Adrian Loveridge comments on Barbados Tourism Ministry website dysfunction

Nation Newspaper mentions “Boscobel Gang” for the first time

Adrian Loveridge - Small hotel owner

Businessman, tourism guru and part-time journalist Adrian Loveridge was hired, fired, banned and walked out on so many times by Government Ministers and the Bajan news media that we lost count. He and his Missus received threats to murder them and burn down their business. Then there were two “mysterious” fires at their business after the threats of arson.

Barbados Police Commissioner Dottin refused to investigate because some of the threats made on the internet came from a computer in the Members of Parliament lounge. BLP Member of Parliament Dr. Duguid confirmed that some of the threats came from the computer at Parliament. (Sidebar: In our opinion, Dr. Duguid showed integrity and good character by his actions in response to the threats against Loveridge and others.)

When the police wouldn’t come to his aid, Loveridge complained to Prime Minister Owen Arthur and then PM David Thompson. Both men ignored his plight and avoided him on the street.

And still Adrian persisted in telling it like it is to governments and news media who couldn’t stand a single word of criticism in the past – publishing his articles on the blogs when the newspapers banned him.

Now The Nation is back to publishing his tourism articles and we haven’t heard of any threats against Mr. and Mrs. Loveridge in a while. Hopefully this signals that government officials are more receptive to advice, information and criticism than they were before. Maybe that’s what happens when the government officials become desperate as they run out of answers and options: they have to start listening to others.

Here is Adrian’s latest article as published in The Nation. You really should read Adrian’s article at The Nation website, but we reprint the entire article here because that newspaper has a habit of changing history.

TOURISM MATTERS: White paper long in coming but welcome

THE recent media coverage announcing the intention to launch a discussion process that would eventually produce a white paper for tourism development is very welcome and, many would think, long overdue. It is difficult to fathom why it has taken nearly three years to get to this stage.

The Ministry of Tourism’s website explains the intentions and objectives of how and why the white paper will be created.

It also indicates how interested parties could make their views known through various email addresses, a blog and social media sites that include Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube.

The site also states, “A discussion paper has been prepared to provide an in-depth analysis of current international and national practices and policies as it pertains to tourism development and destination management,” and invites viewers to “please click here” to access the document.

Sadly, a full week after the media launch, none of the links work, with emails being returned “delivery to the following recipients failed”.

“Three town hall meetings will be held to facilitate consultation with the general public on issues of importance to tourism development. The dates and venues of these town hall meets are as follows:”

While the three venues are shown with the provisory ‘TBC’, no dates are indicated.

On reflection and to maintain interest, surely it would have been better to get everything in place and test the response mechanisms first.

Once access is available, I understand that “Barbadian residents and the diaspora” will be able to proffer their suggestions, but there does not appear to be any way that our cherished visitors can contribute.

If this is the case, personally I think it is a mistake. You only have to go to sites like the Barbados Forum on TripAdvisor to see that many visitors have a lot to say about our tourism offerings and much of it is very constructive.

I believe it’s vital that we listen and be seen to be listening to comments made by our customers.

As an example, we recently hosted a small ladies-only group celebrating a special birthday, during which they spent an afternoon at one of our most popular beaches. On their return to the hotel, we asked if they enjoyed their visit and all they could talk about was the number of times that they had been offered cocaine.

Visitors’ experiences

Generally, I am not sure whether “we” as a destination monitor and respond to our visitors’ experiences and observations adequately.

Examples include the so-called “Boscobel Gang” and the series of serious attacks that took place over the two years prior to the tragedy on Long Beach in Christ Church.

Some readers may consider these comments negative, but unless there is an effective response to matters of concern, the problems are left to fester and the potential damage to our reputation increases in intensity.

I fully support the ministry’s efforts to devise a meaningful Tourism Master Plan, but let us get it right the first time and ensure that it is truly a comprehensive, all-embracing strategic plan.

