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

“Even with selling the ‘product’ below cost, we simply seem incapable of sustaining desirable airlift.”

… Adrian Loveridge in the September 22, 2006 BFP article Why is Barbados’ Marketing to American tourists failing?

Jet Blue and other carriers bring tens of thousands of new seats to Barbados. Will we fill them?

jetblue barbadosIn 2005 the Barbados Tourism Authority spent over US$40 million in a failed attempt to attract US tourists to Barbados. Flash forward to 2009 and we have the Tourism Minister all excited about the expansion of airlift capacity from the USA, but aside from Adrian Loveridge we haven’t heard any concern about the BTA’s ability to put tourist bottoms in those seats.

I came across a Barbados Free Press article written by Adrian Loveridge over three years ago and for the life of me, I’m unable to point out any significant changes in the way the BTA does business in the USA since that article was written in September of 2006.

Have a read of the article and maybe someone out there from the BTA can provide some encouragement – and some real numbers about how we’re doing.

BFP, September 29, 2006 – Why is Barbados’ marketing to American tourists failing?

35 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

35 responses to “Something must fundamentally wrong with the marketing of Barbados in North America

  1. michael

    i am not saying you must not try to get the tourist numbers up but people in b’dos don’t seem to understand that a recession affect people living abroad and that money is harder to get and if you have it it has to go on other things if they really want people to come they have to get the price of air travel down or reduce it in a way that is eye catching also make the prices in hotels attractive they need to send out people who can give them really good feedback in how to reposition them self in the market for instance there are a lot of bajans living abroad who would like to come home for two weeks or so but when one look in the brochures what one see just white people enjoying them self you don’t see black people in these brochures little things like these matter

  2. Hants

    The USA and Canada are starting to recover from the recession but unemployment continues to rise.

    “Rising” unemployment causes the currently employed to reduce spending.

    Then there is the opportunities for Americans to vacation at home in Miami, Vegas, Disney etc.

    Canadians flock to Florida,Cuba the Dominican and Cuba.

    Barbados is struggling to compete with the big budget Advertising of its competitors.

    When the recession ends and employment in North America increases Barbados will get its share of Tourists.

  3. Rumboy

    Michael – a lot of what you said is true and I admire you for saying it but the truth is that we have priced ourselves out of the N American market when compared to much cheaper destinations right here in the Caribbean. Some college brothers of mine were thinking of coming over for the Thanksgiving weekend but when the checked some web sites of our south coast hotels they could not believe what they were asked to pay. Instead they are off to Hawaii.

  4. A new BTA

    There is no greater self interest to make Barbados a destination point than those whose livelihoods depend on tourists coming to our shores.

    That means that the composition of the board should be composed of hoteliers, tourist operators, taxi drivers, restaurant owners and the likes, not people who are politically appointed or friends of friends.

    Only those that have a proven track record of success ahould be allowed to apply.This should reduce the number of people eligible to a handful. Every penny should be accounted for and directed to the creation of real revenue not faked or artificial numbers.

  5. Bj in Canada

    In the meantime, fingerprinting of visitors is being introduced to ensure that they are not illegal immigrants. What a welcome!!

  6. Livinginbarbados

    Where is finger printing taking place? Not at Grantley Adams on any regular basis, that’s for sure. I came back last Thursday night, and again this afternoon, and not a pad of ink in sight or a finger demanded.

  7. A Mottley Group

    JetBlue Spreads its Wings in the Most Easterly Caribbean Isle: New York’s Award-Winning Customer Service Airline Begins Nonstop Daily Service from the Island of Barbados
    – Flights on sale for $99 (a) each way for U.S. originating travel today through Oct. 6 on http://www.jetblue.com for travel Oct. 8 to Dec. 16, 2009 –
    NEW YORK, Oct. 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Award-winning JetBlue Airways (Nasdaq: JBLU) today celebrated continued international expansion into Latin America and the Caribbean as inaugural Flight 871, the value airline’s first to the island of Barbados, taxied in at Grantley Adams International Airport (BGI) in Bridgetown from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). The sold out 150-seat Airbus A320 aircraft was welcomed to the most easterly island of the Caribbean with a traditional water cannon salute upon arrival as the captain and first officer proudly waived the American and Barbadian flags from the cockpit windows. JetBlue now serves Barbados with daily nonstop flights year-round from New York — where connections to other destinations in the Northeast are available.

