The President of the Vendors Association, Peter ‘Ras Ipa’ Isaac, wants more to be done to help members of the group to benefit from cruise tourism, noting that although hundreds of cruise visitors disembarked here on Tuesday, very few patronised the Vendors Arcade in Castries.
“We didn’t see many people, as a matter of fact I can tell you that we had about five people from the cruise ship who came into the Vendors Arcade – the other set of people who came were from the hotels,” Isaac told St Lucia Times.
According to Isaac, cruise ship agents should not think they are the only ones to benefit from cruise tourism, since taxpayers money paid for the multimillion dollar infrastructure needed to accommodate berthing by the vessels.
He said tourism officials should ensure that vendors have a way to benefit more when cruise visitors arrive here.
“These people come with catamarans and take the cruise visitors away, they come with their coasters and take everyone away. Why isn’t there some kind of arrangement where they could come to the arcade, drop people there for between 35 or 45 minutes and allow them to stay there to see what they can get?” Isaac observed.
He noted that the catamarans do multiple tours while vendors do not have a chance to make some money, which is unfair.
“We want them to make sure that there are targetted tours to the Vendors Arcade,” the President of the Vendors Association declared.
Four hundred and ten visitors arrived here on Tuesday when Celebrity Summit berthed at Port Castries, while 135 vacationers arrived on Star Breeze which anchored at Rodney Bay on its inaugural call.
Headline photo caption: Some of the cruise visitors who arrived on Tuesday