Monthly Archives: January 2012

Barbados Tourism Authority ignores TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice awards

‘Unlike any other hotel honours, TripAdvisor Travelers Choice winners are based on millions of valuable reviews and opinions from travellers around the world’.

Tourism MATTERS

by Adrian Loveridge - small hotel owner

Up until the time of submitting this column, well over 500 major news organisations and publications have reported on the 2012 TripAdvisor Travelers Choice Award winners. Tens of millions of people around the world, among them many that will be making holiday plans will scrutinise the list and finally decide where they feel they can get the very best hotel value for money and level of service delivery.

More astute national, regional and individual city tourism organisations have been quick to link their destination with the awardees, taking full advantage of what amounts to free advertising and promotion.

While our own Government tourism agency has yet to take advantage of this almost unprecedented global exposure, Barbados has done relatively well in a number of categories.

3,943 properties across 30 countries and eight regions have received these coverted awards this year and as their Press Release reiterates, ‘unlike any other hotel honours, TripAdvisor Travelers Choice winners are based on millions of valuable reviews and opinions from travellers around the world’.

For those of you that have not yet read the list, this is how ‘we’ did.

  • Top 25 Luxury Hotels in Caribbean – Sandy Lane #1.
  • Top 25 Bed and Breakfasts and Inns in Caribbean – Bayfield House #5 and Sweetfield Manor – #24.
  • Top 25 Hotels for Service in Caribbean – Little Arches Boutique Hotel #23.
  • Top 25 Trendiest Hotels in Caribbean – Silver Point #13 The House #23.
  • Top 25 Relaxation/Spa Hotels In Caribbean –  Sugar Cane #2 – Waves #5 – Sandy Lane #15.
  • Top 25 Bargain Hotels in Caribbean – Southern Surf Beach Apartments #8 – Peach and Quiet #9.

Sadly, no Barbados property was listed in either the 25 Top overall Hotels in the Caribbean or all-inclusive categories, and this must concern our tourism planners considering the prevalence of all-inclusive rooms when equating it to our total accommodation stock.

We, in my humble opinion are very fortunate to have a lodging product for the majority of our potential visitors and this is graphically reflected in  the awards. There will always be a market for a luxury offering, recession or no recession.

At the same time many guests have grown over the years to prefer smaller intimate properties. Value-for-money continues to be a critical factor and it goes perhaps without saying, that overall service delivery is just as vital at all levels.

An interesting component was the average nightly rate of the near 4,000 properties who won is US$270 and 45 per cent have a nightly rate of US$200 or less.  This the reality of competing in tourism on a worldwide stage.

One thing for sure, TripAdvisor or any similar site that could replace it is not going to vanish or dissipate into the upper atmosphere. We, whether in the private or public sector ignore the largest travel community in the world at our peril.

By embracing and finding creative ways to more effectively use it we can generate greater occupancy levels and revenue.

Each month TripAdvisor advises individual hotels the actual number of views made to their page. In December 3,328 logged on to ours and that perhaps is partially why we are responding to an average hundred email requests daily.

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19 Comments

Filed under Barbados Tourism

Reader: NIS should invest in Barbados Four Seasons project

Lest we forget some of the reasons for this project…

Submitted by BFP reader WL

Me thinks that people have perhaps become a little too bogged down in the trees of politics and grandstanding and everyone is tired from looking at this too long to see the forest – hopefully this might refresh people’s memories of why this journey began in the first place.

Why has the project taken so long to restart?
Why should the NIS invest?
Why would the Four Seasons project be good for Barbados?
Why does Barbados need Four Seasons?

Did you know…?

1.        Four Seasons predict that this will be one of their premier resorts – great kudos to Barbados

2.       Four Seasons themselves are investing in the project as a sign of their belief in the project and Barbados – they usually never invest in the development stages of resorts.

3.       In the US alone in 2011, over $137 billion was spent on travel  and one of the fastest areas of recovery in this sector is luxury travel so the sooner the Four Seasons project is up and running, the sooner Barbados will be able to tap into this market.

