Welcome to your Barbados vacation… Is there anything else we can do to piss you off upon arrival?
Trip Advisor.com is probably the world’s premier travel website for “been there, done that” advice on destinations and there is some discussion going right now about tourists being ambushed by Barbados Customs.
It seems that the Barbados Government website advises tourists that they may bring 200 cigarettes into the country duty free… but when folks arrive they discover that’s not true and are asked to pay big duties.
The Barbados Government website sets up the tourists with bad information and the Customs people pick ’em off when they arrive. Like shooting fish in de barrel!
Apparently these discussions about how unfair Barbados is have been going on for months at the Trip Advisor website. To make things worse, the magazine for Virgin Atlantic reprinted the incorrect information from the Barbados Government website.
We checked, and sure enough the Barbados Government Integrated Portal advises that 200 cigarettes are duty free. Ha! Welcome to Barbados, suckers!
Duh… is there nobody at the Barbados Tourism Authority assigned to “internet patrol”?
I think it was Adrian Loveridge who stated that something like 90% of all tourists consult the internet when planning vacations. (I might be wrong about the percentage but it’s huge and I’m sure Adrian will correct us if we’re wrong.)
In light of that, shouldn’t the BTA assign someone to cruise the most popular travel forums about Barbados and correct stuff that needs correcting?
Come on BTA… it’s only about 70% of our foreign exchange you’re playing with!
Will someone PLEASE call the BTA or the Barbados Government and have them change their website to reflect the truth?
Why is this always so hard to achieve even minimum performance levels from those government people entrusted with our tourism industry?
From Trip Advisor.com discussion forum Barbados Customs
“I recently arrived at Barbados airport and was stopped by a custom officer. She asked if I had any cigarettes and I answered truthfully that I had purchased 200 at Gatwick also my husband had purchased 200 too. She informed me that I would have to pay £50 duty for these cigarettes. I argued that the website had stated that I could bring in 200 and also the booklet on Virgin plane had said the same. she informed me that the law as recently changed and that no cigarettes were permitted. She confiscated the cigarettes…”
Another tourist to Barbados said…
“When we arrived last weds the q for customs was horrendous. They were searching bags and the guy in front of us was told he would have to pay $120 for 400 ciggies. We were stuck there about an hour which was not a great welcome to the country!”