On Sept 27th the UN annually celebrated World Tourism Day. This fantastic initiative celebrates diversity & IS committed to reducing poverty and fostering sustainable development.
We applaud the Jamaican government for celebrating this event with the intention to recognize, acknowledge and raise awareness of the close relationship between tourism development, biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction.
To aid the Jamaican government’s quest in following the UN’s charter of Tourism we thought we’d aid this by pointing out our mistakes so that we can learn for the future.
Our hope is of course that people don’t get off, because the ship itself is the destination. This is better than a lot of the islands.” Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Captain
When the rest of the world is supposedly battling to save the planet, the Jamaican Port Authority has ripped up coral beds, bulldozed mangrove swamps and made a new landmass of 35 acres that is owned and controlled by Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Company. For this privilege the Port Authority has paid US$ 224 million with financing from the Danish government (on the proviso that Danish company PHL retains this contract for work).
This development was justified as an economic opportunity for Falmouth, however the town’s newly made landmass is fenced, walled and guarded from the Jamaican public’s thorough-fare or access. Any traders wishing to sell in this new market have to find rent a year in advance payable to the Royal Carribean Cruise Ship Company of US$ 1,250 minimum, and US$6,500 NON-refundable key money. A unique “opportunity” set against all global market advice that encourages trading in debt when the average salary in Jamaica is just $2,652.31 per person.
Currently the date for when this new super cruise ship docks has been delayed due to the MARPOL agreement (International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution From Ships). Jamaica is still unready to accept the 2 tonnes of solid waste daily that the ship creates whilst docking – 500,000 gallons of grey water and 60,000 gallons of sewage.
Bigger than the Nimitz Aircraft Carrier, this super cruiser will require 7,230 gallons of fuel per hour, imagine its carbon footprint when even a regular cruise ship is 3 times more than that of planes; there are plenty of sustainable ways to foster Jamaica – this sadly isn’t one of them.