Category Archives: Tourism

Barbados Immigration officer: Evil? Misogynist? Racist? Stupid? You decide.

UPDATED: November 11, 2010 9am Bridgetown

We see that Jane Shattuck Hoyos has taken down her story at Planet Barbados. While we hope to hear more on this development, we want to let Jane know that if we never hear anything else about it from her, we and everyone else on this island understands. And now, probably, Jane understands too. That’s why BFP remains an anonymous blog.

“I didn’t sleep that night … I’d been humiliated, shamed, and harassed at the hands of an individual who, because he could, did. For him, it was sport. He never cited a single transgression.”

… Barbados resident, business person and investor – Jane Shattuck Hoyos

Welcome home bitch…

There is no excuse in the world for what happened to Jane Shattuck Hoyos upon her return to Barbados last Wednesday night.

Yes, our Immigration officers have a job to do. They protect our country, our economy and our communities from the negative impacts of uncontrolled immigration. They must be questioning, knowledgeable and skilled to see through false documents and lies. They must take their duties seriously.

All of that is a given and Jane says so – but what an Immigration Officer did to her last Wednesday night is totally unacceptable and, sadly, an all too common story heard from arriving visitors and residents alike.

It sounds to us like this Immigration officer is a power-tripping, egotistical little dictator: full of himself and drunk with power and authority. He probably had a good laugh about what he did to Jane. Maybe some of his colleagues laughed too.

There is no way that this was the first time for this Immigration officer. He probably does the same thing to other women traveling alone. He targets them for sport. He enjoys himself.

His supervisors likely already know that he’s a problem child. Continue reading

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Adrian Loveridge’s Tourism MATTERS – Remembering David Thompson and looking to the future

My deepest sympathy goes out to Mrs. Mara Thompson, her daughters and entire family.

I would like to hold onto my special memories of the late Prime Minister and recall one of our few exchanges.

Soon after his illness was announced, you could see the strain on his face, and in a simple attempt to bring a smile, I emailed him a YouTube extract of a BBC ‘Yes Prime Minister’ episode.

In his inimitable style, a few minutes later, a message came back, ‘Adrian, Thank you, it’s my favourite programme’. Continue reading

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Tourism Matters – Non-stop Dallas to Barbados

Think beyond Dallas… to Arkansas and Wichita Falls

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner.

The new non-stop direct service from Dallas to Barbados, slated to start on the 16th December this year offers tremendous growth potential for our tourism industry. Not only will it tempt the estimated 6.5 million people that live in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area, the fourth largest metropolitan population in the United States, but it offers some incredible connecting city opportunities.

As the DFW airport website reminds us, no major city in the Continental United States is more than four flying hours from Dallas, so an overall in-the-air traveling time of less than ten hours will make all these cities accessible to Barbados. California which boasts a population over 36 million people, will then be able to reach us within a comfortable twelve hours, without the need to transit Miami.

American Airlines Texas hub has over 220 incoming flights DAILY serving 120 cities, ranging from Abilene to Wichita Falls.Add all the other airlines and the airport handles 58 million passengers a year or over 152,000 every day.

Of course, it’s about a lot more than numbers.

Despite the current economic situation, the demographics determine that a substantial percentage of Americans still have the means to travel. Continue reading

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New York Times’ Frugal Traveler loves Barbados – because of Bajans

“Bajans treat foreigners with incredible kindness”

“You’ve got one heck of an island.”

Seth Kugel writes Frugal Traveler for the New York Times and he’s more likely to be found sleeping in a low-end guest house than at, for instance, Sandy Lane. We know of him because while he was in Barbados last week he sent a BFP story link to his 77,000 Twitter followers.

His new article is posted at the New York Times and it’s all about his Barbados trip. What a wonderful tribute it is to Bajans and Barbados. As Seth points out, other places have sand and the surf, but it was ordinary Bajans who made last week special for him.

We encourage every Bajan to read what Frugal Traveler says about Barbados. You’ll be proud, happy and reminded that each one of us has the power to make every visitor want to keep coming back to Bim.

Seth also calls out a few names of local folks who showed him kindness.

“we were all waved into the dance party at McBride’s, where a mixed crowd of tourists, Barbadians and Barbadian-American tourists packed the sweaty house.

It was a nice change from my trip to slightly stuffy Bermuda. Both had perfect swaths of white sand lapped by brilliantly, pleasantly warm blue waters. But Barbados also had a vibrant, warm, slightly scruffy local scene to go with them. Add to that the incredible kindness with which this island’s residents  — who call themselves Bajans — treat foreigners, and you’ve got one heck of an island.”

