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and resolving comments on social network sites. On the expense side, hoteliers can utilise liability management tools such as hedging to reduce the impact of electricity costs on financial results and switching to green energy sources where possible. An energy audit can also be conducted by industry professionals to develop and implement an energy efficient operating plant.

Reviving the property market in the hospitality sector Due to the economic slowdown, the availability of financing to the hospitality sector dwindled, particularly for

new construction Banks became more selective in their lending

and imposed more stringent guidelines. With recovery progressing and investors interest in the region increasing, banks are slowly beginning to provide funding for acquisitions, renovation and repositioning of properties and, on a very selective basis, new construction. Banks are more inclined to lend to existing clientele and to experienced sponsors, with excellent track records, a talented management team and sufficient equity with lower leverage positions than previously contemplated.

Barbados has a number of tourist accommodations on the market for sale. However, the Caribbean lodging market is very unique and investors need to consider many factors including island specific market trends, operating costs and the availability of airlift,

before pursuing an opportunity. considering an acquisition, If investors should

ensure that the acquisition price is less than the replacement cost of the property and that there is a compelling turnaround strategy.


Barbados would also benefit from attracting US- based brands to reposition existing un-branded properties to attract additional North American visitors and reduce the island’s dependence on UK travellers.

Heritage: Its Meaning And Significance For Barbados Donna Wellington is the Sector Specialist

In the face of reduced levels of bank financing, hoteliers should consider seeking funding from alternative financing sources such as private equity funds for gaps in the capital stack. Even though these sources can be more expensive than comparable bank financing, hoteliers should search out equity partners with specific strategic objectives that can add value over and above the funding provided.

(Hospitality), and Jontra Harvey is the Senior Analyst within the unit.

Heritage in its broadest sense refers both to the tangible objects produced by past generations that have survived the ravages of time as well as the physical world

around us, the natural landscape

with its geological and biological features. Heritage therefore is not fixed or fossilised but rather, an ongoing, dynamic tapestry. In the process of being handed down from one generation to another, fresh elements may be added, as stylistic and technological changes, abetted by the ongoing catalyst of historical and economic forces, create an ever changing social and cultural panorama.

Heritage is linked to identity and nationhood. In this respect, it is a unifying force. Yet it may also be divisive, if there are conflicting interest groups within a given society with differing or competing ideas of heritage. Heritage may also be manipulated, by political or religious forces, bent on achieving their own ends.

Some examples will illustrate this. In Afghanistan, the centuries old statues of Buddha were destroyed by the Taliban. In Russia, after the Lenin led revolution of the early twentieth century that toppled the Romanoff dynasty, the many statues of past Tsars were mothballed, replaced by the heroes of the Communist movement. St. Petersburg was rechristened Leningrad. Today, with a new political dispensation, Peter the Great looks down once again on his city of St. Petersburg.

Here in Barbados, debate has raged for some time about the place and relevance of the statue of Viscount Horatio Nelson. Is it a colonial imposition, now out of place in an independent Barbados? Is its meaning negative or positive? Similarly, the statue specially commissioned to represent the idea of Emancipation, has been given a specific identity. It is now personalised as Bussa….. even if it is adorned with an anachronistic pair of cut off jeans, hastily added by the sculptor as a result of a political directive to mask the previous nakedness of the initially conceptualised generic male.

UNESCO’s World Heritage sites in the Caribbean. To give an example of the types of heritage that UNESCO within the context of the Caribbean has considered of sufficient universal value to merit their inscription in the list of World Heritage sites, one need only look at the Citadel La Ferriere in Haiti or Brimstone Hill in St Kitts as examples of built heritage and for natural heritage, the world heritage site in Dominica, Morne Trois Pitons, inscribed because of its montane rain forest with the two endangered species of parrot, the Imperial or Sisserou and the Red throated Amazon. Now, Bridgetown and its Garrison have joined the select list of World Heritage sites. This is a great accolade, an event with tremendous economic possibilities but carrying with it awesome responsibilities of management.

Overall, the hospitality and tourism industry in Barbados is slowly improving. Over the next 12- 24 months growth in the sector is expected to gain momentum as recoveries continue in the main source markets. The good news for hoteliers is that in the past, room supply had typically outpaced demand but due to the decline in active projects, demand is steadily catching up with supply and additional supply to the market over the next few years is forecast to be minimal given the high cost of entry. This has had a positive effect on occupancy levels and bodes well for existing hoteliers. It is our hope that the progressing recovery will encourage investors to view Barbados and the Caribbean as a whole as a market of choice and encourage hoteliers to regain confidence in the region while continuing its efforts to provide superior service excellence to its many visitors.

Hospitality Sector Specialist Team CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank

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