    (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090217/NY71475LOGO-b )

    To further celebrate the inaugural service, JetBlue is offering a special $99 (a) sale fare each way for U.S. originating travel between New York and Barbados. Flights are on sale today through Tuesday Oct. 6 at http://www.jetblue.com for travel between Oct. 8 and Dec. 16, 2009. Blackout dates and other restrictions apply (a).

    “The beautiful and popular island of Barbados today joins JetBlue’s growing selection of Latin American and Caribbean destinations on our route map, providing more choices, low fares and a higher value travel experience for our customers,” said Robin Hayes, executive vice president and chief commercial officer for JetBlue Airways. “In addition to providing more comfort with leather seats and ample legroom, more free live entertainment with personal seatback TVs and a quality selection of free snacks and drinks, we also operate our airline with a keen eye on providing the best customer service experience possible. We look forward to introducing our new Barbadian customers to the JetBlue Experience.”

    “JetBlue has an excellent reputation and we are happy to be partnering with them in what we anticipate will be a fruitful and mutually beneficial relationship,” said Barbados Minister of Tourism, the Honorable Richard Sealy.

    “I am very pleased to welcome JetBlue to the growing community of American businesses active in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean,” said Dr. D. Brent Hardt, Charge d’Affaires, a.i. of the U.S. Embassy to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean. “As one of the most successful U.S. air carriers, JetBlue will bring the highest standards of customer service to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean. JetBlue’s arrival will offer expanded travel options for Americans who wish to visit Barbados and St. Lucia, and for Barbadians and other Eastern Caribbean nationals who wish to visit the U.S. JetBlue’s decision to inaugurate these flights reflects the continuing affinity that U.S. citizens feel for Barbados and St. Lucia as premier vacation destinations. We welcome JetBlue to the region and we look forward to a long and prosperous relationship with this outstanding American business partner.”

    “The Chairman and Board of Directors of Grantley Adams International Airport Inc. welcome the commencement of daily JFK JetBlue services, and are looking forward to a long co-operative and successful partnership with this new airport stakeholder,” said Joseph Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of Grantley Adams International Airport. “JetBlue customers can be assured that there will be the usual Barbadian airport welcoming experience on arrival and departure. As these services grow, the airport is expectant of extensions of JetBlue’s service into even more U.S. points, and all aspects of facilitation will be extended to ensure that the airport experience reflects a team approach and excellent and caring service by all airport agencies.”

    JetBlue’s new service between JFK and Barbados:

    New York (JFK) Barbados (BGI) to
    to Barbados (BGI) New York (JFK)

    Depart – Arrive Depart – Arrive

    9:15 a.m. – 2 p.m. (01Oct-31Oct) 3 p.m. – 8:01 p.m. (01Oct-31Oct)
    8:30 a.m. – 2:18 p.m. (01Nov-04Jan) 4:20 p.m. – 8:31 p.m. (01Nov-04Jan)

    JetBlue also offers full vacation packages for Barbados and 34 other JetBlue destinations. JetBlue Getaways customers book discounted vacation packages including airfare, hotel, airport transfers and/or various activities at one time, saving valuable time and money. Customers can book a JetBlue Getaways vacation package to Barbados at http://www.jetblue.com/getaways or through the JetBlue Getaways desk by calling 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583), option 3. Current special offers on air and hotel packages to celebrate JetBlue’s inaugural flight include (b):

