to Barbados actually FELL as a result of Cricket World Cup. The last game played at night without lights was the crowning touch!)

Under the last year of Tourism Minister Lynch’s reign 67,000 airline seats to Barbados were lost and hotel staff had reduced hours and workdays because the whole thing went over a cliff. That’s not even talking about the 27 hotels that closed under his government.

And then there is the moment that truly defines the legacy of Noel Lynch:

We couldn’t figure out if Lynch was angry because he got caught with his hand in the cookie jar, or because he believed himself to be unaccountable.

No matter, because for Bajans the defining moment of Noel Lynch as Minister of Tourism happened on the popular radio show Brass Tacks. Noel forgot that he was speaking not only to a radio journalist, but to over two hundred thousand citizens who’d had just about enough, thank you, of Minister Lynch and his corrupt government…

Barbados Tourism Minister Noel Lynch ran away from a live radio show when a listener asked him to explain how he became a millionaire in a few short years on a government salary. Lynch subsequently sued the radio station, whose cowardly managers paid him off rather than fight for their journalistic freedom.

Such is the character of Noel Lynch that he does not believe he should be accountable to the voters to explain his “instant millionaire” status.

Wahloss!

So good luck to the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association. Just remember to watch your expense accounts – and make sure your auditors know how to spot unreported commissions and kickbacks. One thing is fur shur… any person in a public position who acted as Noel Lynch did when asked a reasonable question about the origins of his unexplained recently acquired wealth, believes they are above accountability.

At least Mr. Lynch is the CHTA’s problem now.

Further Reading at BFP…

July 18, 2007: OOPS… Tourism Minister Noel Lynch Gets Caught Lying Again!

July 15, 2007: Barbados Tourism Minister Noel Lynch Sings Britney Spears – “Oops, I Did It Again”

July 5, 2007: Hartley Henry Asks Noel Lynch Where He Got His Million Dollars…

April 27, 2007: Barbados Tourism Minister Noel Lynch Lying On Television – Preserved For History

March 26, 2007: Barbados Tourism Minister Flees Radio Talk Show Over Question Of Personal Assets And Integrity Legislation

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Atlantis Submarines Barbados – Wonderful adventure, half-price sale!


Atlantis Submarines launched its Happy Holidays promotions on line at www.atlantissubmarines.com/barbados .  “We know it has been a tough year for everyone and we are extending our fall specials into the December and through to year end” says General Manager Roseanne Myers. For dives booked and paid December 1st – 31st 2009  ‘Buy one Adult at $99 US and get One at Half Price’ plus free shuttle from your hotel. Guests can email us directly at bdsres@atlantissubmarines.com. Offer valid when you quote the promocode – BDSHOLSP.

Children up to the age of 17 years will pay half price

Mrs. Myers added “Families travelling have been hardest hit and we wanted to provide relief while encouraging family fun on an Atlantis dive.”  Atlantis Submarines Barbados has changed its pricing policy during this recession and if persons are travelling with teens and tweens they have extended children’s rate to include children up to seventeen years old.   Like most other businesses previously teenagers 13 years and older paid full adult fare.

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1.7 million American Tourists heading for Cuba in the first year when U.S. restrictions are lifted: US Travel Official

“Americans really want to see Cuba,” said Robert Whitely, president of the U.S. Tour Operators, which together with the National Tour Association also present at the event, handles 75 percent of all package tour business to the Caribbean.

“We predict that at least 850,000 Americans will go to Cuba in the first year,” Whitely said. That does not include an estimated 480,000 Americans who will go to Cuba on Caribbean cruises when U.S. ships are allowed to dock there, and another 480,000 Cuban American visiting family in Cuba each year, a Cuban official said.

… Reuters reports on a recent US-Cuba travel conference in U.S. travel industry gearing up for return to Cuba

Will US travel to Cuba impact Barbados’ cruise ship arrivals?

Barbados has never done the tourist business that many thought possible from the United States. Whatever the reasons for this it seems a fact that Barbados has been unable to capitalize on the huge potential US travel market as some of our Caribbean neighbours have done most successfully. Many folks in Barbados don’t worry about the impact of Americans being able to travel to Cuba because they say we don’t benefit from the American market anyway so what’s to lose?

Maybe the answer to “What’s to lose?” appears in the Reuters quotes above: it might be our cruise ship arrivals that suffer when Cuba opens up for vacationing Americans.

It’s not about to happen tomorrow, but when it comes US tourism to Cuba will be huge and it will impact the entire Caribbean region.

What has the Barbados government planned to counter the threat to our tourism? Our guess: nothing.

Over to you DLP government. What concrete steps have you taken with this event in mind?

We’re all listening…

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Cuba

Gordon Brown’s Tourism Tax creating havoc

‘Airlines have cancelled more routes out of London than any other city in Europe as a direct result of the British government’s Air Passenger Duty (APD) tax, according to figures released by insurers.’

‘Industry insiders are worried it could add to the 76 routes already cancelled since March last year.’

According to Ryanair’s chief executive, Michael O’Leary, ‘Gordon Brown’s tourism tax will see Britain lose over 10 million passengers, 10,000 airport jobs and more than UK Pounds 2.5 billion in tourism spend in the UK this year alone’.

