Category Archives: Barbados

Fifty years of advice for Barbados Junior Minister of Tourism, Chloe Walker

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

While this column has never been about individuals, I celebrated a milestone birthday a couple of weeks ago and could not help but spend a little time reflecting on the fifty years that I have largely spent in the tourism industry.

Different people evaluate success or what the definition of it differently and there can be nothing wrong with that.

My introduction to the world of commerce at a very early age was driven not so much by any desire to become fabulously wealthy with all the associated trappings, but more by the basic need to fend financially for myself without the benefit of sustained further education, as a result of a prolonged illness.

Looking back, I learnt very quickly and by the age of 21, I had already become the majority shareholder and managing director of four companies which employed scores of people. This is not a boast, but a simple fact.

By the time I reached 24 years, I had been offered the position of executive chairman of a substantial British tour operator. After turning the job down, it is almost impossible and probably totally futile to speculate on what difference that move would have made to my life.

Not that long ago I experienced a public admonishment by someone that can only be described as successful and it got me thinking of what exactly was the attraction that has kept me in this industry virtually all of my adult life. On reflection it never was about the money, but the means to travel and experience a world of differing cultures, architecture and experiences.

Now having past retirement age who knows what opportunities lay ahead.

It seems that it takes almost a lifetime to acquire sufficient skills and knowledge to effectively make things happen. And when you hopefully reach that point, is there is still sufficient energy, drive and desire to use it productively for the greater good?

Decades ago, naively I thought I could change the world. Nowadays, my goals are somewhat more realistic and but perhaps stand a greater chance of ‘success’, whatever that really means.

One thing for sure, very few objectives can be attained without help and I will be eternally grateful to those who have looked beyond the petty partisan politics and purely focused on what positive differences can be achieved.

Junior Minister of Tourism, Chloe Walker

I would also like to congratulate our new Junior Minister of Tourism, Chloe Walker, and plea with our policymakers to give her more than just superficial exposure to decisions taken within the sector. One way, even if it’s just in an observer capacity, would be to let her attend the frequent Barbados Tourism Marketing, Product Authority and Hotel and Tourism Association board meetings.

With the stated intention of increasing our e-commerce and social media presence in all source markets, a bright young and fresh contribution could add meaningful value to any plans yet to be implemented.

So Chloe, if you read this column and I could proffer just one piece of advice…

If you make this industry your chosen career, remember that success is not always measured by the number of private jets and yachts you have. For many of us, just making people feel very special and appreciated, is more than enough reward.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

St. Lucia Police formed Death Squad, murdered criminals in vigilante actions

Barbados Murder Gun Revolver 3

Why bother to have courts, judges, juries and trials when we can have the police dispense justice as they see fit – in a cane field at 3am…

St Lucia’s police force kept ‘death lists’ of suspected criminals and planted guns at police shootings to make them look legitimate, according to a report.

The Caribbean island’s prime minister Kenny Anthony said a team of Jamaican investigators had delivered an ‘extremely damning’ report on the deaths of 12 people shot by officers in 2010 and 2011.

Mr Anthony said the report, which has not been made public, revealed that the shootings were ‘staged by the police’ but reported as murders by unknown assailants.

… read the fully story at The Daily Mail: Caribbean police force ‘kept death lists of suspected criminals and planted guns

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Police

Time for Barbados businesses to move into the Internet age – better late than never!

barbados-beach

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

Anyone who has used the internet to shop in Britain, North America and Continental Europe cannot fail to be impressed with the variety available, level of service and delivery options.

And I wonder with the recent change of ownership, branding and appointment of new management in some of our distribution and supermarket outlets has not presented an incredible opportunity to better serve up to 500,000 long stay visitors that we attract each year. Especially for first time visitors staying at our vast choice of villas, condominiums and apartments and who are unsure of what is available and pricing on certain consumables, at least prior to arrival.

What prompted these thoughts was the appointment of Judith Wilcox as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of TriMart Inc. Her vast knowledge of the tourism industry gained with Virgin Atlantic and more recently, one of our largest villa rental agency, could provide a unique insight in developing better synergies between our suppliers and overseas visiting customers.

While there have been various local websites in the past, perhaps now is the time to take this marketing medium to a much higher level with the means to research product offerings prior to homeland departure, pay online with a credit card and delivery to coincide with the visitor’s arrival.

It is also potentially a great promotional vehicle to expose more locally made items and build better brand awareness to a much larger marketplace.

Does our reputation as a playground for the rich, work against Barbados?

While we are often depicted as an iconic destination for the rich and famous, let none of our tourism planners be lured into the illusion that the vast majority of our visitors are not increasingly demanding value-for-money. This will become even more critical as we transition from the peak winter season into the long eight months of summer, if the additional airlift attracted is going to be sustained.

From a business operation aspect in many cases we appear to be light years behind many developed countries in the area of e-commerce. By now we should be able to order and pay for so much more online, including electricity, water, all government taxes and licences, postage stamps etc.

