by Linda Straker
- Not easy task to accommodate cruise ship passengers through bubble format on beach
- Several vendors at market are vaccinated and few who are not vaccinated
- Tourism Minister’s office in discussion with vendors to identify a solution
- 205 cruise ships expected for 2021/2022 season
Cruise ship passengers who arrived onboard the first cruise ship for the 2021/2022 season on Tuesday, 9 November 2021 were not allowed to visit Grand Anse Beach nor the Grand Anse Craft & Spice Market, because neither are part of the bubble attractions following the Covid-19 health protocols.
“It is not part of the bubble,” Tourism Minister Clarice Modeste said in the weekly post-Cabinet briefing, acknowledging that it will not be an easy task to accommodate arriving cruise ship passengers through a bubble format on the beach.
Modeste said that her office is in discussion with vendors at the market to identify a solution for the months ahead.
Sharing the main challenge of why the Craft & Spice Market on Grand Anse Beach is not part of the tourist attraction bubble for the season, Barry Collymore, Chairman of the Grenada Tourism Authority said that it’s a matter of vaccination of the vendors.
“For the people who can do business, we want to find a way for them to do business,” he said while pointing out that there are several vendors at the market who are vaccinated and few who are not vaccinated.
“We are asking them (passengers) to come to Grenada fully vaccinated and they are expecting to interact with persons who are fully vaccinated,” he said as he acknowledges that those who are vaccinated should not be deprived of conducting businesses. “It does not make sense for the people who are vaccinated,” he said.
“We are going to try and find a way for them to be able to conduct their business and we are going to work with the others to try to see if we can get them to comply as quickly as possible,” said Collymore.
“People disembarking from ships will not be allowed to wander around on their own. There will be guided tours with trained tour guides, vaccinated tour guides in a totally vaccinated environment. We are going to the fully vaccinated sites and the sites that are easier managed,” Collymore said when asked about the measures that will be put in place to protect the passengers.
“The bubbles will guide them as to where they can and cannot go. They will be directed to sites that are in fact vaccinated areas,” said the GTA chairman. A bubble is an organised tour so that passengers disembarking the cruise ship will be guided. They will not be allowed to roam freely or allowed to get off the ship and go anywhere they feel like around the country.
Grenada is expected to welcome 205 cruise ships for the 2021/2022 season which will run from November 2021 to May 2022.