Outstanding tour operators shine at LPIA

Dear Editor,

Please permit me a little space here in your prestigious column to shed all the power and all the glory of the national spotlight on some of the most wonderful, deserving and truly amazing people in our country — the taxi, limo and tour bus drivers! Not only do they transform and expand the industry, but they do a hell of a job of keeping the tourism industry afloat as well. Early each morning, much before the break of day, they take up the industry ‘like a child upon their shoulders’, and with strength, loving kindness and a pride called patriotism, they continue to take the number one industry to heights unknown.

Needless to say we have a beautiful country, one that is visited by millions of tourists each year, and a significant number of these guests are shuttled back and forth by capable, disciplined and highly skilled taxi, limo and tour bus drivers who may sweat and stagger but never buckle under the weight of this great and awesome responsibility.

Let me hasten here to say that I believe that the taxi drivers, limo drivers and tour bus drivers are among some of the most uncelebrated, unrecognized and unsung heroes in the history of our country! Without them where would we be? The jolly green ‘tourism giant’ that is largely responsible for 70 cents out of every dollar in our pockets, would not only be brought to his knees, but the country’s tourism industry would be brought to a screeching halt and a virtual standstill. I am always amazed by the awesome stories I hear from these drivers of the unending list of invitations they receive from tourists to come and visit their countries as guests. What a great testament to the wonderful work and the heavy lifting being done by our remarkable drivers. This is not to say that a bad apple or two does not turn up from time to time, but by and large there are a whole lot of good people intrinsically tied to the tapestry of the shining industry.

I have been privileged to have met the acquaintance of a handful of these wonderful people who do a lot, if not all, of their work at LPIA — a list that will include drivers and reps. These are people who, in my view, are dedicated and hard-working and have a heart for the industry and the country as well.

Majestic Tours: Freanza Archer, Troy Adderley and Garry Hamilton;

Leisure Tours: Marco Davis, Paul Davies and Elva Brown;

Private taxi operators: Patrick Jones, “Kiwi”, Gloria Smith and Rony Bruno; and

Sylvester Jean, a remarkable and outstanding employee who worked at the airport as a representative for the Road Traffic Department.

I could not be more proud of these fine individuals and trust that the country will be as well. I’m reminded of a Chinese proverb that says: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the second best time is now.”

— Johnny Evans

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