Where is the Barbados tourism master plan?

Tourism MATTERS: Fail to plan… Plan to fail

by Adrian Loveridge - small hotel owner

Tourism MATTERS #62

In May this year an announcement was made that plans were underway by the Barbados Tourism Authority to commence a planning process to analyse and define the Barbados destination brand.

According to a media release, the Chairman was ‘particularly concerned that the study evaluates the relevance and strength of the brand for both Barbadians and visitors’.

He stated ‘once we get the information, it may tell us that the brand is fine; but it may also tell us that we have work to do, and I think we can all agree that this is probably going to be the outcome. We will then harmonise that work into creating a strategy for rolling out our new brand promise into the markets’.

Of course, it makes absolute sense, but six months later, how closer are we to this objective?

Simon Anholt wrote in his excellent essay entitled ‘ ‘Why National Image Matters’:

Why National Image Matters

‘Today, every country, city and region on earth must compete with every other for its share of the world’s commercial, political, social and cultural transactions in what is virtually a single market. As in any busy marketplace, brand image becomes critical: almost nobody has the time, the patience or the expertise to understand the real differences between the offerings of one country or another, and so people fall back on their fundamental beliefs and prejudices about those countries to help them make their decisions. Just as in the commercial marketplace that ‘brand image’ provides a short cut to an informed buying decision’.

Where is the Barbados tourism master plan?

Under a previous Chairman, a white paper tourism master plan was promised and a staggering four years later the industry still awaits, leaving many to contemplate if it can really be considered our number one foreign currency earner?

While we have drifted, some may say, bumbled, along without any coherent national policy for decades without a master plan, branding and the protection of  a destination brand is something altogether different, requiring a much higher priority and need for integrity protection.

Negative perceptions of proposed tourism developments

What prompted this week’s column discussion is seeing the vast quantities of negative material appearing on blogsites relating to various proposed tourism developments on the island.

Many of the detrimental comments refer to planning consent, the granting of concessions and the economic viability or creditability of either the project and/or the developer.

One of the grey areas seems to be what is legally permissible here in Barbados and whether or not the same laws apply to would-be ‘investors’ in other countries.

Clearly, any ongoing uncertainty and ill-informed speculation has the potential to damage what many competitors consider our enviable holiday brand status.

Is it not time to draft and implement legislation that leaves no-one in any doubt, whether that person is an investor considering purchasing property or a company submitting plans and undertaking proposed construction tourism projects?

This in my humble opinion is an almost prerequisite to any meaningful tourism master plan, if we are going to maintain and enhance our solid reputation as a transparent and quality destination choice.

Adrian Loveridge

Editor’s note:

This article was printed as received with the exception of the following:

BFP added the titles: “Where is the Barbados tourism master plan?”, “Tourism MATTERS: Fail to plan… Plan to fail”, “Why National Image Matters”, “Where is the Barbados tourism master plan?”, “Negative perceptions of proposed tourism developments”. BFP also made formatting and paragraph break changes and corrected a few speelling errrorz. 🙂


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

18 responses to “Where is the Barbados tourism master plan?

  1. Anonymous

    Luckily for Barbados, the Brits still think we’re the bee’s knees
    but for how much longer can we continue to rest on our laurels?

  2. Anonymous

    When will this insufferable white idiot go back to his own country?

  3. Anonymous

    Real Bajans will celebrate Independence Day on Wednesday, November 30th, 2011.

    The citizens of this proud little country certainly do not need to follow any PLAN dictated to us by someone who still thinks he is our colonial MASTER.

  4. Anonymous

    Don’t forget they announced in 2008 that the tourism development act was going to be amended and we have seen nothing.

  5. Anonymous

    BFP, please remove the anonymous racist comments.

    Enough bad publicity for Barbados in the Daily Mail today.

  6. naivety squared

    So you fell for the Chairman of BTA’s promises of a plan in the media release? What minimum criteria of past experience would lead you to believe them?

    BFP please moderate the overt racist remarks from your blog.

    These negative and hateful comments would not be tolerated in countries where we sell our tourist product.

  7. Poitically Tired

    Wash your mouth out with soap you disgust me & a lot of other citizens of this country.

  8. millertheanunnaki

    AnonymousNovember 27, 2011 at 11:58 am
    “When will this insufferable white idiot go back to his own country?”

    This is an uncalled for racist statement. Please retract.
    Would you make a similar comment about the consultant in charge of the 4 Seasons project that is not making any forex contribution to Barbados? The target of your racist comment is doing just that!
    Be a big man or woman and apologise!

