Exclusive Breaking: UK Travel Agent now selling St. Lucia holidays “10 to 1” over Barbados!

In a stunning reversal of the way things were only six months ago, travel agent Sandra McLeavy of Holiday Experts says she is now selling St. Lucia holidays over Barbados ten to one in favour of St. Lucia!

Ms. McLeavy attributes the turnabout to a heavy tourism campaign by St. Lucia and some changes over the last little while in Barbados. As Ms. McLeavy has visited Barbados some 13 times, we Bajans and the Barbados Tourism Authority might want to at the very least give her views a read.

“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?”

Sandra McLeavy of Holiday Experts posted on BFP’s article Barbados tourist arrivals up 2.9% – Visitors to St. Lucia up 11.9%

St. Lucia Tourism Board launches all-out effort in United States – Heading for Canada in October!

At the same time as our UK travel agent posted her comments we received news that the St. Lucia Tourism Board is conducting a 20 city tour of the United States – designed to capture market share and convince cold Americans to enjoy the St. Lucia sun, surf and culture over any other destination.

St. Lucia used to be the poor little sister to Barbados when it came to tourism. It look like little sister is growing up and making eyes at big sister’s boyfriends.

What are we going to do about this?

“We won’t rest on our laurels,” said (VP of St. Lucia Tourism Board) Nerdin St. Rose before leaving the island for the Mid-Atlantic area to join Saint Lucia’s sales associates. “The phenomenal growth we are currently experiencing is very much due in part to the hard work of our sales teams and the travel agent community in our source markets, and we plan to strengthen these relationships over the next few months,” she said.

St. Rose reported that other stops along the itinerary include: Charlotte, North Carolina; Atlanta, Georgia; Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Houston and Dallas Texas; Waukesha, Wisconsin; Oak Brook, Illinois; Mason, Ohio; Warren, Michigan; Burlington, Massachusetts; Farmington, Connecticut; White Plains, Woodbury and New York City, New York.

Year to date, Saint Lucia has recorded an overall 11.9 percent increase in stay-over visitors for the six-month period January through June 2010 as passenger arrivals increased from 145,575 in 2009 to 162,856 this year.

The most impressive growth came from the United States market, which accounted for 42% of all arrivals and registered an average 31.3% growth rate over 2009 figures. Total US arrivals reached 68,776 by the end of June 2010.

… from the South Florida Caribbean News article Saint Lucia hits the road in the United States

42 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

42 responses to “Exclusive Breaking: UK Travel Agent now selling St. Lucia holidays “10 to 1” over Barbados!

  1. What will they think of next

    They are going to the right place, a lot of them will end up dead, given St. Lucia’s high murder and crime rate.

  2. geez

    Maybe they have a Tourism Master Plan… what happen with May’s plan Richard S

  3. What will they think of next

    I hope Sandra McLeavy can live with herself after sending British Tourists to their deaths in St. Lucia.

  4. B.B. PROPAGANDA MERCHANT

    Well, they could come here and get murdered on Long Beach… they have a choice….

  5. Slap Happy

    10 to 1 in favour of St Lucia? Well, doesn’t it cost more to vacation in Barbados? In these tough times those with money to travel are looking for places that will give them more for their money.

    I think that Barbados for far too long has been relying on the regular visitors .

    Anybody can be killed any place in the world. No place is as safe as we would like them to be or think they are. As you know some travelers do things that they would not do at home when they go abroad

  6. 166

    May’s plan…..if the writer understands the nature and scope of a Tourism Master Plan, he/she could never associate such with an individual, I beleive May was invited to head the project unit.

  7. What will they think of next

    Barbados is still the safest destination in the caribbbean. Who got killed at Long beach did not die in vain a criminal was caught and is now behind bars. Not so in St. Lucia, they is a long list of unsolved murders in St. Lucia of recent vintage. So much so that the Commisioner of Police was removed from office.

  8. 47.

    Marketing is one thing, and perhaps the tour operator wants to receive lower packages. Not withstanding, Barbados has itself: a destination that encompasses some of the finest restaurants in the world, some of the finest beaches (far surpassing those of our neighbour), the friendliest staff, and the best seervice, and the best attractions, lots more to do.

    Barbados, you can’t beat it.

    Market another as many times and as much as you want, say we are overpriced compared, but when you look at what kind of holiday you get…

    …choose Barbados, it’s the BEST.