4.       The new company, Paradise Beach Limited have put into place the following social initiatives Continue reading

13 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy, Offshore Investments

Canadian Muslim family guilty in mass honour killing

Keeping women in their place. Words of the father…

“May the devil shit on their graves,”

“They committed treason themselves. They betrayed humankind. They betrayed Islam. They betrayed our religion…they betrayed everything.”

“I say to myself, ‘You did well.’ Were they to come to life, I would do it again.”

“There is nothing more valuable than our honour.”

… Mohammad Safia secretly recorded talking about the murders with his wife and son.

The victims: Geeti 13, Sahar 17, Zainab 17, Mohammad 52

Father, mother, brother guilty of 1st degree murder of three daughters and co-wife

Worldwide, Muslim honour killings of women and girls are so common that if North American or European papers were to cover every reported case there would be little room left on the front page for any other stories. But when a Canadian father, his second wife and a son plot weeks in advance to murder the family’s three teenage daughters and wife number one – well, that makes the news.

We like to believe that everyone wants the same things in life. This is just another reminder that not everyone shares the same values, and that some cultural values and religious scriptures may not be compatible with a free and democratic society.

National Post: No honour in ‘cold-blooded, shameless’ murder of Shafia girls

BFP’s original post July 24, 2009: Muslim Honour Killing In Canada: Three Daughters & “First Wife” Murdered By Father, 2nd Wife, Son

13 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Human Rights, Religion

Bajan Reporter oversteps criticism of Barbados news media

Journalist Ian Bourne

Journalist Ian Bourne of the Bajan Reporter breaks many news stories and covers subjects and perspectives that the old school news media can’t or won’t touch. He’s been inside the professional news industry and knows about the agendas, ethical trade-offs and outright prostitution of the Barbados news media to the political and monied elites.

Ian has been severely handled by news media employers when he refused to look the other way about unethical activities. It takes integrity, courage and dedication to stand for something when you know it will cost you your job. All respect to Ian.

So Ian has the knowledge and the right to criticize the Bajan news media – but this time we’re wondering if he’s off the mark a bit. Not entirely off the mark as you’ll see, but stretching it.

In the Bajan Reporter’s new article Elements of Barbados Media seek to muzzle Bajan Reporter; other segments use story without Permission Mr. Bourne is upset that he asked the Prime Minister a question at a press conference, and other journalists and media used the PM’s answer without attributing the question to Ian and the Bajan Reporter.

I’m not a professional journalist, never claimed to be, but I can’t remember ever reading a CNN, CBC or BBC story where it mentioned something like “President Obama answered a question by a rival news network reporter and said…” In other words, BBC doesn’t say “CNN asked a question and we’re reporting the answer given by the President.”

So Ian is off the mark in thinking that the Barbados Advocate and the Nation should say which rival reporter asked the question. That’s what I think.

Justified criticism of the Barbados oldstream news media

Ian’s latest article makes many good points about the oldstream news media stealing his stories, quotes and ideas (and they do that all the time!). He also makes a good point that the regular news media tries to squeeze out Bajan Reporter and other independents at press conferences.

He’s off the mark though when he says the news media should be crediting him for asking a question where the answer is heard by everyone attending a press conference.

Professional journalists – please tell us about the rules and typical practice…

Should The Nation and the Barbados Advocate have told their readers that Prime Minister Stuart was responding to a question from Ian Bourne of Bajan Reporter?

Marcus

38 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados News & Media, Ethics, Freedom Of The Press

Crime and Punishment: Drug smuggler LIAT pilot gets only a fine for 65 pounds of weed

International drug smugglers usually rot in prison for years. Why was the court so easy on Keith Allen?

Admitted drug trafficker and smuggler Keith Richard Otway Allen (above) is a lucky man today because he’s walking free when all reason and legal precedent says he should be in Dodds Prison for years.

Allen spent less than two months in jail after being arrested last November smuggling 65 pounds of cannabis into Barbados. Somebody paid a fine of US$125,000 and Allen walked out a free man. Many men rot away in Dodds for years for far less a quantity of drugs and would love to pay a fine instead. I guess those international drug smugglers aren’t as ‘LUCKY’ as Mr. Allen.

There’s no indication that the judge or Allen’s attorney Sir Richard Cheltenham asked any questions or demanded proof about where the money for the fine really came from. Yup, Allen is one lucky drug smuggler, alright. I wonder if he appreciates how very lucky he is.

Oh yes… Allen is or probably “was” a LIAT pilot, so his drug smuggling involved a certain breach of trust. Of course he got caught during his first time. Everybody gets caught during their first time, don’t they?

Will attorney Sir Richard Cheltenham assist Raul Garcia?

I wonder if Allen’s attorney, Sir Richard Cheltenham, would be so good as to assist Raul Garcia who’s been rotting away in prison for almost 20 years? Mr. Garcia is currently into day 12 of a hunger strike because he is being unjustly held in a maximum security prison on an immigration matter 2 years after being released from serving a 20 year sentence for drug smuggling.

How about it, Sir Richard? Will you take some time to try and assist Mr. Garcia? Please?

Further Reading

Here’s the article from The Nation. Please read it at their website, but we have to put it up here because the Bajan press has this terrible habit of adjusting history when they feel like it… Continue reading

15 Comments

Filed under Crime & Law, Human Rights, Police

Muslim yells “allahu akbar” as he shoots up The Pentagon. News media says motive unclear.

Let’s see here…

American Muslim puts on a facemask, drives along with Muslim prayers playing on the car stereo and shoots his 9mm pistol at US military facilities while yelling “allahu akbar”.

Why, whatever could be his motivation? What a mystery!

He was arrested as he was doing his sixth attack, this time at Arlington National Cemetery. Found in his possessions was a video he’d made to inspire his Jihadist brothers.

But the Washington Post is puzzled by his motivation, saying “Motive of shooter who targeted military sites is unclear”

Pamela Geller expresses what she thinks about the Washington Post, calling them the “enemedia”. Enemedia: an accurate term.

“Whether it’s Islamic honor killings or jihadists shooting up military bases screaming allahu akbar, the motive is always “unclear” to the enemedia.”

 

23 Comments

Filed under Religion

Barbados wants to know about the Organo Gold legal fight

A Caution to my fellow Barbadians

by Barbados Free Press reader “T.C.”

Many of you have lost your jobs or seen your hours cut back like I have. Money is scarce and you can see and feel how hard life is at this moment just by looking at your friends and neighbours.

Be very careful as you look for new opportunities because there are many predators who know of your desperation. They guarantee you a job in some far off place if you’ll send them money. They tell you a fortune awaits if you’ll send them money. They have knowledge of a system and they will share that knowledge if you’ll send them money.

I read the book “BLINK” by Malcolm Gladwell and I learned what I already knew: Our “snap judgements” are usually correct even if we can’t always put into words why we immediately thought as we did when we first saw something, met a new person or heard an idea.

What does your snap judgement and gut feeling tell you about Organo Gold?

Did you receive this TellBarbados email? (click photo for large)

Almost ten thousand people received the Tell Barbados marketing email about Organo Gold “Professional Independent Distributors Needed”. (click on photo at left for a large image) I was interested in making some money because I’m getting cut back on hours at work so I started looking into the Organo Gold coffee products and business on the internet. This is ‘healthy’ coffee that has or is supposed to have some health-promoting plant ingredients. That is the brand’s claim anyway. It is a multi-level marketing scheme, not that I’m saying that is a bad or good thing except everybody has seen friends try things like this and a few months later you never hear about it anymore. Some people can probably make good money selling anything, but that’s not me.

The Lawsuit

After a few hours on the internet I am no further ahead trying to discover if this is a proper opportunity or a scam. There is a lawsuit filed some time ago by one of the originators of the Organo Gold company named Jay Noland. He or someone taking his side put up a website where you can listen to long rather boring recordings of Jay Noland making accusations against his old partners still at Organo Gold.

Mr. Noland makes serious allegations about the company and says that Organo Gold changed the ingredients of the product without telling anyone. Continue reading

77 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business, Consumer Issues