Tag Archives: Barbados Tourism Authority

Tourist statistics for March… say hello to the Germans!

Barbados German Tourists

This just in…

In the interest of fairness and accuracy, retired diplomat Peter Simmons stated on Down to Brass Tacks yesterday that visitor arrivals were down 9 per cent for the first three months of 2013.

While long stay visitor arrivals were down 9 per cent in both January and February, they were only down 1.6 per cent in March.

In fact, cruise ship passenger arrivals were up by 9.2 per cent in March 2013. This is when compared with the same periods in 2012.

What was that old saying about statistics and people who use them?

Okay, so we know life is tough ’bout hey, but what does this mean…

March 2013 cruise ship passengers up 9.2% over March 2012

BUT….

March 2013 overall tourist visits down 1.6% compared to March 2012

TRANSLATION…

We had a couple of bigger boats in compared with last year, but the overall visitors are down.

The Germans are coming! The Germans are coming!

We had an extra 367 German visitors in March 2013 over March 2012. How much did those extra visitors cost us in increased BTA spending in Germany? I know you can’t look at it like that because you have to consider the cumulative impact of advertising, but while the Barbados Tourism Authority people will be happy to talk about the increase in Germans, what do they say about the loss of 385 Canadians and 1,431 Americans during the same period?

This is too heavy for me on a Thursday morning. I need a Banks…

=========================================
.                             March        March        Net YoY           YoY%
.                               2013           2012            Change
=========================================
TOTAL                53,304         54,164           -860          -1.6%
U.K                       18,550         17,601            949           5.4%
U.S.A                12,222         13,653         -1,431         -10.5%
Canada              9,086          9,471           -385          -4.1%
Germany            1,343            976            367          37.6%
Other Europe          2,825          2,459            366          14.9%
Trinidad & Tobago  2,937          2,982            -45          -1.5%
Other Caricom         4,237          4,653           -416          -8.9%
Other Countries       2,104          2,369           -265         -11.2%
===========================================
SOURCE: Barbados Statistical Service

Further Reading

Bloomberg Cruise Stats: Barbados Cruise, March 2013

Bloomberg Tourism Stats: Barbados Overall March 2013

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Barbados Tourism Authority takes a ride on Wigan Athletic’s Emmerson Boyce at the Wembley final

Emmerson Boyce Wigan

We at BFP and many others have been saying for years that the Barbados Tourism Authority should be constantly monitoring news and current events so that when a Bajan is mentioned they can capitalise on the publicity. It’s been a pathetic lack at the BTA for a long long time. We need all the positive vibes and publicity we can get and to miss opportunities to get it for free is almost criminal.

When Adele won six Grammy awards in 2012 it never occurred to the BTA to mention that her musical director is Bajan Miles Robertson. The BTA should have been so ready because anybody could see those awards coming a year in advance – but nothing was done. Contrast the BTA with the efforts of the Aruba Tourism Authority that received world coverage for Aruba by offering a vacation to the losers of the Super Bowl. Aruba received fantastic coverage for no money.

Now we’re happy to see Petra Roach of the BTA in the UK priming the media pump about Wigan Athletic’s captain Emmerson Boyced (photo above) – who qualifies as a Bajan through his parents who both have their navel strings buried in Barbados. Hey… any positive association is welcome!

Okay… that’s one. What’s on for next week, Petra?

Bajan Pride

Barbados International Boyce to captain Wigan Athletic in the Wembley final

THE WHOLE of Barbados will be rooting for Wigan Athletic when they take on mighty Manchester City in next month’s FA Cup final.

On May 11 Wigan will be captained by Barbados international Emmerson Boyce for football’s showpiece occasion. Many on the Caribbean island, and those Bajans that live in the UK, will for 90 minutes at least be cheering on the team known as the Latics.

After securing an FA Cup final berth after beating Millwall in the semi-final, Boyce said that his team’s victory was a dream come true. “I can’t wait for the final now,” he admitted.

Though born in England, Boyce was also eligible to play for the Barbados national team through his parents, who were both born in Barbados.

Boyce’s achievement has put the popular tourist destination in the spotlight as the FA Cup is the oldest and most prestigious domestic competition in football.

Petra Roach, vice president Sales & Marketing of the Barbados Tourism Authority UK, commented: “We’re delighted that Emmerson Boyce has led his team to success in the FA Cup semi-finals, and wish him and Wigan every success for the final.

“Having represented the Barbados national football team, Bajan Pride, Emmerson is not only a friend of Barbados but a fantastic ambassador for our country.

… continue reading this article at Voice Online

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Loveridge on Barbados election results: So many expectations, so little change

“We are currently facing an extended softer eight long summer months without any national marketing plan in place.”

Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

I suppose you can put in down to my naivety, so long in coming, so many great expectations and then in hindsight, the reality of the situation. Almost 40 per percent of the eligible electorate chose not to vote, the status quo re-elected for a second term by a precariously small majority and just microscopic adjustments made to the governance of an industry in crisis.

At least, that seems to be the scenario so far.

Clearly there are plus points. Irene Sandiford-Garner, appointed as a Parliamentary Secretary in the re-configured Ministry and Tourism and International Transport, when many of us years later are still puzzling why the two bodies were ever separated in the first place. The Senator brings her abilities in marketing to the table just at a time when this discipline is needed more than ever.

Shadowing the Ministry is Santia Bradshaw. While I don’t want to diminish her abundant legal qualifications, I am far from convinced that we need or want any more lawyers involved in tourism policy making. But she is also an entrepreneur and after looking at her website, I was personally impressed with the high level of presentation. Hopefully she can add value and youthful objectivity to the sector from a constructive opposition stance.

