The World Bank recently completed a preliminary study on a ferry service that would move goods, people and vehicles from the north of the Caribbean to the south of the Caribbean.
In making the announcement, the Deputy Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, Trevor Brathwaite, also said that the World Bank is now making a pitch as to how the private players can develop such a ferry service.
Brathwaite said that the Central Bank and the World Bank are trying to influence the consolidation of existing ferry services, including those running between Martinique and St. Lucia.
“For example, if you want to go on holiday to Dominica and you have a vehicle. Instead of having to rent a vehicle when you get to Dominica, you drive your vehicle on board the ferry. When you each Dominica, you are processed and free to drive there,” he explained.
Brathwaite said further that the same process applies when the traveller is ready to return home.
“Then you ready to come back you drive unto the ferry and come back with your vehicle,” he stated.
Car rental companies across the region are likely to oppose such a move but Brathwaite said “it depends on how you look at it. You can either look at the glass half full or half empty. We have to change our mindset,” he said.
He said many business companies are supporting the move.
“We cannot always be negative. We have to look at the positive. Otherwise we will be moaning and groaning every day,” he added.
He said a proper ferry service plying the entire Caribbean archipelago would boost tourism and integration.