Adrian Loveridge is a hotelier of four decades’ standing; email rediscover@caribsurf.com

25 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

25 responses to “Adrian Loveridge comments on Barbados Tourism Ministry website dysfunction

  1. ComeHere

    While I do not know Adrian Loveridge, I have long admired his pragmatic, common sense approach to building a better Barbados tourism model. I was told that our recent tourism delegation to the world travel market in London produced nothing but a mismanaged, often empty booth, although with ‘nuf rum for the large entourage. How many representatives did we send? Were they effective? Any results? How much money was spent? The Barbados tourism product is all we have as a nation to sustain our economic needs. It must be run as a business, with accountability, and follow a realistic business plan. Our visitors expect quite a lot from the Caribbean’s most expensive destination. A recent visitor told me that they would never return due to the dangerous bus drivers along the coast road. They apparently had several near misses as they walked to the beach. Can you imagine busses in London, NY, Miami, or anywhere else in the civilised world driving with such reckless, unchecked abandon ? Its senseless, and so easy to fix. You can lead the tourists to water, Barbados, but our poor performance once they get here guarantees that they will not return to drink.

  2. Milano

    @ ComeHere

    Adrian is pragmatic, or do you mean padantic? Didn’t the present Minister of Tourism fire him from the Board of the BTA for being too disruptive and argumentative? By now Adrian must have realised that the promised call to joining the BTA Marketing board ain’t coming, that was just a little painkiller to dull the shock and pain of having his appointment revoked.

    In my opinion he writes articles as if he is the preacher and the pastor, and only he knows anything about everything on matters of tourism. He is a Colonial relic who does not try to achieve thought provoking innovation in tourism but seeks only to offend people as a means to gain recognition for himself.

    He is wholly a waste of time and should concentrate his efforts on his, in my opinion, run down two bit hotel. The place looks like it always needs a coat or two of paint.

  3. Pingback: Forbes picks up Adrian Loveridge article at BFP | Barbados Free Press

  4. Adrian Loveridge

    Milano,
    I appreciate your comments, but they are a little short of actual facts.
    ONLY the Minister of Tourism can confirm why myself and eight other BTA directors had their appointments revoked.
    If the reason was that I asked too many questions, then I make absolutely NO apologies. As I stated so many times, I would not spend taxpayers monies any differently than my own.
    I have no interest in sitting on any other Government board unless there are some fundamental changes in the way ‘we’ do business.
    If I criticise, then its because I think its justified. So many people are currently not doing the job they are being paid to do. The BTA FaceBook page is a classic example and through their dereliction of duties they are letting the present Ministerof Tourism down.
    You are quite right about painting. In our salt spray saturated location, our seventeen buildings spread over 4 acres constantly need a coat of paint. I have personally applied 2 1/2 gallons over the last two days trying to recover from Tropical Storm Tomas and in 2008 we used 480 gallons.
    At the end of the day, we are blessed with loyal (appreciative) repeat guests who currently put us at Number FIVE (5) out of 106 hotels in Barbados on TripAdvisor. bearing in mind we are closed six months of the year, which of course effects our rating.
    I think you should look at the ratings at some of our other hotels, the comments made by their guests, who own or manage them and the positions they hold on any Boards.

  5. Milano

    @ Adrian Loveridge

    I am not short of the actual facts, the good word is that the Minister instructed a Cabinet Paper be prepared by the PS in Tourism for the Cabinet to revoke of the appointment of certain directors, yourself included. The reason being, you we took difficult, uncooperative and disruptive.

    Barbados Free Press seems to hold alot of attraction for you Adrian, is it because it is a fact that Adrian Loverige and Barbados free Press are one and the same person?

    In polotics you either one or the other. Either you inside the tend pissing out or outside the tend pissing in, but what you CAN’T do is be pissing and pissing out at the same time i.e. same administration.

    GET USED TO IT, YOU WERE FIRED, LET-GO, REVOKED, TERMINATED, APPOINTMENT RECINDED, POSITION TEK-BACK, SENT HOME, GIVEN A VISA TO WALKABOUT CREEK, SENT PACKING, SACKED, DONE AWAY WITH AND SMACKED AROUND THE HEAD.

    Aso for the blogs on Tripadvisor, we know that your tired hotel plant can’t generate those comments and you and i both know who posted those blogs, don’t we Adrian?

