Drive to travel by sea
Group operations director Gayle Talma told the Barbados Nation visitors loved the service.
It starts around 9:15 a.m. at Waves Hotel and Spa at Prospect, St James, and heads north to the Colony Club at Porters, with stops in between at Crystal Cove in Appleby and then to Paynes Bay at the Tamarind Hotel. It is part of the group’s stay and play service which allows guests with identification to move freely among properties to dine or use the beach.
“We pay for the service but it is complimentary to our guests. If they want to go by taxi, they can go by taxi, but the guests usually like going by sea. They see the coast and they can go from beach to beach,” Talma said.
The service is provided through Yellowfin Watersports and within the past three years, the group upgraded the capacity of the vessel from 13 to about 20.
On a schedule
It operates on a schedule, so guests know the arrival and departure times. It ends around 4:30 p.m. each day at Waves, subject to the weather.
Earlier this week, Minister of Tourism and International Transport Kerrie Symmonds said plans were in the works for a water taxi service to ease some of the traffic congestion.
They have identified Oistins, Christ Church; Bridgetown, St Michael; Holetown, St James, and Speightstown, St Peter as some of the main stops, with others in between still to be decided. (SAT) WATER TAXIS could help ease the gridlock on Barbados’ streets, if plans for their operation this year materialise.
Minister of Tourism Kerrie Symmonds disclosed Cabinet had recently identified
“a few areas where we will now build out landings for maritime transportation”.
Speaking aboard the cruise ship Zuiderdam, Symmonds said that form of transportation would enable visitors to explore Barbados
“by a different means”.
It would also give Barbadians an alternative means of getting around the southern and western coasts of the island, as Symmonds indicated locations were being eyed for landings from Oistins in Christ Church, to Speightstown, St Peter. Sites such as Bridgetown and Holetown were identified, with others “in between” them yet to be selected.
Acknowledging there might be concern about competition among the ground transportation providers, the minister sought to allay any such fears.
“I want to make the point that the pie is growing and we are determined to continue to have the tourism product in Barbados generate more and more revenue by virtue of more and more arrivals and visitor participation in the economy.”
In this regard, he shared news from major British tour operator Virgin Holidays that for the first quarter of this year the anticipated level of arrivals would increase by 64 per cent over 2018.
“So those people who worry about the pie being big enough to accommodate more and more traffic, they need not worry.”
On the other hand, Symmonds was confident the development would open up opportunities for small boat operators.
“We want the water taxis to be coming from the belly of the people of the country, so that those people . . . who are already in the boating industry and who already have a vested interest in using the sea for a living, they will be the first point of departure for the use of water taxis.
“I think that it is really another business opportunity for small Barbadians who are interested in entrepreneurship, to pool their resources. Just as we built out a minibus culture and a ZR culture in Barbados, I would like us to be able to build out a maritime transport culture,” he said.
FOR MORE THAN 20 YEARS, the Elegant Group of Hotels has operated a water taxi service among its West Coast properties. THE ELEGANT GROUP has been operating a water taxi service for more than 20 years on the West Coast.