Read the whole NYT Frugal Traveler article Barbados for Hikes, Beaches and a Brazilian Boxer’s T-Shirt

photo: Seth Kugel NYT

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Tourism Matters: Where is Barbados’ Tourism Master Plan? Where is our YouTube campaign?

Closed hotels, lost opportunities and a failure to embrace You-Tube. (It’s free! It works! Why aren’t we running to use it?)

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner.

When a senior executive of a major American based travel oriented advertising agency recently told me that more people now log onto YouTube daily, than view the entire combined United States television networks, it got me thinking whether ‘we’ as a destination are maximising the use of the social networks. In fact, according to their own website, ‘people are watching 2 billion videos a day on YouTube and uploading hundreds of thousands’ of them.

With such a powerful marketing tool, which is currently free to use, it frankly surprised me that either collectively or as individual tourism entities we do not appear to fully capitalise on this amazing opportunity. Log-on to YouTube, then type in ‘Barbados’ and the first three pages or 66 videos, mostly comprise of amateur films of various qualities. Despite this, some of them have attracted over 200,000 viewings. Only about three or four are professionally produced and perhaps portray Barbados as a destination in a competitive environment that could tempt a first time visitor. Continue reading

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Barbados tourist arrivals up 2.9% – Visitors to St. Lucia up 11.9%

What is the true story about our Tourism statistics?

The Barbados government and the Nation newspaper are joyfully reporting that Barbados visitor arrivals are up 2.9%. That’s wonderful, but then we hear from Adrian Loveridge that St. Lucia long-stay visitors are up 11.9% for the same period.

We also see on the St. Lucia Tourist Board website that American visitors to St. Lucia are up 31.3% during the same time. How did they make that happen? Are we talking apples to apples? Continue reading

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Adrian Loveridge: New American Airlines Dallas to Barbados flight is a game changer!

Will Barbados follow-up aggressively on this opportunity?

The recent announcement of a new direct non-stop service from Dallas to Barbados with American Airlines, scheduled to start on 16th December is more good news and offers tremendous opportunities for our tourism industry.

According to the DFW Airport Board, Dallas/Fort Worth handled over 56 million passengers last year from 175 destinations. 60 per cent of these passengers were connecting from other cities. The greater metropolitan area of Dallas is the largest in the south and the fourth highest population on any similar urban area in the United States, boasting over 6.5 million residents (source: US Census Bureau).

But even with these impressive statistics, it could well prove that our biggest marketing tool will be beyond this new gateway. Continue reading

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Chauffeur killed, Barbados MP injured in head-on crash. Police lack authority for proper investigation.

Sylvester Brown died in a head-on collision Tuesday afternoon as he was driving Member of Parliament Hamilton Lashley (Hammie La). Hammie was taken to QEH with non-life threatening injuries to his head and hand.

The driver of the other vehicle, Mario Daniel-Hood, 29, of Eden Lodge, St Michael, was also taken to hospital with unknown injuries.

While an autopsy might reveal whether Mr. Brown had been celebrating earlier in the day, Barbados Police are handicapped in their investigation because they will not be able to determine if or how much Mr. Daniel-Hood had been drinking. Continue reading

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Wither our Small Barbados Hotels?

Government shows indifference to the small hotels

Adrian Loveridge

I read with interest some of the many comments attributed to the long serving chairman of the Intimate Hotels of Barbados at the organisation’s Annual General Meeting recently. I agree with most of them, but sadly I have also heard most of them before over prolonged periods of time. Until there is a fundamental shift in thinking, little will change.

Regrettably, consecutive Governments have not recognised the contribution made by our more than 120 small hotels. Continue reading

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Bob Verdun: Racist? Well meaning but culturally naive? Just truthful?

Lots to think about in Ian Bourne's photo of Bob Verdun!

Bajan Reporter says Bob Verdun “can overstep the boundaries of being respectful to his hosts”

Here in Bim race is just below the surface on everything. You can’t blame us for that, we come by it honestly. Have a look at our history long ago and more recently and you’ll see that in Barbados race has had social and economic impact upon individuals for hundreds of years. Continue reading

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Open-Skies for Barbados – Hope that new agreement with USA will bring increased air traffic.

“This agreement means the travelers, airlines and economies of both the United States and Barbados will benefit from competitive pricing and more convenient service,”

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Representatives of the United States and Barbados have reached an Open-Skies Agreement that will liberalize U.S.-Barbados air services for airlines of both countries. Barbados will become the 99th U.S. Open-Skies partner.

Upon signature of the agreement, airlines from both countries will be allowed to select routes, destinations and prices for both passenger and cargo service based on consumer demand and market conditions. The agreement, which was reached on July 1, provides airlines, for the first time, with codesharing and intermodal rights. The previous U.S.-Barbados air service agreement, signed in 1982, contained restrictions on the cities that carriers could serve and placed limits on charter operations. The new agreement will remove these restrictions and provide important enhanced cargo rights.

