Not good for tourism!
Published on: 5/1/06.
by BRYAN WALKER
ALL-INCLUSIVE HOTELS and powerful international tour operators could bury Barbados' tourism product in the sand.
This charge has come from hotelier Martin Richards, who is just about to sell his all-inclusive King's Beach Hotel to a British investor, who will tear it down and build 50 multi-million-dollar condos.
He told the DAILY NATION in a recent interview at the 60-room, St Peter resort that the biggest mistake he made was converting to an all-inclusive back in 1999.
"A number of the resorts and restaurants are closing and turning into condominiums because the all-inclusive product has killed the restaurant trade, and it is killing the smaller, independently-run hotels.
"[All-inclusives] don't provide any business to Barbados, with the exception of the resort the people stay in. They don't provide any business to the restaurants, taxis, shops, supermarkets, gas stations, because people go to the resorts and stay there . . . . It's not good for Barbados; it's not good for tourism," he said.
Richards said the hotel he owned for ten years had also suffered the consequences of the big tour operator and the larger [all-inclusive] hotels, with their 600-plus rooms, agreeing rates as low as US$65 a night. He said with King's Beach rack rate at US$285 a night, they couldn't survive.
"That's because the tour operators are not prepared to pay that per person per night. They have been squeezing and squeezing us and they're the ones who are making all of the money." - more -