Is Barbados Tourism Fudging The Figures By Double Counting Passengers?

barbados-deplaning.jpg barbados-cruiseship-boarding.jpg

Certain Airplane & Cruiseship Passengers Counted Twice?

I read with interest the three articles covering tourism into the 10th December 2006 edition of the Barbados Advocate, regarding visitor arrival numbers and home porting, but I think the Minister of Tourism should be questioned on some of the following points.

Of the 10 ten month period quoted, exactly how many people joined home porting ships?

Are these home porting passengers counted both as air arrivals (from the landing card) prior to occupying hotel accommodation and then again included in the ship manifest numbers?

With inflation stated at 7.2% in 2006 and a figure equal or possibly higher in 2007, does the increased long stay visitor arrival average daily spend take this factor into account?

The 6% CESS tax has effectively trickled down and increased prices on virtually everything the long stay visitor purchases, so therefore it was inevitable that average spend would be higher.

The Minister again quotes that ‘Barbados, this winter will homeport more ships than any cruise port in the world – a total of 18 cruise ships’.

In fact according to travel reference website (www.iexplore.com), ‘San Juan is the largest home-based cruise port in the world hosting 28 vessels with more being added each year’.

And finally, if in fact Barbados will have 18 home-porting cruise ships this winter and each ship has an average capacity of just 500 persons which berths into Bridgetown once a week.

Over the 115 days (or 17 weeks) of the winter season (15th December to 14th April), that’s a means a total 153,000 home-porting cruise ship passengers arriving by air and joining a ship may be counted twice.

This obviously makes a dramatic difference to the long stay visitor arrival numbers being quoted.

Unless these questions are satisfactorily answered readers can not objectively analyse the figures quoted by the Minister to judge if there has been any real growth.

Adrian Loveridge
15 December 2006

13 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Politics & Corruption, Traveling and Tourism

13 responses to “Is Barbados Tourism Fudging The Figures By Double Counting Passengers?

  1. Lady Anon

    I am just wondering…when you have individuals coming in at GAIA to connect with a cruise ship in the port, they are counted as arrivals at the airport. Does anyone check to see that they were just passing through? In one door and out the other…usually on the same day?

    Same with the cruise terminal.

    Just wondering. I always wonder about numbers quoted by Barney Lynch.

  2. Jerome Hinds

    Muscle Mary – oops (Barney Lynch) can always be counted on to tell Bajans a bunch of lies. He and this administration are so pathetic. We can’t wait for elections to come……!

  3. yatinkiteasy

    The fact that citizens of St Lucia, Grenada, St Vincent, Dominica,Antigua,St Kitts and Nevis have to travel to Barbados in order to obtain a US Visa , means the visit of thousands of these Caribbean people is included in “Tourist arrivals”..take out this forced number ( if possible) and we will see that only a handful of people from these states are real tourists, spending real money.

  4. Jerome

    You realise every figure or statistic Noel Lynch uses is the best ever….eg most arrivals ever, most airlift ever, most cruise arrivals ever etc etc.
    Of course this is because he is Tourism Minister. He the fellow that came to “take Pain out of Tourism.” Remember that one? I hear the hatted one still got he in mind for that. What is it with short men and felt hats? But back to best ever. Most arrivals( but BTA subsidising tourists vacations big time), most airlift( but Continental, BWIA others pull out or reduce lift) most cruise arrivals( but real stats disclose cruise numbers declining big time) and on and on. I dont believe anything Noel Lynch says on any subject.
    Jerome,’who is Muscle Mary?’what does that aliass mean?’

  5. Let’s be serious. We all know statistics can be twisted to suit the needs of the presenter. The question is has it been done to us concerning the industry on which our nation depends- Tourism? (I hate the jargon “tourist product”) intentionally or otherwise?

    This question of arrivals/intransit passengers needs to be answered to get a true picture. It would be ridiculous for one person passing to and fro through GAIA to go to St Lucia for a week, to be counted as two tourists arriving here! I would have confidence if Sue Springer came out with a statement on this.

    The tourism statistic I have long wondered about is Hotel Occupancy Percentage. There was a time when several of our larger hotels were closed down at the same time- Paradise Beach, Hilton, Ocean View,Sam Lord’s, Rockley Resort and some others I can’t recall. In total they represented a good number of rooms. Yet the Occupancy Statistics remained about the same. This seemed odd.

    Then I realised the Tourism authorities were probably only quoting the percentage in relation to the hotels that were still open, not adjusting it to reflect unfilled rooms in closed hotels.

