More people are taking their holidays on board large cruise ships, boosting the popularity and growth of cruise tourism.
Developing countries that tapped into this industry are reaping the benefits; Jamaica earned a total of J$22 billion (about K580bil) in the past five years.
For us, cruise tourism is small.
Last year I witnessed two trips to Vanimo by the cruise ship Silver Discoverer and I admit that the reception and transport arrangements were poorly organised.
Considering the uniqueness of our culture and our natural beauty, we need to develop this industry because cruise tourism provides the an immediate form of wealth for locals.
When these holidaymakers are taken to peripheral destinations, they interact with people, see and experience our dances and music and experience our diverse cultures. Other service providers like transport owners, caterers, translators and ushers benefit too.
The arrival of “floating hotels” boosts our foreign currency reserves. One development I would like to see is the construction of new ports and jetties for cruise liners to allow more frequent stopovers along our coastal villages.
Osbourne Terry Nandali