    — Almond Beach Club and Spa, All Inclusive – reduced rates plus $100
    resort credit
    — Almond Beach Village, All Inclusive – reduced rates plus $100 resort
    credit
    — Almond Casuarina Beach Resort, All Inclusive – reduced rates plus $100
    resort credit
    — Crystal Cove, All Inclusive – reduced rates
    — Discovery Bay Barbados by Rex Resort – reduced rates
    — Hilton Barbados – reduced rates, free night, free breakfast
    — The Crane Resort and Residences – reduced rates plus room upgrade

    — Turtle Beach, All Inclusive – reduced rates

    Barbados is one of 17 international locations served by JetBlue, and one of the more than 50 destinations throughout the Americas. In addition to its new Barbados flights, JetBlue will also begin new service to Saint Lucia on October 26 and Kingston, Jamaica on October 30. In 2009, the airline has also added new service to international destinations including Bogota, Colombia; San Jose, Costa Rica; and Montego Bay, Jamaica.

    Earlier this year, JetBlue was also ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Low-Cost Carriers in North America” by J.D. Power and Associates, a customer satisfaction recognition received for the fifth year in a row. JetBlue was also recently recognized as a winner in Budget Travel Magazine’s 5th annual Extra Mile Awards, celebrating companies and destinations that are going the ‘extra mile’ to make travel easier and more affordable in 2009. New York’s hometown value carrier, already traveler-friendly, was recognized for upping the ante on its in-flight perks, including free snacks and drinks, personal seatback televisions and comfy leather seats, bringing equally valuable amenities to the airport experience, including gate-side food delivery options at its new Terminal 5 at JFK.

    About JetBlue Airways

    New York-based JetBlue Airways has created a new airline category based on value, service and style. In 2009, the carrier ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Low-Cost Carriers in North America” by J.D. Power and Associates, a customer satisfaction recognition received for the fifth year in a row.

    Known for its award-winning service and free TV as much as its low fares, JetBlue is now pleased to offer customers Lots of Legroom and super-spacious Even More Legroom seats. JetBlue introduced complimentary in-flight e-mail and instant messaging services on aircraft “BetaBlue,” a first among U.S. domestic airlines. JetBlue is also America’s first and only airline to offer its own Customer Bill of Rights, with meaningful and specific compensation for customers inconvenienced by service disruptions within JetBlue’s control. Visit http://www.jetblue.com/promise for details. JetBlue serves 58 cities with 650 daily flights. New service to Saint Lucia begins on October 26. The airline will also commence service to Kingston, Jamaica on October 30. With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all travel is ticketless, all fares are one-way, and an overnight stay is never required. For information or reservations call 1-800-JET-BLUE (1-800-538-2583), TTY/TDD 1-800-336-5530 or visit http://www.jetblue.com.

    (a) Travel must be booked by October 6, 2009, 11:59 PM MT. All fares are subject to change without notice. Travel costs $15 more per person if purchased by telephone, or at an airport or city ticket office. Fares require up to a 7-day advance purchase. Travel must take place between October 8, 2009 and December 16, 2009. Travel must be completed by December 16, 2009. Blackout dates for travel are between November 25, 2009 and December 1, 2009. Travel must take place on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and/or Friday. Fares may not be available on all days or on all flights. All fares must be purchased at time of reservation, and are one-way, nonrefundable, and nontransferable. Cancellations and changes can be made prior to scheduled departure for $100 per person at 1-800-JETBLUE (1-800-538-2583), TTY/TDD 1-800-336-5530, 001-801-365-2525 if located internationally, or at jetblue.com, with applicable fare adjustment. Cancellations are for a JetBlue travel credit only, which is valid for one year. If a reservation is not changed or canceled prior to scheduled departure, all money associated with the reservation is forfeited. Fares do not include Passenger Facility Charges of up to $9 each way, September 11th Security Fees of up to $5 each way and a Federal Segment Tax of $3.60 per domestic segment. A segment is a takeoff and landing. International fares also do not include government fees and taxes of up to $127.60 each way. All taxes and fees must be paid at the time of purchase. JetBlue reserves the right to deny boarding to passengers without proper documentation. A second bag fee of $30 applies. DIRECTV(r) service is not available on flights outside the continental US. Barbados service begins October 1, 2009. Other restrictions apply. ©2009 JetBlue Airways

