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.
15 December 2006