Tourism Secretary condemns fight involving reef tour operators in front tourists

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Tourism Secretary condemns fight involving reef tour operators in front tourists

Secretary of Tourism, Culture, Antiquities and Transportation, Councillor Tashia Burris, strongly condemns the acts of violence on-board a Buccoo Reef Marine Park tour boat on Monday.
Preliminary reports indicate that on Monday, March 20th, two glass-bottom tour vessels took tourists to the Buccoo Reef Marine Park. However, due to rough sea conditions, both ships collided while anchored at Nylon Pool. This collision resulted in the captain of one of the vessels attempting to assault the other captain physically. A scuffle then ensued between the two men, which terrified onlookers and was filmed.
In response to this occurrence, Secretary Burris expressed supreme disappointment as incidents like these sometimes cause irreparable damage to a destination’s reputation.
“We have been working tirelessly to rebound our Tourism sector post-COVID, and such occurrences do not help our efforts. I have received official reports from the cruise ship agent regarding the matter, and we are also working on formal correspondence to the passengers and the cruise company affected by yesterday’s unfortunate events.
“Undoubtedly, this matter highlights the need for formal regulations to be introduced to govern operations across the industry. We are hopeful that the central government’s promise of a tourism regulatory and licensing authority since the dissolution of the Tourism Development Company in 2017 will be made a priority again. In the interim, outside of the work of the police to investigate once a report is made, we must also determine what actions can be taken,” Secretary Burris further stated.      
Reef Tour Operators and Reef Boat Owners are among the stakeholders whom the Secretary have directly engaged towards addressing the myriad issues affecting the product offerings available on the island. Certainly, these stakeholder engagements will continue. Secretary Burris will also engage her colleagues in the Division of Food Security, Natural Resources, the Environment and Sustainable Development, under whose remit is the management of our marine spaces.
Ultimately, visitors’ and citizens’ safety and security remain a priority for the Division. As such, the Division reaffirms its commitment to ensuring, as far as possible, that all have a positive and safe experience when visiting sites and attractions.

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