  6. Adrian Loveridge

    Milano,

    At least I say what I think and under my actual name.

    What about you Milano?

    Hiding under a rock and throwing inmuendo and absolute lies.

    I shall ask the Minister if indeed your observations are correct.
    If ‘disruptive’ is not supporting $600,000 funding for a pornographic calender, then I plead guilty.

    Pray tell me, why the other seven Directors were revoked as you are giving the impression you are well informed?
    re: TripAdvisor. Tell me which comments you think I wrote?

    Until then slide back under the slimy rock!

  7. Green Monkey

    “I am not short of the actual facts, the good word is that the Minister instructed a Cabinet Paper be prepared by the PS in Tourism for the Cabinet to revoke of the appointment of certain directors, yourself included. The reason being, you we took difficult, uncooperative and disruptive. (sic) “

    Regardless of what trumped up excuses might be made for his firing, it’s more likely AL was simply asking too many embarrassing questions as to how the taxpayers’ money was being spent, for which there were no good answers.

  8. Milano

    @ Adrian Loveridge

    Why you have to turn nasty so? I am so sick of people like you in Barbados, why don’t you go back to jolly ole england, yah raggedy mut.

    In your own words you wrote “ONLY the Minister of Tourism can confirm why myself and eight other BTA directors had their appointments revoked”

    That is an admission that your appointment was REVOKED, the only thing in question, according to you is, for what reason?

    As for the other seven directors, you and I both know that some if not most of them have gained other appointments in this administration. While you on the other hand have NOT. Some of those seven knew full well you were being send out to pasture as the bajans say.

    I never said you posted comments on TripAdvisor, did I?

    Maybe you should try constructive criticism if you really hold Barbados interest at heart. You are just here sucking off of Barbados and at the same time criticising everything and everyone in tourism and yet, when given a chance, a chance I might add you didn’t deserve, you could not operate or contribute in that position. Leaving a Minister who appointed you to have to fire you, YOU ARE A DISSAPOINTMENT.

    By the way, Barbados free Press has become stale and boring, what do you plan to do to change that ADRIAN (Barbados Free Press) Loveridge????

  9. My Name Is Not Sylvan

    Leave Mr. Loveridge alone.

    I had always suspected that the campaign against him before the last election was a ploy by the DLP to make the Government look bad. Milano’s attitude seems to support this suspicion…..

    I would say that you err in saying the BTA is letting the Minister down, one of the jobs of being Minister is that you are RESPONSIBLE for results. If the minister is not obtaining the results required he cannot blame the BTA, or anyone else. He must accept responsibility and do what is necessary to deliver the results.

    But then again, weaseling out of responsibility for anything and everything is a hallmark of this DLP administration. “The BLP did this” “The BTA did that” “The UK did this”……

    What did the DLP do? Other than fiddle while Rome burned?

  10. My Name Is Not Sylvan

    Poor Barbados Free Press…..

    Used by the DLP

    Used by foreign billionaires…..

    and then discarded

  11. Milano

    @ My Name Is Not Sylvan

    Adrian is a big man, why you carrying water for him?

    The report was that Adrian was disruptive and uncooperative on the board and there was no good reason to be. He has been caustic for so long that when he was on the board of the BTA the other board members had to sit down and listen to his nonsensical arguments and points sometimes for up to 20 minutes at a time.

    I know Adrian is quite a young man still but he is heading for the life of curmudgeon.

  12. My Name Is Not Sylvan

    I am just amused that after taking so much heat for a vicious campaign of threats and intimidation, the truth is beginning to now come out.

    It was always known that Adrian Loveridge was argumentative and asked difficult questions. Your people knew that when the BLP was in office, and you certainly knew that when you appointed him to the BTA. Having used his appointment for PR points across the blogosphere the DLP then discarded him. Much like they did the blogosphere. The most recent post on the DLP blog is still January 13th 2008. Much like the DLP manifesto that has been all but repudiated.

    Used and discarded.