  9. bajeabroad

    Look at this comment from Butch Stewart, as mentioned in the Jamaica Gleaner….THIS IS WHY ST LUCIA IS ON TOP!!

    However, his efforts were frustrated and he turned to St Lucia where Sandals operates three resorts.

    “I wanted Jamaica to be the first country in the Caribbean to have over-water suites. People are going to the Maldives and the Far East in droves to have a little suite over the water,” he said.

    “I try and try for four years, I get promises every month. But in 90 days’ time in the country of St Lucia we start the construction of 30 over-water suites. The publicity that they are going to get as the first country in the Caribbean to get over-water suites is so immense that I can’t tell you. The entire island is going to benefit. We tried and we have failed, but we are still trying, maybe Jamaica can be second.

    POINT MADE!!

  10. John Da Silva

    Tour operators find it difficult to package villas into their product due the shear variety of accommodation on offer. There are companies that specialise in villa holidays, such as Prestbury Travel, and they are doing very well. The growth in the number of privately owned villas and apartments in Barbados has hurt traditional tour operators, but those agencies that specialise in villas are doing well.

  11. JJ

    The long and short of it is this – UK tourists want the sun and sand and for some a little bit more unfortunately. One thing is certain they don’t care if it’s Barbados or St Lucia so long as it’s hot . So it does come down to price sad to say. They can go to the Canary Islands for a third of the price but the Caribbean is a bit more up market. So if Barbdos is out of reach financially then St Lucia will profit. I personally prefer Barbados having had a bad experience in St Lucia and if you know where to eat on a budget then it can be easily achievable . However first time visitors to Barbados will not have such knowledge. The image of Barbados here in England is very expensive for a holiday . Hence St Lucia will win over

  12. Hi
    I first want to say sorry for any upset I might have caused by making these remarks; I never expected this type of reaction.
    I have been coming to Barbados for 12 years (twice in one year) and love the island and the people.
    I have visited with two of my three daughters and when my eldest was planning her first holiday aboard
    with her two friends it had to be Barbados because I knew she would be safe. I am hoping to return this winter once I know the dates of the clobi cup and garrison race meetings. I have been to other Caribbean islands and all are beautiful in they own way, but they are not Barbados.
    I have seen so many new hotels or private apartments being built and it’s spoiling the island taking land from the locals and out pricing them from being able to buy their own houses.
    What do I think has gone wrong with Barbados and why has it become so expensive to visit?
    No charter airlines we only now have BA and Virgin so it’s become a closed shop regarding prices for flights and package holidays. When we had airtours etc it was more of an open market and that allowed mass markets. People staying in small hotels and guest houses that help the locals.
    One of my biggest sellers used to be the Island inn hotel with freedom flights, I have received so many thank you from customers saying what a lovely hotel but now it’s out priced itself because of the cost of the flights.
    I know it’s the same cost to fly to st Lucia but hotels are cheaper why I don’t know?
    The main problem with the UK market is our taxes for flying to Barbados, we can get a flight for £250 but by the time we pay all the extra taxes it takes the price to over £600.
    Somebody says Barbados has the best restaurants, hotels in the world and yes its true but can you afford to eat in them? I can’t. I love the fishcakes down on Miami Beach. Remember the article on the Hilton and locals!
    I am on your side and want to sell the island see local people employed in the tourist industry and full hotels. Not million £ mansions that our footballers use a few times a year.
    I remember reading on the freepress about somebody staying while cricket match was on and the hotel staff didn’t know how to get tickets. I have found myself in the same position, a good few years ago Michael Bolton was in concert and I wanted tickets asked in the hotel nobody knew had to sit and watch
    Local CBC with a pen and paper to get phone number to find out where to get tickets then go to Bridgetown to buy them. Ok I am not expecting anybody to get them for me, but information in the hotel and perhaps offering trips to events would be a good idea.

    I could spend the rest of the night writing but need to finish now its getting late , I love Barbados as much as the people that live their and I want all my customers to enjoy the island not sit in hotel for two weeks. I sell them a dream and I want the dream to come true for them. I will leave my moans about arriving at the airport and having to wait 45mins to clear customs for another night.

    I have posted the article on facebook and this is the reply from another travel agent
     Stick with it hun! People want something that we can’t give, nowhere is safe these days! If Barbados didn’t hike their prices year on year we’d be sending loads of customers there!
    Good night and God bless

  13. B.B. PROPAGANDA MERCHANT

    “the friendliest staff, and the best seervice” I love that.

