Adrian Loveridge’s Tourism MATTERS: Getting creative, making more with less.

At least one Barbados hotel is renting rooms by the hour.

Will Adrian’s Peach & Quiet Hotel target the same “niche” market too? Read on! 🙂

by Adrian Loveridge

There are different versions, but my favourite is when the ‘going gets tough, the tough get creative’. It probably comes from spending most of my working life trying to turn tiny marketing budgets into big picture realities. What prompted this was reading the classified section of the local papers and seeing one of our accommodation competitors renting its rooms by the hour.

Concluding that this property is targeting a particular niche clientele, we cannot let any market share be eroded. We think therefore that in many cases, hourly rates might be to optimistic, so of course the obvious answer is to offer a per-minute rate.

Flippancy aside now is the time, more than ever, with a tourism driven economy we have to explore every possible opportunity to recover lost ground.

It’s hard to imagine how Willie Walsh the CEO of British Airways could have been any more supportive to try and limit any increases in the APD (Advanced Passenger Duty) next month. His various comments were carried locally, regionally and internationally, appearing in every major circulation newspaper in the United Kingdom.

Not only is it a direct threat to the world’s most tourism dependent economies here in the Caribbean, but as Mr. Walsh pointed out, it has potentially a devastating effect on employment and airline growth in Britain.

Together with the concerted effort of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation, Ministers of Tourism throughout the region, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association and various other tourism trade bodies, any British politician who has had not heard the passionate objections to the tax or planned increases must be hiding under a very large rock.

Clearly, as someone that makes my living from tourism, I share their objections, but sadly the new UK coalition Government can argue the issue.

‘We’, are asking a sovereign Nation to remove or reduce taxes based on the premise that these increases will further erode the arrival of British long stay visitor numbers. But, isn’t this the same argument that many of us in the industry have been pleading for Caribbean Government’s to reduce or eliminate the high taxes imposed on intra regional travel?

The justification for our departure tax, one of the highest in the Caribbean, is said to support financially the cost of the airport infrastructure and operational costs.

But if this is the case, why isn’t the same principal applied to the seaport?

How much does the average embarking cruise ship passenger pay in tax when joining at Bridgetown Port or transiting the facility?

Our Government charges 15 per cent VAT on all air travel purchased here. What rate of VAT is charged on cruise packages?

We are always talking about equity and fairness, but if we are competing on a level playing field, then it has to be across the board.

Ultimately, Governments have to reach the conclusion that you can only extract taxes from people in so many ways.  If you make a destination as being perceived as too expensive, those people will choose somewhere else to spend their already taxed income.
If they do not arrive, then Government does not collect VAT on accommodation, car rental, dining experiences, activities, attractions, shopping etc.

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9 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

9 responses to “Adrian Loveridge’s Tourism MATTERS: Getting creative, making more with less.

  1. 2010/10/20

    Many cruise-ship-tourists fancy the idea of coming ashore for 6-8 hrs.
    and having the use of a day-room near the pool where they can shower and change, have lunch etc.
    You guys might want to promote that?

  2. 198

    “The justification for our departure tax, one of the highest in the Caribbean, is said to support financially the cost of the airport infrastructure and operational costs.

    But if this is the case, why isn’t the same principal applied to the seaport?”
    ………………………

    The Bridgetown Port has been ‘bought and paid for’
    – decades ago. The Bank no longer holds the mortgage.

    GAIA however, still “belongs to the Bank”.
    That’s the difference.

    Leave the Bridgetown Port alone
    and don’t put ideas in their heads, fer Chrissake!!

  3. TWWIFOS

    The hourly rate is obviously designed horny Bajans who want to get away from their husband/wife for awhile. Anyone hotel or guest house that is offering this is just desperate. Not the kind of visitors I would want to attract.

  4. 198

    Agreed that an hourly rate does smack of ‘Stabbin Cabin’

    Perhaps a better time-slot arrangement
    would be to offer either 6-hour slots
    or half-day, rather than hourly

  5. Adrian Loveridge

    Anonymous,

    Are you saying IDB loans from 1998 and again in 2009 have been fully repaid or written-off?

  6. 198

    Surely you’re not telling me that the B’town Port hasn’t yet been bought and paid for??
    Good grief,man.. it was built back in 1958-60 in Colonial days!

    I’m nowhere near as economically-knowledgeable as you might be…
    I guess those loans you refer to, may have been to cover our asses for the Port expansion back in the mid-1970s? (Flour Mill area,etc.)

    What do I know?…obviously nothing:
    I was assuming that our Port was long bought and paid for
    but I may be entirely wrong.

    I stand corrected if that is the case, and would love to hear more about just how much in the red we are…

    See this CIA link below
    to find out and red and black ink.
    – see where we rank!

    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2187rank.html

  7. Peltdownman

    Very good points, Adrian. On the matter of the APD, are our Caribbean governments too lily-livered to take retaliatory action against British or European goods entering the Caribbean? Why not an increase in the Environmental Levy on their goods until such time as they remove or at least moderate the APD? They will, of course, claim that such a move is discriminatory, but then, so is the APD. We can at least claim, like they do with the APD, that it is helping with our efforts on the environment. On the question of charging a passenger head tax on cruise ship passengers, rest assured that the Barbados Port Authority subsidises cruise ship passengers by charging exorbitant rates to those using the cargo facilities, even when cruise ships take berthing preference over cargo ships. That is why container handling charges in Barbados are multiples of those charged in Trinidad.

  8. Adrian Loveridge

    Anonymous,

    You can go onto the Barbados Port Inc. website and it appears the last published audited accounts were for 2007.
    Whether their financial position has improved since then, we the taxpayers are left once again to guess.
    Certainly from the 2007 accounts WE are subsidising the port. ‘We’ also gave Carnival Corporation $1.2 million (not sure if that is US$ or BDS$) over three years to guarantee 400,000 cruise ship passengers each year for three years and I understand this agreement was renewed for another period.
    Just to remind you that Carnival Corporation is one, if not the most profitable travel/tourism related in the world, recently declaring again) more than
    US$1.2 BILLION profit for a 3 MONTH trading period.

    Perhaps you get a feeling of the unfairness of it.

    Why doesn’t the Port put up its DEPARTURE tax to re-coup its operational losses like we are told GAIA Inc., has to?

    When did you last see the audited accounts of GAIA Inc?

  9. Crazy Mobert

    Sam Lord’s burn, wuh loss it burn
    Down to de ground, down to de ground

    I wonda wha cause it, wha cause it so.
    Maybe electic or paro smoke?

    Sam Lord burn it burn to de groun
    Only de frame leff only de frame

    I wonda wha cause it, I wonda fuh so
    Maybe electic or paro smoke?

    Sam Lord’s gone, to his-tory
    It gone, gone fuh we

    Sam Lord’s burn, wuh loss it burn
    It gone, gone, gone!

    De owners musse as gutted as de frame.