Water tour operators finding ways to survive downturn 

Cruise and Chill Sailing is planning special discounts for locals when social gathering restrictions are lifted 
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By Machela Osagboro

Sailors and fishermen are using the downtime to recuperate and do repair work on their sailing vessels.
Operator of Cruise and Chill Sailing out of Jolly Harbour, Christian Koch, told Observer, “What we are doing right now is that we are finishing the boats, we are sprucing them up, this is the time to do it.”

The businessman shared that he will be keeping his presence on the market by continuing to post ads online to ensure that tourists remain interested in his company and make bookings.

In terms of staying afloat during the economic downturn, Koch said that he will be turning his attention away from the international market and focusing on “doing specials for the locals for a bit, and once a month, doing a charity sunset cruise where all the net profit will go to a different institution like PAAWS, ABSAR or the hospice.”

Another businessman and local fisherman, Eli Fuller, of Adventure Antigua, also stated there isn’t much that can be done because tourists will not be travelling for a while.

He added that he has had to scale his company down because of the current crisis.

“The main thing we can do is change the way we are living, and the way things are done. We used to have four boats in operation, now we are mothballing two; we are modifying all our companies and our households to make do with what we have, and I think that that’s the message that we have to take home,” he said.

Fuller continued that he is reaping some good crops like cucumbers, beans and butternut squash from his keyhole gardening initiative, and he has shared some of the harvest with employees whom he has had to lay off.

He said he will also be paying more attention to farming in order to continue making money.

Fuller advised people to cut back and live differently, reduce overhead costs and be prudent with resources.

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