Tag Archives: Barbados Tourism Authority

Jane Shattuck Hoyos produces fabulous Peach & Quiet video


Our friend Jane Shattuck runs Planet Barbados Blog and can be seen at all the usual places including Facebook and YouTube. She’s just done up a promotional video for Peach & Quiet Hotel and it is stunning in its presentation and message. Have a look for yourself above.

Both Jane and Peach & Quiet co-owner Adrian Loveridge are masters of leveraging the internet to get out their message and keep their tourist venues at near capacity.

If you own a tourism business you’d do well to watch their efforts carefully. Both Jane and Adrian work hard at promoting Barbados and their businesses on and off the net and it pays off with occupancy rates at the top of the scale. In the case of Peach & Quiet Hotel, over 80% of visitors are repeat customers!

But there is something else happening besides promotion. Could it be that Peach and Quiet Hotel does so well because owners Adrian and Margaret religiously maintain and refresh their product offerings? The video mentions that P&Q gets a facelift every year to the tune of 500 gallons of paint. What the video doesn’t mention is that we’ve seen Adrian himself covered in paint himself on a July afternoon.

There is a lesson there somewhere.

The other lesson concerns how many business owners are waiting for the Barbados Tourism Authority to promote their businesses with tax dollars and how many just forge ahead themselves being careful to get the best bang for the buck. Which ones do you think are most successful?

11 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

New Barbados Tourism Authority Chairman needs all the help he can get!

Can the BTA Chairman Adrian Elcock be effective with little industry experience?

by Adrian Loveridge - Small hotel owner

I have waited a few days, hoping, even wishing that someone within the tourism industry would make a public comment over the appointment of a new Barbados Tourism Authority Board.

Sadly, it hasn’t happened and almost with a sense of obligation, while knowing that it will invite criticism find it almost compelling to ask some seemingly relevant questions.

First let us establish the objective here. It’s not about individual personalities, but surely what is in the overall national best interest of Barbados and its tourism sector.

To ensure that I fully understood the required criteria of a Board Chairman, I have read through pages and pages of reference documents on the internet.

Listed as a basic function is ‘The Chairman of the Board is responsible for the management, the development and the effective performance of the Board of Directors, and provides leadership to the Board for all aspects of the Board’s work’.

Instinct tells me that it is fundamentally essential to have an in-depth
knowledge of the industry, its players and product, to perform this duty. Otherwise how could you assess the strengths and weaknesses to ensure that any medium to long term all embracing plan and policy direction is put into place? Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Barbados Tourism Authority becoming a Family Affair?

Consolidation of power and influence along family lines?

Dear BFP

Your article about Verla Depeiza being named as a Director of the Barbados Tourism Authority puts a question into my rum-fogged mind.

Can anyone answer my question?

Is Verla Depeiza (photo left) the sister of Francis Depeiza (photo right), the DLP hopeful for St. Michael North in the last election and if so, is being married to Kerry Hall, another Director on the BTA Board not a bit too close for comfort?

Just a question!

32 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Corruption, Ethics

Barbados Government’s predatory pricing and large sector support destroys small hotels

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

by Adrian Loveridge - Small hotel owner

“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

26 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business & Banking

Barbados Tourism Authority targets Russia: Good idea?

What will be the BTA’s Return on Investment for Russia’s “My Planet Travel Awards”?

by Nevermind Kurt

The few Russian visitors I personally meet while working or at the beach are nice enough people. They are polite in their own way, keep to themselves and are quiet except when they’re not quiet and then they are boisterous and happy, not the mean drinkers that I sometimes see from elsewhere. They have money. The ones I see generally bring their children along. I think that some of the “keep to themselves” impression comes from the language difference. When their English is better the Russians seem friendlier because you can talk to them. That is my experience and, as they say, your mileage may vary!

The Russians are easy enough to please as tourists and they are a pleasure after dealing with finicky and unfriendly Germans. Some stereotypes exist because they’re true, you know. Continue reading

12 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Barbados Tourism Authority: $100 Million Dollar Budget, but…

Tourism MATTERS

by Adrian Loveridge - Small hotel owner

For some reason, all the tourism policymakers I have approached have been reluctant to confirm exactly what the law is relating to the registration and licensing of our tourism accommodation.

While researching the mandate of the Barbados Tourism Authority,  the body entrusted to regulate the industry, I came up with Chapter 342 of the Laws of Barbados which clearly states under section 25 (1) that ‘No person shall operate any tourist accommodation unless that person first applies for and obtains a licence issued in accordance with the regulations’.

