Showing posts from January, 2011

Let the Airline Wars Begin!

Last October, Redjet launched in Barbados.  Then, everything just went quiet.  As always, in the absence of official information, the rumors started.  Were they just like the regional fast ferry service which on at least three occasions was ‘launched’ but never moved a single passenger?
In the meantime, travel industry opinion leaders like Alec Sanguinetti, Director General at the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism and Tourism Association (CHTA), continued to lament that the Caribbean region is the only area in the world with 35 countries and a total population of approximately 40 million persons and still does not have a low cost carrier (LCC). Sanguinetti charged that - "Nobody is prepared to invest in a low-cost carrier as the aviation policies of the region are not attractive for such investment."  After all, not a single action from the San Juan Accord (regional aviation agreement) has apparently been implemented.  So I wondered to myself whether Redjet got scared off?
Last Mond…

Connecting Effort to Results in Tourism

From January 16th to 18th, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) held its annual ‘Caribbean Marketplace’ in Jamaica.  I look forward to any important pronouncements or insights that may come from this event.  This year is one of continued recovery for some destinations but a make or break year for others...such as Tobago.
A couple weeks ago, I was in Barbados for a meeting and as I perused a daily newspaper, I could not help but be impressed by how central Tourism is, to not just the economy, but the national psyche.  In that newspaper I read an article penned by the Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA) where they not just explained their activities for 2010 but tried to quantify the impact of their efforts.  I was very impressed by it. 
After talking business one day, I had a casual chat with a tourism stakeholder who has business interests in more than one destination.  Given the level of relative industry cohesion observable in Barbados and Jamaica for example, he began e…

India Trip and Jamaican Tourism Performance

As I followed travel and tourism related news for the past week, two stories were hard to avoid.  One was the commentary on our Tourism Ministry’s trip to India and the other was Jamaica’s strong tourism performance for 2010.
In terms of the India trip, most voices appear to be critical of the initiative, declaring it a failure even before the delegation departed.   In the various politically oriented Yahoo and Google groups, commentators went so far as to ask for the ‘recall’ and resignation of certain government officials.  Unfortunately, I noticed only one effort from someone who appeared to have inside knowledge, to defend the India initiative.  I only know what is in the public domain but I still count myself among those who prefer to wait and observe the results of the initiative rather than jump to premature conclusions.
In terms of Jamaica, it was hard to avoid the news stories in which Jamaica proudly disclosed its tourism results for 2010.  In the face of near civil war in …

Crime and Tourism

Last week, I deliberately avoided touching the issue of the Greens who were the victim of crime in Tobago.  Rather I preferred to study the details as they came to light.  Last weekend, as our family relaxed at Salybia Nature Resort and Spa, I stumbled across an insightful interview in a weekly newspaper.  The interview with a former Director of the Tourism Development Company (TDC) included some of the actual email exchanges, which helped clarify some of the grey areas in the story.
From a wider perspective, some commentators pointed to crime in general, and cried doom and gloom on an already underperforming tourism sector.  They prophesied that the continued publicity surrounding this event would destroy what is left of Tobago’s tourism in particular.  Is this the case?  Let me briefly touch on three points – crime, the press and marketing.
Firstly if you look at the per capita murder statistics on the Nationmaster website, it comes as no surprise that the top 3 in the world are Co…