Drive to travel by sea

UK Barbados Nation - - EDITORIAL - By GERCINE CARTER [email protected]­tion­news.com

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.

(GP)

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.

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