A prominent Saint Lucia official expressed concern in the wake of a few crimes committed against cruise passengers. Lately, such crimes are reportedly becoming more frequent.
NCL (Norwegian Cruise Line) has excluded the popular Caribbean port from its itineraries since 2012 because of concerns about the safety of its guests, thus establishing precedent.
Peter Isaac, Saint Lucia Vendors Association president, told St. Lucia Times that he believed the ongoing problem could lead to other lines "avoiding the island nation altogether".
Isaac added that persons had come to him and said that things of value like chains had been grabbed from their kids. According to him, the problem in Castries was very serious, referring to the capital of Saint Lucia, situated on the northwest coast, where is location of the main cruise port.
In the majority of cases, cruise passengers had chains, handbags and other items stolen from them, but the authorities had been slow in their reaction. Even locals had admitted they felt unsafe out in public.
Tourism spending plays a critical role for the economy of St. Lucia and it was obviously imperative that officials worked with authorities to improve the conditions for visitors. Isaac is pushing for the Minister of Tourism and police to both act quickly.
One of the solutions includes making more police officers visible, a step that would improve the response to crime against cruise passengers, but likely hold people from committing a crime.