Whether we are locals, tourists, residents, part-time residents, visitors, vacation home owners, business owners, future visitors, etc, this concerns all of us and I believe everyone’s voice is important because Exuma ultimately belongs to the earth, to all of us and the future generations. Exuma, as it is now, is beloved by so many people. Everyone who’s ever visited stays impressed for life. The vast majority agree that Exuma is absolutely unique in the world for its unparalleled natural beauty and authentic culture. Astronaut Scott Kelly named Exuma “the most beautiful place from space”.
There are several informative websites to help us understand and learn from others’ mistakes why cruise ships are not good for Exuma, why many known cruise destinations are now fighting to get rid of them, why irreversible changes will always come with cruise ships. Please kindly share this with everyone who may care to know, so that everyone becomes aware of what is really at stake and can form an informed opinion on this matter.
The very few Exuma businesses that may benefit financially from this also need to reconsider very seriously. They may gain a few dollars but lose many more, together with the one true unique thing that Exuma owns — natural resources and culture — and that will be lost for the future generations as well. At a time when tourism is finally returning to The Bahamas, loyal Exuma tourists are already booking elsewhere to avoid the cruise ships they heard about and all over the internet tourists are saddened and angered by this news. The Exuma allure and brand that took years to build and was flourishing before the pandemic will be lost because Exuma as we know it will be no more.
Here is a link to the petition on change.org: www.change.org/p/to-minnis-hubert-0203fc0d-8048-4ce4-b1e8-1f288d9a6e92. We owe it to Exuma to stop Crystal Cruises and other cruise lines from making Exuma a permanent stop on their cruise ships itineraries because while places like the Cayman Islands and Cozumel are fighting them off, the cruise lines are looking for new stops; that’s what Exuma will be to them — a stop to make another dollar. More cruise ships will follow, then the dredging, the docks, the environmental destruction, the loss of current tourism, culture and businesses and so on, as you can see described on many websites.
This is the time to stand together, to know that everyone has a voice, that taking a stance matters and to stop them before it will be too late. Harbour Island and Spanish Wells succeeded; so can Exuma.
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