Chris Dehring's Nightmare
Sun, Jun 1, '03
republished from BARBADOS NATION
An ugly picture of the Caribbean has been painted by an Australian journalist who has raised doubts over the region?s ability to successfully host the 2007 Cricket World Cup.
Trevor Marshallsea, who is covering Australia?s tour to the West Indies for the Melbourne Age newspaper, went as far as saying that the service industry in the Caribbean leaves a lot to be desired.
In an interview with the Barbados Nation, he pointed to frustrations with airlines, hotels, restaurants and taxi drivers, among others.
?It not only creates a bad public image for the place, but it also adds to the thought that there will be a lot of angry, disgruntled and unhappy people here in 2007,? Marshallsea said.
?The whole service industry needs to have a look at itself. Whenever things go wrong, nobody seems particularly concerned. No one apologises.
?They just tell you don?t worry, things will come later on. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don?t.?
During his two months in the Caribbean, Marshallsea said flight delays, missing luggage, along with high-priced and unfriendly taxi-drivers were common.
On arriving in Barbados from Trinidad after the second Test, Marshallsea?s bags and those of a fellow Australian journalist turned up two days later.
?I think there are going to be a lot of problems with the World Cup here,? he said.
?There are a lot of little difficulties which I think will contribute to a lot of people who come here for the tournament leaving with a sour impression of the place, feeling that it is a very frustrating and difficult place to get things done.?
Marshallsea described Trinidad, where the Australian cricketers reported the disappearance of cricket equipment when their luggage was at the Piarco International Airport, as a ?forgettable place, if ever there was one?.
?When you?re a visitor somewhere, your impressions of the place stem mainly from the people,? he said.
?I found the people in Trinidad, particularly the taxi-drivers, were fairly unfriendly. They are not presenting a face to visitors which people need when you are hosting world events like a World Cup, apart from the fact they were hideously overpriced.?
In relation to the cricket side of things, Marshallsea said the Caribbean possessed good grounds, but there needs to be improvements in practice facilities, traffic flows in and out of grounds, and stricter crowd controls.
Enough hotels to accommodate the influx of visitors to the region was another problem he identified.
* From the Barbados Nation.