Category Archives: Barbados Tourism

Loveridge: New JetBlue Barbados flight brings opportunity and hope

jetblue barbados

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

The double positive whammy for our tourism sector last week was the number of English cricket supporters who came for the Kensington staging of the test series and the announcement by JetBlue that it was introducing a once weekly, Saturday seasonal flight non-stop from Boston.

From the first flight commencing on 7th November it could easily add another near 4,000 American arrival numbers until the service initially halts on 30th April next year.

It also gives us another incredible gateway from a market that many know could witness significant increases over the next few years. While the 48 square miles that make up the actual city of Boston only boasts a population of around 646,000 inhabitants, within the area known as Greater Boston live some 4.5 million people, making it the country’s tenth largest metropolitan density.

At first, concern may be expressed about a single flight per week, but you should remember the Americans generally have shorter holidays and many of those are crammed between two weekends, so a Saturday departure is perfect. Often overlooked are also the physiological flight times, departing Boston at 7.45am with a scheduled arrival time of 1.30pm, allowing most visitors time to journey from the airport to accommodation, check-in, unpack and possibly sea bathe before dark.  Continue reading

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Loveridge: A competitive world means businesses must perform or fail

monkey-business-barbados.jpg

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

From a tourism perspective and many other sectors, it is almost impossible to comprehend how so many businesses seem to think they can trade to an optimal degree without maintaining a fully functioning and up-to-date website and/or Facebook page.

Also surprising is the number of local companies who take to the air via radio or in print with ‘ads’ promoting new products, but have simply not thought through any potential consumer response, especially in terms of disseminating details like price, sizes, varieties and availability.

Do they realistically think that possible buyers are going waste time trying to extract the details in a protracted phone call and that’s assuming that the person on the other end actually knows anything about the item(s)?

Of course there are notable exceptions, but certainly in my experience, frequently emails are not either answered at all, or days go by without a timely response.

In case some have not noticed our world has become increasingly more competitive and many ‘buyers’ simply will not wait for prolonged periods, when often they have responsive alternatives a simple click away.  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business & Banking

LIAT: There’s only two basic choices…

LIAT late

by Iain Edghill

As I see it, there are only 2 choices facing LIAT and its government shareholders. Either it has to be deemed an “essential service” and continue to be subsidized despite the operational inefficiencies inherent in its structure; or, it has to be fully privatized, de-politicized, and forced to be self-sustaining.

Both options are problematic. In these tough economic times, when governments are cash-strapped and are trying to figure out how to stretch their dwindling resources, many constituencies will argue that subsidizing a national airline should be very low on the priority list. Conversely, there are those who will argue, not without just cause, that LIAT is crucial to inter-island communications and commerce.

Has any study ever been done as to exactly how much LIAT contributes to the GDP of CARICOM? That is crucial to the discussion here. What would the economic impact be, in $$ terms, if LIAT were to disappear? Once that figure is empirically established, that could be used as the baseline for government subsidies, a quid-pro-quo, so to speak.

Perhaps the solution is a form of public-private sector partnership, with CARICOM governments providing a baseline subsidy, and the private-sector, with aviation professionals providing the operational expertise in running the airline, as Mr. Lynch correctly suggests, being the other half of the operational and financial equation.

One thing is for sure with regard to LIAT: the status-quo is both financially and operationally unfeasible.

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados Tourism, Barbados Transportation, CARICOM

Why wasn’t the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association at the JetBlue – Sandals reception?

Journalist Ian Bourne

Journalist Ian Bourne

#barbados Wow, you live & learn, was at a #JetBlue reception at #Sandals – but found out I’m only good to cover it, not have dinner w/guests afterwards? #smh Coming to think of it, where was BHTA?

Ian Bourne – The Bajan Reporter

 

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BREAKING EXCLUSIVE: Boyceterous Catamaran crew member says Barbados Coast Guard caused capsize by pulling too fast, too hard

Barbados Catamaran CruisesBarbados Disaster

In the small hours of Sunday morning, the Boyceterous Catamaran Cruises vessel capsized and sank while under tow by the Barbados Coast Guard. Fortunately none of the 45 to 50 passengers and crew drowned, although we hear that some were injured. One of the tour boat’s engines failed and the boat had been drifting for an hour off the harbour until the arrival of the Coast Guard.