    At first glance this may look OK. But let’s take an extreme example to illustrate how it skews the real facts.

    Let us say you have total of 10,000 rooms filled to 75% capacity, that’s 7,500 rooms occupied(average). Then half the hotels close down and your total room figure is reduced to 5,000. It would take only 3,750 rooms (average) to be occupied to reflect the same occupancy figure of 75%. Yet 3,750 less rooms are being occupied- and paid for. You get the point?

    This is why we have to watch carefully how statistics relating to tourism are presented to us to insure they reflect an accurate assessment of whether we are gaining or losing ground.

  6. Lady Anon

    There is a book that was required reading when I was at university. It is called “How to lie with statistics”. I guess everyone under Mr Lynch’s guidance has read and internalised the contents.

  7. J

    It is a pity that Jerome Hinds finds it necessary to attack using the tatics he does, by induendo and catty remarks as it does take away from his good contributions. Just stick to the FACTS leave out the personal attacks.

  8. BFP- OK, that is less extreme. Perhaps the title to this post whould have been “Did BLP receive funds….” rather than “How much did BLP receive…” which clearly implies funds were received. Reminds me of the classic question, “When did you stop beating your wife?”

  9. newto thisthing

    listen, in relation to tourist numbers we cannot begin or even point blame without having the facts first. i study tourism and for a fact bahamas says it has 4 million tourist each year but their figures are counted each time at each point of entry regardless of how many bahamian islands they go on or if they home port. i belive it all has to do with the revenues at the point of entry each guest has to pay then that will account for double counting because of the tourist receipts. But we need the facts first, then make judgements.

  10. Adrian Loveridge

    Not quite sure what you are saying, newtothisthing!

    The figures I quoted are taken from those quoted by the Minister of Tourism and supplied to him by the Barbados Statistical Service via the Minister of Tourism and Barbados Tourism Authority.

    Are you saying their figures are flawed?

    Our last record year (2004) in terms of both long stay and cruise arrivals, produced an annual average occupancy of our registered hotels, guest houses and apartments of just 49.7%.
    Simply put, even in a record year, over 3,500 of our room stock stood empty every single night of the year.
    This figure is also supplied by the BSS.

    Please explain this to me.

    To reiterate my point raised before to ascertain if there has been any real growth both in terms of arrival numbers and revenue, follow this simple example:

    Two guests arrive by air, lets say on American Airlines.
    They then take taxi to a hotel and stay for three nights.
    On the fourth day they join a home-porting cruise ship and sail off, returning one week later to Barbados.
    Another couple of nights in a different hotel and then fly home.

    HOW MANY TIMES ARE THEY COUNTED?

    A landed passenger is defined as someone that spend at least 24 hours in Barbados, so they qualify.
    A cruise ship passenger is defined as appearing either on the arrivals manifest (or maybe the departure manifest).
    But of course these numbers are questionable as many cruise ship passengers do not leave the port.

    In this example therefore our two hotel/home port cruise guests are counted at least TWICE.

    So unless home port cruise ship numbers are clearly indentified the stated growth in this sector could just be self delusional.

    Its a really simple question and I hope the Minister will answer it. PLEASE!

  11. I must apologise. The submission above reading “BFP- OK, that is less extreme…” was obviously not intended for this posting. It was meant for: “How Much Money Did BLP Receive…?” Goodness knows how it was misrouted. My mistake, I must assume.

  12. Richard

    Any word from Barney Lynch the ‘fellow’ with the hilarious alias on the death of that tourist for lack of ambulance service at airpot. I am sure at some stage Lynch said GAIA is best airport ever. So where was the ambulance Lynch? In truth Lynchchie is best known for manipulating tourist numbers. He and Rudy Grant make a perfect couple. Both of them are people who no one believes or take seriously.

  13. Jerome Hinds

    J Says:
    It is a pity that Jerome Hinds finds it necessary to attack using the tatics he does, by induendo and catty remarks as it does take away from his good contributions. Just stick to the FACTS leave out the personal attacks.

    Posted on December 18th, 2006 at 8:57 pm

    To J, ignore what you call my ‘catty’ remarks. Pleaseeee pay attention to the issues!!! Owen Arthur and his cohorts are the archcriminals of catty remarks. Do you remember who used the terms ‘indentured servants’ and ‘negrocrats’? Well in this process call politics it is ‘tit for tat and butter for fat ‘