Posted on

Cruise ship terminal vendors bawling

Cruise ship terminal vendors bawling


by Adrian Codogan

The start of tourism week coupled with the inaugural visit of cruise liner Ocean Village is no smiling matter for some vendors and shop owners at the cruise ship terminal.

That’s because vendors say they are now being charged an uneasonable daily fee to sell in the terminal.{{more}}

“We don’t make lots of money, most cruisers are retirees they don’t buy what we sell, mostly local jewelry, so to pay $50 every day is murder,” one vendor told SEARCHLIGHT.

Another vendor lamented: “They didn’t even call a meeting to inform us before, yo think it easy in this hot sun, no toilet facilities not even an umbrella? I don’t mind paying something but $50? I paid it already because I have my children to look after but I’m going to protest”.

Port Authority Administrative Officer Harvey Caine said that to allow the vendors to continue plying their trade without a fee was unfair competition to the shop owners who have to pay rent. However, there are plans to meet with the vendors to discuss the issue.

“It is also our plan to improve the area and build stalls hence making them more comfortable,” he added.

Some shop owners have not been having an easy time either because business is not good and they are having a tough time meeting their rents.

Two of the 17 shop owners turned up Monday when the cruise liner visited to find their doors padlocked by the Port Authority for non-payment.

In October the authority circulated letters asking delinquent owners to bring their accounts up to date by the end of the month or face the consequences.

“We don’t make money on some ships and there’s a whole six months when no ship comes so it’s a struggle. I’ve been here five years now and can’t even break even,” one shop owner told SEARCHLIGHT.

Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on

the World Trade Centre in New York, security has tightened at the cruise ship terminal. Prior to this the shops were open to the general public but today only those with port passes can get to them.