    (b) Offers end 10/31/09. Packages must be purchased by 10/31/09 for travel between 10/01/09-12/14/09. The Crane Resort and Residences – receive reduced rates plus guaranteed upgrade from junior garden view suite to one bedroom ocean view suite. Minimum 3 night stay required. Not combinable with any other promotions. Almond Beach Club and Spa, Almond Beach Village, Almond Casuarina Beach Resort- receive reduced rates and $100 resort credit. Credit is per room, per stay and do not apply to product or gratuities. May be used for upgraded dinner menus and bottled wine. May be combined with other offers, excluding interline rates and complimentary stays. Hilton Barbados – stay for 3 consecutive nights and receive the 4th night free, plus receive reduced rates. Maximum one free night per stay and minimum 4 night stay required. Receive complimentary breakfast for two daily for the duration of the stay. Breakfast will be deducted from the final hotel bill. Crystal Cove, Turtle Beach – reduced rates valid with a minimum 3 night stay. All resorts – Resort credit and free breakfast are non-transferable, have no cash value, and any unused portions will be forfeited. Reduced rates and room upgrade are reflected in the package price. Subject to availability, restrictions may apply. Getaways terms and conditions apply.

    SOURCE JetBlue Airways

    JetBlue Corporate Communications, +1-718-709-3089, CorporateCommunications@jetblue.com, or JetBlue Reservations, +800-JET-BLUE (538-2583), TTY/TDD: 1-800-336-5530

  8. Living in Barbados

    I guess it’s a mere coincidence that ‘Wishing in Vain’ posted the exact same item on BU ( Wishing In Vain // October 5, 2009 at 8:24 PM) under the “Something is happening” thread.

  9. Rumboy

    Nice plug but it is another bubble that will burst – Mottley Group.

  10. Adrian Loveridge

    A new BTA,

    Great idea!

    Do you think any us will live long enough to see that happen?

  11. Living in Barbados

    @a new BTA:”…those whose livelihoods depend on tourists coming to our shores.

    That means that the composition of the board should be composed of hoteliers, tourist operators, taxi drivers, restaurant owners and the likes, not people who are politically appointed or friends of friends.” Was it an oversight or shorthand that the list did not include those who are employed in the tourism sector? Many observers have sensed a strong disconnection between the welfare of the sector and the (often negative) attitudes/approaches of those who work in it, but may not be owners.

  12. Rumble!

    Ok, again everyone misses the obvious, it is time that Barbados looked beyond the North American and UK consumer. Consumers in US and UK will remain contrained for many years as reduced consumption levels and employment are certain to remain in place as these countries grapple with such massive fiscal, govt and personal debt levels. All is not lost (one door closes, another opens), a mere 300+ miles to the south of Barbados is one of the most rapidly developing and exciting economies in the world…yes, you guessed, Brazil. Brazil has a potential huge emerging middle class, Lula has pledged to expand social mobility (already evidence of success). As we already know, Chile and to a lesser extent Argentina both have significant middle classes. In Summary, stop looking north, Barbados has an amazing opportunity to tap in the 10’s of milions of middle classes to its south…stop wasting $$ marketing to North, arrange new flight routes to Latin America and you will open up a whole new market!!!

  13. littleboy

    Who on the current BTA Board is “politically appointed or a friend of a friend?”

