Boat operators want clearance to resume tours in Tobago

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

In this file photo, Frankie Tours reef boat workers get the engine ready on Sunday ahead of Monday’s reopening of the beaches from 5am to noon. Beaches had been closed since April as a measure to curb the spread of the covid19 virus. – Photo by David Reid

Tobago’s boat operators are appealing to the Government for clearance to resume tours to the Buccoo Reef and other sea-based attractions on the island.

On December 20, the Government reopened beaches to the public from 5 am-noon, but rivers, ponds and waterfalls remain off-limits. During those hours, beachgoers are not allowed to drink alcohol or play loud music.

The Prime Minister, at a news conference on December 18, urged people adhere to the stipulations. He said if this is done, the Government will consider expanding opening hours to normal times.

On that occasion, Dr Rowley did not announce any arrangements for tour boat operators to resume their trade.

But speaking to Newsday on Tuesday, veteran tour boat operator Michael Frank said the industry was virtually in shambles.

“Things really bad with we, boy. Everything bad with boat operators. We have not been working for so long,” he said.

Frank said apart from the owners struggling to survive, many boats are deteriorating from lack of use.