The Cricket World Cup 2007 – a political seesaw

The writer noted that Horace Peterkin, president of the umbrella grouping, said the industry would prefer if Caricom abandons the visa requirement, but if it did not, Jamaica should put its national interest first and go it alone.
The Association appears clearly upset at the way things have gone and seems to adopt a stance that may seem harsh but which is nonetheless intended to safeguard what it perceives to be a more reasonable approach in light of the importance of tourism to the nation’s development strategy.
The paper stated, Peterkin accused the regional grouping of sacrificing the Caribbean tourism industry "for 58 days of cricket" and doing so without consulting with the tourism ministers, the tourist boards or the embassies of the region.
"We know that security is a main concern to the ICC and our governments, but protecting a few months of cricket versus losing years of sweat equity, reputation, and confidence of these markets along with the immediate income of the stakeholders (some of whom could go out of business) is a very hard pill to swallow," Peterkin wrote in a letter to Jamaica's tourism minister, Aloun Assamba.
Peterkin is clearly upset at the situation and expressed his organisation’s perception of the consequences, "massive and immediate cancellation of all forward bookings" from countries which are now required to get Caricom visas, touching: all USA and Canadian residents, residents of certain European, Central and Eastern European countries, South and Central America and all African and Arab countries.
Additional fallout could also include: loss of airlift to Jamaica from the affected regions and countries; cancellation of future charter operations from the affected regions; widespread bad press internationally; an immediate end to the inclusion of Jamaica in all tour operating programmes in the affected countries, in favour of islands which do not have such regulations, for example, the Dominican Republic; and loss of market share… other possible repercussions like liability lawsuits from tourism companies and airlines which have invested in Jamaican tourism programmes from the affected regions, "for financial losses they will incur", and from the travelling public; creation of ill-will and lack of confidence with overseas tourism ministries and tour operators and travel agencies in the affected countries, "that will be irreparable"…"We would lose our Winter Season, during which the island enjoys its highest revenues per visitor, and highest occupancy levels, and the far-reaching effects would affect next summer as well.