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Slow boat to recovery

Tourists showing interest in jewellery.

Four ships may have been berthed at the Bridgetown Port this morning but that made little difference for some businesses in the City.

Throughout the day coaches were filled while the streets and some stores in Bridgetown were bustling with activity as thousands of visitors disembarked the ships which sailed in.

Much of the activity was generated in jewellery stores on Broad Street, including Harrison’s in Nicholas House. Store manager, Veronica Nicholls, told Barbados TODAY that though traffic was not as good as last year they could not complain since they received a reasonable amount of sales from the ships.

However, businesses in Swan Street were not as lucky because many of the tourists refused to venture off the main street, instead heading to places like Hero’s Square and Independence Square.

Taxi drivers conplain

Taxi drivers too were complaining. One stationed at Lower Broad Street and who preferred to be anonymous said he was there for more than three hours and only received one tour.

“It is a big influx of people but looking at it from a wider perspective people are a bit impecunious,” he said.

“I did a tour and it was pretty productive but I’ve seen better and I’ve done better. It was way better last year than what’s happening now. This is a hard time for everybody, I don’t think that at this point in time, the second day in January 2013, it is too much to shout about. Most of these trips have been scheduled since last year so today Barbados is a first stop for a lot. People just perusing the streets looking ’round and pretty much getting a feel then it is back to the ship – nothing ain’t really happening right now.

“People are just basically coming to Bridgetown, walking around then going back to the boat. Some people using the taxi service from inside to go to beaches mostly on the West Coast, but most of the business basically going out of the Bridgetown area.”

Gilberto and Eliba Olivo from Puerto Rico was among 3,000 passengers on board the Carnival who arrived on the island at about 8 this morning and was scheduled to leave at 5 p.m. It was their first visit to the island, and they vowed to return. They said their day was spent having lunch, drinking a local brew and touring special places of interest. Gilberto said because Barbados was their third stop on the trip they did not have much money so they purchased mainly souvenirs to take back for their family. (KC)†

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