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Hartley Henry tells Barbados tourism industry to Shut Up. Adrian Loveridge replies…

‘I get tired sometimes hearing the cliché lines of complaint from hotel spokespersons in particular. This constant begging for more is not directed at any single governing party. It is a culture of bellyaching that needs to stop’.

The number of tourism and especially hotel-oriented facilities doing direct marketing in the tourism marketplace can be counted on a single hand. Yet, as a body, they have adopted this ‘gimmuh’ mentality, which effectively forms one’s mirror image of certain industry practitioners’.

Prime Minister Thompson’s main political advisor Hartley Henry let’s fly at the Barbados tourism industry in the Barbados Advocate article ‘Mind your (tourism) business’

Prime Minister David Thompson & principal advisor, Henry Hartley

Hartley Henry demonstrated “how far he is removed from the truth and reality of this industry.” Continue reading

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Canadian investor Bob Verdun accosted by Barbados Boscobel Toll Gang

Verdun the latest victim to complain of gang activity against tourists

Last Friday Bob Verdun gave the noon lecture at DLP Headquarters and detailed 15 ways that the Government can improve our tourism product without spending a penny. Journalist Ian Bourne attended and is writing a series of articles on Mr. Verdun’s message. You can read Ian’s first article at his Bajan Reporter online news site.

Unsurprisingly, one of Mr. Verdun’s primary tourism concerns is security, because he knows as we all should that without security the other three “esses” – sun, sea and sand – don’t matter. What is interesting is that Mr. Verdun confessed during his lecture that he, like thousands of others, fell victim to the Boscobel Road Toll Gang and that he does not go to this area of Barbados anymore. Continue reading

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Brazil – Barbados GOL flight a tremendous achievement!

Just for the record, I would like to applaud all those involved in securing the direct non-stop flight from GOL flight from Sao Paulo including the Minister of Tourism, BTA, Barbados Diplomatic Corp and BHTA.

It is a tremendous achievement, and I believe it offers the very best option in terms of route, carrier, duration of flight, connecting city possibilities and gateway.

From comments made by the Minister in the media, he is not expecting every flight to be full in the initial operating period, and however sceptical some may be about this foray into South America, this is in my humble opinion is a very realistic approach. Continue reading

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Fodor’s honours Peach and Quiet Hotel in Barbados

Congratulations to Margaret and Adrian Loveridge and the Peach and Quiet staff! Once again, Peach and Quiet Hotel has been honoured with the much coveted Fodor’s Choice Award, this time for 2010.

Peach and Quiet is one of only three hotels on Barbados to be granted this prestigious award, the other two being Coral Reef Club and Sandy Lane Hotel. This latest Fodor’s accolade follows the early award this year of being rated as one of the ‘12 Best Value Hotels in the Caribbean’ and the only hotel on Barbados to be granted this recognition in 2010. Continue reading

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Pilots give ultimatum to LIAT over press release statements

Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association – Press release

P O Box 2313, St John’s, Antigua ♦ Tel: 246-243-2829 ♦ Fax:  246-562-2743
E-mail: lialpa@ifalpa.intranets.com
DATE:  15th June 2010

PILOTS GIVE LIAT MIDNIGHT DEADLINE TO RETRACT & APOLOGISE FOR STATEMENTS FILLED WITH DISHONESTY AND DECEIT

(St John’s, Antigua)     In a high-level meeting held at the Grantley Adams International Airport in Barbados on Tuesday 15th June 2010, LIAT’s Management was given an ultimatum by Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA) to retract several statements made in its Press Release dated Monday 14th June 2010. Continue reading

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St. Lucia “stealing our tourists” because Barbados tourism shareholders aren’t doing enough

Barbados not promoting the available low airfares!

This afternoon we received an email highlighting special airfares from the United States and Canada to St. Lucia.

It read ‘Airfare Sales to St. Lucia from US$99 each way’

‘Sample round-trip fares for Summer.
American Airlines, JetBlue or Delta – New York – $198 – Boston – $312 – Washington (DC) – $292 – Baltimore – $282 – Charlotte – $360 and Chicago – $312

West Jet and Air Canada – Toronto – $298’

Visit Barbados website: No promotion of fabulous bargain airfares to Barbados!

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

Not having seen these airfares before earlier this year, I then went of to American Airlines website and found a one way airfare of US$89 from New York to Barbados for travel in May.

Looking at the recently released forward hotel occupancy levels for this summer, I then went onto our national tourism website (www.visitbarbados.org) and was surprised not to find any links to details of these special fares.

In fact on the site only two airlines are mentioned, US Airways and Air Canada, and I understand we have already lost the US Airways Philadelphia service.

