Cruisers who think they contribute substantially to the economic well-being of an island nation, or a state simply need to get over themselves.
For example, the 199,000 tourists in FP contributed about 400 million USD. So, on average that's about $2000 per tourist. That's just cash out of pocket. The tourism industry also employs about 17% of the local populace. Yes, some of the monies leave to feed major corporation accounts, but a lot of that money stays in the local economy via taxes
and employee pay, etc.
Let's say half the 400 million leaves the country. Even if 1000 boats spent 200K each in the local economy during that year it does little to nothing regarding overall employment
, especially in the service
sector. (And, I don't know any long-term cruiser that spends 200K per year.)
Bill Streep nailed it. Many people I've met on remote
islands don't measure a person's wealth by the dollars in their pockets. But, spend some time mending nets, building a house, volunteering in a school
, delivering mail or packages to outer islands, showing up in church on Sundays, or simply talking with elders means more to the community than the money you spend at a store or restaurant or for a tour or for a tank of fuel
It is unfortunate that the rally rats who descend upon these islands like a plague of locusts arrive with the idea that they should be treated like royalty because they paid money and arrive with expectations that may not be satisfied. (Also note, the fees
paid for rallies don't go 100% to the islands on the rally route
.) But it is an attitude of "I'm better than you, and you should treat me well because I am spending money in your little store" that leads to disdain.
So, I applaud Chuck for his efforts to strike a balance between long-term cruising vessels and the local populations.
I also hope he can help the local populations differentiate between long-term cruisers and rally rats who simply race
from island to island.
(Perhaps a requirement for each person onboard a cruising boat
volunteer for some service
on the islands or local community at least 1 day for every 5 days in country.)