Adrian Loveridge: No need for Barbados to be the world’s most expensive tourism destination

Lots of beaches, sand, surf, sky everywhere. Why should Brits pay more for Barbados?

Lots of beaches, sand, surf, sky everywhere. Why should people pay most for Barbados? Maybe they should… but why?

“We have to either redress this reality or perception or risk losing more market share.”

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

With Sterling reaching an eight year high against the Euro, making most European countries dramatically less expensive as holiday destinations and the Canadian Dollar below 80 cents when compared with its southern neighbour, the pressure is on to making Barbados perceived as offering value-for money.

So when a Spanish based bank with a huge presence in the United Kingdom recently published the results of a survey entitled ‘Barbados Caribbean island is most expensive place to visit’ it should send a huge tidal wave of realism to our various tourism policymakers and planners that we have to either redress this reality or perception or risk losing more market share.

Santander UK currently serves more than 14 million active customers from 921 branches and 66 regional Corporate Business Centres in the United Kingdom. As of 31st December 2014 it was the most switched-to-bank attracting 1 in 4 new retail accounts.

The survey, largely undertaken by Opinium Research/ONS Travel Trends 2014, stated ‘British people visiting Barbados will feel a particular nasty sting in their wallets this summer, having to fork out an average of GBPounds 109 a day in spending money – not including the cost of a hotel’.

Around the world Barbados was placed as No. 1 in a list of the ten most expensive countries for British people to visit based on average daily spend. Second was the United Arab Emirates.

Just as alarming, is that Santander concluded that the daily costs of visiting Barbados have risen from GBPounds 79 per day or nearly 38 per cent since 2010.

To put this in context they quote Poland and India where UK travellers spend on average GBPounds 30 per day with not a single other Caribbean country making the top ten in terms of high costs.

With this ‘research’ now widely circulated among some of the best selling newspapers, journals, websites and social media, I really wonder if the current administration has thought through the impending consequences on prices that the latest tax grabbing budget will have?

Not just on locals… but our visitors as well. With VAT being placed on a number of food items that the majority deem ‘staples’ and inevitably will further push us as a destination further out of reach for many more, including the number of families who form a critical part of the overall arrival statistics.

One thing for sure: Santander’s 14 million account holders in the United Kingdom represent 22 per cent of the entire UK population – who are being told we are the world’s most expensive destination.

Our marketing people have a mountain to climb to even try and redress the potential damage.

Perhaps the way forward might include smart partnering with Santander to gives its customer’s special concessions on Barbados when paying with one of their debit or credit cards or no fee currency exchange.

‘We’ could even take it to a higher level with a destination affinity card offering regular ‘win a holiday to Barbados’ prizes for those who use that method of payment.

Further Reading

July 20, 2015 BFP: Santander study names Barbados as most expensive destination for British tourists

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8 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy

8 responses to “Adrian Loveridge: No need for Barbados to be the world’s most expensive tourism destination

  1. RC

    I have great respect for Mr (should be Sir) Adrian Loveridge and have followed his writings for many years and his advice to various Government agencies on the vital role Tourism plays in our economy and this message is just as crucial. As an individual who works in Tourism I have difficulty agreeing with the assessment from Santander UK though. We know that hundreds of wealthy visitors frequent our West Coast and pay megabucks for accommodation, meals, entertainment and transportation. I have surveyed various markets and I have discovered that we are still way behind other destinations in the amount of visitor spend, though. But what about the average tourist who throng to our central and southern resorts? These folks shop at our village markets and roadside vendors, use public transport and take advantage of package deals (especially in the summer) of very reasonable airfares and accommodation?

  2. de castro

    Question ..Why choose Barbados and not some other island destination.?
    Peoples friendliness language food music culture all comes before price.
    Obviously airfare is another important factor. One can now fly further
    south Peru Brazil USA etc for much less…with eastern flights also much
    Less…£700+ airfare plus £700+ for a 7 day stay is also off putting.
    Obviously tourism will increase year on year but competitiveness becomes
    a criteria for destination choice. Catch 22.
    The Brits love the bajan cool hospitality and laid back attitudes.
    They also feel it is a more secure destination. A paradise indeed.!😄

    A world traveller perspective.
    My passport has almost run out of pages for Rubber stamping.😀
    10 years is a long long time before it expires. My next will have
    double pages to rubber stamp.
    Que sera

  3. NYCBGI

    WAKE UP BTA AND HOTELIERS YOUR TIME TO RESURRECT AND RESTRUCTURE TOURISM IN BGI IS COMING TO AN END. WITH CUBA OPENING UP AND CRUISE LINES CONTINUING TO BUILD AND OFFERING GREAT VALUE YOU NEED TO THROW OUT THE OLD PLAYBOOK AND TAKE YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE SAND. WAKE UP ROME IS BURNING AND I AM A BAJAN .