Today a person associated with Boyceterous is telling BFP and anyone who will listen that the boat was not taking on water or sinking until the Coast Guard vessel HMBS Excellence started to tow the boat to the harbour. Our source says the boat was towed too fast and too hard for the sea condition, and that the crew tried to tell the rescue boat to slow down but it was too late. It happened quickly, but not suddenly. The crew and passengers could see what was about to happen. (Bear in mind that BFP is an anonymous blog, getting information from someone who won’t give their name to print.)

50 people on this small boat is too many!

50 people on this small boat is too many!

News accounts and the Barbados Coast Guard are directing the attention and responsibility for the sinking to the crew, and not mentioning that the cause was the faulty towing procedure by the Coast Guard.

Seeing as nobody died there probably won’t be any public inquest or public inquiry, but Barbados should learn what it can and take all steps to prevent it happening again. Because if five or twenty tourists drown next time, that will be a national economic disaster.

We’ve said before (and so did Prime Minister Arthur) that we are not an “enforcement society”. That’s all fine when we are talking about nitpicking folks to death with government regulations – but not so good when we’re talking about having no Building Code, no enforcement of vehicle insurance regulations, and training, standards and equipment for emergency personnel that falls way short of international standards.

Here’s a list of factors that any real inquiry should look at. (MORE SINKING PHOTOS BELOW)  Continue reading

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Barbados Government’s unrealistic taxes & inability to pay tax refunds is causing dumping, ruining the environment and our tourism economy

“Clearly the commercial banks will not extend interest free overdrafts to companies like ours to allow for Government’s inability to meet their obligations, so the financial challenges are further compounded as time goes by.”

“Many businesses have been forced to wait more than two years for submitted VAT refunds without any interest being paid.”

Indiscriminate garbage dumping linked to unrealistic tax structure

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

While at first this week’s column may seem to stray from the subject ‘matter’ and purpose, the consequence of certain actions has a direct negative effect on our tourism performance.

As a business we get absolutely no ‘free’ state collection of garbage.

We sort and separate everything we can with the wonderful assistance of B’s Recycling and virtually everything else we pay private contractors to collect and dispose of at a considerable cost.

Therefore when the Municipal Solid Waste Tax was imposed, almost without warning, the additional (in our case) $8,000 a year in further unbudgeted taxation was especially irksome as we have been asked to pay for something we do not in any way benefit from directly.

Compounding this already unfair situation is the announced tipping fee which the waste disposal companies will be forced to pass on to their customers like us.

This at a time when we are among many businesses who have been forced to wait more than two years for submitted VAT refunds without any interest being paid.

Clearly the commercial banks will not extend interest free overdrafts to companies like ours to allow for Government’s inability to meet their obligations, so the financial challenges are further compounded as time goes by.

From a tourism perspective, I also really also wonder if our policymakers have truly thought this through. While you cannot condemn any Government for indiscriminate dumping, clearly there has been a marked increase in this unfortunate practice, especially in some of our outstanding natural beauty spots.  Does anyone think for a single second that our visitors do not notice these blights on our amazing landscape?  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy, Environment

AirBNB an unstoppable Genie out of the Bottle – Barbados had better deal with it somehow

airbnb barbados

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

Let me be among the first to congratulate a Minister of Tourism for embarking on a personal visit to all the hotels in his domain. He was quick to point out that this was not meant to be an inspection visit but rather a ‘familiarisation exercise’ to view ‘each and every tourism establishment first hand, to witness their successes and deficiencies and to meet with the hotel staff to find out about their challenges and working conditions’.

Personally I believe that this is absolutely critical if you are going to fully understand and guide an industry which dominates any country’s economy.

At this point I should make it clear that we are talking about the Seychelles, not Barbados.

Alain St. Ange, their Minister of Tourism was also accompanied by Anne Lafortune, the Principal Secretary for Tourism and Seychelles Tourism Board Chief Executive, Sherin Naiken and at the time of writing this column they had already visited 114 hotels. No mean achievement, when you think that the destination has various accommodation offerings spread across 16 of the 115 islands which make up the territory.

Over the last few months I have ‘discovered’ a whole range of tourism accommodation on Barbados that I never knew existed and am frankly pretty sure that many of our tourism planners are not aware of as well.  Continue reading

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