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Crafts Alive vendors accuse taxi operators of misleading tourists

- allege that tourists are being told Crafts Alive not open on Sundays hence they shouldn’t go there; Taxi Association President sheds light on issue
A number of Crafts Alive vendors are upset with what they referred to as misinformation being fed to cruise passengers allegedly by taxi drivers and which they say is affecting business. Photo: VINO
Some of the Crafts Alive shops that were open on Sunday April 12, 2015. Photo: VINO
Some of the Crafts Alive shops that were open on Sunday April 12, 2015. Photo: VINO
President of the BVI Taxi Association Karl ‘Dub’ Scatliffe, he said, 'From my experience I know when the ships come in around 7.00 am most of the vendors of Crafts Alive are not open at that time so what we normally would tell the tourists is that we will take them on tour and on their way back we would stop them at Crafts Alive then they could walk back to the ship.' Photo: VINO/File
President of the BVI Taxi Association Karl ‘Dub’ Scatliffe, he said, 'From my experience I know when the ships come in around 7.00 am most of the vendors of Crafts Alive are not open at that time so what we normally would tell the tourists is that we will take them on tour and on their way back we would stop them at Crafts Alive then they could walk back to the ship.' Photo: VINO/File
One of the shops opened on Sunday April 12, 2015. Photo: VINO
One of the shops opened on Sunday April 12, 2015. Photo: VINO
Open for business. Photo: VINO
Open for business. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – A number of Crafts Alive vendors are upset with what they referred to as misinformation being fed to cruise passengers allegedly by taxi drivers and which they say is affecting business.

During last week, some of the vendors at Crafts Alive invited this news site’s reporter to visit the area on Sunday April 12, 2015 to see for ourselves whether they are open for business on Sundays.

They accused some taxi men of telling visitors that Crafts Alive is not open on Sundays. According to some of the vendors, this is with a view to taking the cruise passenger on tours in order to benefit themselves.

Many of the vendors, all female, said that cruise passengers have expressed to them in dismay that they were told that the Crafts Alive booths do not open on Sundays.

One woman, who did not want her name recorded, said it has been happening for years.

She said that during the week business is not bad but on Sundays and holidays things slow down and this she blames on the misinformation being peddled to the visitors.

The woman wants the matter addressed because she said she needs to ensure her business is sustainable. She said right now the money is only circulating to pay bills and replenish stock.

She doesn't want her name mentioned as she said that she was afraid somebody will come and close her down.

Another woman said, “on most occasions from my experience on Sundays and holidays, the tourists would be coming and questioning how are we open saying that the taxi guys told them that all over was closed…nothing to buy nothing to do. The only thing to do was to go on island tour or go back to the ship.”

Asked how long this has been taking place the woman said that it has been happening for years.

None of the women wanted to give their names or have their photographs taken for fear of victimisation by taxi drivers.

We open…ship or no ship

Another elderly woman, who operates one of the shops in Crafts Alive, said the problem has been ongoing for years.

“The tourists telling us that the taxi people telling them that most of the places like Crafts Alive are closed on Sundays. That’s not true. Some of us open every day. Ship or no ship…every day,” she said. “This has been going on for years and they need to stop that because some of the tourists when they walk around they ask, ‘how they say here is closed?” she said.

“It is as if the taxi men want to make money for themselves and carry the tourists on tour and bring them back to the ship,” she said. “It is just those who walk around and see that here is open who come in,” said the woman. “They are messing us up because when they do that you’re not seeing many people coming,” she said, referring to the taxi drivers.

Crafts Alive not open at 7.00 am when ships come

Meanwhile, President of the BVI Taxi Association Karl ‘Dub’ Scatliffe said the statements by the vendors are not entirely true.

“From my experience I know when the ships come in around 7:00 am most of the vendors of Crafts Alive are not open at that time so what we normally would tell the tourists is that we will take them on tour and on their way back we would stop them at Crafts Alive then they could walk back to the ship.”

He said that they would inform the tourists that the VI is a Christian community so on Sundays many places are not open until after a certain time. “We know that they are open. It is just that they are not open the time that the ships come in,” said Scatliffe. He said, however, he is not able to speak on behalf of independent taxi drivers who outnumber the members of the Association.

