Daily Archives: September 29, 2006

Why Is Barbados’ Marketing To American Tourists Failing?

UPDATED – Linda from My Barbados Blog chimes in…

“The BTA (Barbados Tourism Authority) spent $40 million to attract Americans, and the campaign failed. They could have paid me a cool million to give them some advice. If anyone over at BTA reads this, drop me an e-mail.”

Linda is not kidding… our fellow blogger at My Barbados Blog runs a very successful travel agency in the USA – so she knows what Americans want in a vacation and who of her clientel travel to Barbados. In response to Adrian Loveridge’s letter below, Linda has written a major article at her blog (link here).

After reading Linda’s article, it sounds as if no one at the Barbados Tourism Authority has any clue about marketing Barbados to Americans. Forty million dollars just shot to h*ll.

Original Article… 

In the following letter to the editor, Adrian Loveridge makes a good point… Barbados is subsidizing each airline seat with $300 of taxpayers’ money, and we still can’t fill those airplanes. Last year, the Barbados Tourism Authority spent US$40 Million Dollars in a failed bid to attract US tourists.

What’s going wrong?

We don’t know, and neither does Mr. Loveridge appear to have the answer – but at least he’s naming the problem, which is more than the Barbados Tourism Authority is doing with its “everything is fine” message.

Something must fundamentally wrong with the marketing of Barbados in North America.

‘We’ were not able to sustain a single weekly flight of the United States fifth richest state, New Jersey, operated by Continental Airlines.

Flights to both Charlotte and Philadelphia operated by US Airways have been severely reduced.

And now the latest blow is the cessation of the Trinidad-Barbados-Washington service by BWIA or the new company that is set to replace it come 1st January 2007.

In all cases these routes were operated by smaller aircraft, Boeing 737’s, Airbus 319’s and the occasional Airbus 320.

120 seats or less!

Deduct the accepted level of visiting friends and relatives estimated at 25% of our total long stay visitor arrival numbers, plus another 10 plus per cent that are connecting on flights to Barbados’s neighbours, we are then only really looking for around 80 passengers per flight for these aircraft to operate to capacity.

Put another way, if the economic break-even level for revenue passengers is 50 per cent, that number is reduced to just 36.

I cannot believe that of our four largest markets, with the United States receiving the second largest proportion of the BDS$80 million (US$40 million) spent by the Barbados Tourism Authority last year, we cannot ‘find’ these relatively insignificant numbers.

And it isn’t as if ‘we’ have to compete with our neighbours on equal pricing. Currently the Best of Barbados programme is using taxpayer’s monies to subsidise each and everyone booking a package by US$300.

So, even with selling the ‘product’ below cost, we simply seem incapable of sustaining desirable airlift.

It must now be apparent even to those wearing the most rose-tinted glasses that ‘our’ marketing strategy in North America is simply not working and must be dramatically re-visited.

Adrian Loveridge
22 September 2006
Barbados

37 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Traveling and Tourism

CaribbeanPressReleases.Com – Interesting New Site

In the last month we’ve been seeing “Caribbean Press Releases.com” coming up with increasing frequency during online searches involving “Barbados”, so yesterday we stopped in and had a look. Here’s what the website says about itself…

CaribbeanPressReleases.com seeks to provide an avenue for businesses, organizations, associations and other entities to distribute their text and multi-media releases online.The site is owned and managed by veteran TV producer and broadcaster, Sharon Coward, who has more than a decade of experience in news reporting, radio and television production and management, press release writing and more recently, web design and content management.

Ms. Coward’s website is an interesting concept – a regional business news site that is also attempting to be a resource for publicity-hungry businesses and organizations. The aggregation of items from the Caribbean is obviously working to attract the automatic search engines like Google and Yahoo as that is how we came to know about Caribbean Press Releases.com.

We hope it works out in the long run, because the site is coming up with some interesting stories and press releases that we don’t see anywhere else.

Good Luck, Sharon!

Visit CaribbeanPressReleases.com

1 Comment

Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking

Sugar Revenues Down 10% In 2006 – But 2007 Will Be A Killer… Another 36%

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Excerpts from The Barbados Advocate article Developments In Sugar Industry

AS this country prepares for a new planting season for sugar, official reports have put this year’s export earnings for that commodity at just over $40 million. Central Bank of Barbados information reveals that sugar sales to the European Union (EU) netted $40.2 million in 2006.

The amount was below the $44.3 million earned from the 2005 sugar crop…

Sugar produced in Barbados is sold to the EU under the terms and conditions of the Cotonou agreement. However, from next year Barbados will be getting a reduced price for its sugar sold to the EU.

Beginning early 2007 the EU could be instituting its 36 per cent price cut, a move which has forced the Owen Arthur administration to reform the industry into a sugar cane one. ACP producers have criticised the EU for moving to lower the price, saying it will create some economic fall out.

However, the EU has proposed a major financial package for the affected countries…

…read the rest of the Barbados Advocate article here

“Some Economic Fallout…”

Yes folks, if sugar revenues fall another 36% after this year’s disaster, there will be “some economic fallout”.

It is a good thing that the Owen Arthur Government recognized a decade ago that sugar revenues were crashing and that Barbados had better plan for new innovative revenue streams!

Remind me… what was the Barbados government plan to replace the sugar revenues?

Oh ya… I remember now…

1/ Beg the Europeans for money – playing upon white man’s guilt.

2/ Sell the rest of the island to foreigners.

Ya… good plan, Owen!

photo by Shona in the NorthWest

1 Comment

Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Politics & Corruption

Mullins Bay Blog asks: Beach Erosion or Natural Cycles?

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Many of the articles by our friends over at Mullins Bay Blog are focused on the health of the bay and issues surrounding beach erosion and pollution. The above two photos of the same seaside home illustrate their current post – which is well worth your time…

From their post Dynamic Mullins Bay

With all the beach engineering currently going on in the Mullins Bay area it is probably appropriate that we be reminded of the power of the ocean to which it is connected, and that we learn to respect and live with that power. Beaches are dynamic because of the constant action the waves upon them, sometimes causing dramatic changes not just over time but sometimes overnight…

…continue reading Dynamic Mullins Bay (link here)

4 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Environment

Barbados Free Press Hate Mail Up 1000% !!!

We must be doing something wrong because hardly a day goes by now that we don’t get one or two emails from frothing-at-the-mouth types. Gosh, do you suppose that someone is getting a little cranky out there? Wonder what’s bugging them?

A small selection taken from today’s offerings at our Yahoo.com email address. All from different Bajan IP addresses. We have never received such emails from overseas…

ARe uall tryin to destablize de country?
your posts are very strange
dread

I wish you dead.

F*c* you in the head you f*c*ing DLP cowards you neva gon win nevas

We know where you are and we are coming for you.

…down a well and your children…

Enjoy your last week out of jail basta*ds…

… and those are the mild ones.

Nice to know we’re appreciated!

6 Comments

Filed under Barbados