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Bajans don't care enough about tourism!

Bajans don't care enough about tourism!

Old Apr 23rd 2012, 1:17 am
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Default Bajans don't care enough about tourism!

Let me define what I consider to be a tourist.

There are 2 types.
The first type is the ‘hybrid’ tourist who comes here seasonal and stays 2-6 months or more at a time. The second one is considered to be the everyday simple one that comes here on short stays 1 to maybe 3 weeks at a time. Both of them spend is 99% foreign currency. It does not matter if they are a visa tourist or the hybrid ones who are dual nationals and ones that have business interests here than the average person. If you spend foreign currency, they are tourists. They bring a substantial amount of interest and foreign currency to the island.

Here are some of the things that in my experience have a negative effect on tourism that locals do not care for:-

1. When there happens to be a conflict at the beach amongst locals, they have no disregard for how their behabehavioracts on the tourists at the beach. How put off they may feel by coming back to that beach or how disgusted they will feel about the island. I am not referring to the general ‘noise’ and banter that is generated when there are groups of persons playing dominoes and there is the frequent banging and name calling and shouting. I am talking about fighting amongst themselves and also the constant harassing of the tourists (mainly females) on the beaches, etc.

2. If you are a vendor (street, food hut, local shop, nut man, snow cone man, fruit and veg person, coconut man, etc) and you chose to charge a higher price to the person that appears to be a tourist than you would to the local person, you are doing a injustice to tourism and to your business. Your assumption is that because you hear a foreign accent, you assume that they are a simple tourist and may be not someone who grew up here and knows the island. So straight away this ‘hybrid’ tourist will never go back to your establishment and will also tell the other hybrid ones not to do so either. You will never know what kind of effect that scenario had on your business cos you did not care if you saw that person again or not. You were thinking about short term gains and not long term growth.

3. If a family sits down at a table near your food hut and you are the owner but you send someone to tell the people to more, that had a big negative effect on the perception of your business. You should have gone there yourself and explained in a simple and polite and calm way that this table was reserved and if you do not mind waiting a while to be seated next. You would have given your business a chance to benefit from that situation.

4. Frequenting a popular beach that is known for its location and you prey on the females that come there and ask them inappropriate things and touch them and follow them back to where they are sitting with their family or friends to me is considered harassment. Do you think that she will want to go back to that beach if it happens on a daily basis? Do you think that saying in appropriate things to someone while their child is standing there is appropriate and good for tourism?

What say you?
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Old Apr 23rd 2012, 4:00 am
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Default Re: Bajans don't care enough about tourist!

well Mark, you obviously have had a bad experience today or recently. Not sure where, or which beach but I'll if I can answer/add to some things you are saying.

I've read what you have said and some of them are generalities which could, and do, happen in other countries so to make a sweeping statement in your subject line maybe a bit harsh if this is what it is based on.

Trust me, it isn't just tourist females that get harrased. I recently witness a few people yelling and screaming and calling each other names at a south coast beach as I sat at a friends childs birthday party. the people in question were local Barbadian (yes both black and white) and one making accusations of another.. We all in our party.. yes both black and white and foreigners and locals, sat fairly dumbfounded at this display as well.

of course on the other side of our party were some young black barbadians who were having a lunch of sorts and the most interesting was when they got up, they were not going to take their trash with them but leave it for "someone else" to clean up.. this was before the grandmother of the birthday boy questioned them on who would be cleaning it up and basically told them to their faces that they would be.. Now, the fact that they wanted to leave the trash wasn't disrespecting just tourists, but everyone who wanted to be on that beach at any time.

Number 2 happens all over the world in every tourist spot known to man, so you can't, again, make generalities about Barbados. Yes. people do charge more when they hear and accent.. and being a white american the number of times I've been charged higher for it, and asked for a taxi, even after 20 years of living here.. you just have to sometimes deal with it.. (and I usually ask if there is a locals price)...

I don't understand the 3rd statement, except that the owner of the food establishment, sent an employee to tell a group to move, instead of going themselves.. and maybe because the employee did have enough information to give the people, or didn't feel empowered to explain the situation to the people, the people didn't take it too well. (did I say that correctly..?? and I still don't understand the reference.. if YOU don't think it was handled properly, maybe you should go to the owner and tell them yourself what you say and the reaction.

now.. the last one..

I'd have to say.. yes, it is harassment.. has anyone gone to the police regarding this.??. or said anything to the person doing the harassing.?? and if not, why not..??

but I do take great offense to your sweeping statement that "bajans don't care enough about tourist" because these are specific to someone or some place and not everyone should be lumped into that statement.
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Old Apr 23rd 2012, 9:20 am
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Default Re: Bajans don't care enough about tourist!

