Barbados Tourism Marketing board about politics – not performance?

“If a sufficient proportion of the board is devoid of hands-on experience in marketing a product like a destination, how can it possibly judge if the persons actually managing the entity are doing a good job?”

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

If the media reporting on the recently selected board members of the newly formed Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc is accurate then I have to express enormous surprise at the apparent absence of a senior impartial member of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association.

It is almost inconceivable that you could not include someone who has a vested financial interest in the sector with proven experience and that would contribute to how the island is marketed. To me it raises the question of what is the purpose of the board.

Is it there to ensure due diligence, accountability and to ensure monies are spent in the most cost effective and productive way or is it simply for political window dressing?

If a sufficient proportion of the board is devoid of hands-on experience in marketing a product like a destination, how can it possibly judge if the persons actually managing the entity are doing a good job?

Looking at some of the other tourism boards across the region ‘we’ appear to be moving away from the model that other holiday competitors are using successfully to generate increased visitor arrivals and spend.

There are also several other issues. Surely this is a time when all vested interests should be working closely together to maximise results. According to recent media reports and documents contained on the website of the Inter-American Development Bank a loan of US$20 million (BA-L1033) is being negotiated with Government for the stated ‘objective to promote tourism, trade and investment between Barbados and Latin America’. I could find no mention of a repayment period or interest rate. Perhaps this will be revealed to the taxpayer in the due course of time… or not.

As Latin America currently supplies a tiny fraction of our overall number of long stay visitors, one wonders where the promotional funds will be sourced for our four highest performing markets, the UK, USA, Caribbean and Canada.

I urge all those in tourism to carefully read the IADB Project Document proposal for this loan. Conclusions reached included a ‘resulting decline of arrivals and receipts from key markets over the period 2007 to 2012 both cruisers and stay over arrivals declined 16 per cent and 6.3 per cent respectively, while tourism receipts dropped 24 per cent and its (Barbados) market share in the American region was reduced 21.4 per cent for expenditure and 17.4 per cent for international stay over visitors.

Bearing in mind these sobering facts, again it is difficult to understand the logic behind not pooling every available resource, both in terms of finance and expertise.

Without a non-aligned BHTA presence on the BTMI board, what is going to become of the Tourism Fund, launched by former President Wayne Capaldi in 2003?

I understand the voluntary contributions raised by this fund have helped co-promote many initiatives that were derived from BHTA/BTA collaborate efforts.

We have an incredible opportunity to change the way we do business in tourism with the formation of the BTMI.

Let everyone of us who have a passion in the industry hope that this fortuity will not be squandered by a lack of vision and the very best use of all available talent.

Following last week’s column about the possible future of Fairmont Royal Pavilion, the Toronto based group’s Director of Public Relation’s Mike Taylor was kind enough to arrange a meeting with the new acting General Manager, Tim Morrison. More about their plans soon!

5 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

5 responses to “Barbados Tourism Marketing board about politics – not performance?

  1. gentlejim

    As I understand it,they have removed all those who knew anything about tourism and actually worked, and promoted those persons who don’t know a damn.

  2. NYCBGI

    IT IS TRAGIC TO SEE WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO BGI AS A RESULT OF 20TH CENTURY THINKING. BGI’S COMPETITION FOR VACATION ARRIVALS HAS STEPPED UP THEIR GAME AND HAVE PASSED BGI IN OCCUPANCY AND ARRIVALS A LONG TIME AGO.. BTA HAS AND OPERATING FROM A PLAYBOOK THAT HAS LONG BEEN OUTDATED, IT WONT CHANGE UNTIL THERE IS A COMBINED EFFORT BY HOTELIERS AND THEIR HOSPITALITY PARTNERS. AND THAT MEANS ALL WHO BENEFIT FROM TOURISM. ALL OVER THE WORLD CHANGE IS EFFECTIVE BY GROUND SWELL ACTIVISM , LOOK AT FERGUSON, HONG KONG, ARE CLASSIC EXAMPLES OF THAT EFFORT.. THEN AND ONLY THEN WILL THE POWERS WAKE UP OR GO DOWN IN FLAMES. WAKE UP BEFORE IT IS TO LATE BGI HOSPITALITY!!!! ALL OF THIS POLITICAL AND FINANCIAL NEGOTIATIONS .ARE MEANINGLESS BECAUSE AT THE END OF THE DAY NOTHING HAS IMPROVED INCREASED ARRIVALS. LOOK AT THE UPCOMING WINTER SEASON HOW MANY HOTELS ARE SOLD OUT AND SANDALS WONT CURE THE SLIDE OF TOURIST COMING TO BGI, WAKE UP

  3. Just asking

    Without a non-aligned BHTA presence on the BTMI board, what is going to become of the Tourism Fund, launched by former President Wayne Capaldi in 2003?

    I understand the voluntary contributions raised by this fund have helped co-promote many initiatives that were derived from BHTA/BTA collaborate efforts.
    —————————————————————————————————-
    Did Loveridge hotel contribute to this fund? I’m a new hotel manager and I’m just asking.

  4. NYCBGI

    THE WAY THINGS ARE HEADING IN BGI HOPE YOUR HOTEL REMAINS OPEN

  5. anon

    Rip off Britain also equals Andrea TM