    Ralph Taylor …Chairman(hotelier)
    Austin Husbands…Deputy Chairman (water Sports operator/musician/small businessman)
    Levere Richards…(BWU…Workers’ Representative)Alvin Jemmott…(hotelier)
    Wayne Capaldi..(BHTA Representative/hotelier)
    Michael Yearwood…(Attorney-at-law)
    Peter Gilkes…(Businessman/Sailing Association)
    Steve Alleyne…(Businessman/Sports adminjistrator)
    Nicole Alleyne…(Ministry of Tourism)
    Dennis Roach…(Tall Ships…Cruises)
    Dr Kerry Hall…(Tourism Consultant)

    All of the above have an interest in some type of tourism business.

    Adrian must not give the impression that he is guilty of the “sour grapes” syndrome. A new board was chosen in February this year if
    memory serves me right. The Minister was quoted that the smaller size was for greater efficiency.

  14. Adrian Loveridge

    LittleBoy,

    Perhaps you are right to a degree “sour grapes”.

    I will always be grateful to the Minister and Cabinet for being given a chance at the highest level.
    I certainly learnt a lot in short period and if there is a regret, I just wanted a little longer to help make a positive difference.

    One thing I have no doubt on, is that the present structure simply doesn’t work to the extent that is necessary for us (Barbados) to remain competitive in a global market.

    Tourism is a dynamic industry and often needs time responsive decisions to maximise on opportunities.

    Decisions and policies take far too long to implement for us to really be world class in tourism.

    I will rest assured that I put my all into participation and perhaps one day, I might to able to get answers to all those questions raised.

  15. victor

    South Americans can find the tropicaI experience on their own continent and cheaper too, whereas those from coIder countries have to go further afieId. Barbados is very expensive! Restaurants and shops, supermarkets, are pricey as everything is imported – duty added – and anything to do with tourists, is priced up. Hire cars, for instance are more expensive than in the UK or US. You can fIy from UK to New York and from there to Dom Rep and have a night in NY aII for about the same price as a direct fIight to Barbados if you go through the internet. When you arrive in DR it is much cheaper. Being so dependent on tourism, Barbados has deveIoped infIated ideas of its vaIue during the Iast 15 years of boom. There are stiII numbers of the very rich who aIways visit but they are not a substitute for the many medium weII off who can no Ionger afford to come, who fiIIed the coffers of the not so high end destinations. It’s a pity too that Barbados has Iost much of its charm by being very overdeveIoped; not everyone wants the experience of paying New York prices to have a fine dining moment at a restaurant where staff treat you with disdain, either, a common compIaint. Everyone in the worId who depends on tourist revenues is suffering at the moment unIess they can offer something speciaI, or vaIue for money in this day and age. However, things wiII pick up eventuaIIy. Time to refIect, meanwhiIe?

  16. American Girl

    The problem is most certainly that Barbados is a very expensive destination and not marketing. I just visited Barbados for the first time in July and loved every second of it, and would come back several times a year if it weren’t for the price tag. I can go to DR, Jamaica, USVI, and Puerto Rico for about half or a little less than half it costs to go to Barbados.

  17. Adrian Loveridge

    American Girl,

    I keep hearing Barbados is so much more expensive and in some cases I agree, but you have to compare apples with apples and oranges with oranges.

    I have recently returned from Coconut Grove, Florida.
    The first hotel we stayed at was barely a four star
    and dinner (one main course each, one dessert between the two of us and a bottle of wine) cost US$181.
    Yes! car rental is cheaper, but to park the car at the first hotel would have cost US$24 per night and the second US$30 a night.

    I am trying to book a hotel for my step daughter in New York in December. Anything looking half-way decent is US$300 Plus, plus, plus per night.

    And as far as airfares, JFK/BGI – US$99 one way and LGA/BGI – US$85 plus taxes.
    Expensive, you have to be joking!

    It costs us more to fly the 120 miles from Barbados to St. Lucia.

