Rarely before have I seen such a clear and cogent statement of St. Croix's situation [as in the Source editorial, St. Croix Needs a Reality Check, Not a Ferry].
I have made much the same observation many times over the years, but to no avail. The powers that be still persist in lumping St. Croix with St. Thomas, to the detriment of both islands.
Why is not St. Croix marketed for what it is? There are tens of thousands of people who would love to discover a Caribbean island where they can have a beach virtually to themselves, where they can stroll through town without stumbling over hawkers and hustlers, where they can take a walk in the "bush" and see historic ruins. There are thousands and thousands more who would come for the history alone. And untold numbers of scuba divers who have no idea that fantastic wall dives are only a brief swim from the beach rather than a time-consuming and expensive boat ride. Yes, St. Croix certainly has the resources to offer. Unfortunately, we fail to advertise them properly and we hide them with garbage, derelicts and crime.
Possibly there are outside investors who would make the effort to clean up some of our problems, but they are so thoroughly discouraged by the anti-business sentiment of the government and its politicians that one cannot fault them for taking their business elsewhere. It seems that the Virgin Islands government is interested only in enticing cruise ships to visit St. Thomas, and cares little about St. Croix.
Yet the same politicians get elected and re-elected year after year. We are in another election year now. Perhaps this year the voters will do what needs to be done, though nothing in our history indicates that this will be the case.
The St. Croix Renaissance Group has laid out a lavish yet believable program for revitalizing a significant aspect of St. Croix, one that appears to address significant problems and proposes some real-world solutions. It would seem to be in the best interests of all Crucians to get behind this effort and help it become a reality. It is through the creative efforts of people like the Renaissance Group that St. Croix has the best chance for a meaningful economic future. The public needs to voice its support for efforts such as this to discourage the politicians from interfering to the point of stifling progress.
All of us help the situation by making our own parts of the island as clean and beautiful as possible, and by taking a minute to exchange a few friendly words with the visitors we do have. In today's high-speed and anonymous world, it takes only those few friendly words to make a stranger feel welcome and want to come back. Many other locations in the world have learned the value of friendliness, can we afford not to? Besides, once it becomes a habit, life is much more pleasant for all of us, with or without visitors. That, alone, is more than sufficient reason.
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