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Recent robbery of tourists not expected to deter cruise ship vessel – CEO of SVGTA

Recent robbery of tourists not expected to deter cruise  ship vessel – CEO of SVGTA

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The robbery of a group of tourists last Wednesday is not expected to deter the cruise vessel that transported them here from making more visits to this country.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority (SVGTA) Glen Beache said last Thursday that while the robbery may have some impact, he does not think it would be as drastic as the ship pulling out.

Reports are that on November 8, at around 1 p.m., a group of visitors was walking in the area of Bentick Square, near the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH), on the road to Leeward when they were approached by three young males.

One of the youngsters reportedly grabbed a male tourist around his neck, pulled a chain from the man’s neck and ran towards Stoney Grounds.

An off-duty police officer, who was unarmed, chased the man who had the jewellery and caught up with him, but was unable to subdue the bandit as the man exchanged blows with the cop before making good his escape.

The other men were chased by a civilian. The good Samaritan eventually abandoned the chase as the men ran in the direction of Edinboro.

In an interview with SEARCHLIGHT, Beache said that the SVGTA has not received an official report of the crime.

However, he said that the tourists came off the Britannia, the largest cruise vessel to visit these shores, and that ship has several calls scheduled for this season. He said they also made several calls here last year.

“I mean, it must affect us in some way, one crime is one crime too many, you don’t like to see these things happen and obviously, Britannia, which is one of the largest ships we have coming, they did some excellent calls last year and have quite a few this year; they are going to be cognizant and aware of what is taking place, but they are not going to judge the product off one incident by some people who have no respect for the law,” said Beache.

He said we now have to make sure we lift our game and keep it high.

“We have to tread carefully in terms of the publicity and how we report these things but as I said in terms of the incident, I don’t think that they would stop because of one incident,” stressed Beache.

He added, “If that was the case, there would be a lot of Caribbean countries and a lot of countries all over the world that would not have cruise ship calls.”

The incident is being investigated, but up to press time no arrests had been made.

“From a personal view, after the said fact, you could always say this could have been done and that could have been done. Police can’t have a police officer at every corner because you don’t know where crime is going to take place,” noted Beache.

The SVGTA CEO said that within recent times, not only within the tourism season, there has been a lot of police presence and that is commendable.

“Police have one of the hardest jobs and I support them fully,” said Beache.(LC)

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