Poll: split on Turtle Farm

More than 40 per cent of the 533 respondents to the most recent caycompass.com online poll think the Boatswain’s Beach/Turtle Farm attraction should continue going the way it is, with attempts to improve its financial performance.

However 34 per cent of the respondents believe the attraction should be sold to a private entity.

‘Definitely keep this beautiful attraction going,’ said one person. ‘There has been much improvement since the new management has taken over.

‘It’s the best tourist product we have. Let’s build on it and make it the best attraction for tourists and locals alike.’

Of the 218 people who wanted to keep Boatswain’s Beach the way it is, several suggested lowering the admission price.

‘Reduce admission fees and go for volume of visitors,’ said one respondent. ‘The present high admission cost turns people away from what is a very well constructed and entertaining facility.’

Others thought the facility should also focus on the local market.

‘Make it more accessible to residents on evening and weekends and consider hosting events there such as music festivals and the like,’ said one person.

Someone else was resigned to having the attraction subsidised by government.

‘Accept that it is a money-losing enterprise established to provide entertainment for visitors who spend additional funds while on island,’ said one person. ‘The number of visitors to Boatswain’s Beach cannot support the operating expenses, even at the current over-inflated admission price. We should stop wasting time and energy trying to dream up ways for it to be profitable and make peace with the fact that it draws visitors who inject cash into the economy.’

Selling Boatswain’s Beach to a private sector entity was the preferred choice of 181 respondents.

‘As long as government owns it, it will lose money,’ said one person. ‘The private sector might be able to make it work, if someone is willing to buy something stuck up in the corner of West Bay.’

‘Let the private sector deal with everything except turtle breeding, which should be more environmentally focused and operate with some government subsidy,’ said someone else.

Sixty-nine people (12.9 per cent) believed the Turtle Farm should streamline its operations.

‘Boatswain’s Beach is a quality experience, but it has become a white elephant,’ said one respondent. ‘The old Turtle Farm was exactly what people wanted and it needs to be brought back to that.’

Another person suggested cutting out certain attractions at the facility during the low season to reduce expenses.

‘Make all necessary physical savings before touching jobs and salaries.’

Another 52 people (9.8 per cent) thought Boatswains Beach should be closed down and the land sold, while 13 respondents (2.4 per cent)) said they did not know what to do about the facility.

‘The Turtle Farm should consider hiring a doctor/biologist who has the knowledge, skills in research and the interest for the survival of the turtle population, like it was back in the 70s and 80s,’ said one respondent.

PULL QUOTE

‘Accept that it is a money-losing enterprise established to provide entertainment for visitors who spend additional funds while on island. The number of visitors to Boatswain’s Beach cannot support the operating expenses, even at the current over-inflated admission price. We should stop wasting time and energy trying to dream up ways for it to be profitable and make peace with the fact that it draws visitors who inject cash into the economy.’

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