BY ALFRED PAGEPITU
PEOPLE of Western province in Gizo town are disappointed following Pacific Eden’s decision not to beach its passengers due to bad weather on Monday.
Members of public say the decision is understandable but is quite disappointing since much preparation had been put into readying the town and materials to host the visitors.
A Mr John Tano said Western Province Tourism committee members have identified three sites for cruise ships to berth but then they normally use Malakerava as the normal destination for large Cruise Ship like Pacific Eden.
“What we all understand is that, Gizo have two anchorages site for big ships that cannot enter our harbour.
“One anchorage is located at the Northern side outside Marie Point and the second site is located at the Southerner part areas outside Malakerava.
“When there is bad weather from the northern anchorage and then the ship would be pilot to the south and same to the north. It is the responsibility for the Ships Agent, Provincial government, Tourism Division and operators to arrange for harbormasters or pilot to pilot such big ship like Pacific Eden and others.”
Provincial Chief Tourism Officer Jefferson Patovaki said because of the incident, lots of carvers from Marovo to Roviana lagoon have lost their money and now have to meet their own expenses to travel back to their respective villages.
Meanwhile, calls are now being echoed for national and provincial authorities to seriously consider building infrastructure that would disallow such repeating again in the future.
Monday’s call in would have been the cruise ship’s seventh visit to Gizo.