There seems to be little alternative to queue in line for up to an hour to deposit cheques in most of our banks, but it should not, as it recently did take four hours to renew a vehicle tax disc, because the licensing authority had decided, without telling it’s ‘customers’, the rules had changed.

It seems the phrase ‘time is money’ isn’t understood by many of our service providers and this will have to change if we hope to emerge intact from the current financial challenges.

Of course there are notable exceptions. We can pay our phone/internet bills online and we can order a very limited choice of everyday supplies, but it’s far from the ‘norm’. Often it means hanging on a telephone while a check is made if the item is in stock, then writing a cheque for payment on delivery or at the end of the month.

All these transactions require time while this precious commodity could be spent far more productively, both from a consumer and suppliers perspective.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy

Gareth Fatchett of Regulatory Legal offers some advice to Harlequin victims

Harlequin Investor Update March 2015 from Regulatory Legal News on Vimeo.

Meanwhile at the Financial Services Compensation Scheme…

Financial advisers could be on the hook for hundreds of millions of pounds after the latest twist in the Harlequin saga in which the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has written down the value of the investment to nil.

In a document from the FSCS seen by Professional Adviser, dated 12 February and marked ‘compensation calculation’, the body lists the value of a Harlequin Property investment as £0.00.

A FSCS spokesperson confirmed the decision.

“Where applicable we will disregard the residual value in respect of Harlequin investments,” they said.

The move opens the floodgates for the FSCS to pay the thousands of Harlequin investors compensation on the full amount they put into the unregulated scheme, up to a £50,000 limit.

With around £400m originally invested in Harlequin, the compensation bill is set to run into hundreds of millions of pounds, putting it on a par with other investment disasters like Keydata and Arch cru.

As in those cases, the bulk of the cost of the compensation is likely to be borne by investment advisers.

Read the entire article: Spectre of £400m compensation bill looms as FSCS values Harlequin at nil

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law, Offshore Investments

Something Different…

Trinidad Barbados Oil Rig

by Colin Leslie Beadon

by Colin Leslie Beadon

Rain had threatened since Friday, and now the morning hung with dark low clouds. It was hot and sticky and still in the high bush where the rig stood in a clearing. Parrots flitted noisily from creeper and orchid festooned trees, and a brightly plumed toucan peeved monotonously.

The Rig Superintendent took a last bleary-eyed look at the pump pressures and rotary table torque gauges on the drilling console where it stood front of the driller, and then turned, sore-footed, to descend the ladder from the rig floor.

He slumped across the uneven dusty gravel of the location, his shirt wet with sweat, his face showing stubble and drilling fluid smatterings of a three day stretch without sleep. He climbed the few steps to the doghouse.

“I’m going in Carl,” he said hoarsely. “Call me if we run into it again. I’ll be at the house.”

The toolpusher raised eyes from the drilling report. He was a big solid man with strong placid face as black as midnight soot. He had strong very white uneven teeth, and a badly healed scar running across his bare chest.

“Go on in Cappie. Get some sleep.” He smiled faintly.

“I’ve since Friday to catch up on.” The Rig Superintendent said. “It’s a bad son-of-a-bitch, this one. ‘Bout time something went right.”

“It’s Easter Sunday. Maybe you should try going in church,” the toolpusher smiled faintly. “It might change your luck Cappie.”

“Maybe I’ll try it,” the Rig Super said, yawning and stretching.

“Maybe you could try a whore. That works for me,” said the toolpusher smiling again. He had just taken up tour and there was still the hint of sleep in his face. “Whores work, I tell you. Or a virgin if you can find one.”

“I could do that,” the Rig Super said. “But I’ve got something better in the house, and I don’t have to pay one way or another.”   Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Stories and Memories, Trinidad and Tobago

Time to resurrect re-DISCOVER the Caribbean

barbados-beach-sand-surf

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

One of the most difficult and painful decisions I have ever made was to cancel our last re-DISCOVER the Caribbean Show some years ago, which had become a highly successful annual event spanning over seven years.

As well as highlighting and driving new interest in Intra regional travel it was also used as a catalyst to build trade between the islands. It also brought almost around $1 million of foreign exchange into Barbados, filled scores of hotel rooms, generated significant car rental business and helped keep our multitude of restaurants busy, during a traditionally quieter off-season period.

If you were among the thousands of people who visited the show over the two days it took place each year, you would have met representatives from up to 22 participating territories, from Surinam in the south to Jamaica in the north and almost everywhere in between.

What finally prompted the final resolve to stop co-ordinating the show was the reduced funding by the then Barbados Tourism Authority, which even at its peak, represented less than 10 per cent of the actual cost…

Plus the sad realisation, that they could not find two or more of their staff to ‘man’ a stand for the duration, out of what were then over one hundred employees.  Continue reading

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The List: major drug dealers in Barbados who work with corrupt police, politicians

barbados-police.jpg

Drug dealers, corrupt politicians and bad cops

Who made this list?

Sheri Veronica, that’s who. And she ties it to vote buying in Barbados elections.

That woman has stones.

And she’s pretty too!

Sheri Veronica’s blog: Barbados: Bad cops, Corrupt politicians and drug lords

 

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Police, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption