Tag Archives: Government Idiocy

Our biggest tourism challenge

barbados-beach

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

If I could single out an overwhelming major factor that is holding back the recovery of our tourism sector, number one on the list would have to be lack of implementation.

A close second would have to be the prolonged time it takes to conceptualise and launch new initiatives and marketing programmes, while ensuring they are fully functional and deliver the desired objectives.

Yes, some may make all sorts of other excuses like an aging plant, but if we get both the above right, then it would provide a solution to this and most of the other challenges we are facing.

This July marks a full year since a one hour plus media conference with two Ministers of Government was held unveiling a Ten Point Tourism Plan.

Exactly how many of those points have been fully implemented twelve months later and if not, why?

Extraordinary concessions to Sandals destroyed any ‘Tourism Master Plan’

I can no longer recall just how many times I have heard that the Tourism Master Plan is going to be revealed shortly. You have to question does it now indeed have any current significant relevance, since the entire industry was turned on its head after extraordinary unilateral concessions were granted to the Sandals companies.

Way back in March the Minister announced it was finally finished and sitting on his desk. Is it now buried or will it eventually see the light of day?  Continue reading

11 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

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