Barbados Tourism: Adrian Loveridge and other Bajans ask many questions, but receive few answers

‘He (Geoffrey Roach, CEO of the Bridgetown Cruise Terminal) reported cruise ship passengers arrivals to be 760,000 for the last financial year, and projected a six percent growth in the next financial year’.

‘But he said passengers were spending less, as evidenced in a recent Florida Caribbean Cruise Association study which put the average spend per cruise passenger in Barbados at US$69, down from US$111 in 2006.’

From the  Midweek Nation, Wednesday 23rd December 2009 Cruise arrivals up, revenue down

So despite the declared increases in cruise ship passenger arrivals, actual per capita spending is down by a staggering 38% or US$30 million for the last ‘financial year’.

I wonder if this US$30 million figure was factored in to the $100 million loss in tourism revenue recently quoted the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association?

So what measures to redress this situation have been put in place?

What investment has been made by the Barbados Tourism Authority and who is monitoring its cost-effectiveness?

Adrian Loveridge
23rd December 2009

3 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

3 responses to “Barbados Tourism: Adrian Loveridge and other Bajans ask many questions, but receive few answers

  1. Laughing

    Geez…there is a recession going on…still going on. The travel agents get the people on the ships using massive discounts which the cruise industry is providing…this again is known. If you invite someone to travel in this way who will you get? So how do we reverse this? This story is being played out in every port in the Caribbean and outside of the region.
    Right now Barbados has to be thankful for the stop gap the few spending tourists have provided. Reducing prices will only have a small effect on the spend. The current travel demand curve is being tempered by the factor of massive discounts in the equation. This holds true for cruise, hotels and restaurants. We do not control the market forces, massive discounts introduce travel to people who have little discretionary income normally. They just want a vacation, not a shopping spree or a spending spree. Go on facebook or twitter. People come back from trips now not saying I bought this piece or that, but saying I went to this place or that.
    We have to respect the market forces. The spend will continue to come from land based tourists. Even Jamaica which has seen long stay arrival increases all year has a visitor spend issue.
    It is the climate we live in. The only measure we can take is to lower our profit margins, unless we want massive layoffs in the sector. Maybe Mr. Loveridge can lead us that way by example…

  2. reality check

    Much of what Laughing says is true but I suspect Adrian Loveridge has much better occupancies than other hotels as a result of positioning and execution? Throwing ones hands in the air because of market forces is unresponsive and defeatist at the best.

  3. Laughing

    I dont normally do this…but…’Reality check’ maybe you didnt read my last paragraph. The persons who can stave off this spending issue are the suppliers of the product. The hoteliers, inland tour operators, restaurants etc. The only thing we can do to attempt to increase spend is lower our profit margins leading to a lower sales price. Last time I checked, the BTA didnt supply the product, they market it. They can only sensitize but they can legislate lower profit margins. I meant that maybe Mr. Loveridge can lead us that way by telling us just that, how to function with lower profit margins. Remember that hotel occupancy doesnt equate to visitor spend. But lower hotel rates across the board could lead to more spending power. The real issue will be if the visitor can find other attractions that he or she will deem as value for money. Because even at the higer end of the visitor spectrum, the recession has drummed home the value for money concept!
    So I wasnt throwing my hands in the air I was responding to the BFP’s article with a multi pronged approach.
    Funny thing though by using the phrase ‘positioning and execution’ you summed up my last paragraph.