Monthly Archives: December 2014

Barbados must regulate, tax and ensure the standard of all tourism accommodations

barbados-beach-6.jpg

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

I would imagine (and hope) that one of the imperatives of the newly formed Barbados Tourism Product Authority (BTPA) in the new year will be to indentify and register all currently unlicensed tourism accommodation offerings.

Frankly I have never understood how you can ever successfully market any product, in this case the destination, without knowing what ‘our’ room inventory consists of.

I will be quick to point out that I am in no way advocating imposing any overtly deterrent restrictions on persons wishing to mount the first rungs on a tourism ladder.

It should also not be a big stick approach implying potential threats and intimidation. My initial thoughts would be to build an online enrollment site, which could be entirely self-funding through a small license fee. This surely should not be a challenge as the BTPA has yet to launch a functioning website.

It’s all about protecting our quality, and making a level playing field

Any portal should allow for registering critical quality assurance evidence like fire, health and swimming pool certificates and public liability insurance together with the capability of paying the annual fee online and revalidating participation each year. Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Barbados natural gas stoppage: Government lapdog Nation newspaper blames hotels, restaurants, bakeries for “lack of business continuity planning”

Dog eats garbage

New Bajan tourism attraction: Dog eats garbage

by Passin Thru

In true Bajan and Caribbean “Island Time” style, a Nation newspaper editorial says that no one should be blamed or sacked for the disastrous stoppage of natural gas these past three weeks during the Christmas and New Years season.

The Nation says that those businesses, restaurants, hotels and other natural gas users are the problem. They foolishly didn’t have a backup plan and necessary technologies in place to prepare three meals a day for thousands of tourists for several weeks of outages.

Who wrote that editorial? Such foolishness from presumably an adult. They must be high on drugs or from another planet.

And what of the DLP Government’s failing to keep the gas flowing? Here’s what the suck-well Nation has to say about the government’s role in the crisis:

“The efforts of the Minister of Commerce, Donville Inniss, to personally interact with both the NPC and affected businesses, were very commendable.”

Fabulous! Government Minister Donville Pornville Inniss went about the place talking! What a fabulous job, Pornville, just fabulous!

Perhaps if Minister Inniss and his government paid the VAT refunds owed to business within say, a year of request, those businesses might be able to buy a gas grill or thirty to sit waiting “just in case” the government can’t deliver natural gas for a month in tourist high season? Should the hotels do the same with drinking water too? A month’s worth for 500 people?

Such foolishness.

And then there is the garbage problem… 

Continue reading

9 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business, Economy, Energy, Environment

Barbados Tamarind Hotel dresses black man as monkey, making monkey sounds to entertain white tourists.

Barbados Tamarind Hotel Racism

“Tamarind Hotel Boxing Day cultural extravaganza”

submitted by West Side Davie

Dignity and a sense of history are concepts way beyond certain people at the Tamarind Hotel. And perhaps at the Nation Newspaper too – judging by their happy take on the monkey story.

Perhaps next year the Tamarind could add a “Who dat say who dat when I say who dat?” performance, and have all hotel staff address guests as “massa”. If the middle-aged white tourists could grab one of the young hotel staff anytime they felt like a quick boink with no resistance or repercussions that would pretty well complete the plantation experience that the Tamarind Hotel is obviously attempting to achieve.

bussa-barbados-hengreaves-paterika.jpg

This is how far we’ve come Bussa: wearing a monkey costume with tail, making monkey sounds and calling it Bajan culture.

Dear Jesus, please come soon.

Nothing more needs to be said. Headline says it all.

You should read the article at the Nation News, but you know how it is ’bout hey – if we don’t reprint the whole thing here, the Nation editors take it down and change history…

Monkey-mania at Tamarind

The Bajan Green Monkey can be a cheeky little fellow and yesterday his antics at the Tamarind Hotel cultural extravaganza endeared him to several visitors.

The pretend primate pranced and hopped around while getting up to mischief, like giving little Ellen McKay a little scare.  Continue reading

43 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Culture & Race Issues, Race

Thank you to all who work over Christmas taking care of our visitors

shepherdschristmas.jpg

Good possibilities for 2015

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

Around this time of the year it is difficult not to spare a few thoughts for all those involved in tourism, directly or otherwise, who sacrifice their quality precious time with family to take care of our visitors over the Christmas period. Of course they are not alone with other sectors including the essential services assuming the same responsibility.

As someone, through work commitments, that has only celebrated a personal Christmas four times during the past 40 years, my thanks and admiration to you all for your dedication.