  14. JJ

    I lived in Northern Ireland during the worst of the atrocities there . I can tell you it was a nasty place to live at the time. Anyone who plants bombs is evil . I don’t care care what their colour , creed or religion is. We all need to be seen . Covering up under a religious guise is not acceptable. If ever I have to go through an airport scanner whilst a veiled Muslim person is allowed to be exempt of this procedure I will complain so badly ….

  15. Bajanna

    I love Barbados and have visited some 25+ times. I know the other islands as well. BIM is tops.

    I live in Berlin, Germany and can confirm that Barbados has done ZERO marketing in Germany and other mainland European countries since the late 1990s. Wake up and smell the coffee! You have to invest something to reap any rewards.

    Every year I go to the ITB (biggest international tourism fair on the planet) only to find a dull Barbados stand serving Bacardi instead of Mount Gay. The girls handing out brochures speak no English and have never been to BIM. Why hire the hostesses from the ITB and the local catering when it would be a breeze to fly over a pair of Bajan beauties that know their country and a bartender from Mount Gay or Mailbu? Play Bajan music in the background. THINK!! Be creative. It really does not cost that much to market something that is fine from the word go… Barbados has everything. You just need to tell the world. It so SO simple but the men in charge spend their time playing pocket pool.

  16. Jokers

    Barbados is doing a fine job of becoming to most expensive Caribbean destination. Way to go Barbados. You make me so proud!!!!

  17. Jokers

    @Bajanna

    You are incorrect about Barbados not marketing in Germany. I have lived in Kaufbeuren and have seen on several channels marketing of Barbados Tourism product. You are a liar.

  18. yatinkiteasy

    If the St Lucia numbers are correct, the US arrivals are quite impressive for 6 months 2010. It works out to an average of 382 US visitors PER DAY!(two planeloads)
    Their Total average per day is 905, so it is obvious that the US marketing efforts are paying off.
    See, we should have done more to have Sandals set up at Paradise…what do we have now? “0 Seasons.”

  19. Peltdownman

    Anonymous blogs like this can and will be used by persons in, or promoting, competing destinations to make Barbados look bad. Secondly, when “Butch” Stewart talks of “over water suites”, he is presumably talking about building on the beach with rooms overhanging the water. Yeah, we REALLY need that in Barbados – NOT!! The Maldives are tiny little strips of land in shallow water and they virtually have to build over the water, but there is no large local population or competing demands on the beaches. Also, although they have the monsoon, they have very few high wind events such as hurricanes. I wouldn’t like to see what the Maldives would look like after a hurricane. Notwithstanding all of this, Barbados still does not have a proper tourism plan. Somehow there appears to be a disconnect between elected politicians and recognising the needs of the tourism industry and its patrons. If we could even make the effort of defining our various tourism products, then we could formulate campaigns to promote them. Certainly, the destruction of the coastline for construction of hardly-occupied condos has not helped, but we can do more. Finally, I honestly do not believe that the BTA would be serving Bacardi and not Barbadian rum in its Berlin exhibit.

  20. Adrian Loveridge

    Some very objective comments and I hope the tourism policymakers are noting them with interest.
    We keep coming back to this conclusion that Barbados is expensive and perhaps we have done it to ourselves by spending millions of Dollars giving this impression.
    Our average room rate (no seasonal difference) is US$99 per ROOM per night or about GBP66. Please someone tell me where in England I can stay for that, surrounded by 4 acres of oceanfront property with a view to die for?
    Our buffet breakfast is US$12 or GBP8 with five different fresh fruits, REAL fruit juice, cooked and cold choices including eggs, bacon, omlettes etc.
    Our 3-course dinner is US$26 or about GBP17 and a bottle of wine (Chilean) costs from US$13 or GBP8.
    Our guests can still buy a return economy airline ticket with British Airways or Virgin during the peak season (1 Jan-31 March 2011) for GBP508 INCLUDING all taxes etc.
    The trouble is we are a small hotel (22 rooms) and despite the fact that Barbados has around 120 small hotels, our national marketing agency has been for longer than I can remember, reluctant to promote us.
    In fact, during the short time, I sat on the BTA board, there wasn’t even a budget allocated to the 70 or so small hotels who are not members of the Intimate Group.
    I cannot recall over the last 21 years being asking by the BTA to host a travel writer, to help spread the word.
    We have been incredibly lucky, because through our own efforts we have received substantial coverage in publications like The Sunday Times, Independent, Guardian, New York Sunday Times, Boston Globe, Caribbean Travel and Life and many others.
    We have also won several awards from Frommers,
    Fodors and TripAdvisor, but even the last award which rated us the one of the 12 Best Value Hotels (the only mentioned property on Barbados) in the Caribbean and Mexico, was not even mentioned or highlighted by the BTA.