  4. D Oracle.

    Its not so much what it costs….its whether it has “value”…and that’s where we fall woefully short.

  5. Yes ! We know the price of everything but the “value” is as important if not more……..still feel Paradise will benefit from “increased” tourism worldwide.
    It’s still good value for money as many tourist return over and over again.
    Competition will encourage higher standards……better value also.

    Love paradise and bajans…….am a Guyanese born bred but UK EU resident.
    (Retired or retarded) 😀

  6. Kitchener-Waterloo Canada

    I’m Canadian. Been to Barbados. Been to Bahamas. Been to Cuba.

    Of all, I found Cubans to be the friendliest, Barbados on the street friendly but not in the shops, and the Bahamians in the streets and in the shops the least friendly and helpful.

    Price and value for money no contest: Cuba provides a tourism experience for about half the price of a trip to Barbados and I can be lying on the beach in Cuba while I’d still be on the airplane for Barbados. It’s a long way extra to Barbados and in January all I’m interested in is relaxing around the pool in the sun, drink in hand. Barbados just isn’t that special, and much more expensive so that solves the equation for me.

  7. NYCBGI

    AS I SAID IF THE BTA AND HOTELIERS DO NOT THROW AWAY THEIR OLD PLAY BOOK AND REVAMP THE DECLINE WILL CONTINUE, I PREDICTED THIS 5 YEARS AGO AND THE BTA JUST CONTINUED THEIR POMPOUS AND KNOW IT ALL ATTITUDE

  8. Natural Born Rebel

    The BTA so-called top dogs have been shooting themselves in the foot for years. The Rock is sinking! The “BTA disorganization” needs a serious revamp and maybe they will wake up now.

    I know this is lengthy, but my mout’ full.

    When Campbell Rudder was instated at the NY office, I sent him an email blasting him about the island’s representation at the Barbados travel fair in NYC. Little make-shift Barbados placard in the corner, and the so-called reps were chatting away, oblivious to the fact that I had been standing there for almost 10 minutes.

    So I decided to snoop. I went over to the St. Lucia table; got a beautiful tote bag and some nice souvenirs. Spied on Guadeloupe and St. Vincent; beautiful fruit arrangements and costumed reps.

    Couldn’t even get a tamarind or a shirley biscuit from Barbados. To say I was mad is an understatement. Even at the airport when I was leaving Bim in July 2015, some young girl was handing out little mini totes from Diamonds International (if my memory serves me correctly). My brother asked her if it got in diamonds. De ting was empty! That is their idea of value! I was embarrassed and felt insulted!

    The Barbados Government is so corrupt, and instead of reinvesting the money in its Numero Uno industry tourism, they steal and pilfer and prostitute my island gem. They were (and probably still are) banking on their “princess” Rihanna, who by the way, the rest of the world sees as a skank tramp and an Illuminati convert. They make a shitload of money from Crop Over. What do they do with it?

    These bombastic air-heads need to understand marketing. They conduct their meetings at posh establishments, order fancy dinners, and Whoop, there it is!! Another tax deduction!

    Travelers have become very savvy and they know they got the upper hand.
    You have to let visitors believe they are getting a whole lot for nothing. You have to spend money to make money. Get their attention, then move in with the up-sells and cross-sells. Study those big behemoths like ATT and Verizon and how they promote. Go on JetBlue’s Facebook Page. They have a new promotional video out now that is unbelievable!

    This is a collaborative effort. Everyone needs to get on board, from the littlest child to the old lady hanging out clothes in the yard who just give the tourists directions.

    Anguilla is doing very well and they are more expensive than Barbados. 35 square miles and nuttin to do. People are going there in droves. How do I know this? One person who is promoting it heavily is my competitor. And guess what, I snooping dey too! I signed up for her newsletter.

    FIND OUT WHAT THE SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE DOING AND DO IT BETTER!!!!

    Food is so expensive in Barbados, and this Dine Around Program is a joke. $99 for 3-course meal and a bottle of wine. See how many participants there are? Not a lot compared to the mob-a-ton of restaurants on de Rock.

    Oh, another ting… ya can’t get a Barbados map in New York. The Tourism Authority don’t issue them no more.

    I say COUP D’ETAT!!!!! Drive them out! Bajans need to take a stand and hold these people accountable instead of being so complacent!!

    I mad as france!