Letters to the Editor: Exuma should welcome Crystal Cruises

Letters to the Editor: Exuma should welcome Crystal Cruises

Dear Editor,

My family has been in The Bahamas since 1735. When my father was a young boy, he learned to drive boats, surf and water ski in the Exumas. And now, our entire family takes pride in showing a wide variety of celebrities and plenty of everyday people the beauty of the crystal-clear waters through our company Exuma Water Sports. We’ve been involved in a number of Bahamas Ministry of Tourism projects. So, when we were approached about partnering with Crystal Cruises to offer local experiences to its guests, we jumped at the chance to be involved.

Those who are speaking out against Crystal coming to Great Exuma can’t see the forest for the trees. They think our culture will be lost rather than seeing how we can expose so many more people to our way of life, ensuring it will be around for generations to come. The more people who come here will see why we love it and why families like mine have been here for so long.

Opponents who think Crystal will destroy the environment only need to do their research to learn about its dedication to preserving the marine environment and oceans where its ships sail. Crystal goes above and beyond national and international regulations and cruise industry standards when it comes to how it handles its sewage. As a business that makes it living in these same waters, we never would have agreed to partner with Crystal if we considered for even a minute that its ship would have a negative impact on our sparkling turquoise waters and white-sand shores.

Lastly, we object to those people who say only a handful of businesses will benefit from Crystal coming here. They can’t see how this will provide so many more opportunities for everyone who has an entrepreneurial spirit. Sure, the money isn’t going to just show up in a cheque to every resident each week. But now that we’ve started welcoming passengers, it will create more and more opportunities for people to find lucrative businesses. They just can’t see it yet because all they do is pay attention to rumors and internet comments, rather than exploring how they can benefit from this opportunity.

Change is hard. But look at how we have all adjusted to the many changes brought about by the global pandemic. We’ve learned to do so many things differently because we had to.

It’s time to welcome the cruise ship passengers to Great Exuma and show them what my family has known for close to 300 years — this is the most beautiful place in the world and by allowing more people to partake of its beauty, it will ensure the Exumas are around for generations to come so people from all over the world can come here and learn about our culture.


Rebecca Lightbourn,

McIntosh/Lightbourn family,

Exuma Water Sports

  • To have your letter to the editor published, email eyewitnessbahamas@gmail.com. Please note letters should be under 500 words and refrain from using profanity, slurs or otherwise offensive language.


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