What is the true story about our Tourism statistics?
The Barbados government and the Nation newspaper are joyfully reporting that Barbados visitor arrivals are up 2.9%. That’s wonderful, but then we hear from Adrian Loveridge that St. Lucia long-stay visitors are up 11.9% for the same period.
We also see on the St. Lucia Tourist Board website that American visitors to St. Lucia are up 31.3% during the same time. How did they make that happen? Are we talking apples to apples?
Another question we have is “How much did the Barbados Tourism Authority spend to attract the additional 2.9% gain in tourists, and how much of a spending increase was this over previous periods?”
For instance, did the BTA spend say, 50% more in advertising and subsidies to attract a 2.9% gain in visitors? And again: how much in dollars did the BTA spend?
Without complete information it is impossible to judge if the increase in visitors was worth the outlay or if the BTA is performing well.
Can Ian Loveridge or any other tourism-savvy folks provide some input?