The Antigua Sun reports that two cruise passengers were attacked and robbed while ashore in Antigua yesterday after getting off a cruise ship.
The passengers were not identified but were described as a "British couple" who arrived in St. Johns yesterday. They are sailing aboard the Fred Olsen cruise ship, Boudicca.
The newspaper reports that the "daring daylight incident" occurred around 10:45 a.m. while the tourists were walking along Bay Street in the "Villa area" which is to the north of the St. Johns Harbour where the passengers disembarked. Three young men attacked the couple with "a piece of stick" and robbed them of a digital camera before fleeing. The couple was treated at the Mount St. John Medical Centre and then returned to the Boudicca.
Antigua's tourism officials already have their hands full following the highly publicized murder of Nina Elizabeth Nilssen who was killed in Antigua after disembarking from Star Clippers' Royal Clipper cruise ship. This latest crime against a cruise tourist occurred while the executive members of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) were meeting with the Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda and the local Cruise Tourism Association regarding cruise ships porting in Antigua. In an article entitled "FCCA Team Gives Advise to Tourism Stakeholders," the Antigua Sun reports that the tourism and cruise people were discussing, among other issues, a "Crime Stoppers" forum when the robbery took place.
Although the media was invited to the meeting, no one would comment on the crime against the cruise passengers.
Antigua has received a lot of unfavorable press over the last year following high profile murders of tourists. One year ago, an article entitled "Tourist Murders, Robberies Threaten Antigua's Struggling Tourism Industry" labeled Antigua as "death island." The article quotes the President of the Antigua and Barbuda Cruise Tourism Association Nathan Dundas as stating ". . . we have been asking for more security but all of our pleas seem to be falling on deaf ears."
Star Clippers recently announced that it would no longer stop in Antigua, due to concerns with crime. Carnival stopped scratched Antigua off its itinerary last year, although it did not explain why. Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and Princess Cruises continue to make calls in Antigua.
The cruise industry is big business in Antigua and Barbuda. The Anitgua Observer newspaper reported earlier this month that cruise passengers spent around $48 million from November 2008 to April 2009, according to the FCCA.
We have addressed the issue of crime against cruise passengers in the Caribbean ports of call in many recent articles:
Photograph of St. Johns Antigua Squidoo
Antigua tourism - FCCA meeting ab.gov.ag (via eTurbo News - "Florida Caribbean Cruise Association meets with Antigua and Barbuda Cruise Tourism Association"