Barbados Tourism Authority couldn’t care less about the small hotels sector
“Show me where you spend your money and I’ll show you what’s important to you.” That phrase goes way back to the Bible and it’s as true now as it was back then. In his latest article Adrian Loveridge says that the government “props up” Government GEMS hotels while ignoring the small hotel sector and he’s correct.
What he doesn’t say right out in this article is that the Government of Barbados failed miserably with every GEMS hotel it touched while hard working small hotel owners and staff who were successful made it on their own. The DLP and BLP governments wondered why nobody wanted to invest in the Barbados hotel business and the reason was the government was the “competition” and subsidized poor quality GEMS Hotels with hundreds of millions of tax dollars. What private sector can compete with that kind of government “competition”?
And even with the hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidization, the amateurs running GEMS Hotels couldn’t make a go of it. That’s what happens when the government hires managers who have no personal stake in the business and couldn’t make it in the private sector if they tried.
All things considered, Barbados is a very hostile business environment for the small hotels sector. I think that the Barbados Tourism Authority ignores the small hotels because they believe their first duty is to the government owned and lower quality mass market hotels.
The Barbados Tourism Authority might say they care about small hotels, but considering 0% (yup zero percent) of the BTA budget is dedicated to the small hotel sector, you don’t have to be a farmer to smell the cow droppings.
And just for the record, the following title “The Big Lie…” is ours. Mr. Loveridge’s words start with the quote below our title…
The Big Lie spoken by David Rice of the Barbados Tourism Authority…
“What needs to happen is this…we have to get out of this notion that the Government is here to prop up every business.”
David Rice CEO/President – Barbados Tourism Authority
Barbados Advocate – Thursday 24th February 2011
From a tourism perspective that is of course unless your business is called Hotels and Resorts Ltd (GEMS). In which case you will receive almost unlimited support to ‘prop’ you up, including a reported BDS$247 million (losses) or nearly three times the annual budget of Mr. Rice’s organisation! Continue reading