    Of course our ‘luxury’ properties make an enormous contribution and we are proud to have them, but in these challenging times not everybody can afford or even wants to pay US$400-1000 a room per night.

    If the BTA will not tell you that we have many affordable properties, then I will continue to shout it from the rooftops until you stop listening altogether!

  21. no surprises here

    Barbados has out-priced, out-ruded, out-constructed and made itself totally out of range and desirability for the tourist dollar now.for 2 weeks in an all-inclusive resort with fantastic service, food and drink, pleasant people all around and more beautifully appointed cabanas and rooms than BIM could ever offer on a price comparison, for the big hairy cost of 3 nights stay here, hotel and food…. I know this because I just did this. Barbados has to wake up. Building more and more outlandish and ridiculous resorts for no-one to stay in is folly. The country from the air now looks like Lego City!!!

  22. no surprises here

    some of the content about got knocked out… it should have read “These days you can go to Cancun for 2 weeks in an all-inclusive….” etc…

  23. driving around

    to “no surprises here”… I could not agree more. In driving around the Island, one is very hard-pressed to see any ocean or beach front anymore. It is concrete from north to south, with the small reprieve of Cattlewash coast road, Bathsheba and Mullins. Barbados is a horrible looking concrete jungle now, filled with over-indulgent edifices and gated communities, restaurants with no diners, hotels with no guests, and houses so large, that there is little land surrounding for a child to run free…pity, not the Barbados I remember, and growing up in Belleville, well…. that saddens me even more…The only thing that remains is the placement of the avenues, and what palm trees have been left. Sad how this was allowed to happen, sad how Barbados has whored itself for money and international glory. Spoils the one thing that we are supposed to be so renowned for… “being unique and untouched”….HA!

  24. 47.

    To the tour operator above, we love that you love us, and we want to be that which you wish us to be. You can get great meals at Oistins and at the small bars and rumshops throughout the island. You can drink a cheap banks or fire plenty good rum, the best in the world made by the people who invented rum, all about the island, and meet some real Bajans in the process.

    But, with all due respect, we are trying to make a profit without selling ourselves off to the Airtours, to the Thompson Tours, and those tour companies that formerly raped and pillaged our local hotel owners to the extent that we were working for nothing. It costs us to operate too.

    Tour companies can work with the intimate hotels group, or the BHTA, and negotiate the best rates for their people. It is your very own country that is taxing the Caribbean with the airplane tax. Why are you complaining to us- should we have to be the ones to pay your UK air tax?

    Re villas, I think the government must bring about a way that anyone who rents rooms or villas must register their property. A tax must be paid to Barbados, since many people are using their properties and being paid outside of Barbados. To those people, this is illegal, and I must point my finger saying it is wrong to do so. Unpatriotic, unfair to invest in Barbados and then expect to keep our money in another land. People are making money in Barbados and hiding it away from Barbados. Right or wrong?

    Barbados will rise. Barbados has many, many areas that are beautiful, and those who say ‘not so’ have not taken the time to examine Barbados by disovering its tranquil, rural areas.

  25. Adrian Loveridge

    Not sure why my comments are being moderated
    but 47. brought up some very valid points.
    Hundreds, possibly thousands of unregistered rooms contributing little or nothing to the overall marketing budget. Probably not even VAT.

  26. do or die

    You can come to Barbados and get killed by a ruthless ZR while walking back to your hotel on the main road with no pavement, or you can be raped on the beach, or you can be killed on the beach, or you can be robbed on the beach, or you can be pestered to death by bums offering drugs, “tight pussy”, young boys, etc… you can learn to say “no thank you” to as many taxi drivers in Bridgetown as you can, and while they curse you in the worse manner, you can pretend you did not understand what they said. You can go to the grocery and spend half of your allocated vacation money or you can eat in restaurants with poor service and crap food. However you look at it, “Barbados …. just beyond your imagination”…INDEED… you would never IMAGINE how deplorable things are here….

  27. Muslim

    I’ve been here for a few years (from Canada) and I dont think this place is too expensive once you find your way around.

    Off season Air Canada tickets can go for as little as $220 each way. Rent a modest room somewhere and cook some of your own food and you should be within some of those “all inclusive” prices with the added beauty, cleanliness, and safety of Barbados.