  18. Dennis Jones (aka Living in Barbados)

    @Adrian Loveridge, to be fair, travel from NYC to BGI is specially cheap now through mid-December thanks to JetBlue’s promotional offer. But (looking quickly at Expedia) if you want to fly from Washington DC, the r/t fare is US$525; it’s about that too on JetBlue from NYC at certain dates. So, BGI is NOT a universally cheap destination from the USA. We can look at other possible places of origin (UK and Canada) to make that point.

    The matter of what it costs for accommodation is also not simple, so your apples and my apples may look and taste differently. I have bookings at a Four Seasons in DC for Thanksgiving at around US$200/night. Car rental is about US$35/day (incl. tax). (I’ve only rarely had to pay for parking at a hotel, but wont argue that point, as I think the rates vary depending on hotel and guest status.)

    We have not discussed that thorny cost issue of meals, where Barbados is still over priced to my mind (compared to many US cities) at many of the so-called better restaurants–and it’s interesting that so many of them have closed recently. But, there are good deals to be had at the many decent small restaurants and eating places serving Bajan or other Caribbean fare.

  19. Adrian Loveridge

    Dennis,

    Fair comments.

    But I can get Car Rental on Barbados for US$35 a day.

    I can also fly to Washington -DC (return) for about US$48 using my MILES and in fact if you have a ScotiaBank MasterCard AAdvantage card they are offering a refund of 10,000 miles if you redeem at the moment. So just 15,000 miles return if like me, you travel economy.

    Your Four Seasons special, is that on a weekend?

    YES! competition DRIVES business and on that subject that is why our re-DISCOVER BDS$99 fixed price menu offer is doing so well.
    One restaurant reported 302 re-DISCOVER diners over a three week period.

  20. Dennis Jones (aka Living in Barbados)

    @Adrian, it shows we can get some good deals with a bit of shopping around. I did JFK r/t for US$475 last w/e, and upgraded to business with miles (15k outbound) and coupon (US$150 return). Had free accommodation in Midtown. Lost my wallet and credit cards and had them returned by the cab driver the next day.

    As you plugged ‘Re-Discover Barbados’, I will plug that Apsara (Indian or Thai 3 course dinner) is on the list, and they are open again for their BD$50 3-course lunches. It would be interesting to know how each of the participating restaurants have done.

    We need not wait for Zagat to list the good value places to eat. If BFP wants to help in spreading the good word, I will offer my selection. Note, I have actually been boycotting the major restaurants for about 18 months now!

  21. Hants

    Barbados has now become much cheaper to Canadians.
    The Canadian dollar is now $1.91 Barbados up from about $1.50 a year ago.
    This means that a Big Johns roti and a drink cost less than a roti and a drink in Canada.

    That $99 dinner in Barbados is now cheaper than the equivalent dinner in Toronto.

    If the BTA marketers can walk and chew gum at the same time, they will let Canadians know that this a great time to vacation in Barbados.

    Things in Barbados appears expensive in Barbados dollars.Not so expensive in US or now CDN dollars.

  22. Adrian Loveridge

    Hants,

    THANKS.

    We all have to re-inforce YOUR message.

    I remember Rob at the BTA Canada office taking Travel Agents/Tour Operators around the supermarkets in Barbados and pointing out the price differences. Yes! a box of cornflakes was expensive when compared to Canada, but do the same comparision with a bottle of rum.

    Hants, it seems to be getting nice and cold up there. Today is gorgeous on the South East coast.
    A little breeze, amazing sea and sky colours and a very pleasant 30 degrees C (plus of course).

  23. Dennis Jones (aka Living in Barbados)

    @Hants, October 15, 2009 at 1:31 pm, as the Loonie goes quite lunatic against the US$, are Canadians really looking to use that ‘wealth’ increase to travel or spend on ‘luxuries’ or is your sense that people will use the windfall (as it may be short lived) to ‘save’ by shifting more spending into the US market?

