BACK OFF Jamaica Agressive local vendors discourage tourists

Posted on 05/27/2016 | About Jamaica

Visitors to Jamaica are undoubtedly aware of local vendors seeking their business. When those visitors choose not to get off a cruise ship to avoid what they consider harassment by the locals, then it is a serious problem for the country’s tourism.

Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett is addressing a problem with attraction owners and stakeholders at the Ocho Rios Cruise Ship Pier. 

“We have got to deal with this problem and we will. The cruise shipping market is very intense and there are other competing interests we have to contend with. We cannot allow a few bad apples to destroy what we have worked so hard to build,” he said.

Bartlett remarked that complaints from cruise lines on behalf of their passengers means that action must be taken. 

In April Bartlett warned residents of Trelawny and players in the parish’s developing tourism industry to be sure that vendors would not be considered a nuisance to visitors. 

Immediately, Falmouth’s Mayor Colin Gager met with 1500 craft vendors and stake holders to report that representatives of Royal Caribbean Cruises complained about tourist harassment. 

Gager said that the cruise line will consider stopping passengers from leaving the port compound and that the parish council will take steps to work with craft vendors in Water Square. 

This week the Tourism Minister said, “We however have to be aware that not everybody wants to be followed around or to be made to feel like they are obligated to buy something they absolutely have no interest in, or to be having someone touching them, or not being able to have any breathing space in which to operate. Badgering and harassment go hand in hand and we certainly don’t want our visitors to feel uncomfortable.”