Let's talk tourism
Letter to the editor
I must admit that I was a bit disappointed that I got no response to my request for 15mins talk with a top tourism official. But upon reflection, I can understand the reluctance to engage me.
Since he may have been part of the team which advised the Prime Minister on the arrival of the June 6th cruise ship, I reckon that he could be reluctant to share any more inaccurate information.
That being said, my main reason for the request was to see if we could make it easier, cheaper and less time-consuming for the taxi operators. Above all, I wanted to talk about the future of the operations and what could be done to preserve the industry.
For starters, certification should be able to be completed in no more than three days. The driver should be able to leave the vehicle for mechanical inspection and go get the police record and port ID done.
Day 2. He should be able to pick up his IDs and get his vehicle tourism-police-inspected (why is this necessary? The vehicle has just been mechanically inspected) and get his DDA papers. That way he only has to make two trips to town for that purpose.
About the future, what is being done or can be done to attract the younger ones to the industry? It is obvious that many of us don't have many more productive years. Shouldn't there be incentives to attract the youth so that we can have a seamless transition, or are we planning to bring in operators from out of the island? It would be a shame to have ships come in and have no one to take the people around.
I was thinking that we could have discussed these and the true way forward for this season. It is confusing when there is doubletalk or misleading information being dished out from the top.
As when it is said that there would be no private tours and then saying that certain exceptions be made. Why not stick to the no-private-tours deal for the first couple of months and then review it?
Day 3 is reserved for when the police are unavailable to inspect or don't have the inspection form. Jonathan