Sweet Pea writes: I am shocked to read in the newspaper that the beach vendor issue has still not been brought under control, and existing laws and regulations are being ignored as usual – not just by those who break them, but also by those who are meant to uphold them. Typical approach by a spineless government, which has become the norm in Cayman, no matter which party is holding the reins: Ignore the problem or try to find a solution that pacifies a few, rather than realizing the dangerous precedents that are being set and looking out for what is in the best interest of the entire nation.
Besides those vendors spoiling the peace and tranquility we once had on our beaches, it is scary as hell to think that anyone can start-up a business on crown property, lending jet skis, provide snorkeling trips and god knows what else. If there is no control over businesses being run on crown land, clearly there are no standards or enforcement regarding safety measures or the need for the owners and staff of water tour operators to have CPR and First Aid training. The same goes for those vendors who sell food on the beaches illegally – who is controlling and enforcing certain safety measures regarding proper food storing and handling or hygiene standards if government can’t even enforce the laws to keep them off the beaches? Scary!
The next step will be for some folks to peddle all kind of goods “made in China” on the beach, ever annoying the tourists and residents who have come to our beaches to sunbathe and relax. There are already some walking the beaches selling “ice cold coconut water” from their bags.
So my question is, where and when will the line be drawn and where will all of this stop? Does government not think that by allowing some to get away with this, soon more will follow? Are we going to allow 20 vendors, 50, or a 100 and more? Can I put a BBQ on the high water mark and sell burgers and hot dogs to anyone I want? How about a flea market on the beach? I fold out my blanket and sell some of my used goods. Soon there will be another 10, then 20 more. An easy sanity test to see whether something makes sense or not is to ask, would it still be ok if everyone starts doing it? I am sure you get the picture…
We are only a few steps away from having fenced off beach areas where hotels and condominium complexes will guard their residents and guests to ensure they can enjoy the beach in peace and quiet. If you don’t believe so, you are kidding yourself. People who invest thousands for a vacation staying beachfront, or people who invest millions for living beachfront will soon get fed up with this circus and demand that they will be safeguarded from pesky vendors and a circus-like atmosphere. Then what?
I used to get offended when people referred to the Cayman Islands as a banana republic but this is what we seem to have become. Cayman seems to be determined to become just like every other Caribbean island as quickly as possible. Nice!