Categorized | Featured, National News

Straw Vendors Say Cruise Lines Hurting Business

Sales in straw products are currently at an all time low, according to some local straw vendors who are blaming cruise line advisories for scaring off potential customers.

Some vendors in the Nassau Straw Market said some cruise lines are allegedly are telling guests aboard cruise ships not to purchase straw products due to insect infestation in the straw, to not leave the ships due to the rising crime in Nassau and are now a source of competition as they are reportedly selling their own goods.

Veteran straw vendor Celestine Eneas was a guest on Love 97 FM’s daily rado talk show, Issues of the Day, when she expressed concern for her industry.

Mrs. Eneas said she has worked in the straw market since four-years-old said business is currently down in the downtown straw market due to the “lies” cruise ship operators have told the passengers.

“They are telling them that bugs are in the straw, the prices are too high and the crime is horrible,” she said. “This is directly affecting sales.

“And they are only telling this to passengers before they reach The Bahamas, but not the other islands which is creating a negative outlook and impact on The Bahamas.”

According to vendors cruise ships are also competing with products in the straw market as she said similar souvenirs are being sold onboard the ships as these operators are reportedly encouraging tourists to purchase from them instead.

Ms. Eneas believes straw vendors sell their products too low because they are worth more than the cost they are sold for. She believes that straw vendors should sell their goods for their true worth because vendors already are not making much money.

Market Straw Authority official Kevin Simmons said that they have set plans in place to “cease and desist” the setback of sales due to the cruise lines. He has stated that they have already begun to speak to cruise ships and are hoping for improvements in the near future.

Last year several cruise lines warned the government that they were set to issue warnings to their passengers about the threat of crime on New Providence.

Norwegian Cruise Line at one time prohibited guests from taking purchased straw craft back on board the ship due to alleged mite infestation in the straw which has been under investigation by the government.

A letter was circulated through the straw market in early April as a precaution for cruise ship visitors. These precautions have greatly affected sales for straw vendors and they are seeking immediate action from the government for help with restoration of sales.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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