By: Kerdisha St.Louis
The 29th of October marks the opening of Dominica’s 2019-2020 Cruise Season. This means the culmination of preparations made by tour guides, taxi operator’s, vendors and other cruise stakeholders. As Dominica gears up to welcome those seeking a reprieve by means of an adventure in an exotic land, we can see how the cruise industry has changed.
Leisure cruising today is completely different from the picture that we have from this activity in the 1970s. In the early days, casinos, shore excursions, port lectures, shopping programs, spa services were nonexistent. The sector has evolved from a very small part of the oceanic passenger industry into a complete and complex vacation business, including all the different sectors of the travel industry.
For many destinations, in particular small Caribbean islands (like Dominica), cruises constitute more than 50% of the total of tourism arrivals generating important receipts through the services supplied by the port and expenditures of passengers and crew. It is expected that the cruise industry continue to grow regardless of being perceived as a direct contender of sun and stay-over tourism
Proponents of its positive impact see cruise tourism as an engine which generates renewed awareness and celebration of indigenous Caribbean cultures and historic sites. This is of particular importance to the region, especially since with the passage of time, cultural values and the historical significance of various sites.
Essentially Cruise tourism creates employment for Caribbean nationals with businesses providing goods and services to passengers, crew and cruise vessels. So what is critical to remember during this time?
- Treat Tourists kindly. It takes nothing from us to treat Tourists kindly, either through a “Good Morning” or responding to inquires of directions.
- Be prepared. It’s said that tourism is everybody’s business and this is what all nationals should have in mind. Have a list prepared of key tourism sites either nationally or within your community.
- Keep your Environment Clean. Having a clean environment is key for leaving a lasting positive experience and encouraging them to come back.
These small details can have the biggest impact on your island’s reputation and growth in this ever-changing industry.