  13. TWWIFOS

    Adrian, Don’t waste your time arguing with this pinhead. He’s just one of the mindless idiots who would rather Barbados go to hell then actually take advise from a white foreigner. Sad, but true. Maybe if these morons would not have been so resistant to your ideas years ago, BTA would not be in the mess it’s in today. Keep telling it like it is. There are many people in Barbados that appreciate and support your concerns.

  14. Milano

    @ TWWIFOS

    Don’t stop there, ask him for a date now that you have softened him up you big dummy. In case you have not noticed Barbados tourism industry still going, still operating, nobody aint put a GOING OUT OF BUSINESS SALE sign.

    This is not about colour, you might be surprised that I may not be what you think I am. Adrian Loveridge and his kind have come here, in this small society, and rather than try to assimilate and work to make it a better place they think its their job and right to do nothing more than criticise sometimes withing nothing more that to embarrass people and bring attention themselves.

    Adrian Loveridge was sent to the board of the BTA to make a change, instead he created pure confusing and arguments. Some of the staff, senior ones at that, remarked how stupid he behaved and that amongst the long list of fools who graced the board of the BTA, the worst by a long shot was Adrian.

    Adrian should concentrate on that two big hotel out in the middle of nowhere and stop thinking Barbados is his little toilet bowl to use when he so chooses.

  15. TWWIFOS

    “In case you have not noticed Barbados tourism industry still going, still operating, nobody aint put a GOING OUT OF BUSINESS SALE sign”.

    Not yet numnuts. That’s coming after VAT goes up to 25%. In case you have not noticed, things are not so great around here….thanks to geeks like you.

  16. TWWIFOS

    Yes, we all know the new rate is 17.5%. You got that right. I guess my sarcasm did not come through. Sorry about the name calling. I just have very little tolerance for people like this. At least I’m not threatening so “skin anyone alive”.

    The truth of the matter is that’s it’s a very simple concept that a lot of people just don’t get. “Adrian is trying to make Barbados a more completive travel destination. HE WANTS TO HELP! ”

    Yet, whenever he opens his mouth you get replies like this. Yes, he might rub some the wrong way and ruffle a few feathers, but the bottom line is that I believe he wants the same thing that we all want. A better Barbados. We need good ideas from whoever is willing to step up. If not, before you know it that VAT will indeed be 25%.

  17. BFP

    “Milano” and “Anchor” are the same person Astroturfing having a self supporting conversation.

    This person is now banned for a threat left against Adrian Loveridge.

  18. Napoli

    @ Milano
    “In case you have not noticed Barbados tourism industry still going, still operating, nobody aint put a GOING OUT OF BUSINESS SALE sign.”

    And there we have it: the Voice of Complacency … the absolute antithesis of any foresight, forward planning or future vision of economic development. The voice of the petulant fool.

  19. Two of the three best Tourism ministers were “foreign”;-

    Peter Morgan (UK, yet handpicked by Rt Excellent EWB)

    Aaron Truss (Guyanese descent, from Tom Adams’ days)

    Rev. Wes Hall – sole Bajan

  20. UK, USA facebook pages for BTA remain obsolete as of dates listed here last time – German BTA is now current with Rihanna at AMA’s…

    BTA Mktg Dir, Averil Byer, refused to comment on lack of current material when I asked and Richard Sealy still investigating… http://bit.ly/dgMo67

  21. Adrian Loveridge

    Congratulations to Sue Springer and BHTA President, Colin Jordan for their lobbying to retain the VAT rate on accommodation at 7.5%.
    Also thank you to the MOF and MOT for listening and making the right decision.

  22. Nevermind Kurt

    Ian Bourne,

    I followed your link and read yur story. Can’t find the date of your story???

    Is that a problem with my browser or does your website not put a date on the story? If not, you should put a dateline on your story otherwise we don’t know if it was written yesterday, last week or last year.

    Please take this as a report from a reader who likes your site, not critical.

  23. John

    I have not followed the news but from what litle I understand moving the VAT rate on accommodation here when we have lobbied the UK to go easy on its new taxes for people using airports (tourists to Barbados) would have been plain dumb.

  24. @Nevermind Kurt;

    Fwd’d your concern to my Webmaster, it’s a very valid point

  25. vancet

    all that is COVERED SHALL be UN_COVERED