KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – The longstanding ban on jet skis in St. Vincent and the Grenadines will be reviewed this year, Tourism Minister Carlos James announced following comments from the head of the country’s Tourism Authority that the ban made “no sense”.
The topic of lifting of the ban has come up a decade after a similar proposal was met with stiff resistance from stakeholders in the tourism sector.
“It makes no sense to me,” Chief Executive Officer of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority, Glen Beache said about the ban at a press conference on Monday.
Among the arguments advanced in 2013 against allowing jet skis conflict with the country’s reputation for tranquility; noise pollution; danger to marine life; danger to users and other people; questions of emergency medical response capability; liability issues; and crime and law enforcement issues.
At Monday’s press conference, James said the government will, later this year, look at the regulation as it relates to the importation of jet skis.
“Not to have them come in in an unregulated way, but to see how we can zone the locations in which they operate to have licensed importers and to have regulations as to how they operate the within the sector in terms of these operations,” the tourism minister said.
Beache said he hoped that this time around, the move would “get across the line”.
“Nearly every super yacht out there comes with jet skis now, and I remember some years ago, we lost two super yachts during the Christmas period because they had jet skis and they want to ride their jet skis,” he said.
“I don’t make policy but I think it’s time we get above that because my thing on it is simply this – and I think people would be surprised – that it’s some of the stakeholders that are against it.”
Beache agreed with a licensing and zoning approach to jet ski use in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.