Bridgetown leading up to Christmas is typically a picture of chaos.
Reports indicate literally thousands of people had descended on The City Christmas Eve.
However, just as typical is the almost dead quiet the following two days where the only activity is tourists walking through a ghost town with almost nothing to go and buy.
No fewer than four cruise ships were in the island on Wednesday, Boxing Day. However, locals were taking a well deserved rest from the stress of retail over the past week. So, once again, tourists were pretty much out of luck store-wise.
It was not a complete loss, though, as they found other ways to amuse themselves. There were tourists in rickshaws; tourists on the beach enjoying the ocean; tourists window-shopping, enjoying a stroll through The City and taking in historical sites without having to worry about crowds or being asked to buy anything from street pedlars.
In contrast to the emptiness in town, proprietors of Pelican Village used the opportunity to open their doors. Situated a short distance from the Barbados Port, offering tourists a place to buy souvenirs or grab a bite.
Stephen Rollock, manager of Rolli’s Bar & Grill, said it was not unusual for them to open once ships were in as there were no other bars or restaurants open in the area. However, he had one complaint.
“Business is just okay because the tour operators tell cruise passengers that town shut down but due to [my] having Wi-Fi, they are coming,” he said.
Another Pelican Village shop owner, who requested anonymity, said she too usually opened when ships were docked in order to offer souvenirs to the tourists. As for how it was going, she said she was grateful for any business although it was not what it used to be.
Tourists also flocked to the West Coast – so many, in fact, that operators along Paynes Bay, St James, were reportedly struggling to seat them all. (CA)