Tag Archives: tourism industry

Weak Canadian dollar brings challenges for Barbados tourism industry

tax-evasion-canada-barbados

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

It is already more than halfway through the year and this is a time perhaps that our tourism policy planners are focusing on what marketing strategies can be effectively put in place to build on the first quarter increase in visitor arrivals.

As always, it is almost impossible to accurately predict what is going to happen in our global marketplaces and how that could impact on numbers, average stay and spend.

Important issues include the fall in the value of the euro earlier this year and whether this will be further impacted with the eventual solution to the Greek crisis. What effect will the first Conservative British government budget since 1995 have on the disposable income of most Brits? And finally, there is increased speculation about an impending recession in Canada, just at a time we were experiencing improved arrivals and airlift.

Having lived in Canada for some time, I know there is a psychological threshold when the Canadian dollar falls below 80 cents compared to the United States dollar. Naturally, Canadians then start to question whether they are truly obtaining value for money at holiday destination choices. It becomes an imperative to clearly demonstrate that we can offer a competitive product by at least attempting to reinforce component parts of the tourism industry that are more affordable.

While we will never be able to compete with the mass tourism regional offerings like Mexico, Dominican Republic, Cuba and alike, Barbados still has a myriad of more affordable accommodation choices. Of course lodging is only part of the equation, so personally I think there is room for a re-DISCOVER-like promotion specifically aimed at the Canadian market that helps minimise the currency value differential, which include not just restaurants, but attractions, activities, car rental and shopping.   Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Canada, Economy

Barbados failing to keep official tourism websites current

“When the bulk of the tourism marketing budget is spent on directing people to particular websites and Facebook pages, those mediums should be in pristine condition and the potential visitor should not be met with links that simply do not work and/or outdated information.”

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

One thing the last few months have taught me, as if I really needed reminding, is that however much you change the structure of an organisation, if you cannot fundamentally improve the way things are done within it, then very little has been accomplished.

Implementation, or rather the lack of it in a timely manner stands out as one of the biggest single impediments to revitalising our tourism industry.

If we are ever going to ever recover lost market share then we urgently need to practice proactive rather than reactive strategies and ensure any programmes and policies are implemented sufficiently early enough to make a positive difference.

It should not and frankly, cannot, take weeks and sometimes months to ensure corrections to national websites are effected, if we stand any chance of playing catch-up with our competitors. All too frequently by the time the fundamental changes are made those, previously interested have turned off and probably chosen an alternative product or destination. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism