Categorized | Features, General, Local, News

Tourism and the Montserrat National Trust

Gloria Margetson writes:

The contribution of the Montserrat National Trust to our island’s tourism has been and continues to be significant.

From the early 1970s before the volcanic eruption, Montserrat enjoyed day tourists who arrived by air after having spent several days in Antigua, sometimes. At that time the Trust’s museum was housed in a sugar mill at Richmond Hill and their office/souvenir sales outlet was in Plymouth.

Unlike the present time when groups, often in excess of fifty, visit the Trust during a four hour period in one day, day tourists arrived in groups of one or two couples who enjoyed a leisurely tour in a four-seater passenger vehicle driven by a local taxi/tour guide. Interestingly some of these original taxi/tour guides continue to offer this service on the island today.

Through the years several types cruise ships have called at Port Plymouth, many of these visitors enjoyed their visit to the Trust.

In the 1980s a group of 18 Chinese day visitors who arrived by air from Antigua visited the Trust.

In February 2011 the Trust welcomed a group of nine Japanese day visitors who again arrived by air from Antigua.

Over several years, work on a botanical garden on the Trust’s compound for relaxation and education began, and much credit must be given to Lady Eudora Fergus and her several working teams for their dedication and determination during the early stages of construction, to make an ongoing success of this project.

One would hope that the Montserrat Development Corporation having been mandated by the Government to reestablish the plants so violently removed from Piper’s Pond, would get this new wetland area in a suitable condition for the Trust to have sole control of it under a Government project seeking “to establish a botanic garden where public knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the Montserrat environment can be enhanced through a variety of interesting and educational experiences”. This area should be a section of the Trust’s botanic garden and funds should be provided by Government for maintenance and continuing improvements to both gardens.

In 2004 Sea Cloud cruises, Sea Cloud and Sea Cloud 2 began calling at Port Little Bay. These small ships cruise between Antigua-Barbuda, St Kitts-Nevis, Guadeloupe, the Grenadines, Barbados, Dominica ,Montserrat, Virgin Gorda, St. Martin and Anguilla.

The vessels are really quite beautiful and a pleasure to see in full white sail on the water.

The majority of these discerning visitors are seldom if ever interested in the disaster aspects of our tourism. In fact with the loss of so many interesting and beautiful places which this generation inherited, (Government House, Plymouth town, Coconut Hill Hotel, several plantation ruins), the Trust with it’s tiny botanic garden is virtually the highlight of a three hour shore excursion. The Montserrat Volcano Observatory is also of some interest but that, like the ruins of Plymouth town have both been thrust upon us. We can hardly credit the Department of Tourism for their input in assisting with the development of these two attractions.

The undeniable contribution to our tourism which the Trust has made through the years and continues to make, would, I am sure, greatly benefit from more generous financial support from the Tourist Board’s budget which we understand is likely to be substantial.

The Department of Tourism encourages visitors but entities on the island provide the products which they (Department of Tourism), endeavour to market on their numerous sales promotion overseas expeditions. It is therefore incumbent on them to periodically ascertain that they market “commodities” of the highest quality. And as such the greatest portion of the tourism budget should,at this period of our redevelopment, be expended within Montserrat.

It must be remembered that the Montserrat National Trust operates daily. Not only at festival times. They welcome visitors throughout the year and offer a measure of enjoyment to both residents of and visitors to the island.

 

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Gloria Margetson writes:

The contribution of the Montserrat National Trust to our island’s tourism has been and continues to be significant.

From the early 1970s before the volcanic eruption, Montserrat enjoyed day tourists who arrived by air after having spent several days in Antigua, sometimes. At that time the Trust’s museum was housed in a sugar mill at Richmond Hill and their office/souvenir sales outlet was in Plymouth.

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Unlike the present time when groups, often in excess of fifty, visit the Trust during a four hour period in one day, day tourists arrived in groups of one or two couples who enjoyed a leisurely tour in a four-seater passenger vehicle driven by a local taxi/tour guide. Interestingly some of these original taxi/tour guides continue to offer this service on the island today.

Through the years several types cruise ships have called at Port Plymouth, many of these visitors enjoyed their visit to the Trust.

In the 1980s a group of 18 Chinese day visitors who arrived by air from Antigua visited the Trust.

In February 2011 the Trust welcomed a group of nine Japanese day visitors who again arrived by air from Antigua.

Over several years, work on a botanical garden on the Trust’s compound for relaxation and education began, and much credit must be given to Lady Eudora Fergus and her several working teams for their dedication and determination during the early stages of construction, to make an ongoing success of this project.

One would hope that the Montserrat Development Corporation having been mandated by the Government to reestablish the plants so violently removed from Piper’s Pond, would get this new wetland area in a suitable condition for the Trust to have sole control of it under a Government project seeking “to establish a botanic garden where public knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the Montserrat environment can be enhanced through a variety of interesting and educational experiences”. This area should be a section of the Trust’s botanic garden and funds should be provided by Government for maintenance and continuing improvements to both gardens.

In 2004 Sea Cloud cruises, Sea Cloud and Sea Cloud 2 began calling at Port Little Bay. These small ships cruise between Antigua-Barbuda, St Kitts-Nevis, Guadeloupe, the Grenadines, Barbados, Dominica ,Montserrat, Virgin Gorda, St. Martin and Anguilla.

The vessels are really quite beautiful and a pleasure to see in full white sail on the water.

The majority of these discerning visitors are seldom if ever interested in the disaster aspects of our tourism. In fact with the loss of so many interesting and beautiful places which this generation inherited, (Government House, Plymouth town, Coconut Hill Hotel, several plantation ruins), the Trust with it’s tiny botanic garden is virtually the highlight of a three hour shore excursion. The Montserrat Volcano Observatory is also of some interest but that, like the ruins of Plymouth town have both been thrust upon us. We can hardly credit the Department of Tourism for their input in assisting with the development of these two attractions.

The undeniable contribution to our tourism which the Trust has made through the years and continues to make, would, I am sure, greatly benefit from more generous financial support from the Tourist Board’s budget which we understand is likely to be substantial.

The Department of Tourism encourages visitors but entities on the island provide the products which they (Department of Tourism), endeavour to market on their numerous sales promotion overseas expeditions. It is therefore incumbent on them to periodically ascertain that they market “commodities” of the highest quality. And as such the greatest portion of the tourism budget should,at this period of our redevelopment, be expended within Montserrat.

It must be remembered that the Montserrat National Trust operates daily. Not only at festival times. They welcome visitors throughout the year and offer a measure of enjoyment to both residents of and visitors to the island.