Category Archives: Barbados Tourism

Financial Times: Cuban tourism boom to harm rest of Caribbean

cuba_beach

What a surprise!

The sight of the Stars and Stripes being hoisted over the newly opened US embassy in Cuba last week, was one of the most visible signs yet of the diplomatic rapprochement between the long-term foes.

If President Barack Obama gets his way, the US Congress will soon go further still and lift its 55-year-old trade embargo on the island.

Such a move would be a major boon to the Cuban economy, not least by unleashing a torrent of big-spending American tourists on the island, which has largely been starved of such arrivals for more than half a century.

This, however, could prove disastrous for some of the small islands elsewhere in the Caribbean which are heavily dependent on tourism. They could see much of the US tourism trade they have come to reply on decamping to the large, and quite possibly cheaper, new competitor in their midst.

… continue reading the Financial Times Cuban thaw poses tourism threat to Caribbean neighbours

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Cuba, Economy

Airline Partnership opportunities gained, lost and possible

caribbean-airlines-logo.jpg

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

With any number of uncertainties there can be very few other businesses like airlines which present a constant indeterminate challenge.

It only seems a twinkle ago since massive controversy hit the media over the sale of the valuable Heathrow slots by the now defunct BWIA for what many felt was an under-valued GB Pounds 5 million to British Airways in 2006.

In 2011 the current Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister, Kamela Persad-Bissessar commissioned a forensic management audit which concluded that a fair market value for the slots then ranged from GB Pounds 23 million to GB Pounds 44 million in a report dated 8th May 2012.

Then with a blaze of glory in 2012 it was announced the replacement Caribbean Airlines was going to return to London, but this time flying into Gatwick.

Last week according to AirwaysNews.com, Caribbean Airlines (CA) will return its Boeing 767 fleet to lessor ILFC (International Lease Finance Corporation) during the first quarter of 2016, axing the Gatwick route and these aircraft will join the Air Canada Rouge fleet soon after.

This year, the airline has already returned two Boeing 737-800 aircraft with two more that are set to go soon. This will reduce the fleet to twelve B737s while retaining all five ATR 72 equipment.

Since the re-birth of the carrier, it has been difficult to follow what if any substantial part they play in supplying airlift to Barbados, specifically for inbound tourism and I probably am not alone into thinking ‘we’ as a destination do not have the best of working relationships with them.

Can this be changed or improved on specific routes, perhaps with a Barbados/Fort Lauderdale service or would this further alienate the existing legacy and low cost airlines?  Continue reading

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Barbados Transportation, Business

James Lynch – LIAT probably gone in less than two years

First, LIAT has ALWAYS been based (Head Office) in Antigua, has NEVER been based (Head Office) in Barbados – no matter what the politicians may tell you. There has been a PILOT BASE in Barbados for decades – a pilot and flight attendant domicile, if you will – but not the registered “home”. Never has been. Never.

Second, airplanes are not tied to concrete foundations by rebar or galvanised water pipes. They are scheduled and flown wherever they are needed, and if you will insist on moving LIAT lock, stock and barrel to Barbados then you also need to clearly understand that you – yes, you, the taxpayer, you personally – will pay Froon, Fumble, Dumble, whatever we may call him now, several HUNDRED MILLION dollars more for the necessary new offices, hangars, facilities, etc., AND lose access to US Territories – Barbados is Category Two, and LIAT (Barbados) Limited will approach the US government as an African-class airline with ZERO safety rating.

You will also not get that many high-paying jobs – all of those are technical, licensed, experienced professionals and permanent employees such as pilots, engineers and mechanics who will just be relocated from Antigua to Barbados – all at YOUR expense. I suggest you start putting the brain in gear before you mash the pedal and burn more than rubber.

Third, having seen LIAT from the inside, I can tell you that Holder & Co are not the only thoroughly incompetent, irresponsible, unaccountable “employees” of LIAT… the airline is riddled with political appointees and incompetents of all stripes from all of the shareholder countries. Virtually NOBODY at LIAT is at risk of losing their job for screwing up, no matter what they do (within reason, of course).  Continue reading

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Barbados Transportation

Dr. Karl Watson of Barbados National Trust “SHOCKED” by Sandals environmental damage

“In the short and medium run, tourism is really the only engine for our continued prosperity and economic growth. So, we welcome the Sandals development, however, I must say that having come down here this morning, I am a bit taken aback and shocked.

(snip)

Quite a number of mature trees have been felled and then I also see development on the way in the sea where a type of breakwater is being constructed, and I wonder whether the environmental impact assessment that aught to have been done for this project was really based soundly and on correct assessment, and whether the long term effects of both this type of deforestation, denuding of forest cover, exposure of the sandy layer, topsoil etc, or the creation of an artificial offshore reef; whether the future results of these developments have been thoroughly assessed.”

 

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Environment

Can Barbados successfully tap the exploding Chinese tourism market?

Chinese tourists at Cricket World Cup 2007

Chinese tourists at Cricket World Cup 2007

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

The name Wang Jianlin may not resonate with you, but according to the South China Morning Post he is the richest man in China and recently announced plans to build the world’s biggest tourism enterprise which will overtake the current giant, Disney.

The chairman of the Wanda Group stated that his holding company will achieve an annual revenue of 100 billion Yuan (one Yuan currently equals .16 US Cents), attain annual net profits of US$10 billion and handle 200 million visitors by as early as 2020.

At this stage he has not ruled out entry into the aviation segment after China lifted a five year restrictions on applications for new airlines in 2013 ‘spawning a wave of privately owned start-up carriers’.

To even try and understand the exponential growth, Wanda’s in house travel agency revenue is expected to reach 10 billion Yuan this year, 20 billion by 2017 and 40 billion by 2020.

Last month Wang together with Tencent Holdings and Citic Capital led a US$967 million acquisition of ticketing website, Ly.com, which is currently the country’s third largest online travel site in terms of revenue generated.

The Wanda Group includes the ownership and/or management of over 70 luxury hotels, the world’s largest cinema operation, 110 plazas, 22 million square metres of leasable property, film and television production, substantial print media interests, art investment with total assets exceeding US$85 billion and spanning across four continents. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, China

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. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy

Barbados needs Hotwiring

barbados hotwire

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

Last week I used a couple of web based hotel booking sites to reserve some accommodation in Charlotte and Kentucky for an upcoming trip.

One of them, Hotwire, offers a variety of star rated lodging where you do not actually know exactly which property you are staying at until pre-payment is made in full.

The advantage to the hotel is that they can hopefully dispose of unsold inventory, albeit at a lower than rack rate, a sales model known as ‘opaque’ and the guest benefits by getting a superior room at a discounted price.

As an exercise I used the same site to look at applying it to hotels on Barbados and was surprised to see a whole range of accommodation options from as little at US$64 including all taxes per night room only and as little as US$242 all-inclusive for two persons.

Hotwire makes their profit from a percentage, which I am told is between 20 and 25 per cent of the transaction amount.

It at least partially dispels the largely held myth that we are always an overly expensive destination, when comparing lodging choices.  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism