If Only It Were That Simple.
Yes! Barbados does reasonably well attracting ‘rich’ people but that is not how it survives in the real world of tourism.
St. Lucia is on the brink of surpassing Barbados in national annual tourism earnings with less rooms. Although they are adding more and more each year. Around 1,000 rooms this year alone.
Barbados has lost 27 hotels over the last 13 years, being either simply closed down or converted into condominiums.
Offering value for money accommodation in Barbados is difficult but not impossible. You only have to Google News ‘affordable Caribbean’ and you will see our small property has attracted substantial media coverage over the last month, including:
New York Sunday Times
British Daily Telegraph
Florida Sun Sentinel
Our most expensive room in the peak winter season is US$109 plus tax per night.
That is why we are full until mid April.
We haven’t had to discount room rates or offer an up to US$300 per person taxpayer subsidy which has been the single marketing tool of the BTA for six years.
You only have to look at the TripAdvisor website to see where Barbados is failing, in terms of level of service delivery and value for money.
Filling your hotels with bottom end tour operator business may help maintain the arrival numbers, but it does not sustain meaningful growth and improvement.
Again, Google News ‘Air Challenge’ and you will find a story which appeared in the Barbados Advocate recently.
We have lost over 67,000 airlines seats in the first nine months of 2007, but here you have a Minister of Tourism stating ‘the jury is still out on condominium conversion’.
67,000 seats is the sum total of loosing a daily B777 or not having the benefit of British Airways at all.
Until you start listening to people with proven expertise and ability, then I honestly see further declines both in terms of arrival numbers and average visitor spend.
We are not even keeping up in terms of the rate of inflation currently.
The above was written by hotelier Adrian Loveridge as a quick comment in reply to another reader who suggested that “more rich people” coming to Barbados would be a solution to our tourism concerns.
We thought that it was so on point that we grabbed Adrian’s comment and posted it as an article. You can read it in the original commentary here.
Hey, thanks for the quick article Adrian!