It goes without saying that I love being on North Caicos and taking in all the sights of the beach and the bush. And when I’m not there, I love looking at the photos of people who are there and on Middle Caicos. It’s just such a beautiful place.
But there are some things I don’t ever want to see on North and Middle. For starters…
CHAIN RESTAURANTS. I know that they are popular with families, and some of them have good food, but dotting the roads with McDonald’s, KFC, Chipotle and Panera makes a place look like any other place. Our local restaurateurs work hard. Let’s not drive them out of business with bland Everyeats.
EXCLUSIVE LUXURY RESORTS. “Exclusive” says it all … they exclude mostly everyone who love and call the islands home.
CRUISE SHIPS. Please, no. Inundating an island (or anywhere) with huge numbers of people on a daily basis can destroy a place. Just ask St. Thomas. Santorini. Venice. I’m fine just watching those floating behemoths just go by at sea.
BIG SHOPPING PLAZAS AND MALLS. Maybe I’m peculiar, but I think that “no shopping” is a good way to winnow out the kind of tourism that small, fragile islands don’t want.
THEME PARKS. I enjoy a good roller coaster, but I don’t expect to find them in places of natural beauty, and I really don’t want to see places that exploit animals (like “dolphin adventures”) in our backyard. As for water parks, come on. The ocean itself isn’t enough fun?
JET SKIS. They’re noisy and they rip up reefs. I wouldn’t object to a ban.
THUG CULTURE. The islands I love aren’t edgy or badass. They’re friendly and laid-back. Please don’t copy this horrible American export.
THE HANDOUT HUSTLE. My brief time on Antigua was a turn-off when a guy grabbed our bags (unbidden), moved them five feet, then put his hand out for a tip. That kind of “soak the tourists” attitude is starting to show up in Provo now. I pray it doesn’t spread to North and Middle.
I know some will say my opinions would hold back the islands, and that these things are needed for tourism development to benefit the islanders. But bringing in all these “crowd-pleasing amenities” drives against the whole idea of the TCI’s “beautiful by nature” slogan and creates just another so-called paradise based on things that were never there in the first place. We can do better than that. IMO.