21 Responses to “Crafts Alive vendors accuse taxi operators of misleading tourists”

  • Yes (14/04/2015, 08:40) Like (13) Dislike (2) Reply
    Those greedy taxi men want to take the tourists on a long drive to make money so they are tricking the poor tourists.
  • problem (14/04/2015, 09:00) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    The problem is that the taxi men down by the ship don't want the taximen by Crafts Alive to get the tour business. And yes it does happen, I have heard it from tourists also and I am not a vendor in Crafts Alive.
  • promote yourselves (14/04/2015, 09:05) Like (23) Dislike (0) Reply
    Each business owner need to get up and promote their own booths. I have travelled worldwide on cruises and no matter how small a person's business is, you see them at the first public entrance of the cruise passengers handing out their flyers with incentive promotions. A free gift just for browsing, a discount on certain items etc. Whether you're a booth owner at Craft Alive or at a remote setting on the island, make it your business to promote the name of your shop. No one else is going to do it for you! OK, the taxi tells the passengers one thing, go above that and put someone at a location to hand out your flyers so you can make some money. It's not everyone who will buy, but your chances are none of no one stops by your shop at all.
  • BuzzBvi (14/04/2015, 09:17) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    They will be telling the tourists that the vendors are not paying their rent next.
    Who should we believe then?
    • Haitian moomoo (14/04/2015, 17:05) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
      Let them vendors shut them backside all them doing is going St Thomas by danny haven site and buying the cheap stuffs and killin the tourist or even by fatimas. not one of them backside makin anythin to promote the country only the couple of bvislanders.
  • Schups (14/04/2015, 09:24) Like (11) Dislike (3) Reply
    These forkers always complaining. All of them rent up to date?
  • simple (14/04/2015, 10:01) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    A sign or something needs to be placed at the pier so that the tourist know when the stores open and these taxi men need to stop lying. They drive crazy and reckless. Now they lying to visitors to benefit themselves???? A set of non sense
  • nonsense (14/04/2015, 10:27) Like (21) Dislike (0) Reply

    The problem is that they think they could just sit by their door step and people should just come in because they have a business. Where are the efforts by the business owners to get out there and hustle just like the taxi men. There are no free rides in business, get your @$$€$ up and promote yourselves. Where is the Crafts Alive Union that should be out there as one unit getting things done for the benefit of everyone in that complex? The energy used to b**x ch and moan would be better spent putting something positive forward. Further, what do these businesses sell? Would locals want little keep sakes from them? We don't know, why? Because nobody markets their goods. Suppose I have family visiting, why should I have them stop at crafts alive? Put yourselves out there, market yourselves, from a group within yourselves to lobby for your businesses. Stop the damn whining!

  • welda (14/04/2015, 12:53) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    craft alive people start to complain again? they dont promote their own place they want people to do it for them and they sit on the benches all day and gossip about who selling this and who selling that .if they only making bills money they should get something else to do then
  • Money Glut (14/04/2015, 13:07) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Thats when Virgin Islanders and expat internally cannibalize just for the love of money, darm shameful on all sides.
  • zoe (14/04/2015, 13:14) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    The ports project done kilked craft alive
  • Music (14/04/2015, 13:55) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    But we almost never have cruise ships on Sunday's. They are all back at port doing turn arounds
  • observa (14/04/2015, 15:08) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    since some of the ship comes late , I think its best these tourists take the tour first and on their way back they stop and shop then walk over to the cruise pier .because they will have all the time to shop then
  • Dragon (14/04/2015, 15:27) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Rents paid up to date???
  • Hmmmm (14/04/2015, 21:19) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Most of you reporting here haven't the slightest clue wha these vendor's goin thru. Half of u haven't even burst a sweat for a living. Pay no mind vendors this is ur business.
  • pat (14/04/2015, 21:51) Like (1) Dislike (4) Reply
    another NDP failure
  • solution (15/04/2015, 12:20) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Tourist board needs to advertiste Craft Alive on the crusieships and at the airport and other sea ports that tourist enter
    • nonsense (15/04/2015, 12:52) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      They are making money, it's called business. If you cannot run business then you shouldn't be in business simple. You running a business and its your responsibility to do what's necessary to get people patronizing your establishment. How the hell does that work? Everyone else works hard to get people to shop by your spot and you collect the money? You all better wake up and face reality. Selling Chinese cloth could never be profitable when the cruisers see these things dime a dozen at their other destinations.


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