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There is in circulation on the Internet a complaint about a local taxi driver. It wont be necessary to mention his name as the purpose of this editorial is not as much to denigrate him personally as to sound a warning to our many taxi drivers in St. Kitts and Nevis about their conduct.

According to the complaint on the internet the taxi driver was friendly when he was begging for the job to take the visitors on an island tour, but extremely rude once they were safely on his vehicle.

He hustled them around, threatening to leave them stranded if they spent more than 15 minutes to visit Brimstone Hill and then raced them to Basseterre tooting his horn and overtaking other vehicles on the road.

It was all that the hapless visitor could do to endure the rudeness and inconvenience of the tour and wait till he/she was home again to launch a complaint.

This complaint is bad news from every angle. This one rotten taxi driver could spoil it for the rest of the tourism industry, whose movers and shakers must now act to avoid the dangerous fallout by some very clever and intensive position advertising.

Taxi drivers must be aware of the important role which they play in the development of the industry and naturally in their own self-development. If the industry flourishes, they will get more work to do for themselves and could even become prosperous.

But the industry can only flourish if its various tangents are moving positively. If only one of them is negative, the industry will suffer. If the taxi drivers who meet the visitors on a personal level and spend precious hours with them are negative in their approach to the visitors, or give the visitors cause for negative evaluations about the country, the visitors will avoid the country and the industry will suffer.

By virtue of the delicate position, which they occupy in the tourism hierarchy, taxi drivers should always be alert to their potential for good to the industry.

The tourist boards of St. Kitts and Nevis should take note of this complaint and should research it with the view of alerting taxi drivers to the occurrence of unprofessional behaviour, and to the unwholesome publicity which it brings us from the people who would visit our lovely islands.

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