    Why pay to be stuck in a hotel in Cuba or Dominican when you can explore an entire island!

    Once this is explained to Canadians, the majority would consider coming here vs. the usual Cuba/dominican trips.

    Now I just need somewhere to play road hockey and I’m set.

  28. what will they think of next

    “one is very hard-pressed to see any ocean or beach front anymore”

    Blame the Barbados Labour Party for that.

  29. Green Monkey

    @Muslim re. the road hockey,

    There is a road hocky league, mostly ex-pat, Canuckistanians. They play Thursday nights in the NIS (National Insurance Building) parking lot at Lower Collymore Rock and Pine Road and also compete in overseas street hockey tournaments from time to time. More info at: http://www.barbadosballhockey.com

  30. yatinkiteasy

    Once Cuba really opens up, it`s curtains for all the small English Speaking Caribbean islands that think that warm weather and a nice beach is enough.Can we even conceive that Cuba already gets over 2 million visitors a year, even though US Citizens are not “allowed” to go there unless under special conditions? Its only a matter of time (when Fidel dies)
    I think that the “freedom of movement”element of the US Constitution is being abused by this travel restriction to Cuba.
    Canadians are flocking to Cuba, and even Russians are visiting in ever increasing numbers.
    We will be left with the folks who travel to Oistins on a ZR, and eat a fish and chips dinner and a Banks Beer.
    Total expenditure :$17.00 per person.

  31. Green Monkey

    @Muslim,

    Here is the website for the Barbados street hockey league:

    http://barbadosballhockey.com/

  32. bruce lee

    Many valid points here. As the master plan is still missing in action, there are still a few basic issues to look at and we don’t need a cocktail with wine and pate to discuss these. For the second time in 2 months, i came back home to run into a 3pm line to Customs at the airport. This is nothing but a shameful situation, with just 1 officer to decide whether you have anything to declare or not, baggage porters pushing you with their trolleys and just general chaos. Before it was the non carbon immigration/customs forms which were allowed in the system. Vagrants on the south coast and men who pimp sex to drugs all over, generally seem to believe that all white women that land on the island is looking for a “big” black man… so the approaches and catcalls….and these can be dealt with right now

  33. Adrian Loveridge

    Bruce Lee,

    This has been going on for so long and its difficult to comprehend why the situation has not been dealt with. Its all very well a Minister stating that arrival flights should be spread over a longer period during the day, but then you have to think of connecting flights and ensursing individual airlines achieve minumum economic loads.
    The best suggestion I have heard was many years ago when the late Sir Harold St. John suggested that we bring retired Immigration and Customs officers in for 3 or 4 hours a day during busy periods.
    Its such a simple solution and at the same time they could be training new entrants into the services.
    Its OK boasting a worldclass airport but then you have to have all the necessary things in place to ensure its kept that way.

  34. 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!”

  35. Adrian Loveridge

    The Watcher,

    It is NOT failing for everybody and there are lots of examples of hoteliers that have got it right and do not have to ask Government for anything.
    As for service YES! ‘we’ have a problem.
    I agree that the BTA BDS$90 million a year could (and should) be spent is a more cost-effective way and there should be strict monitoring on exactly what returns we are getting.
    There is a lot to do and it will not be achieved by the same old, same old!

  36. reality check

    Good service and good value Adrian but you are one of the few.

    The selling off of our beaches and greenspace personified the BLP practices but it was closely followed by the DLP who actually sold themselves
    as eco-ftiendly and then within 60 days of attaining power amended the Physical Development Plan that had been in place for years preserving green space.

    What does that tell you?

  37. whistling frog

    Reality Check,,,,,,,,,, What does that tell you,,,,,,,, It has been reiterated over and over again if you have read some of the submissions to this topic.The East Coast of Our God Given Island In The Sun,,,,,,Is the next to go,,,,,,,It Was Once Thought T o Be A Protected Preserve,,,,,,,,,,A National Park,,,,,,,,,,,A Place Of Reflection,,,A Place of Tranquility,,,,For the Thousands of Barbadians Seeking to Free Themselves from the Concreteism,,,the Sardine Culture of Too Many Too Close,,,The Just Plain Get Away From it All,,,,,Buuuttttt looook ouutt,,,,,De Almighty Dollar is COMING TO GET YUH,,,,,,,,BYE,BYE Beauty,,BYE,BYE Nirvana,,,Bye,Bye My Country,,All Gone To THE MIGHTY DOLLAR!!!!!!!

