Congratulations to Senator Shawn-Michael Malone on his success in the local polls. However, I have to question a comment attributed to him in your story, "We have to start to think globally, especially in terms of the major economic issues that may soon start to affect us …" I hope the good Senator is aware that our local economy has already been affected by the state of the global economy and it's not a question of "may" any more.
At least two major local retail stores on St Thomas laid off 15 employees apiece in the last two weeks, several small businesses have folded in the last few months and the hotel figures for the upcoming season seem to indicate that we may not have any sort of a "season" at all. The majority of tourists still visiting us by air bought their tickets six months to a year ago and I understand that the cruise ship figures for last month were down by 50% from the same period last year. You only have to compare present visitor forum posts to those of a year ago to see the obviously huge reduction. Just a year ago a visitor would post a question on a travel-related forum and it would be off on Page 2 within 24 hours. Those similar posts are so far and few between now that a single simple post sits there for sometimes three or four days at a time.
Tourism is our economical mainstay and the filter-down effect of its drop is felt by every single one of us. As we continue to tighten our belts and make do with less, it's imperative that we support each other during what is going to be a very, very hard time ahead.
The "may soon" effect is history.
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