Many of the world's major cruise lines have their headquarters here in Miami, especially those for whom travel to the Caribbean represent a major portion of their business operations. I am monitoring all Internet traffic to blog articles dealing with the diplomatic passport crisis in Dominica, and I am seeing, for the first time, visits to those stories, from cruise lines serving the East Caribbean. I have never seen specific attention paid to any of my articles about the Caribbean, by this industry, and this indicates a new focus on Dominica's current situation.
If you understand that cruise lines, like most large corporation, follow risk-based guidelines, and have been known to delete travel destinations, without prior notice, when weather, crime, political unrest, or any other number of negative events, raise risk levels, this is cause for concern, as cruise visits bring much-needed tourist dollars, follow-up visits by tourists who are intrigued by what they see, and provide a shot in the arm to local economies.
Pictures of individuals setting fires, and causing vandalism to downtown stores did appear in some global media, which certainly hurt tourism, and the most disturbing aspect of that violence is the allegation that the persons causing the damage were employed by the Prime Minister's Labour Party, to precipitate a crisis, requiring police intervention. That allegation was was received from two different sources, and it later appeared in the media. I expect such tactics in a Latin American dictatorship, not in an East Caribbean democracy. In any even, we will soon see if Dominica is deemed too unsettled for cruise line tourists.
Chronicles of Monte Friesner
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock