Tag Archives: Economy

Santander study names Barbados as most expensive destination for British tourists

Lots of beaches, sand, surf, sky everywhere. Why should Brits pay more for Barbados?

Lots of beaches, sand, surf, sky everywhere. Why should Brits pay more for Barbados?

Wonderful. Just what we need ’bout this island.

BFP pundit Adrian Loveridge has been pounding this subject for years. Looks like nobody has been listening…

UAE and Barbados most expensive destinations for British holidaymakers

The UAE and Barbados have been ranked the most expensive destinations for British tourists in a new survey published by Santander.

According to the report, the two destinations cost Brits more than £100 per day in spending money. By comparison, Poland and India are the cheapest destinations, costing just £30 per day on average.

These figures do not include the cost of hotel accommodation or flights.

With a direct flight to Barbados costing an average of £3,136 – flying out on 27 July, the busiest week of the summer – a couple going away for two weeks could expect to pay around £12,900 for their summer holiday, once accommodation is included, the report stated.

… continue reading the full report at Travel Daily UK

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy

Barbados luxury tourism image becoming a long-term liability?

Typical roadside wildlife: The not so rare Genus "plasticus baggis trashisus"

Typical roadside wildlife: The not so rare Genus “plasticus baggis trashisus”

“Barbados an upscale tourism destination? Really?

Open your eyes and your nostrils! Clean up the garbage strewn throughout this island.

Until we do that, the demographics of our tourism business won’t matter.”

Aging demographic of British tourists prompts questions about the next generation, but we have a more immediate problem…

submitted by Passin Thru

Barbados has never been, and will never be, a mass-tourism destination. We’re too far away from our main European markets, the farthest Caribbean destination from the North American markets, and not different enough from the closer South American markets to ever sustain mass-tourism at competitive rates. Nevermind considerations about the small size of the island, the need to import most supplies for tourists and the overpopulation of the south around the Bridgetown corridor – it is the higher transportation costs and longer time necessary to the destination that ensures we can never be competitive on a mass basis.

And that’s good on the cultural / lifestyle side of the coin, but bad on the economic side.

Barbados has always had to offer something other than mass tourism, and what we chose to offer was the image of luxury and upscale destination where the upper-middle class could run shoulders with the super rich and famous (or at least enjoy the same air and views.)

That choice worked in the past, but there are problems now that the younger generation of Brits (our main market) doesn’t have the money that their parents did.

Blame it on the weak UK / European economies, blame it on out of control EU socialism and mass unsustainable immigration into the UK from Third-World African, Middle East and near-Asian countries. Blame it on whatever you like, but it is obvious that younger Brits don’t have the disposable incomes that their parents once did.

So our largest group of tourists – the Brits – continue to age, while the next generation is either going elsewhere or can’t afford Barbados like they used to.

This is not a good trend for Bim.

What’s to be done about this demographic trend of aging Brit tourists and retirees?

I’m no expert, but obviously from the lack of ideas, plans and strategies emanating from government and the tourism organisations, I’m not the only one without a clue about what to do.

I do have one suggestion though…

Barbados is an upscale tourism destination? Really?

Open your eyes and your nostrils! Clean up the garbage strewn throughout this island.

Until we do that, the demographics of our tourism business won’t matter and we will continue to lose our image of an upscale destination.

Passin Thru

 

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy

If each small business in Barbados could hire just one more employee…

got the job barbados web

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

As a small business person for most of my life, trying to make miniscule budgets become larger profitable realities goes with the territory. As a general rule we adopted a very simple psychology – that any marketing dollars spent had to produce a tenfold return, or return on investment ROI of 1:10.

For instance if you took a quarter page on a peak circulation day in the sister publication of Business Authority, the ‘ad’ space would cost around $900 per insertion.

Very few smaller businesses could reasonably expect that a single ‘ad’ would generate an additional $9,000 in turnover, so the only plausible alternative could be to partner with 8 other entities each contributing $100 and then ask the question again.

Could an individual participant in a collective ‘ad’ expect to drive another $900 in new business?

An example might be a standalone restaurant ‘ad’ at $900 would probably need to drive another 60 customers a week to justify, but a shared cost of $100 would require just six or seven more patrons per establishment.

More historically traditional mediums like newspapers have been driven into looking for far more creative ways of retaining advertising revenue to compete with internet and other competition, but at the risk of the editor sacking me, they have to do a lot more to retain viability. (Editor’s note: Not around here, Adrian. Our advert ratesheet is very reasonable!)

One of the simplest ways this could be achieved would be to run a dedicated weekly restaurant and/or staycation/attractions page. Break the cost down to a level where individual ‘partners’ could afford to participate and justify the expense. Perhaps even build-in a discount voucher which is exclusive to the publication.

The recent revamping of the Nation and its various supplements may provide a new opportunity with one or more sales staff dedicated to following through with this concept.

There is also the possibility of sponsorship by other businesses that ultimately stand an equal opportunity of adding turnover or brand awareness. A local branded credit card issuer would be a natural partner who would benefit by users selecting a preferred method of payment.

The remodeled Easy Sunday insert just might be one of the best mediums for such a regular feature, as it appears to be targeted towards a particular lifestyle and perhaps would be easier to manage in terms of size and content.

As we rapidly approach the more challenging long tourism softer summer months the launch timing also seems to be perfect.

Personally, I am absolutely convinced it is going to primarily our small businesses that will be largely responsible for aiding economic recovery. Just imagine if by encouraging co-operative marketing initiatives each small business is able to employee just one more person. What a difference that could make to reducing unemployment levels and increasing disposable income into the system.

