Despite its attractions, tourism isn’t a big money spinner in Mayotte, with just over 50,000 visitors a year. A good half of those come out to see relatives working here; pleasure tourism, with close to 12,000, is progressing but remains small. No doubt this is why the arrival of The Silver Whisperer a little while ago had the island’s tourist team on full alert: the 10 hours the passengers spent here had to leave them with nothing but the most magnficent memories. I hope that was the case, as whatever memories they took away came at hefty price – almost $14000 for 17 days,
The sight of the ship incited Mrs. B. to try convincing me yet again that paradise is a cruise ship. I have my doubts, especially as we’re never going to fork out that much. The memory one passenger brought back from a Mediterranean cruise was far from magnificent: “It reminded me of a prison. I had a little cell, they herded me out and said, ‘OK, you go play, stand in line and do this, stand in line and do that, now go eat, come back,’ “. To me, that sounds closer to the mark.
But almost 16 million people went on a cruise last year, so they must be getting something right. Then again, very few of those millions would be grumpy misanthropes like me. The debate continues – all contributions welcome.