I have to pose the question again, is our inactively and lackadaisical response loosing us critical long stay visitors during the softer summer months?

Are ‘we’ really happy to accept a national hotel occupancy level of just 24% in August again this year?

Are ‘we’ allowing our Caribbean neighbours to ‘steal’ our market share by them being far more proactive?

Adrian Loveridge
14th May 2010

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Bad News: Barbados Government taxes No Plastic Bag Day into submission then Environment Ministry ignores this vital project!

The Good

By all accounts, last weekend’s first annual No Plastic Bag Day in Barbados was successful in raising public awareness that there is an alternative to the millions of plastic bags Bajans throw away every year. Thousands of Bajans got the message as Future Centre Trust volunteers publicized the event at the wonderful businesses that participated: Emerald City, Carlton & A1, Super Centre, Trimart, Coffee and H&B Hardware.

As an example of what can be accomplished, Kammie Holder reports that through the excellent efforts of Mr. Dean, the cashiers and packers at Emerald City, between 9am and 2pm 80% of the shoppers participated in No Plastic Bag day and used a combination of green bags, cardboard boxes or brought their own bags to re-use.

Good work by Mr. Dean & Emerald City!

The Bad

Some stores were totally indifferent to No Plastic Bag Day. As Kammie puts it, Bajans can be very complacent.

But as BFP reader “Passin thru” said…

“Well done to Kammie and all the people at the Future Centre Trust. This was the start of something beautiful and it will grow every year and you’ll see that five years from now more people will use fewer plastic bags. That will be the longterm result of this first “no plastic bag day”.

No environmental project can be “wham-bam-accomplished”. This is a long term project to change the minds and culture of people who don’t care. Kammie and the other good people know that and they keep plugging away.”

The Ugly: Sabotage by Barbados Government

Unfortunately though, No Plastic Bag Day was nowhere near as successful as it could have been because the effort was sabotaged by the Barbados Government – and then totally ignored by Environment Minister Lowe and his Ministry workers.

No Plastic Bag Day sabotaged by government? Yup… sabotaged.

SHAME on Environment Minister Denis Lowe & Prime Minister David Thompson: Didn't care, didn't attend, didn't send reps during planning or to No Plastic Bag Day. Refused to exempt the Green shopping bags from duty and taxes.

The Barbados Government, Environment Minister Denis Lowe and the Environment Ministry were invited to participate in the planning and execution of No Plastic Bag Day. What a waste of effort.

Denis Lowe canceled a scheduled meeting with the Future Centre Trust at the last moment saying he had more important commitments. Lowe sent no stand-in. No Ministry of the Environment personnel responded to invitations either – and no politicians from any party showed up during the planning or on the day of the event.

The Barbados DLP Government of Prime Minister David Thompson did do one thing though: the DLP denied a duty waiver on the green shopping bags imported as part of No Plastic Bag Day.

That’s right folks – despite the Future Centre Trust’s point that over $10 million dollars is spent every year to clean the drains of plastic bags, the David Thompson Government couldn’t see any further than the duty & tax revenues from the sale of green shopping bags.

Consequently, the bags had to be priced several dollars higher than the intended $3 price point, so fewer were purchased and used by members of the public.

Thanks for nothing to Environment Minister Denis Lowe, the Ministry of the Environment and the government of Prime Minister David Thompson!

It is a sad irony that during the past few days the elites have been doing the champagne and finger-food thing at the 1th Annual Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development (STC-11). They’ve been listening to Jonathan Tourtellot, Director of the National Geographic Centre for Sustainable Destinations, telling folks about the importance of community involvement and initiatives.

Is it too much to hope that Mr Tourtellot might see this article and understand that what is SAID by Barbados Government officials bears no link to what is DONE or NOT DONE by the Barbados Government?

Expose the disconnect between what is said by the Government of Barbados and what is actually done!

I wonder if any of our readers will send this article and other recent articles on the environmental failures of the Barbados Government to Mr. Tourtellot? Only when our elected and appointed government officials come to know that there is accountability will they get serious about the environment and stop faking it to grab those international aid dollars.

Barbados doesn’t have any environmental protection legislation. No mandatory recycling or local pickup. Zero controls or standards on hazardous chemicals. Zero environmental standards or enforcement. We’re building on every available inch of the West Coast and deliberately destroying the last mangrove wetlands so the majority of the surrounding watershed can be sold to developers. Previously protected environmentally sensitive land at Graeme Hall has already been re-zoned to allow development.

How does all that square with fine words by government officials this week in Bridgetown and New York?

Let the world know the reality. That’s the only way things will get any better.

Here’s Mr. Tourtellot’s email. We’ll fill in the emails from the other speakers at the conference as we find them… Continue reading

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