Agostini suggested that only a few travel agencies in his neck of the woods are aware of the website to be used to apply for the special visas hence ordinary travelers may well be much less informed.
An embarrassed Agostini noted that since the visas become mandatory from January 15 onwards things can only get worse, as more and more Aussies and Kiwis discover that they cannot travel to the Caribbean, even if only for a cruise and not cricket, without having such a stamp inserted into their passports. There is already one instance of someone wanting to go on a Caribbean cruise, with no interest whatsoever in the cricket and not even at the time it’ll be on, being told by their travel agent that they will not be able to board the cruise liner without it.
The problem is a difficult one to fathom since Sydney, Australia, hosted the prestigious and far more popular Olympics in 2000 and Melbourne, Australia, recently hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2006 and at no time were there these difficulties.
The problem ought not to have arisen at this late stage.
Anyone who has been involved in the Olympics, Commonwealth Games or the FIFA World Cup would have been able to explain the process to the governments of the region.
The Athens Olympics were the most expensive held thus far because of the security concerns following the September 11 attacks of 2001 and yet they were able to facilitate security checks on the heavy traffic that flowed through the nation of Greece for the Games with relative ease. This was because of the level of advanced planning undertaken and the expertise involved in the organization of the event.
Tourism officials in Jamaica appear to be focused intently on the bigger picture – the long term impact on the country’s tourism industry.
The Observer Reporter for the Jamaica Observer newspaper wrote on Friday 5 January 2006 that The Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) is suggesting that Jamaica be pulled from a Caribbean Community (Caricom) decision to require a special visa for visitors coming to the region during the ICC World Cup Cricket tournament beginning March.