The impact that non-organized tours of the island’s scenic spots are having on officially organized cruise ship tours is becoming a worrying trend for both tourism officials and the cruise ships, according to Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.
He has called for a review of the organized tours, telling a tourism awards ceremony this week that government is concerned about non organized tours hurting the sector.
“We have to watch our practices. The issue of non-organized tours will eventually bring cruise tourism to a halt in Dominica,” the prime minister warned.
“I am saying to us, yes, there are some of who are individually benefiting from it now, but if we do not stop, and recognize that our action will either deepen our relation with the cruise industry, or it will destroy it, you will not have to blame me tomorrow night, you will have yourself to blame,” he said.
The prime minister said he has been informed by the cruise liners that their organized tours are losing money because of local practices that remain unchecked.
He said the cruise ships are indicating that they will look elsewhere if the trend in Dominica continues.
“They are saying that they are in the business to make money but they are losing money and if we can’t make money, there is no reason why they should come to a particular port, as lovely as the port may be,” the prime minister said.
He is emphasizing that the warning from the major cruise ships should not be taken lightly.
“They are moving towards Europe and Russia because in Russia for example, for anyone to get a cruise ticket, they must have an organized tour,” PM Skerrit explained.