    I would say that thing ARE expensive in B$, not SEEM…For me, that is a reflection of ‘fair’ price compared to similar goods/services abroad.

  24. Dennis Jones (aka Living in Barbados)

    @Adrian, with all the best wishes intended, I think I will stick to corn flakes for my kid’s breakfast rather than rum, and hang the expense. 🙂

    For the sun and breeze? Priceless.

    Have a good day.

  25. Adrian Loveridge

    Dennis,

    Don’t you put rum with the cornflakes, its cheaper than milk?

    We are truly blessed to live in such a beautiful place.

    Have a great day too!

  26. Hants

    @ Dennis Jones (aka Living in Barbados)

    Yesterday on Television in Toronto Canada, Canadians were shown how much cheaper it is to travel to the Caribbean now that the dollar is high.

    Canadians travel “cross border” to vacation and shop especially when the dollar is high but a lot travel to the Caribbean.

    Canadians also travel when the weather is unseasonably cold like it has been for the past week. This is fall but we wearing winter clothes here in Ontario.
    Two early snowstorms in Ontario and Quebec and West Jet and Air Canada will be flying full.

    Barbados is not expensive compared to Canada at this time for a Tourist.
    Yes it is expensive if you live there all year and make less than $5000 per month.

    Canada has been hit hard by the recession but unemployment is still under 10 % and Canada is not in crisis so people are going on vacation and a lot more will be coming to Barbados as long as the CDN$ is more than BDS$1.75

    I really hope a lot of Canadians vacation in Barbados this Tourist season.
    The Tourist industry is vital to the Barbados economy.

  27. BFP

    NO! NO! NO!

    Rum for breakfast. It is one of the ten necessary food groups.

    Cliverton. 😉

  28. Hants

    Breathalyzers coming soon jus fuh wanna!

  29. victor

    Adrian, do I beg of you say where you get a hire car at that price US$30 in Bbds! Is that per hour???

  30. victor

    Sorry Adrian I meant $35. Do say where and give me the phone no. to caII! Even so, you can rent a Merc in Iondon for £10/day.

  31. American Girl

    @Adrian Loveridge,

    Wow!! $181 for that? Must’ve been a really expensive bottle of wine. 🙂 I hope the food was the best you’ve ever had. And yes, some areas of the US are more expensive than others. (Don’t know anything about Coconut Grove). You just have to seek out the deals. For that hotel in Dec. for your step-daughter, check travelzoo.com. Their deals tend to be really good. BTW, I’m in Washington, DC and fares from DCA, BWI, IAD DON’T look like that. More like $400-$500 r/t. Not really sure we’re actually comparing apples to apples.

  32. Adrian Loveridge

    Victor,

    http://www.carhire.tv

    reservations@carhire.tv

    Toll free 1 800 581 8773

    GROUP 1 – US$34 per DAY (up to 3 days) or US$170 per week (US$24.29 per DAY)

    GROUP 2 – (Fully loaded) US$240 per week
    (US$34.29 per DAY)

    Company: Drive-A-Matic

    Check their website

    And YES! of course car hire is much cheaper in the UK and USA simply because the vehicles cost a lot less and you don’t have to pay the 180% plus import duties.
    As one of the largest vehicles dealers said recently,
    the Government (Barbados) makes a lot more profit on a new vehicle sale than they do.

    Our little Suzuki SX4 cost US$30,000 or about UK Pounds 20,000.

    What would that same vehicle cost in the USA, UK
    or Continental Europe (Belgium for instance)?

  33. Hants

    Canada
    mid-level SX4 JX hatchback ($19,995cdn), and standard on the top-of-the-line SX4 JLX hatchback ($23,195cdn).

