Traditionally, the high season in the tourism industry, is well underway at this time of the year. But it has had a disappointing start so far. At the Fort Street Tourism Village, a large number of traders are looking for business among the low number of visitors, even though a cruise ship called on port today. What’s worst, those who are visiting are keeping their money in their pockets. News Five’s Marion Ali was in the village today and found a lot of frustrated traders.

Marion Ali, Reporting

It was expected that the beginning of the peak season, the tourism slump would transform into a thriving industry. But today was no different from last month or even last year, for traders outside the Fort Street Tourism Village. They told us that the season brought no new promise for a brighter tourism year.

Roberto Lozano

Roberto Lozano, Trader, FSTV

“Christmas this year is really too hard for us because we noh di make the kinda money we used to make before. Now everything you see right here, if tourists come and shopping I give them just for cheaper prices because mekih go along and fi mek a little something.”

Cynthia Myvett, Trader, FSTV

Cynthia Myvett

“Things not selling that much cause for instance you’d bring out let’s say a table full of carvings, let’s say you’d get bout half or quarter of them sell. Yohker back yoh whole table, yoh sell one, two and yoh ker back all yoh things dem back home.”

Business is so bad for the traders that they have had to slash their prices to attract sales.

Monroe Dennison

Monroe Dennison, Wood Carver

“Most of the time the price that you want for your pieces the tourist does not want to really purchase right.”

Marion Ali

“So you have to reduce yoh price?”

Monroe Dennison

“Everytime, everytime.”

But even though it’s slow, Randolph Gordon prefers to stick with what he knows.

Randolph Gordon, Wood Carver, FSTV

Randolph Gordon

“Dehn want to pay wehdehn want to give and sometimes we got to accept it.”

Marion Ali

“It’s just a sign of the global recession I think.”

Randolph Gordon

“Mhmmm, right, I would say that too, but I love the trade soh I just do it because it keep me outta trouble. I never graduate from college so I can’t work in a bank soh this come to be bigger than the bank. It’s like a university trade.”

These visitors from Liverpool, England weren’t looking for a lesson in woodcarving, or even a souvenir, but they were still enjoying something local.

Marion Ali

“How has your trip been going?”

Wayne Williamson, Tourist

Wayne Williamson

“It’s been good, thanks.”

Marion Ali

“You just came off the ship?”

Wayne Williamson, Tourist

“Yeah, about two hours ago.”

Marion Ali

“First time here?”

collette williamson

Collette Williamson, Tourist
“First time, lovely yeah.”

Marion Ali

“And the beer is good too, I take it?”

Collette Williamson, Tourist

“Beer’s very good. (Laughs)”

Hopefully, the year ahead turns out to be just as good for our local traders. Marion Ali for News Five.

The BTB offices were closed this afternoon so we could not get a precise figure on the number of overnight visitors. In respect of cruise ship visitors, where the BTB is spending a lot of energy, the number we are told unofficially is slightly up.

Channel 5