Mark your feelings and outlook on barbados are your experience and have caused you some concern... my outlook on those types of experiences is very much that its due to culture perception... if I comment on the harrassment part you mentioned..at beaches to many of the "beach bum"culture, and please be asssured these are not "typical" bajans, they do not see it as harassment but purely being friendly as becoming your friend is how they hustle and "do business".. I totally agree on the inappropriate behaviour but I doubt wether the fact they are bajans and the reciever tourists affect that inappropriateness as these guys tend to be that way with everyone and I have experienced that behaviour across all cultures. Many local Bajans look down on the beach bums or "shoreline executives" lol as they do not agree or associate with that type of behaviour. Its a real shame that many tourists see the local beach workers as typical bajans it is soo far from the truth

Being blunt and saying it like it is is another caribbean norm (most islands I have lived or visited) "customer experience" is not uppermost in peoples minds therefore they just do the do rather than think the feeling.. hence the only thing the vendor had on his mind was to get what he wanted done

As for being charged more as a "tourist" that happens in EVERY tourist culture including LONDON what normal Brit in their right mind would pay £20 for a tshirt with I have been to london on it???

Barbadian culture is a very proud culture and inheritantly many changes have been attempted to get customer experience to be in the minds of those supplying them but its a slow gradual process.. if you speak to many of the young bajans who have travelled and studied it frustrates the hell out of them too so the picture in Barbados is slowly changing .. in short I willl repeat myself that all the things you expressed are considered "normal" in Caribbean culture and not going to change very quickly so I think its down to the tourist to adapt and I know many do as many many come back again and again as you can see on this site many many many want to make it their home

Last edited by Serendipidy; Apr 23rd 2012 at 10:11 am.
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Old Apr 23rd 2012, 5:08 pm
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Default Re: Bajans don't care enough about tourist!

Oh dear! I just realised a typo error in the subject header. It should have been tourism and not tourist. Can you change this please?

Thank you you guys for responding.

My statements come from a collection of scenarios that myself and others have experienced. Some of them may not be situations that we were directly involved in. I strongly disagree with "...considered "normal" in Caribbean culture..." That statement in itself says that as a people, this is how we are. Are you serious? People have brains and I am not making them out to be stupid. They have the options to make or break tourism. My point is, they do not care.

Please always refer to the OP topic for guidance.

My generalization of Barbados and Barbadians was clearly not a sweeping vision. I am old enough to know not to pigeon hole the island in that way. I am also someone who lived here in the 80s and went to school here. All other countries have their issues but my focus was on Barbados. It might of appeared that I was upset when I wrote this but I was not. I wanted to see what the experience of others were and so I told it plain like it is.

I am more than qualified enough to make a such statements and judgements cos for some, it is an everyday experience. Why should I have to disguise my foreign accent with my bajan one to be treated me with the same level of respect?

My subject line was a bit harsh??? Please.

I am again referring to the ones that actively do things that run against tourism.

I have not included those that are like myself who actively promote tourism by any means. We are the ones that have to pick up the pieces and make things right. Why should the ZR man ask the tourist for $3 and then the locals sit there and say nothing! C'mon! lol

I care about this island so much so that I am always actively making sure that the tourist have a great time here and enjoy the island. I walk down the road and I see countless amounts of tourist walking in the direction of traffic. Even If am walking or driving I will stop and offer them advice and say that it is better to walk towards traffic cos you can see vehicles that are dangerously coming towards you. I can always tell by their reaction before I open my mouth but once I speak and they listen to the advice, they thank me for the advice and I know I have made their day better.

What will the other shoreline executives (I so love that name tag!!! lol) do when one of their friends does something that is so so out of normal character? Does something have to happen on the beach that is so bad for them all to realise the impact it has on their trade?

I am not one of these snobs that walk around turning my nose up at people and things so please do not judge me. Everyone has to make a dollar but c'mon do you think that stopping me in the street and telling me that you know me from somewhere and then I say I went to school at such and such of place and then you say, yes I went there to and then you ask me to buy you a beer???!!! If you came to me and said i really would love a beer, can you buy me a beer, I would be looking for the first place to get it for you, but don't try to be deceptive.

Do you honestly think that once the tourist finds out you have been deceptive, they will go back to you? If your answer is yes, I wish you all the luck in the future.

I do not care for deception that goes on around the world. Again I am refering to Barbados. What other islands get up to is their business. Do not practice it here.

What say you?

Oh dear! I just realised a typo error in the subject header. It should have been tourism and not tourist. Can you change this please?

Last edited by mark.alexander; Apr 23rd 2012 at 5:25 pm. Reason: Please change topic
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Old Apr 23rd 2012, 5:28 pm
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Default Re: Bajans don't care enough about tourist!

Mark

I have been on vacation to many varied places in the world and out of the Caribbean islands I have visited, I believe Barbados and its people appreciate the tourist more than most and work to ensure you leave feeling happy.

With regard to your specific points:-

1. Violence on a beach would turn me away given I would be with my wife and child. If I saw it I would more likely consider it a one off between a couple of idiots rather than the norm.

2. I expect to pay a higher price than a local. I'll attempt to negotiate and have done all over the mediterranean, hoping to reach a mutually acceptable price. So long as their is no aggression involved I don't see this affecting my vacation experience.

3. If the table is reserved its reserved. As long as its made clear politely then I'm fine with that regardless of who informs me.

4. I agree with your comments. I have a wife and daughter and don't want them to feel harrassed. That kind of behaviour should be kept for the nightclubs where there is a good chance it would be appreciated more by the clientele.

In my experience a firm 'no thanks' is all that is required in Barbados to get rid of the beach sellers and I generally find that treating locals with respect and honesty generally gets the same back Barbados.
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Old Apr 23rd 2012, 5:46 pm
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Default Re: Bajans don't care enough about tourist!

Baskey70, thank you for responding.

Originally Posted by Baskey70 View Post
Mark

I have been on vacation to many varied places in the world and out of the Caribbean islands I have visited, I believe Barbados and its people appreciate the tourist more than most and work to ensure you leave feeling happy.

With regard to your specific points:-

1. Violence on a beach would turn me away given I would be with my wife and child. If I saw it I would more likely consider it a one off between a couple of idiots rather than the norm.
No it was not the norm but the incident I witnessed happened on the beach on a day that the beach was packed with locals and tourists. I felt so so frustrated when it happened and it was over within 20 mins but i looked around me and looked at the reactions of those that were there and it was not only the tourists that were shocked.

2. I expect to pay a higher price than a local. I'll attempt to negotiate and have done all over the mediterranean, hoping to reach a mutually acceptable price. So long as their is no aggression involved I don't see this affecting my vacation experience.
I totally disagree with anyone paying an inflated price for something because of your status. Lets say if it was lets say a property you were buying locally. How would you feel if you wanted to buy property on the island and you found out that you were being charged $150,000USD for a house that local guy was offered to for $110,000USD? You would be cheesed off and THATS the sort of thing that would obviously make you look for another property.

3. If the table is reserved its reserved. As long as its made clear politely then I'm fine with that regardless of who informs me.
I have worked in the F&B service industry since 1995. Its not that they were told to move, its how they were told. It was a family made up of 25% local and 75% tourists. Due to that experience, they do not go back to that vendor and later found out that this vendor was known for 'his' attitude.

4. I agree with your comments. I have a wife and daughter and don't want them to feel harrassed. That kind of behaviour should be kept for the nightclubs where there is a good chance it would be appreciated more by the clientele.
Agreed.

In my experience a firm 'no thanks' is all that is required in Barbados to get rid of the beach sellers and I generally find that treating locals with respect and honesty generally gets the same back Barbados.Agreed.
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Old Apr 23rd 2012, 6:52 pm
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Default Re: Bajans don't care enough about tourism!

"Please always refer to the OP topic for guidance"...is this in bold for a reason and what does it actually mean?

I believe that saying "Bajans" dont care enough about xyz is a sweeping statement and definitley "pigeon holes" an island.

"Do you honestly think that once the tourist finds out you have been deceptive, they will go back to you? If your answer is yes, I wish you all the luck in the future." Who is it you are speaking to exactly ??... this is a British Expat site and not sure most of its members are bajan shoreline exectives so I dont think "We" are your appropriate target audience

Last edited by Serendipidy; Apr 23rd 2012 at 7:10 pm.
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Old Apr 23rd 2012, 10:28 pm
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Default Re: Bajans don't care enough about tourism!

"Please always refer to the OP topic for guidance"...is this in bold for a reason and what does it actually mean?
It is something people say in discussion forums like this to keep on topic and refer everyone back what the OP (origial poster) said.

I believe that saying "Bajans" dont care enough about xyz is a sweeping statement and definitley "pigeon holes" an island.
Maybe I should have been more sensitive towards my fellow bajans and their feelings on this subject matter. Maybe It should have been entitled some bajans?

"Do you honestly think that once the tourist finds out you have been deceptive, they will go back to you? If your answer is yes, I wish you all the luck in the future." Who is it you are speaking to exactly ??... this is a British Expat site and not sure most of its members are bajan shoreline exectives so I dont think "We" are your appropriate target audience.

You are clearly being over sensitive and overreacting. This forum and many other forums do not allow name calling and such like. That was not my objective for this thread. I would just like to remind those watchin this thread that I am merely expressing my feelings towards the wider issue of the grassroots issues that impact on tourism on the island. It is your choice (the worldwide audience of this thread) to add their 2 cents or not.
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Old Apr 24th 2012, 12:59 pm
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Default Re: Bajans don't care enough about tourism!

You are clearly being over sensitive and overreacting. [/QUOTE] oh how I would love to respond but the Moderator must remain moderate
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