There have been many predictions and projections made recently over an anticipated increase in long stay visitors in 2015 when compared with this year.  Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy

St. Vincent and the Grenadines Bailey bridges a showcase of SVG government incompetence

Above: Washington State erects a Bailey Bridge in 3 days!

by Peter Binose

Let’s get one thing straight, the Bailey bridges are a ULP election propaganda project. Why on earth would we need a ceremony to celebrate the start of installing three temporary bridges, why? Because that is what they are: temporary, bolt together structures, they are not meant to be permanent.

There is currently a battalion of Ecuadorian Army Corps of Engineers posted in St Vincent [3×16 men platoons and three officers make a 48-man battalion]. That’s the official number according to reports posted in St Vincent’s media. Yet only 25 Ecuadorian goosestep-marching soldiers paraded in our so called independence day celebrations. Perhaps 48 goosing Ecuadorians would have been nice for the ladies, but would have been a little intimidating for the spectators — 48 foreigners goose-stepping in the park named after and gifted to us by Queen Victoria: Victoria Park.

We need to examine the Bailey bridges being installed and exactly what a Bailey bridge is. A Bailey bridge is a temporary structure that is used during an emergency to temporarily substitute a previously built bridge that was destroyed by flood or war activities. The bridge simply bolts together in sections, like a toy ‘Meccano set’ or even a jigsaw puzzle. The British Army has been known to assemble one of these bridges overnight. But the normal time during an emergency installation is one week for 35 men plus three engineers to install an 80-foot span. See this YouTube video.

We have had the bridges for six months; they could have been assembled and installed months ago, so why wait for the election time to come before bringing in the troops?  Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Barbados welcomes thousands of cruise ship visitors with closed shops on Sundays

Quantum of the Seas Barbados

Welcome to Barbados – It’s Sunday so we’re closed

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

I picked up on a newspaper article recently that highlighted, what was described as the world’s third largest cruise ship, Quantum of the Seas ‘dropped anchor’ in Barbados last week with its ‘4,600 passengers and 1,600 crew’.

You would think along with other ships that arrived the same day, what a wonderful opportunity for sales. The problem was it happened on a Sunday and according to various social media sites the majority of shops were closed.

I then thought of the Pelican Village Craft Centre and was frankly amazed that they do not appear to have a website or Facebook presence.

Individual businesses operating out of the location may have, but if you are a potential customer and have not been here before, how would you know?

“Quantum of the Seas coming to Barbados should inspire confidence in the cruise industry specifically and tourism generally. It means that we will experience tremendous increases in our numbers and along with other initiatives produce expanded economic opportunities for Barbadians.”

Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy speaking to Barbados Today on June 6, 2013. A shame that many shop owners remain closed when thousands of tourists are wandering about looking for places to spend their vacation cash.

Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy

How many Bajan lawyers have accounts in the USA, UK, Switzerland or Canada?

barbados-lawyer-crookDear Barbados Free Press

I would like to speak about an experience here in Barbados with lawyers charging VAT to foreigner clients living abroad and demanding that their invoices be paid directly into to USA and Canadian Banks.

Has anyone else experienced this situation as happened to me???

(Name withheld by BFP)

24 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law

Afra Raymond: Secret shareholders fuel corruption by public officials

bribery.jpg

Afra Raymond’s new post about the Integrity Commission of Trinidad and Tobago shows that what Bajans know is true – when Public Money meets Greed in an atmosphere of no or inadequate integrity legislation, the taxpayers always lose.

For over 30 years successive Barbados governments have promised integrity legislation, and like fools we keep voting the same crooks into office even when we know they are lying to us.

In Trinidad and Tobago, at least the people forced the passage of integrity legislation. In Barbados the politicians don’t even pretend to listen to the people.

Integrity Strategy

The Integrity Commission is continuing its efforts to revise the Integrity in Public Life Act (IPLA) to give greater effect to its anti-corruption work. I fully support those efforts.

The key challenge is to discern how Public Officials commit the corrupt acts the Commission is meant to reduce. It is therefore necessary to conduct a scrupulous examination of Commissions of Enquiry and other Inquiry (eg LifeSport) Reports & evidence; Auditor General’s Annual Reports; as well as the leading international learning on these questions.

Once the main methods of corrupt agents are discerned, it will then be necessary to consider how the existing powers of the Commission might be deployed in tackling those and if there are new powers needed…

… continue reading at Afra Raymond’s blog: Integrity Strategy

1 Comment

Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Politics & Corruption, Trinidad and Tobago

Barbadian-Produced film Papa Machete to debut at Sundance 2015

papa machete barbados haiti

On January 23, 2015, the short film Papa Machete will make its U.S. premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, one of the most prominent film festivals in the world. Founded in 1985 by actor Robert Redford, Sundance has launched the careers of many of Hollywood’s most acclaimed independent directors such as Quentin Tarantino and Steven Soderbergh.

