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What’s Trending:Tourism more than Rihanna

What’s Trending:Tourism more than Rihanna

Mon, November 19, 2012 - 9:23 AM

The Nation’s Online Editor Carol Martindale looks at What’s Trending today in Barbados.

The Barbados Tourism Authority is today taking some lashes from online readers who disagree with its plans to bank on the marketing power of Rihanna to help this country's tourism sector in the midst of a worldwide recession.

Readers say the BTA needs to focus attention on the issues plaguing the sector and not on the international super star.

Ashley Sterling: “The BTA should stop focusing on Rihanna and start reading the comments left by tourists on all those online vacation sites. Bettering the country and the people is what would bring in tourists. Makes no sense ‘bigging’ it up through Rihanna, then when they get here they get mistreated and unfair service. Tourism was here before Rihanna, it'll be here after her too.”

Charles Alleyne: “How could we putting all of our eggs in one basket? What are we hoping Rihanna would do? If the tourist wants to come we must sell the country to them and what it has to offer from its competitors and stop trying to think Rihanna is some Saviour. BTA try and put your heads together and present a better marketing strategy by looking at the social media, word of mouth with Barbadians promoting the island all over the world and looking into new markets.”

Sharon Woolley: “The only way Rihanna could help is if she paid the cost for tourists! I'm not sure if the BTA have their heads buried deep in the sand on some West Coast beach….Barbados is very expensive, Barbados is getting to be a very  dangerous destination - robberies, killings and road safety is a big issue. Vacations are for relaxing not wondering if your flight home might be in a coffin. As a tourist that has visited Barbados 53 times, this is the first time in 21 years I decided not to go, and right now I can't see me returning, when other places have so much to offer, at a much reduced price and a lot safer. The BTA would be way better being run by tourists.”

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Posted by Beresford Green 1 year, 11 months ago
I think you should put your eggs in a different basket, that basket will soon brake... Very negative.

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Posted by Kenneth King 1 year, 11 months ago
@ Sharon Wooley, I agree that we are becoming too expensive and far too many crimes that is putting our Tourism in jeopardy. About Barbados being run by tourist I don't think so, why shout this be we have enough competent marketing qualified men and women out there only if we would stop the special interest and politics involved it would be a booming financial gain for Barbados.

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Posted by D. Stoute 1 year, 11 months ago
I recently looked at a readers' survey done by Conde Nast on the 10 best vacation properties in the Caribbean. No property in Barbados made that list. Two properties in Jamaica did. Conde Nast Traveler is a well-respected travel publication. Why did Barbados not make that list?

Also, it appears the hotel stock on the island is very tired looking. If Barbados bills itself as a high-end vacation destination, should not the vacation properties reflect the high prices charged? Don't look to Rihanna to do all the heavy lifting. At the end of the day visitors want an experience worth returing for, not entertainment industry glitz and glamor.

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Posted by Thora Jones 1 year, 11 months ago
It has always boggled my mind why the government is holding up Rihanna as an ambassador for Bajan youth and using her as “The Face of Barbados” to promote tourism. Rihanna told a foreign journalist that Bajans don’t like to see each other get ahead. On her Twitter page, which is read by millions of people around the world, she always refers to Black people using the “N” word. She refers to women using the “C”, “H”, and “B” words. She has at least two gun tattoos in noticeable places. Sometimes she makes random comments on Twitter like “Raise your guns.” She recently retweeted the comment, “I miss Vybz Kartel.” Vybz Kartel is a thug being held in Jamaica for murder. She has proudly displayed the words “Thug Life” written or tattooed on her fingers. Rihanna often tweets about her desire for marijuana and alcohol. There are quite a few photos of her appearing to be in an intoxicated state online. On more than one occasion, she has put photos of herself enjoying the company of female strippers on her Twitter page. She appears to be trying to get back into a relationship with her abusive ex-boyfriend Chris Brown.

Rihanna obviously isn’t interested in promoting Bajans in a positive light. Why in the world would the government use such a person to promote Barbados? The only thing I can think of is that the people in charge of promoting the island are not properly trained or skilled in tourism promotion and simply cannot come up with any good ideas on how to promote the island in a way that will bring about long term results. They have decided they will ride Rihanna’s coat tails and hope the public won’t notice their failures or won’t make a fuss before they leave office. Meanwhile, a growing number of tourists are complaining about Barbados on social media sites. I am very worried about Barbados’ tourism industry, the lifeblood of the nation.

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