Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner – now selling!
Perhaps more than many, I can totally empathise with those individuals who have recently seen their business either fail or brought dangerously close to insolvency. In 47 years, it has happened to me twice and in both cases they were largely external forces which caused near personal financial catastrophe.
Of course, it is easy to attribute the blame to others, but in my case I can unequivocally state that both near failures, which occurred years apart, were largely caused by strike action in the United Kingdom involving the National Union of Seaman.
I personally witnessed bus loads of what can only be described as pickaxe wielding thugs, destroying property and intimidating ordinary people simply wanting to go about everyday work and operating their businesses. More than a decade later it was the same union blockading the English channel ports, which prevented literally thousands of our booked holidaymakers taking their hard earned trips.
Unless you have been a small entrepreneur and fully understand the work, sacrifice and dedication it takes to grow and nurture a business from nothing, it might be difficult to comprehend the feeling of sheer devastation you experience when all those efforts unfold and collapse in front of you.
Starting a business in Barbados
When we moved to Barbados some twenty five years ago and put our life savings into purchasing a derelict hotel, we were starting all over again. Not surprising, the local banks we approached were not overly helpful, regularly quoting those seemingly worldly phrases like that we were ‘undercapitalised’ or ‘over trading’. Little did we know then that these ‘pearls of wisdom’ would come back and haunt the many supposedly ‘responsible’ financial institutions, globally just years later. Continue reading
When reading the online customer reviews of Peach and Quiet Hotel at TripAdvisor and other like sites, the first thing that strikes you is the number of former guests who mention how the hotel owners and staff made them feel welcome and went the extra distance to ensure a good stay.
Peach and Quiet’s high occupancy rate and lengthy list of repeat visitors is the envy of the hotel business in Barbados but their success hasn’t happened by accident or overnight. In his latest installment of Tourism Matters, Adrian Loveridge tells how he and Margaret once had to stay up all night licking trading stamps because there was no money to fund the next day’s BBQ and the stamps were buying the food.
Adrian also reports that in our current 11% plus unemployment, the hotel could use a few more employees, but he’s having trouble finding anyone with the attitude to help grow the business. That is an interesting observation in a country where tourism is foundational to the economy, and frankly, is exactly what business owners in other sectors regularly say.
Adrian’s article is well worth your time – and if you know anyone who would be a good fit at Peach and Quiet, well… Adrian says he’s looking for a couple of people. Continue reading
Why doesn’t the Ministry of Tourism use a real blog for its White Paper discussion?
Adrian Loveridge submitted an article (published below) about the government’s White Paper on Tourism Development initiative where Adrian laments that – despite a fair amount of advertising, two town hall meetings and over 13,000 Bajans directly employed in the tourism industry – to date only seven people have posted comments on the Ministry of Tourism’s “White Paper Blog“ since it was established last November.
Adrian’s article is generally positive about the government’s Tourism White Paper initiative (and we agree!), but he is perplexed at the lack of public input and interest on the Government’s White Paper Blog.
Fear not Adrian, (and fear not Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy), we at Barbados Free Press know exactly what went wrong with the White Paper Blog and how to fix it – quickly, easily and on the cheap. Heck, we or any real bloggers could fix it for free on Saturday night, given a bottle a Mount Gay, some coding music and pretty girls hanging about. Truly.
The Tourism Ministry’s “White Paper Blog” is not a real blog
Last November, Tourism Minister Richard Sealy announced the “White Paper for the Development of Tourism in Barbados” and the government’s “White Paper Blog” in an attempt to encourage and collect input about where we should be heading with our tourism product.
Good idea! Only problem is, apparently Minister Sealy and his staff have no idea of the differences between a true blog and a “static website with comments” – for they established an isolated “static website with comments” and not a true blog that would be connected to the over 100 million other true blogs currently on the internet. To explain the difference… Continue reading
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