Letter of the Day | Optimistic about cruise arrivals in Kingston
THE EDITOR, Sir:
The news that MS Monarch, a cruise ship with 2,700 passengers on board, docked in Kingston couldn't have come at a better time. Although the ship came to Kingston because of the inability to secure berths in MoBay and Falmouth, the idea is doable, and we should try to capitalise on this great opportunity to enhance our tourism product and ability to earn more revenues.
The ship, we understand, was only docked for a few hours, but this was a first for Kingston in many years. We understand that tours were made available to popular spots like Devon House, the Bob Marley Museum, the National Gallery, Emancipation Park, as well as outside the city to Spanish Town and Dunn's River in St Ann.
Kingston has a lot of potential for tourism. There are so many cultural and entertainment events, as well as the traditional historic spots, the cuisine, etc. Kingston Harbour is considered one of the best natural harbours in the world, and places like Port Royal and Spanish Town are within easy reach.
Although crime will always be a concern, increased security and organised tours can help to alleviate these concerns.
CLEANING UP NEEDED
There was a time when foreign navy ships would also dock in Kingston, and visitors roamed the city freely without fear. Kingston is also badly in need of cleaning up. There are too many dilapidated buildings and filthy eyesores.
We should tap into the Tourism Enhancement Fund, and target specific areas initially to enhance the city. The work can be done in stages. With more visitors coming into Kingston, the city would benefit economically, and so, too, the country.
Eventually, more persons will learn to appreciate that tourists are not prey, but ordinary human beings who work hard to be able to spend on a vacation. Everyone can benefit, but we need to ensure that more profits from the industry are retained in Jamaica.