By Esther Durand, BVI News Staff
Local businessman Allington ‘Gumption’ Creque said despite losing nearly $10,000 in revenue that he would have otherwise earned between May and early June, majority of customers who pre-booked his Sea It Clear glass bottom tour opted to postpone to a later date.
Creque told BVI News that a total of 45 persons had pre-booked for private tours, day-and-night tours, or to go island-hopping before the coronavirus pandemic impacted the entire globe.
“It is very sad and disappointing and the way that it is looking right now, we may not get our first customers until October,” Creque said.
“I am very fortunate still, though. Ninety percent of my customers postponed for a later date. We gave them up to a two-year credit and on top of that, we also gave them an upgrade,” he said, referring to the various tour packages that he has available.
What about Necker Island?
The local businessman has the exclusive rights to visit Necker Island with his customers for an educational tour of the island and its animals that range from lemurs and pink flamingoes to giant tortoises.
The island’s owner Sir Richard Branson, however, announced plans to put Necker up as collateral to secure a £500 million loan bailout from the United Kingdom government to support his Virgin Atlantic airline that is reeling from the pandemic.
When asked if that would potentially affect his ability to visit Necker Island, Creque said he never asked Branson anything about it since news reports on the matter surfaced.
“I just asked how he was doing as an individual. But if I’m not allowed to go to Necker [in the future], I will admit, within the last seven years it was the greatest experience,” he said.
Branson and Creque became close when the British billionaire loaned him $50,000 to kick start his glass bottom tour business after his loan application was turned down by various banking institutions.
In the meantime, Creque said he is earning money through videography while the borders remain closed and tourism remains at a virtual standstill.
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