  9. BFP


    Hi folks,

    You know we usually remove the racist comments that always come, but we had a meeting and decided we’d leave them for a few days because they illustrate something we’ve said in the past and we’ll be posting again tomorrow: race is always just below the surface here in BIM, and that is not a surprise considering our history. The sad part though is that the racism is now impacting our image abroad. We’ll post more tomorrow.

  10. DNA is DNA!

    without the white peoples input past present and future
    barbados would be nothing more than a little island just off the coast of west africa
    less than a mile, sociologically

  11. 46

    Why is no white paper from the Minister and BTA almost four years after coming to power not a surprise?

    This same Minister promised a full restructuring of the BTA within weeks of coming to power and still we have nothing!!

    The DLP, The Minister and the BTA continue to make sport at tourism and clearly have no vision or idea as to where they are taking tourism.

    The Ralph Taylor seemed to have a bit of a clue when he was chairman, but since the Minister brought in Adrian Elcock, his buddy from back in the day and made him chairman things have gone south – way south.

    And exactly what have the new chairman brought to the table – nothing! He tried to take credit for the Rihanna concert which was clearly being planned BEFORE his time and now we hear that he is to travel to finalize a deal for another big international show in Barbados with a major act.

    Is Elcock an executive chairman? Doesn’t the BTA have qualified and competent staff who should closing these types of deals? Why should Elcock or any Board member be involved with a transaction at this level?

    Sounds like a junket to me!!

    But why shouldn’t Elcock do some more traveling at the taxpayers expense – he also traveled to Canada (twice) and Brazil for concerts as part of “finalizing” the Rihanna show – as David Rice is said to be the most traveled CEO in the history of the BTA with the USA a favourite destination.

    A white paper which will map out the future of tourism, looking at critical talking points like casino gambling, gay tourism and the cruise industry, is surely not high on the agenda of the BTA as they have other important trips to plan.

    While all changes will be legistrative in nature and must come through the Ministry, the BTA are the ones that should be pushing it and they must also get the staff restructuring out of the way so the employees can relax and know what the future holds.

    And please stop the racists comments as being white doesn’t disqualifies someone from loving and caring about Barbados, and being able to comment and contribute.

    There are Black Bajans and West Indians living across the world and serving in elected positions. Should these people also shut up and go back to where they are from?

    Stop the nonsense please!!

  12. Responder

    I would agree with ’46’ comments, but don’t let us deceive ourselves, we do have a racial problem in this country, but more so between ‘Bajan whites’ and us blacks. We welcome those people who are white and want to come to our shores and enjoy themselves.

  13. Newbie

    INDEPENDENT???? and still RULED BY THE CROWN if that is not a problem then what is. ONE LAW FOR THEM AND ANOTHER FOR US. The only racial problems lies in the minds of the Ruling party whichever it is at the time and in the minds of thousands of Barbadians who seem to believe that we have to bow down to those offering FOREIGN INVESTMENT for us to survive or flourish. OUR DESTINY IS IN OUR HANDS. We cannot ignore our history but some of us are foolish enough to allow it to shackle our minds and our ambitions. Racism has never prospered any country and I don’t believe there is any place for it here in Barbados. The fight is and has always been between GOOD AND EVIL and there is many GOOD and many EVIL people in both the black and the white race. Racism is not a white man’s curse, we were sold by our own kind and nowadays we are being sold out by our own kind.

  14. millertheanunnaki

    @ Newbie: November 28, 2011 at 5:00 pm
    “The fight is and has always been between GOOD AND EVIL and there is many GOOD and many EVIL people in both the black and the white race. Racism is not a white man’s curse, we were sold by our own kind and nowadays we are being sold out by our own kind.”

    Well said! Couldn’t agree with you more!

  15. Jenny B

    Sorry Barbados; but this once sought after destination has had its day.

    There are plenty of other places in the world where you do not get ripped off by greedy hoteliers and average service.

    You also need to sort out your crime rate against tourists!

  16. Uncle Fred

    The ‘Barbados tourism master plan’?

    it’s along the lines of lets grab as much money as we can before things go bang!

    The bad news is it had already gone ‘bang’ – Barbados is no longer an elite holiday destination, it has been spolied by greed.

  17. yatinkiteasy

    Alice in Wonderland “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
    “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
    “I don’t much care where–” said Alice.
    “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.

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