"Government wants to turn Holetown into a major cruise tourism hub. Well-informed sources told Barbados TODAY that ever since August 2009, the Ministry of Tourism had been advancing a series of recommendations to drive cruise passengers into the historic St. James area. It's all part of the plan to ease long-standing beach congestion, and suspected unlawful activity, in the Payne's Bay area.
The intention, sources noted, was to have cruisers driven into the area by taxis and other forms of transportation, and that there would be major cooperation between the National Conservation Commission, police, businesses and other stakeholders. "It is considered that the beach area and urban infrastructure at Holetown has the capacity to accommodate a larger number of cruise ship visitors, the associated vehicular traffic movement and areas for parking," a Ministry of Tourism brief on the matter stated.
"All relevant Government ministries and departments should work collectively to put in place the appropriate environment at Holetown to accommodate an influx of cruise ship passengers in terms of beach chair vending, jet ski vending, safe swimming areas, provision for parking, signage for the regulation of vehicular and pedestrian movement and adequate policing," it added. The ministry also said taxi drivers had an important role to play and should therefore "be approached with a view to having them redirect their cruise ship passengers to Holetown". "Businesses in Holetown should be approached to encourage them to upgrade their facilities to accommodate greater cruise passenger visitation," it noted.
Additionally, the suggestion was for the NCC to undertake a study "to determine the number of chairs, which a vendor should be licensed to rent per standard measured area of beach". "This will assist in regulating beach chair vending at all beaches," the Ministry of Tourism document stated. Officials were concerned about the image behaviour in the area of Paynes Bay and now closed Blue Monkey Restaurant. They said at the time that part of the problem was "an overwhelming number of cruise ship passengers" were being ferried there by taxi drivers, who were offered "monetary and in-kind incentives". Sources pointed out that just last year several agencies were called to be a meeting hosted by Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy "to urgently examine some complaints brought to his attention about a particular location, namely, Paynes Bay.""
Source: Barbados Today article "Holetown a hub"