Barbados tourist arrivals up 2.9% – Visitors to St. Lucia up 11.9%

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?


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism

14 responses to “Barbados tourist arrivals up 2.9% – Visitors to St. Lucia up 11.9%

  1. Duppy Lizard

    St.Lucia is the “new flavour” of the month. It’s a rather beautiful island which probably appeals to northeners idea of a tropical island – mountains, forest, beaches etc. And to view the Pitons from sea in the early morning. The island probably sells itself.

  2. jdid

    yea amm statistics are fine but some raw numbers might shed better light cause if St Lucia start low and we start high statistics could not be giving a true picture.

  3. Adrian Loveridge


    Of course, arrival numbers are not everything, that is why our overall tourism revenue is down this year, due to lower UK arrivals and shorter stays.

    But just to compare with our neigbour.

    Long Stay Visitors Arrivals.
    2009 – Barbados down 8.7%
    St. Lucia down 5.8%

    2008 – Barbados down 0.9%
    St. Lucia up 2.9%

  4. Steve

    We are from USA, got married in Barbados 12 years ago, and come every year and are coming this September this year. Have noticed alot more advertising for St. Lucia the last couple of years and I believe there were flight improvements. Flight directness and accessability is a main reason, although with JetBlue flying from DC and NY, would think Barbados would increase more than shown. Also know people who did not see a Best of Barbados spring campaign look elsewhere to vacation.


    One word, Richard Sealy (that’s two). I’m amaze at how this man was appointed such a position? What’s his claim to fame? I read daily on “new routes” he’s trying to create; for example; brasil and panama!! Are you kidding me? These routes have been tried and failed already! Why beat a dead horse! I love how he makes himself out to be during news conferences that he’s accomplishing so much! PLEASE! In who’s world? Thanks BFP for printing these figures! Now that we have some figures to compare with, we all know now, and what I already knew, that Mr. Sealy is very incompetent!

  6. Hi

    As an English travel agent I used to sell 10 holidays to Barbados for every one I sold to St Lucia but in past few months its become the other way round.

    If I was to say why its price and also the tourist boards working with us agents. I love Barbados and have been 13 times but I am now finding it over priced and the amount of private apartments on the west coast becoming a joke, what happens when people stop buying?

  7. Duh

    Jdid has a point… percentages are not that useful a measure.

    I.e. if St. Lucia had 5,000 visitors, increasing 10% would be 500 new visitors.

    If Barbados had 20,000 visitors increasing 3% would be 600 new visitors. So more new visitors than St.Lucia.

    So some absolute numbers would be good to have as well.

  8. Pingback: Global Voices in English » Barbados: Tourism Stats

  9. rhubarb

    I recently heard a visitor from UK saying that they had paid over 3,000 pounds for their air fare, but for an additional 300 pounds (each?) they received two weeks all inclusive accommodation at a 4 star hotel. Could this possibly be true? If so, what benefit to our tourism industry is their contribution to visitor arrivals?

  10. Adrian Loveridge


    3,000 Pounds seems rather high to me. Did they travel First Class?

    Currently consolidators like Newmont and Caribbean Reunion Club are offering British Airways and Virgin return economy flights as follows:

    Up till 14 October – GBP473
    November – GBP478
    1 Jan- 31 March (2011) – GBP508

    including all current taxes/etc.

    GBP300 per person for 14 nights all-inclusive would equate to US$65 per ROOM.
    I would question is that is possible in our high operating cost environment.

  11. Pingback: Exclusive Breaking: UK Travel Agent now selling St. Lucia holidays “10 to 1″ over Barbados! « Barbados Free Press

  12. forestflower

    Barbados is getting bad press from two things just now one is the less than pleasant boys that frequent
    Paynes Bay who swear and curse at tourists attack white people and of course the incidence of Dengue Fever. Would it help to start clearing up all the containers that harbour the mosquitoes and rain water. ?

  13. The Watcher

    I’ll be rubbing this in like Vaseline.
    “Barbados needs to abandon this failing tourism product!”
    Said in so many ways in any language it remains a fact that we have an issue with the concept of Service Delivery. I have been too many places in this island where the quality of the delivery of service was questionable at best, atrocious at worst!
    So what are we going to do? Change the attitudes of the thousands involved in this economic segment? And If so, how? I do not think that they aren’t other contributing factors acting to product the effect that we are observing, but I cannot see the value of pouring $80~$90Million per annum into tourism to recoup $20M. That’s just bad economics!
    I know all the hoteliers and those who make their livelihoods from tourism will go off balking about my comments but I challenge ANY one of them to make this work without taxing the public purse for another cent. You believe in it so much? Start by putting your OWN money into it!
    “Tourism is not our business, let’s stop acting the part!”

  14. Green Monkey

    Look at what air travelers in the USA are having to put up with to get on an airplane these days. Can see a real drop in air travel coming if this becomes the type of BS people have to put up with on a regular basis for the privilege of being jammed like a sardine in a hollow metal tube breathing mostly recirculated air for multiple hours on end.

    Daniel Rubin: An infuriating search at Philadelphia International Airport

    She says she was heading to Charlotte, N.C., for work that Sunday night – she’s a business support manager for a large bank – and was selected for a more in-depth search after she passed through the metal detectors at Gate B around 5:15 p.m.

    A female Transportation Security Administration officer wanded her and patted her down, she says. Then she was walked over to where other TSA officers were searching her bags.

    “Everything in my purse was out, including my wallet and my checkbook. I had two prescriptions in there. One was diet pills. This was embarrassing. A TSA officer said, ‘Hey, I’ve always been curious about these. Do they work?’

    “I was just so taken aback, I said, ‘Yeah.’ ”

    What happened next, she says, was more than embarrassing. It was infuriating.

    That same screener started emptying her wallet. “He was taking out the receipts and looking at them,” she said.

    “I understand that TSA is tasked with strengthening national security but [it] surely does not need to know what I purchased at Kohl’s or Wal-Mart,” she wrote in her complaint, which she sent me last week.

    She says she asked what he was looking for and he replied, “Razor blades.” She wondered, “Wouldn’t that have shown up on the metal detector?”

    In a side pocket she had tucked a deposit slip and seven checks made out to her and her husband, worth about $8,000.

    Her thought: “Oh, my God, this is none of his business.”

    Two Philadelphia police officers joined at least four TSA officers who had gathered around her. After conferring with the TSA screeners, one of the Philadelphia officers told her he was there because her checks were numbered sequentially, which she says they were not.

    “It’s an indication you’ve embezzled these checks,” she says the police officer told her. He also told her she appeared nervous. She hadn’t before that moment, she says.


    So just what evidence made them treat Kathy Parker like a criminal?

    Lt. Frank Vanore, a Philadelphia police spokesman, said that TSA personnel had called his officers, who found the checks to be “almost sequential.” They were “just checking to make sure there was nothing fraudulent,” he said. “They were wondering what the story was. The officer got it cleared up.”

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