Cruise business booming

Business from cruise ships and residents is better than it was this time last year, according to George Town retailers.

But although this side of business is up, some are suffering from the lack of stay-over tourists.

‘We’re definitely feeling the effects of stay-over tourism being lacking,’ said Marketing Manager with Kirk Freeport Lance Kidder who reports other business as being slightly up on this time last year.

At Hard Rock Café, Restaurant Manager Nathalie O’Connor said business is going exceptionally well.

‘Our figures are way up on this time last year and on the whole business is going really well.’

Hard Rock is also feeling the pinch from a lack of stay-over business for its night time trade. Day-times are generally very busy as cruise tourism and a pick up in local trade is filling the café to capacity.

A policy of residents going to the top of the line and getting 10 per cent discount has certainly helped with securing its local trade.

Cruise passengers also flock to the Hard Rock Café.

‘On Thursday when there were seven ships in town we had a queue out our door. We were full to capacity throughout the whole day until nearly 5pm,’ she explained.

Although Mr. Kidder believes that the cruise trade is going well, he admitted that retailers are feeling frustration with congestion in George Town.

However, he added that the police are helping tremendously with the situation.

‘Without them, there would be utter chaos. When you add seven ships to George Town that amounts to an extra 16,000 people, so there’s going to be some form of congestion,’ he commented.

Mr. Kidder believes that the Government and the business community have headed in the right direction by building the new cruise tender landing, the Royal Watler Cruise Terminal.

‘This is the right step to take to help alleviate congestion,’ he said.

Ms O’Connor agreed that the police are greatly helping the flow of people and traffic through George Town and said she and the staff at Hard Rock handle the congestion as best they can.

‘We have two hostesses at the front guiding people into lines. We have to have staff in place to have organisation,’ she said.