Drawing on Haiti’s revolutionary history and modern struggles, the short documentary explores the mysterious martial art of tire machèt — Haitian machete fencing — through the practice of one man, an impoverished Haitian farmer named Alfred Avril. Continue reading

Comments Off on Barbadian-Produced film Papa Machete to debut at Sundance 2015

Filed under Art, Barbados, Haiti

Scotland’s plan to scrap air passenger taxes changes everything!

Barbados glasgow prestwick airport

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

Just weeks after writing in this column about the need to explore further smart partnerships, British Airways have announced they are working with two rail companies, Heathrow Express and First Great Western, to offer seamless connections for travellers living in the West of England and Wales on a single fly/rail ticket.

While the Heathrow arrangement will not directly benefit Barbados, the concept offers enormous potential with Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham and the Scottish cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Frankly I am surprised that British Airways have pipped Virgin Atlantic to the post on this initiative, especially as Virgin Trains are significant rail operators in their own right.

From a recent media release ‘The combined booking takes away the stress and fear of missing a flight, if a train is delayed or a connection missed, by giving customers the peace of mind they’ll be on the next available flight – and even get overnight accommodation if the next service isn’t on the same day’.

It has become increasingly more important, if we are going to regain market share that we assess the whole holiday product components, rather than just focus on the ultimate destination itself. Both from a consumer cost basis, but also to ensure it the most overall pleasurable hassle free experience.

The Smith Commission recommendation takes Scotland a step closer to determining whether their airports will either eliminate the Advanced Passenger Duty (APD) altogether, or dramatically reduce it. There can be little doubt that the overwhelming conclusion amongst the business community is that elimination would substantially boost the Scottish economy and give Glasgow, Prestwick and Edinburgh airports a distinct cost advantage over airlines flying from those in England.  Continue reading

Comments Off on Scotland’s plan to scrap air passenger taxes changes everything!

Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Afra Raymond – CL Financial bailout enters end game with Bait & Switch

afra raymond

The Code of Silence Rules…

The CL Financial bailout seems to be entering its end-game, with repeated claims from the Minister of Finance that the recovery of the $25 Billion of Public Money spent is now on the cards. The consistent failure or refusal to publish any audited accounts and my ongoing research are telling. We are witness to yet another ‘Plot to Pervert Parliament’, this time it is the biggest project to ever hit this country. The CL Financial bailout…

… read the entire sorry truth at Afra Raymond’s CL Financial – Bait & Switch

3 Comments

Filed under Corruption, Crime & Law, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption, Trinidad and Tobago

Barbados failing to keep official tourism websites current

“When the bulk of the tourism marketing budget is spent on directing people to particular websites and Facebook pages, those mediums should be in pristine condition and the potential visitor should not be met with links that simply do not work and/or outdated information.”

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

One thing the last few months have taught me, as if I really needed reminding, is that however much you change the structure of an organisation, if you cannot fundamentally improve the way things are done within it, then very little has been accomplished.

Implementation, or rather the lack of it in a timely manner stands out as one of the biggest single impediments to revitalising our tourism industry.

If we are ever going to ever recover lost market share then we urgently need to practice proactive rather than reactive strategies and ensure any programmes and policies are implemented sufficiently early enough to make a positive difference.

It should not and frankly, cannot, take weeks and sometimes months to ensure corrections to national websites are effected, if we stand any chance of playing catch-up with our competitors. All too frequently by the time the fundamental changes are made those, previously interested have turned off and probably chosen an alternative product or destination. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Independence Day: Emera wants 100% of Barbados Light & Power

Four years after Emera Incorporated bought majority interest in Barbados Light and Power, we look back to our 2010 Independence Day article where we asked…

“Should we sell Barbados Light & Power to the Canadians?

Good for Barbados, or selling the family silver?”

All these years later… what do you think folks? Did we do the right thing selling BL&P to the Canadians?

Barbados Free Press

Should we sell Barbados Light & Power to the Canadians?

Good for Barbados, or selling the family silver?

by West Side Davie with Cliverton

Independence Day is a fitting time for Bajans to consider the difference between dreams and goals, and the difference between blind celebration and a grounded perspective on reality. For too long we have celebrated November 30th with much flag waving and remembrance of the heady days of the 1960’s – but little serious consideration given to where the good ship Barbados is sailing now and how the machinery is holding up.

We dance and sing about how we love the ship and what a good ship it is (and it is too!) – but I fear we’ve been putting off some needed maintenance and refitting because it’s easier and cheaper to slap on a coat of paint and say “It still looks good!”

Indeed, it could…

View original post 609 more words

13 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Energy, History