Jamaican vendors miss out on cruise dollars
CNS): While Jamaicans are looking for more interaction with tourists arriving at the new port facility in Falmouth, cruise visitors have little interest in exploring “the sometimes gritty reality of life in a Caribbean port,” according to an article by AP’s reporter David McFadden. Vendors at the country’s new port are missing out as tourists are whisked away on tours organised by the ships. Some 80% of the tourist dollar is believed to leak from Jamaica, despite promises that the investment would benefit the local sellers and tour operators.
While the cruise industry is said to generate billions in the region, relatively little reaches the local economy when passengers dine, shop and purchase heavily marked-up shore excursions on the boats or splurge at international chain shops on the piers.
"We were promised that we'd be able to show people our Jamaican heritage, sell our crafts. But most of the tourists stay far away from the local people," said Asburga Harwood, an independent tour guide and community historian.
On a recent morning at Falmouth's port, tourists disembarked from Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas, a 5,400-passenger liner with a 3D movie theatre, ice rink, casino and multiple restaurants and bars. Most passengers were escorted onto buses destined for package tours in Jamaican resort meccas about an hour's drive away.
Cayman cruise tourism improves while JA blossoms (8 October 2012)
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