He further pointed out that Belgium, Holland, Greece and Spain had already scrapped the tax.

Barbados and the Caribbean will suffer perhaps more than any other
destination and region due to the clearly unfair zoning bands which levies a higher tax on London/Barbados flights than London/San Francisco or other cities on the US pacific coast.

It is difficult to fathom why a clearly unpopular Government on the eve of a General Election would want to alienate tens of thousands of voters that will lose their jobs directly and possible hundreds of thousands indirectly.

Initially presented as an environment tax, it quite obviously is a stealth tax with blatantly discriminating distance bands and the fact that the tax will not payable by often older, less fuel efficient freight aircraft and private jets that could largely afford the extra cost.

Adrian Loveridge
26th November 2009

Further Reading…

Britain ‘s Air Passenger Duty tax: A disaster for the Caribbean

Britannia may no longer rule the waves but its imposition of the November 1 Air Passenger Duty (APD) tax has sent shock waves across the Atlantic that will wash up on Caribbean shores with a devastating effect on the Caribbean tourism industry.

In spite of massive lobbying from home and abroad and objections from airlines, tour operators and tourism organizations including the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the British government went ahead with its plan to impose the allegedly “green” and controversial Airport Passenger Duty (APD) aimed at taxing aviation’s “carbon emissions.”

CTO secretary general Hugh Riley called the air passenger tax ” illogical and one that will damage tourism to the Caribbean.”

Meanwhile, British Airways, which is greatly increasing service to the region this winter, has denounced what it calls “these huge tax hikes,” warning “it was bad news for holiday makers and completely unjustified.”

read the full article at ETN eTurboNews

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The Failure of DLP and BLP Governments to protect Bajans from dangerous & drunk drivers

Former Transport Minister Gline Clark, Former Useless Attorneys General Mia Mottley & Dale Marshall

Former Useless Transport Minister Gline Clark, Former Useless Attorneys General Mia Mottley & Dale Marshall

Successive Barbados Governments all talk as drunken road slaughter continues

The first job of government is to protect the citizens, and successive BLP and DLP governments have failed to protect the citizens when it comes to people who drink and drive.

Six dead at the Joes River tour bus crash, four more dead in the Emancipation Day crash and others. But in these and other serious crashes since, aside from an autopsy, Barbados Police have no way of proving how much an involved driver has been drinking.

That is because our government has been negligent in providing the legal structure and the equipment that the police need to protect us all.

… from the BFP article Barbados Bus Crash Injures 59 – Police Cannot Determine If Drivers Had Been Drinking

The Barbados Labour Party had three terms and 14 years to deal with the slaughter on our roads and they did nothing. Barbados has no effective anti-drinking and driving laws. Short of a driver being falling down drunk, our police have no recourse because there are no laws to enforce. Even with a mass traffic death our police have no law to compel a driver to prove their sobriety, and no equipment even if such laws existed.

As Transport Minister in 2006, Gline Clarke talked about banning the use of cell phones while driving and of introducing breathalyzer laws and equipment. Mia Mottley and Dale Marshall both promised to introduce breathalyzer laws – but those promises were only words that came up every time we had a mass road death.

Nothing by shite talking, for sure.

As a matter of fact, let’s change the photos to reflect reality, shall we? Here is a photo of the three promising to do something about the road slaughter…

BLP Drunk Barbados 5

There. That’s a much truer picture of these three who pretended to care, who pretended to be doing something about the road slaughter. They are LIARS who promised breathalyser laws and hands-free cell phone laws for drivers. Check out their own BLP blog if you don’t believe us!

Now let’s look at the current bunch of do-nothings.

drunken-driving-barbados1.jpg

Minister of Public Works and Transport John Boyce has had almost two years to implement breathalyzer legislation and other needed changes to the road traffic regulations but has done nothing. Oh ya, in the weekend papers Boyce says he’s “talking” about changes with the police.

That’s nice.

That’s also what Mottley and Arthur and Clark and Marshall said once a year every year.

I guess it must be that time of year with the DLP government because they talked about these changes last year too.

Attorney General Freundel Stuart, Prime Minister David Thompson and Transport Minister John Boyce have blood on their hands and instead of action we see more of the same promises that we’ve been seeing from successive governments for two decades.

You can believe Stuart, Thompson and Boyce if you want to. I’d love to be proven wrong – but I don’t believe a word they say anymore.

Further Reading

October 4, 2009 – Nation News: Cops’ Call

October 4, 2009 – Nation News: Put brakes on cells

September 13, 2009: Which DLP Government Official wrote this Barbados Advocate Editorial?

November 22, 2008: Barbados Bus Crash Injures 59 – Police Cannot Determine If Drivers Had Been Drinking

November 22, 2007 – Five Year Sentence For Dangerous Driver – But Still No Breathalyzer Law

October 30, 2007 – More Road Deaths Than Murders: Yet Barbados Still Does Not Have Breathalyzer Laws Or Technology

August 15, 2007 – Minister of Transport Gline Clarke Finally “Talking” About Driver Breathaliser Tests – As First Suggested By By Barbados Free Press Over A Year Ago

July 25, 2006 – Barbados Government To Ban Cell Phones While Driving

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