That seems unequivocal and straight forward enough. If the law has been changed and amendments made since this was enacted which significantly changes the rules then please let us know?

If they have not, then clearly the law is not being enforced and judging by the increasing number of websites highlighting new accommodation providers which appear almost on a weekly basis, it must be an area of concern. Continue reading

9 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Almond Resorts addresses blog’s renovation story: Nation Newspaper doesn’t ask about sewage leak story

Lesson #57,922 why Bajans don’t trust The Nation Newspaper

On January 13, 2011, West Coast Blog asked Is Almond Beach Village Closing? and told of staff being laid off at the Almond Beach Village resort, and that Almond was having trouble paying staff on time. The blog described a rumour that Almond Beach Village would be shut down in the middle of the high season for renovations.

Barbados Free Press picked up on the West Coast Blog article and published our story Barbados Almond Beach Village: Two very different reports, what’s the truth? on January 21, 2011.

On that same day, January 21, 2011, Professor Robin Mahon, Director of the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES), at the University of the West Indies, posted a video at YouTube proving that the Almond Beach Club sewage well was running into the sea and that Almond Beach tourists were swimming in their own sewage. This was the second video posted and is just the latest strategy in a seven-year campaign by Professor Mahon and other concerned citizens to have Almond Resorts be responsible for their sewage runoff.

On January 22, 2011 at 2am, Barbados Free Press covered Professor Mahon’s video in our story Video Proof: Almond Beach Village tourists swimming in their own sewage. The story was read by Nation staffers at least five times in the first 24 hours, as were our other Almond Beach stories.

Almond’s say… and silence Continue reading

10 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Environment, Ethics, Health

Visit Jamaica Facebook: over 100,000 fans. Visit Barbados Facebook: 263 fans.

UK visitors to Jamaica up 13% due to “concerted social media campaign.”

Visit Jamaica Facebook page: 103,700+ fans.

“Official” Barbados Tourism Authority Facebook page: 263 fans

Many Barbados Tourism Facebook pages dead for months.

Over two months ago we reported on the sorry state of the tossed-together Barbados Tourism Authority social media campaign (and we use the word “campaign” very loosely). We told you about the haphazardly created and then discarded BTA websites and Facebook pages that litter the internet like used diapers at a daycare center. (See our October 5, 2010 article: Barbados Tourism Authority Facebook not updated for 3 months)

We told you how Barbados is paying big dollars to a US company to have 15 minutes of original content work done each week and how our Facebook posts are mostly adverts, with many created automatically by software. We told you how our Twitter campaign was mostly automatically generated with pre-used content.

“Sometimes you just want to cry or rage at the shear stupidity and waste.”

BFP’s Robert reacts to more BTA idiocy reported on the next page of this article.

We told you how even the Minister of Tourism’s website lacked links to the Visit Barbados websites, Facebook pages and Twitter feed that we’re paying the big dollars for. Then the Bajan Reporter asked Tourism Minister Richard L. Sealy (photo above) about the BTA Facebook pages not being updated in months and it was a total surprise to the Minister.

So what has changed in the last couple of months? Ha! Maybe you don’t want to know… but you should make it your business. After all: you’re paying for this mess… Continue reading

16 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Technology, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism

Tourism Matters: Unlicensed accomodations make for chaos

Foolishness: Doing things the same old way and expecting change.

Adrian Loveridge - Small hotel owner

From a tourism marketing perspective, there are two phrases, expressions or mission statements that I have come to detest. They are ‘paradigm shift’ and ‘thinking outside of the box’.

It’s not the words themselves, but more the people that tend to quote these sayings frequently. Because in hindsight what at the time seems almost an imperative to implement change, inevitability becomes seemingly the last thing on their minds.

Barbados Tourism stuck in the mud

Most people consider tourism a dynamic industry which is subject to frequent change and almost perpetual challenges. So it would be unreasonable to think that ‘we’ could keeping doing things the same old way and achieve different results, surely? Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business & Banking

Adrian Loveridge’s Tourism MATTERS: Barbados Tourism Minister talks about Social Media – the reality is quite different

The use and non-use of Social Media by The Barbados Tourism Authority

 

by Adrian Loveridge

 

As two of the last four Tourism MATTERS columns have been dedicated to the subject, it was refreshing to hear the Minister of Tourism recently state that Barbados would be increasing the use of social media to promote the destination.

This following the earlier appointment of a Director of Social Marketing by the Barbados Tourism Authority’s advertising agency in North America, MMG Worldwide, and their launch of a social media tool called Travel Share.

Not wanting to regurgitate large sections of a MMG media release explaining what the objectives of Travel Share are, it would certainly imply that this agency is at the cutting edge of maximising the benefits from this medium.

