Category Archives: Barbados Tourism

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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American Airlines and US Airways members a vast, untapped market of over-worked folks who need a Barbados holiday!

American-Airlines-Dallas-Barbados

All work and no pay!

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

A recent survey released through the U.S. Travel Association (USTA) and conducted by Oxford Economics concluded that last year, American workers walked away from US$52.4 billion in unused vacation time, forfeiting a total of 169 million paid days off.

The amount of vacation time American’s take as a nation is currently at a 40-year low. USTA stated as recently as 2000, the average US worker took roughly 20 vacation days a year. By last year, that had fallen to 16 days adding ‘for most workers wages and income have stagnated since the recession’, which perhaps gives an insight why.

In a related TIME article, the findings of another survey, conducted by Harris Interactive for the job and salary site Glassdoor, says ‘we’ (Americans) only take about half the time off we’re entitled to, and 15 per cent of workers who get a vacation don’t take any of it.

But should we deduce that economics is the sole reason? Again quoting Glassdoor, absolutely not!

Questioning people who take vacations only to work through them (which about six in ten workers do), a third of respondents said they do so because nobody else can do their job and about 20 per cent said they do so in the hopes of getting promotion.

Does this belief have any credibility?   Continue reading

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Santander study names Barbados as most expensive destination for British tourists

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

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

Wonderful. Just what we need ’bout this island.

BFP pundit Adrian Loveridge has been pounding this subject for years. Looks like nobody has been listening…

UAE and Barbados most expensive destinations for British holidaymakers

The UAE and Barbados have been ranked the most expensive destinations for British tourists in a new survey published by Santander.

According to the report, the two destinations cost Brits more than £100 per day in spending money. By comparison, Poland and India are the cheapest destinations, costing just £30 per day on average.

These figures do not include the cost of hotel accommodation or flights.

With a direct flight to Barbados costing an average of £3,136 – flying out on 27 July, the busiest week of the summer – a couple going away for two weeks could expect to pay around £12,900 for their summer holiday, once accommodation is included, the report stated.

… continue reading the full report at Travel Daily UK

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Weak Canadian dollar brings challenges for Barbados tourism industry

tax-evasion-canada-barbados

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

It is already more than halfway through the year and this is a time perhaps that our tourism policy planners are focusing on what marketing strategies can be effectively put in place to build on the first quarter increase in visitor arrivals.

As always, it is almost impossible to accurately predict what is going to happen in our global marketplaces and how that could impact on numbers, average stay and spend.

Important issues include the fall in the value of the euro earlier this year and whether this will be further impacted with the eventual solution to the Greek crisis. What effect will the first Conservative British government budget since 1995 have on the disposable income of most Brits? And finally, there is increased speculation about an impending recession in Canada, just at a time we were experiencing improved arrivals and airlift.

Having lived in Canada for some time, I know there is a psychological threshold when the Canadian dollar falls below 80 cents compared to the United States dollar. Naturally, Canadians then start to question whether they are truly obtaining value for money at holiday destination choices. It becomes an imperative to clearly demonstrate that we can offer a competitive product by at least attempting to reinforce component parts of the tourism industry that are more affordable.

While we will never be able to compete with the mass tourism regional offerings like Mexico, Dominican Republic, Cuba and alike, Barbados still has a myriad of more affordable accommodation choices. Of course lodging is only part of the equation, so personally I think there is room for a re-DISCOVER-like promotion specifically aimed at the Canadian market that helps minimise the currency value differential, which include not just restaurants, but attractions, activities, car rental and shopping.   Continue reading

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Sir Richard Branson pulls out scissors, cuts off stuffed suits’ $200 silk ties

You have to love the guy. Typical Branson press conference, this time about Virgin Cruises taking to the water in 2020.

The Italian shipbuilder stuffed shirts (who aren’t bad guys at all) standing there in their US$2000 suits with two hundred dollar silk ties. Sir Richard arrives in his helicopter with two lovelies – and he’s wearing red short pants, a Virgin Cruises Captain’s shirt, hat and not much else except red runners with no socks.

So half way through the press conference Sir Richard comes up with a pair of scissors, says he can’t stand executive ties and starts cutting.

Yup, I love the guy.

But don’t forget in all this: Barbados must get a piece of this. If our government can’t get at least one of the new Virgin ships based out of B’town, it will be a sad and dark day.

 

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Will Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Cruises base at least one new cruise ship in Barbados?

Sir Richard Branson - lucky old bastard!

Sir Richard Branson – lucky old bastard! *

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

While the concept was rolled out some time ago, the details were largely announced in a media conference which took place at the Museum Park in Miami last week.

Never shy of dominating the global limelight, Sir Richard Branson announced that Virgin Cruises should have three brand new Italian built ships in the water by 2020, each with a mid-size capacity of 2,800 passengers and around 110,000 gross tons. www.virgincruises.com

I will not insult readers to guess the planned colour of these new vessels and it perhaps sets new parameters for the cruising industry, opening it up to a whole new market with a brand that is among the strongest on the planet. The placard statement ‘let’s make waves’ emblazoned on the arrival helicopter carrying Sir Richard said it all.

Virgin will have a huge marketing advantage by having its own airline and through the joint holding it has with Delta Airlines, the United States second largest carrier.

The first ship will operate out of the Port of Miami, the cruise capital of the world, with a quoted throughput of 4.8 million multi-day passengers in 2014 operating 7 day Caribbean cruises.

But there is an incredible opportunity for Barbados – if we can make it happen. With the Delta flights servicing two of the largest airports in the USA, Atlanta and New York and Virgin Atlantic proving the only scheduled carrier to operating direct flights out of two major British hubs, Gatwick and Manchester, could the second or third ship, homeport from Barbados?

This would give travellers a myriad of holiday options. Fly from the UK to Barbados, cruise to another island and fly back to England from there. All with the same airline and cruise brand.

By enticing Virgin Cruises to Barbados, it could directly benefit us in so many ways. Stay and cruise options, provisioning and higher employment on the ships with more ‘locals’ are among the potential.

So what could persuade Virgin Cruises to position one ship here?

Of course there are historic precedents of subsidising selected tourism partners.   Continue reading

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Increased taxes and costs are killing tourism. Barbados government actions “simply defies rationale”

Barbados Solid Waste Tax

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

I had hoped to dedicate this week’s column to the new measures put in place announced in the 2015 budget to stimulate spending, especially in the tourism sector.

Unless I missed something while trawling through the 57 pages, not a single ‘incentive’ has been announced that would be likely to encourage increased domestic spending across the sector.

Conversely, many could fairly claim that the additional $200 million in taxation annually will further restrain people’s ability to take a ‘staycation’ or enjoy one of many excellent restaurants.

Government Broke: VAT refunds two years past due.

In fact private sector led initiatives like the re-DISCOVER dining promotion have been forced to scale down any paid promotion, due to the continued inability to reclaim due and payable VAT refunds, now overdue for more than two years. This in itself is ludicrous and short sighted as many of the participating restaurants do not qualify and are unable to apply the reduced rate of 7.5 per cent VAT, but obligated to pay the higher 17.5 per cent rate.

So Government could be easily losing up to $2 million a year in lost taxes. Add the duties and taxes lost in the included wine element and that figure could well be significantly more, let alone the employment this promotion generates.

Until we witness some real actual sustained recovery in tourism, it is very difficult to comprehend why any Government thinks that increasing taxation and operating costs will reduce the time it takes to attain that objective.  Continue reading

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