Crop Over 2014 under pressure

“Has Barbados Crop Over become less attractive?

Should the blame be on higher airfares, especially in the case of T & T – or are there other mitigating factors?”

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

July 2013 recorded the lowest number of long stay visitors (47,953) during the same period for 13 consecutive years, so I find it not at all surprising that our policymakers have discussed dramatically curtailing certain events for Crop Over 2014. However, I believe a better analysis is needed to explain away the reasons behind this dismal performance. If you look at the principal markets in the last two years, the figures will reveal that the biggest losses in July 2013 were from the USA (down 10 per cent), Trinidad and Tobago (down 9.2 per cent) and what are defined as Other Countries (down 12.4 per cent).

In all, July 2013 recorded 3,318 less stay over visitors than 2012. This was on the heels of a loss of an overall 6,984 visitors when compared with July 2011. In July 2012 the largest declines were USA (down 18.1 per cent), Trinidad and Tobago (down 10.2 per cent), Other Caricom (down 20 per cent) and Other Countries (down 13.1 per cent). So for the last two years a combined decline of over 10,000 stay-over visitors for the month of July alone.

Has Barbados Crop Over become less attractive? Should the blame be on higher airfares, especially in the case of T & T – or are there other mitigating factors?

Perhaps more of a surprise is the announcement by Sandals Resorts to delay the re-opening of their Barbados property to 28th January 2015. With the frequently discussed dearth of construction work it would beg the question, why could the vaunted US$65 million renovation project not be completed on time – specially when you take into account that the additional lost six weeks covers what the hospitality industry considers the most profitable and highest occupancy period of the entire year?

At published rack rates that could equate to a revenue deficit of between US$7.7 and US$19 million for the 42 day additional closure! As it has been already established the vast majority of Sandals earnings are collected offshore, so the ‘real’ amount that Barbados will lose cannot be easily calculated.

Of even more concern nationally is the roughly 3,000 airline seats, which may not be filled as a result of the prolonged shutdown that could influence frequency and will detrimentally impact overall long stay visitor arrival numbers. While not openly discussed, some thought has to be given to neighbouring accommodation providers in the immediate vicinity of Sandals Casuarina and the economic negative consequences that ten months of construction will have on occupancy. Possibly Government has factored in some sort of relief for these disadvantaged properties with exemption of land taxes for the period.

While the summer may be the ideal time to undertake this work, I am sure very few hotels could afford to write off all or part of a peak winter season as a result of prolonged redevelopment with its associated noise, dust, discomfort and disruption.

9 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy

9 responses to “Crop Over 2014 under pressure

  1. CJB

    Precisely “… as a result of prolonged redevelopment with its associated noise, dust, discomfort and disruption.” But add the lack of perceived safety, actual random shootings and muggings, being ripped off for meals, drink and souvenirs, lack of adequate and supportive policing, etc. You see in this day and age word gets around via TripAdvisor and a myriad of forums and discussion boards. And as for Americans specifically they have every reason to be concerned when just about every terrorist organisation wants to target them.

  2. melanatedspook

    This festival is indeed a mere shell of what it used to be!

    Take a look at the videos produced depicting previous year’s crop overs.

    The vast majority of them display lewd, corrupt behavior. Adults AND children practically dry-humping each other! Let us not forget that recent incident caught on camera where adults were practically encouraging a minor to engage in sexually explicit behavior for the entire world to see.

    In other countries, this act would be tantamount to pedophilia, and several individuals would have been incarcerated for the offense. Has anything of the sort occurred here. NOPE.

    I am a non-christian Barbadian who has purposely boycotted this event for over 10 years now. I am also very vocal in convincing other right minded individuals to do the same. There are far more constructive things that a person can do with their time!

    Why on earth would any right thinking individual want to associate themselves with this festival given its current state.

    Ambassadors of this annual festival should be ashamed at the state they have allowed this once historically on-point festival to devolve into.

    To hell with Kadooment!

  3. Yes, I do agree with the speaker above, the Crop Over Festival has become Lewd and disgusting, the dancing in the streets are disgusting to look at, when you bring a friend with you and he/she see how they are dancing, you become embarrassed in your own Country, it is bringing down morale in the Caribbean.

  4. melanatedspook

    Culture is what a people do, when they do it over a prolonged period of time ritually.

    Given that Kadooment is touted as a celebration of Barbadian culture, my conclusion is that Barbadian culture is nothing to be proud of! It has sunken to depravity and moral ineptitude.

  5. fred

    Its not rocket science folks. Tourist attendance is declining at Crop Over for the very obvious reason that the festival is not attractive to anyone with even the slightest modicum of good sense or judgement. Most people who have discretionary money to travel have better sense than to spend their vacation time in the midst of a 2nd class carnival in which everyone confuses misbehaving with having a good time. Its time for the Barbados tourist industry to get real if it wants to stay afloat in the 21st century.

  6. CJB

    Re: Pat Harris: “… the Crop Over Festival has become Lewd and disgusting…”

    However whilst apparently promoting paedophilia the Barbados religious right condemns the loving relationships that can and do occur between two men or women. I can guarantee that if Barbados holds a Gay Pride event then there will be no lewd or disgusting behaviour such as at Crop Over. Indeed every Pride event in the civilised West is a popular family friendly event. Sadly Crop Over in the state that it is in can never be and never will be a family event until it cleans up its act

    Yet another example of how backward the Caribbean Islands are becoming.

  7. fred

    Substituting a “Gay Pride” week for Crop Over is an thought provoking concept if Barbados is interested in promoting lascivious and degenerate behavior in its citizenry. Its no secret that homosexual sexual practices are both very confused and extremely unhealthy so I can imagine at the very least public health officials might give this brilliant idea a pass.

  8. I am not down with homosexual (anti-sexual) behavior in any way, shape or form either. Let us get this 100% straight.

    Examine the following follows:

    1) Wanton, unbridled sex, of any shape of form is counter-productive, whether this be between a man-woman, man-man or woman-woman.

    2) Productive sex can only occur between a consenting man-woman, due to the fact that if done with the right mindset, something productive can occur as a direct consequence of the two party’s affection; namely the production of a new life form.

    2) The primary differentiating factor that separates natural sex from anti-sex is that normal sex is between a male and female, whereas anti-sex (a.k.a. attempted sex) is essentially between like sexes;.

    3) If homosexuality is merely a mechanism by which two same-sexes are able to share their affection, THEN WHY IS THERE A NEED FOR COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE SEXUAL INTERCOURSE THAT HAS NO MEASURABLE PRODUCTIVE VALUE?

    The fact remains that homosexuality promotes carnal, COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE sex between TWO INDIVIDUALS, AND THIS SHOULD BE FROWNED UPON.

    I will not sit back and allow @CJB or @fred taint my initial argument with their homosexual (anti-sexual) agenda!

    If they are of the opinion that my argument is incorrect, then I challenge either of them to explain to bpf how homosexual (anti-sexual) intercourse should be considered productive.

    I look forward to their response.

  9. CJB

    And this diatribe has exactly what to do with Cropover? Ah – I remember adults having sex with minors – surely the most undesirable sex of all?