    19,995.00 CAD = 38,836.27 BBD

  34. 74.72.142.95

    BAJAN IN NYC- Well, I’ve read most of the comments, and it is true, ( speaking euphemistically) Barbadians have a great command of the English language, so much so there is a lot of talk and nothing much said.
    Here is the problem as I see it. There are NOT

  35. 74.72.142.95

    BAJAN IN NYC- Well, I’ve read most of the comments, and it is true, ( speaking euphemistically) Barbadians have a great command of the English language, so much so there is a lot of talk and nothing much said.
    Here is the problem as I see it. The airfare is a major problem. There are a lot of ‘teaser’ fares, but try booking one to visit, and the rate shoots up ridiculously. There are definitely NOT enough well priced flights to Barbados.
    Same for the hotels, more teaser rates with double occupancy prices, and hardship on families with children. Only very few hotels in Barbados take families into account when pricing. Have tried to come home with my children and given up many times, even with the Best of Barbados pricing, found it to be a lot of hype. When I asked the travel agent why the pricing was so high, got a cockamamie story.
    Look, people have first got to get to the place. Be it by boat or air. Used to be direct flights from Atlanta twice a week or so, but now its round about, takes far too long with lay overs etc. Worse yet, is the new baggage pricing. Tried to book on US Airways, two bags would be $50 EACH WAY, that’s $100 added to the price.

    What I highly recommend is introducing charter flights about four times a month, with decent dependable fares instead of these only 5 seats available, at this price nonsense. It takes too damn long to book. IN the US, its $20 if one does not use the internet, for a family of five that’s an additional $100 just to purchase the damn ticket. Dont talk about baggage when traveling with children, again, another $100 ontop tickets, fees and other nonsense. Do you think that’s all, the baggage fee and other fees are paid PER SEGMENT, so if you change flights in Miami, whoopdeedo to your vacation money.

    Jetblue started out with two free bags, within weeks they changed it to one, on top of that their specifics for the type and weight of the bag is tormenting.

    Remember, its ‘families’ that vacation most of the time, and if these add ons are not worked out, the industry will suffer even more. Loads of people in the US are now DRIVING to their destinations, so much less hassle with change ticket prices, ( another $100 bucks), can’t be sold or name cannot be changed. Hell, when you are planning afamily vacation and there is an emergency, that’s a whole lot of money down the tubes.

    Phoee to insurance, it fights you like a dog to give back only $200 of costs. So, you see folks, why chartered flights would help tremendously. Reasonable air fare, none of the tricks and crap, permit reasonable baggage, and do it in major cities with DIRECT flights. Folk with children can’t stand all the connecting flights just to get to Bim.

    Think about it, you cant’ bring liquids/drinks on the plane, and now you have to buy food on the plane. You cant even bring water. Think about the money spend BEFORE tourists even set food in Bim.

    The airlines are killing the industry, and the hoteliers don’t realize that by the time people have to pay for a room and VAT ( lord the VAT is the final blow).

    When Jetblue’s fares were $99 each way, out of Barbados they had to be $128, why, the blinking VAT and other fees.

    I traveled to Bim a few years back, and was 5lbs, yes I said FIVE POUNDS over weight, and the prissy female demanded $29US for that. Would not let me unzip the suitcase to take a bit of the weight out. ” Oh” she said with slime in her manner, ” you are holding up the line”. ” I can’t let you do that”. How do you think that kind of treatment makes a tourist feel. Had not been back in two decades and thought, ” Wow, they sure forgot to teach this new generation what is meant by ‘hospitality’.

    So there you have it. And one last thing, Crop Over should have numerous charter flights from the US.
    Spring Break should also have them. The tourist would say ‘ too expensive’ in a polite way, but as a Bajan, I’ve broken it down for you!!!!!

    Oh, and the tourists sure LOVE having to pay $1.00 for a ziplock bag. They are travelling to a country where a ziplock bag is less than a dime. Things that were allowed on the plane in New York with thorough checking, were confiscated in Bim. Oh yea, not just mine, but the ‘real’ tourist too. What a lasting final impression to tell your friends of your visit.