Cruise ship protocols here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines are currently being revisited in preparation for the upcoming season.
This is according to Minister of Tourism Carlos James during a press conference held earlier this week to update the public on the phase of Royal Caribbean’s recruitment drive.
“We are currently looking at revisiting our cruise protocols because we are starting to prepare our next cruise season and a lot of the scheduling is taking place around this time,” James said.
The Tourism Minister says this move comes after the recent decision made by the CMO to relax the entry protocols for travelers to SVG. He said it is hoped the same can be done for cruise ship passengers.
Minister James noted that while the cruise bubble protocols allowed for there to a cruise season at all last year, it also had negative effects, particularly on taxi operators who aren’t connected to tour companies.
“We had this challenge where the bubbles worked in the way in which we intended it to work to facilitate having ships here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the last cruise season, because I believe without the bubble, we would not have gotten that amount of ships coming or even any ships at all” he said.
The Tourism Minister then says that we need to learn to live with COVID-19 as he mentions how taxi drivers were negatively impacted by the bubble protocols.
“particularly with the taxi operators and tour operators who are not necessarily working with the tour companies who can receive the full quota, in terms of their bookings from cruise passengers when they come ashore” he said.
Minister James says that he is hopeful through a change in these protocols; fully vaccinated cruise travelers will be able to disembark and tour St. Vincent and the Grenadines freely.