It therefore continues to beg the question, why are our tourism policymakers seemingly so slow to fully embrace what is considered by almost every competing territory, an absolute integral part of marketing? Continue reading

11 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business & Banking

Barbados Tourism Authority Facebook not updated for 3 months

click to enlarge

Tourism Minister’s “social media” programme needs some attention

Our Minister of Tourism, Richard L. Sealy, was quoted on CBC TV8 News a couple of days ago stating that the Barbados Tourism Authority and his Ministry of Tourism are using Social Media to a greater extent, and how we hired some outside experts to assist our online tourism efforts. Indeed, Minister Sealy went on and on about the wonderful benefits of Facebook, Twitter etc and how effective and cost-effective online social media is. As Minister Sealy said (and I’m going by memory here), “There is no advertisement that can match the recommendation of a friend.”

True. Very true.

Too bad that Minister Sealy (above) doesn’t have time to log into his own Ministry of Tourism website. The gruesome details are at the end of this article, but the short story is that there are no visible links on Minister Sealy’s website to any Barbados tourism website or social media. Really.

The Ministry of Tourism’s website does contain a “Latest News” section though. Here it is in full…

“Latest News

Latest news here

Type text here”

It is also too bad that the Minister doesn’t have time to log into the various Barbados Tourism Authority social media sites once every few months to check up on the, ah, status. I was about to say “progress” of his social media programme, but I think I’ll let the following speak for itself. Continue reading

23 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Blogging, Technology

Big excitement in Barbados over direct Brazil flights – but still no Portuguese language on Barbados Tourism Authority website after ten years

Why won’t the Barbados Tourism Authority get off it’s lazy ass and welcome BTA website visitors in Portuguese?

Sorry for the subtitle language, folks. I don’t know how to express the frustration of the entire Barbados tourism industry in any clearer manner.

Hotel owners have been asking the BTA to put up welcome pages in Portuguese and Spanish for over a decade. Tourism and Industry ministers under four different governments have talked about tapping into the huge tourism potential of Brazil and some of our other Central and South American neighbours for 17 years. Barbados spends millions upon millions of dollars every year in tourism marketing and subsidies but we haven’t got what it takes to put up a few webpages to say “Come to Barbados!” in the language that our prospective customers speak.

It just boggles the mind.

“Language is one of the strongest elements of Brazil’s national unity. Portuguese is spoken by nearly 99.9 percent of the population.”

… from Wikipedia’s entry on Brazil

Pointing out the BTA’s lack of Portuguese & Spanish website for five months

BFP started focusing on this one simple issue in our September 23, 2009 article: Idiocy! Government Minister Hutson says “Look to Latinos”, but Barbados Tourism Authority failed to establish Spanish, Portuguese language websites despite 10 years of begging by hotel owners

We followed up on November 6, 2009 with this story: Six weeks later: Still no Spanish, Portuguese language welcome on Barbados Tourism or Investment & Development websites.

“Its now over ten years since I pleaded with the BTA to place a Spanish and Portuguese language version on the national website, so at least some of those 400 million plus potential travelers could do the prior research or planning.
 Look on YouTube and you will see a Spanish version of a television ‘ad’ prepared for the BTA. Of course it was almost a waste of time and money because it contained no-call-to action (telephone number or website address).”

… Adrian Loveridge, private sector hotel owner, “Peach & Quiet Hotel” Barbados

What is it about the BTA that makes them unable to understand the importance of language in marketing?

The Barbados Tourism Authority should have established a Portuguese-language welcome page at the BTA website a decade ago. It’s a basic requirement for entering any tourism market: you have to be able to speak to your target audience. If you’re not willing to do that you are just pretending.

In the case of the BTA, they can do things ass-backwards because they’re playing with the never-ending buckets of our tax dollars and don’t have to show any measurable results. The BTA can make so many basic errors and nobody seems to call them on it.

This is just so stupid.

Our government went to the trouble and expense of lobbying for and facilitating scheduled flights between Brazil and Barbados, but can’t spend what amounts to rum-money to hire a translator to provide some basic information on the BTA website in Portuguese. We’re not even talking about hiring a Brazilian call center to answer questions by prospective tourists – but that’s pretty basic too.

Is there something I’m missing here? PLEASE tell me I’m wrong or crazy or something. Tell me I don’t understand tourism marketing. Explain to me why I should believe that our BTA people are doing the right things at the right time and they are not a bunch of idiots who are unable to make such a simple and low-cost, yet vital, addition to the BTA website.

31 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism