Jamaican vendors miss out on cruise dollars

| 12/10/2012

0000054.jpgCNS):  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.

See full article here

Related article:

Cayman cruise tourism improves while JA blossoms (8 October 2012)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Why would anybody want to go given the crime rate and number of murders per day, no wonder there is such a huge Jamaican community here they want a better life and to live longer!

    Also you can't understand a word a high percentage of Jamaican people say so why would you try and interact when the other party to the interaction is uncapable to do so.  I was stood face to face with a Jamaican guy and had to ask him to repeat himself 6 times, I still couldn't understand a word he'd said and just ended up walking away.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are an ignorant moron. I suppose you only travel to English speaking countries then…given that you need to interact only with those who speak your language. Jamaican's speak Patois and that is their native tongue. Should have done your research first, before going.

  2. Anonymous says:

    i dont blame them for going on organised cruise ship tours and by passing the locals. i went once with my caymanian girlfriend and im white. we both were subject to disgusting comments and racial remarks. it was disgusting. so aggressive and dont understand the words no thanks. ignorant. never again.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Like another poster said, the cruise ships are giving them what they want.  If I go on a cruise, I wouldn't want to go anywhere with those loud mouth people screaming at me.  It is very frightening to say the least.

    The cruise ships and the operators can work together but first the operators need to be regulated.  The operators shouldn't look like rag a muffins off the street with shirts full of holes, etc, shouldn't have nasty looking vehicles, etc.  This goes for watersports as well.  Remember the boat that turned over?  Well, guess what?  There are websites keeping track of all of these incidents happening which scares the tourists.

    All operators should be licensed and regulated.  The list of the licensed operators can be given to the cruise ships and maybe they can be used on a rotation basis.  However, if a tourist likes one particular operator, there shouldn't be a problem with them using them either.  There shouldn't be chaos with people screaming at tourists.  There should be tourist police like in Jamaica around that time in case some of the rogue operators try to cause problems.

    Please remember that they are here for a few hours so they like to make their arrangements ahead of their time in port.  

  4. Anonymous says:

    They have a saying that you can catch just as many flies with honey as you catch with shit. they should try not being so aggressive i know first hand how they behave

  5. Anonymous says:

    If this is true , then why is rent so high in GT? If this is true then why does Dart want to buy all of the buildings on fort street. Why did Dart invest in cruise ship business? Why did the Kirkconnells? Why is people closing down their businesses in george town? Hotel tourism is up up up dept of tourism says so. So where is the business coming from if cruise ship tourism is going down? Do you know?  What about local people are they buying anything?                      Why do the people who go to jam. complain about the people who are the vendors over there? the poverty? people who live in zinc houses? Jam. is a beautiful country. The people are out of control. Too many trying to do the same thing. Country not safe, vendors curse out the tourist if they don't buy from them. No controls just like we are experiencing here now.                           I forsee Cayman will soon be experiencing the same thing because we have the same class of people they have over there greedy ,loud no service, not qualified but their hand blessed by God only.

    We need to build a dock , fast , we wasting so much time. No it should not be the chinese. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Build a Dock Fast?  Doesn't this article indicate that we shouldn't waste the time and money as the cruise ships are making all of it?  Did I read the same article?

      • TourismIsNothingWithoutLocals says:

        I believe the message here is to not to allow politicians let a greedy developer(in Jamaica's case the cruise lines and in Cayman's case the Chinese) put a bunch of shops on the pier and not allow the local historic town(in Jamaica's case Falmouth and in Cayman's case George Town)  to benefit. Maybe if those poor Jamaican vendors got some business on a regular basis they would not be so aggressive and desperate!


        As far as the tours, Cayman has a blend of ship-sold tours as well as walk-off tours where passengers who want to experience something more genuine can purchase a tour from  local operators who participate in a controlled rotation.

        • Anonymous says:

          All that regulation will not make it better.  Get a clue and offer the customer what they want. They did not take a cruise to experience the imaginary "genuine" Cayman (in other words, they did not come to see you). All that most of them want ashore is a little shopping, maybe a half day at the beach, or a trip to stingray city, with lunch along the way. There is nothing wrong with them wanting these things. Please try to adapt to the real world.

  6. peter milburn says:

    Wow.The facts are finally coming to light.This has been a big bone of contention for me over many years.Cruise ships charge the big bucks and the tour operators(not all)get the droppings that fall under the table.Take the sting ray city tours.I have said for a long time that we will NEVER get the stay over visitors from the c/ships because of the overcrowding of these tours because these guys are not making the top dollar that will encourage some(not all)to take fewer people for a higher amount there by giving their guests a much better experience which will hopefully encourage them to return as stay over visitors which in turn will bring far more dollars to the island over the long term.There is definately a huge gap between tour bus operators who deal directly with the ships and the little guy who is trying to make an honest dollar.This is a problem that hasbeen on the table for a long time and no one seems to have the balls to deal fairly with both the c/ships and the local trip providers.I am sure like anything else some weeding out will have to be done (and a lot of this has come about since the giving out of the 3000 status grants) but we can and should be able to provide a top class shore experience for our visitors.There is one particular operator who works for someone else(She is born and breed Caymanian)that cannot get a license to operate her own tour because of politics.She is repeatedly getting the highest praise from her guests who on returning or sending someone else HIGHLY recommends this lady for her fantastic tours.These are the kinds of people who we need in our tourism sector not those who are only out for the almighty dollar.

    • Anonymous says:

      Good observation.  It would, indeed, be unique if CI could navigate between the big corporate packaging of tourists segregated from local businesses and the unregulated beggars of the lesser-developed countries in the region.  I read that most c-ship business does not translate into much net income for the economy.  True?

  7. Anonymous says:

    what the latest with our dock?

    • Anonymous says:

      Is there an ATM big enough?

    • Anonymous says:

      10:44 you asked what's the latest on the dock? I guessed the clocked stopped on it until 2013 (May/June 2013) 

  8. NHB says:

    Welcome to the cruise ship scam, pack them on board, suck them dry on board provide all the same stores as theislands they go to, milk the island merchants for ads and sell below the merchants price along with telling the cruisers not to take there money on the island because they will get ripped off, not too many win with the cruise ship, but themselves, it is the perfect scam.



    • Anonymous says:

      The cruise lines are providing exactly what their customers want.  You can complain and ridicule but those customers mostly don't want what you want them to want.

    • HelpLocalBusiness says:

      That is why all we need are two piers and no Chinese retail/casino development. We are already competing with the ships!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Sounds a lot like Mc's vision for Cayman.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Could never happen here in the Cayman Islands.