“While the global recession and the dreaded APD tax have helped stifle growth in visitor arrival numbers, they are not the sole cause of our dismal performance in tourism.”

Now is the time for solutions.   Continue reading

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Loveridge: Bajan government raised taxes, lowered revenues and ignored obvious tourism strategies

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

Is the predicted 6 or 7 per cent fall in long stay visitors during the month of January directly as a result of reduced promotional expenditure by the national marketing agency and if so, has anyone put a dollar value on the consequential loss of tax revenue collected by Government?

Is this yet another example of a failed policy decision, as when Government increased the level of VAT, only to find the overall amount gathered, went down and not up. According to the CBB (Central Bank) from $683.4 million in 2011 to $666.6 million in 2012. A 6 per cent decrease in arrivals when compared to January 2012 would represent  3,157 less people and 7 per cent 3,683. Last January was already down over the previous year, albeit only by 0.8 per cent according to CTO figures.

What we should be asking is how much those missing thousands would have spent and is the current dearth of funds to the Barbados Tourism Authority actually costing the industry and the nation’s coffers more than we can imagine?

It doesn’t just end with tax collection, but has to take into account increased benefit payments due to lay-offs and reduced spending by those fully employed. And how will this also impact on overall occupancy levels during the critical four winter months and economy of scale and expense caused as a result of lower lodging levels? Of course these precious winter months also command the highest rooms rates, which in many cases helps the individual hotels limp through the softer summer period.

Are ‘we’ being pennywise and pound foolish?

A regular long stay Canadian visitor asked me why the BTA did not exhibit at the recently concluded Ultimate Travel Show held in Toronto. With a population approaching 6 million people in the Greater Toronto Area , all of which live within an hour’s drive of Pearson International Airport plus an BTA office in Canada’s largest city, I could not proffer an explanation. Given the climatic conditions, the time of the year and the falling arrival numbers it didn’t seem to make any sense at all. Continue reading

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Barbados Tourism Authority’s strategy for failure: We don’t advertise on TV because our current customers don’t watch TV

But if BTA advertised on TV, would their current customers come from a TV watching crowd?

‘We don’t advertise on television because our market intelligence tells us that our consumers do not watch much television. It is also a very expensive medium to invest in, so unless you have the money to be consistent it makes no sense to do it. Every advertising expert we have consulted has told us the same thing’.

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

This is a verbatim quote from one of our leading tourism policymakers and it got me thinking about the merits of these views. ‘Very expensive medium’ and ‘so unless you have the money’. You cannot really argue with either of those statements. But is that the point?

I then went onto YouTube and typed in ‘tourism tv commercials’ and started trying to tally the number of destinations and tourism brands that have produced  and aired ‘ads’ within the last two years. I lost count after one hundred, so do these national marketing agencies, hotel groupings, tour operators etc., employ different advertising experts, or simply ensure their expenditure is cost effective.

Sandals Resorts for instance, recently launched a series of 45 second commercials on British television and the century old travel giant, Thomas Cook, presently have a major tv campaign to boost January holiday bookings.

So do their clients not watch ‘much television’, or is it more about where and when their ‘experts’ decide to air the ‘ads’?

Of course you could argue that many of the destinations and travel companies have bigger promotional budgets and can afford this type of medium – but in a multitude of cases, that simply isn’t true.

Outstanding Newfoundland and Labrador: 21 percent increase in tourism revenues over five years!

One outstanding example is Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism. Their annual budget has been doubled during the last six years, but is still only CAD$13 million (about BDS$26 million). During their current series of TV ‘ads’, tourism spending has risen 21 per cent for the period 2005-2010, and non-resident visitors have increased by 7.3 per cent alone in 2010 to 518,500, despite any negative effects of the recession. Continue reading

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Adrian Loveridge: So much wrong with the Barbados Tourism Authority

BeatDeadHorse

Adrian takes his cane to a dead horse called the Barbados Tourism Authority…

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

First in the interests of establishing impartiality, I think its important that I point out that I have never been a member of a political party during my sixty two years.

I vote, whenever practical, because it is seemingly my only tiny contribution to maintaining anything close to a democratic system and consider it both a right and a civic obligation.

When the current administration swept into office just a month short of five year ago, while observing entirely from a tourism perspective, a number of stated objectives were contained within their manifesto.

Included in these were to ‘restructure and strengthen the Barbados Tourism Authority’. At the time I remember asking the then Chairman, what was the time frame for this re-organisation. His reply still resonates in my ears. ‘Six months’ he confidently responded.

We all realise now that it wasn’t to be.

And that has left me asking the same question over and over again: If a private sector entity, spent hundreds of million of Dollars, employed upwards of 150 full and part time employees, consultants, contracted the services of advertising agencies, public relations companies etc., and didn’t produce any real growth for nearly five years, would it be deemed a failed business model? Continue reading

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Canadian firefighter criticises lack of Barbados Tourism promotion in Ottawa, Canada

“Every Saturday the newspaper travel section comes out and there are trips everywhere except Barbados.”

Dear Barbados Free Press:

Thirty years ago I met my wife in Barbados, and the one promise I made was I would get her home every year if she moved to Canada. So you can imagine I am always watching the newspaper travel section about flights or packages to the island. Every Saturday the travel section comes out and there are trips everywhere except Barbados. What does your tourism authority do in Canada????

Ottawa is where we live and your embassy is should be ashamed of the lack of promotion of probably the best island in the Caribbean. When the average firefighter in Ottawa earns over 180,000 Barbados dollars a year, is this a market to be overlooked? The time is past for only name recognition to keep people coming. The Barbados Tourism Authority must be actively pursuing new tourists. That’s what the BTA are they paid for!

name withheld by BFP editor

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