So I have thrown out the gauntlet to this publisher and those enterprises who think they can work together collectively to make a positive difference.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business

Sandals 9 month closure another blow to Barbados economy and employment

Adrian Loveridge, tourism expert

Adrian Loveridge, tourism expert

So entirely contrary to all the heady rhetoric that the introduction of Sandals brand will drive additional airlift: in fact the exact opposite will happen from their closure on 1st April for major renovations.

At least until the re-opening slated for December 2014.

Quoting their own projected occupancy of an average of 85 per cent with a typical stay of 7 nights and two persons per room, that’s almost 500 lost airline seats per week or a mind boggling 16,000 plus by the end of this year.

Will this further destabilise the remaining carriers that continue to service Barbados and lead to yet more airlines cutting routes or reducing capacity? Tour operators, already unable to match demand with the high cost of doing business here, are considering switching flights to other destinations where they can glean a profit.

Once again citizens are left speculating whether our Government was aware and factored in the almost nine months closure with hundreds of hospitality employees being thrown on the unemployment pile, before granting unilateral extraordinary concessions to the Sandals group.

Perhaps they calculated the NIS and income tax contributions collected from local construction workers hired for refurbishment would more than make up for this. Because clearly, the state is not going to collect other taxes like VAT and import duties from Sandals as they have all been waived.  Most materials used will also be imported, so a substantial percentage of the estimated US$65 million project will simply re-export foreign exchange (FX).

Several other issues also have to be considered: The lost revenue to our Direct Tourism Services with included package components like golf green fees, catamaran, diving etc., let alone secondary spending that 16,000 plus extra visitors would have generated on submarine excursions, taxis, car rental attractions, activities and shopping. The list goes on and on. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Disaster, Economy

Loveridge: Barbados upscale image now a liability for tourism?

Barbados offers good value for tourists – but who knows?

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

One of the areas I think that we (Barbados) have not done as well as we could have, is getting across to our various markets that many of our tourism establishments do in fact offer value-for-money.

Over the years ‘we’ have spent hundreds of millions of dollars developing this image that we are, in some eyes, an iconic and aspiration destination. For many, I am sure that rings true, but with most of our main sources of business under considerable economic pressure, with an ever higher percentage of regular travellers having to consider the cost of their annual holiday, is there more we can do?

Personally, I really think so.

Tourism leakage at 80%

Many eminent people and agencies have written on the subject of the tourism leakage effect, which varies greatly, but some estimate could be as high as 80 per cent in the Caribbean. In very simple terms, it is what visitors spend on goods and services and the proportion that is re-exported to, in many cases pay for what they are consuming here.

According to a UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) report, the highest overall leakage is with all-inclusive package tours, perhaps not surprisingly. The Tourism Concern organisation also concluded that all-inclusive properties employ fewer people per dollar of revenue and have a smaller trickle down effect on the local economy.

Our high dependency of tour operator generated business further compounds the inequitable situation.

So when our policymakers brag about annual tourism revenues of anything approaching BDS$2.4 billion, this graphically highlights the problem and far better anaylsis has to take place to ascertain the amount which actually stays within the destination. If ‘we’ are simply generating revenue, only to spend the majority of it on items that ultimately have to be imported and paid for in foreign currency, what are we achieving?

It clearly would be almost impossible to reduce this to zero, but certainly there is scope to reduce the current percentage. Producing more of what our visitors buy is the obvious solution, which gets us back again to value-for-money.

I don’t believe for a moment that our visitors expect to come to Barbados and be served, as an example, Aberdeen Angus steak, assume it will  taste better and perhaps most relevant, for it to cost less than they pay at home. Is this ‘our’ perception of what visitors actually demand or would they be far more amenable to sampling locally available items, especially if they were far less expensive?

Smart linkages to other sectors are absolutely critical to our fiscal recovery, in the shortest time. While this seems such an blatantly obvious observation, I don’t always see it working to the very best effect.

“It is estimated that approximately one-third of all tourist spending is on food, so agriculture seems the clear target to work with, to reduce imported consumables.” But while this topic has been discussed at length over many years,  progress appears slow to address this issue, perhaps because the sector appears fragmented and disorganised.

Is this just the perspicuity of those of us in the industry or based on the reality of the situation?

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

No surprise as Gas, Diesel up Sunday night

The following Barbados Government press release is “embargoed until 7pm Sunday, March 6”

Barbadians will be paying slightly more for petroleum products in the next few days. Effective midnight, Sunday, March 6, the retail price of gasoline will increase from $2.95 to $2.96 per litre.  The price of diesel will increase by nine cents from $2.53 per litre to $2.62 per litre, while the retail price of kerosene will be $1.74 per litre – an increase of 11 cents. (AR/BGIS)

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Filed under Economy, Energy

Are you happier than you were 10 or 20 years ago? No? Then read this…

The Economics of Happiness

Our thanks to Green Monkey for suggesting the following article. It’s a good read and well worth your time.

“Our global economy is effective at many things—moving huge quantities of goods across great distances, for example, or turning mortgages into profits. What it’s not so good at is determining whether these activities are worthwhile when it comes to improving the lives of the people who live and work within the economy (not to mention preserving the natural systems on which the whole shebang depends). In many cases, economic policies that increase trade or production actually decrease well-being for millions, even billions, of people.

That’s the reality that’s leading more people (and, increasingly, governments, from Bhutan and Bolivia to Britain and France) to ask a very simple question: What’s the economy for, anyway? Do the rules and policies we create to govern the flow of money and goods exist to create ever more money and goods, or to improve our lives?

And if we decide we’d like to prioritize the latter, how do we rewrite the rules to do that?”

…Read the entire article at Yes! Magazine: Localization is the Economics of Happiness

Photo by Camille Sheppard Dohrn

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Filed under Agriculture, Barbados, Economy, Ethics, Human Rights