  38. whistling frog

    I was thinking that if i won a real lot of money on Lotto or whatever I would move to Dominica where there are 75,000 people living on an Island three times the size of Barbados,,somewhere in the mountains near a river with fresh unpolluted water ahhhhh Etc,,,,,but I hear the Germans moving in to exploit this island that if Christopher Columbus were to return today he would immediately recognize,,,,,,,,Ahhhh as I solemenly reflect ,,Tobago,,,,Germans arriving in numbers after the extension of the airport runway,,,,,drugs,,,sex,,,HIV,,,Crime,,,,Isaid goodbye to Tobago after many years of having the pleasure to experience a place of positive Vibrations (to quote Bob Marley) which has now become a place listed as dangerous by many travel agents,,,,Then there was Bequia,,,AAhhh I remember Bequia when there was one Policeman on the Island,,,,,you could camp,,,hire and ride bicycles all over the island Nooooooo Crime,,,oooh Lord Oh Lord,,,,,the islands in the near distance,,,the sheer beauty of such a place that Sommerset Maughan would write about (and this was the years 1995—) Until the Germans assisted the St.Vincent Govt to build an airport so that there was no need to take the slow Ferry from St.Vincent over to port St.Elizabeth.With that came the same tourist culture,demanding the same excitement in Drugs,Sex,Etc,,,,,,,NOW THE POLICE FORCE IS VERY EVIDENT THERE<<<MURDERS FOR THE FIRST TIME HAVE BECOME A PART OF THE CULTURE,LIKE ALL THE REST OF US SO CALLED ALMOST FIRST WORLD ISLAND INHABITANTS……….and so the story plays its way to the inevitable outcome of so many of our lost Neighbours,Culture,Friends,,Real Independent Being and Most Importantly our TRUE NATURE OF BEING atOne With Our Surroundings a God Given Realization.

  39. dear Adrian
    I have just costed your price breakdown
    I can’t find a flight with virgin for less than £593
    so assuming we include transfers in that price
    just in case they is a £508 flight
    593 flight (march)
    462 room – £66prpn
    112 breakfast
    238 evening meal
    £1405 pp thats without any drinks, lunch or trips out
    you say no difference in rates for rooms all year round
    I have just costed two holidays for may 2011
    14nts almond smugglers uvf ai £1421
    14nts almond resorts (all about same price) £2281
    the prices are silly at the moment for march with the operators since its caribbean peak season
    but this gives you an idea off what discounts uvf is offering for next summer

  40. Adrian Loveridge

    Barbados Holidays,

    I absolutely see your point but, its almost impossible for us (the hoteliers) to make it any cheaper based on our costs. A 60% increase this year in water rates alone plus all the taxes levied on many of the items we are forced to use, as nearly 75% of food is imported.
    For a tour operator to retail 14 nights (ai) at Almond Smugglers for GBP1421 I would guess that they are paying a rate to the hotel of around US$75 (GBP50) per person per night.

    At a little 2 1/2 star property like ours we need about US$48 per room per night (not all- inclusive) just to cover costs.

    http://www.flycrc.com for the GBP508 fare with Virgin or BA for period 1st January – 31stMarch – 2011.
    St. Lucia for the same period is GBP597.

    BA will be offering special fares in their September Executive Club newsletter and Virgin (I understand) will have a seat sale in November, or before if market forces determine.

    Thank you for the comparisions. I really hope our tourism policymakers are reading this blog.

  41. Adrian Loveridge

    Barbados Holidays,

    I thought too, that I had to add, of the GBP1405 figure you quoted, that a staggering GBP304.05 (or nearly 22%) of that figure is made up of taxes, surcharges and add-ons.
    In the case of hotel element (for us) we end up with GBP51.75 per night for dinner, bed and breakfast.

    In reality, airfares (not taxes) have hardly increased in the last thirty years, when you take inflation into account. Back in the 1970’s, we rarely paid less than GBP500 Gatwick/Barbados return.

    I have often puzzled why people expect to travel
    to a country that imports almost everything and expect it to be cheaper than at home.

  42. shaking head in disappointment

    it is quite disconcerting to see all that anti-st. lucia sentiment. If this were a St. Lucian blog this would never happpen. But then again, Bajans have a reputation for arrogance and xenophobia….
    to clear things up the commisioner was NOT asked to resign because of the crime rate.