SALEM – Local taxi drivers and tour guides participated in a trial run in preparation for upcoming tours into the Exclusion Zone.
The effort was a collaboration between the Disaster Management Coordination Agency , the Montserrat Volcano Observatory, and the Royal Montserrat Police and Fire services.
The activity was coordinated by Rosetta West of the tourism office and gave some lucky residents a chance to visit Plymouth, which has been closed for tours until the guides and drivers are certified.
Developing a packaged tour into Plymouth was one of the initiatives undertaken by the Montserrat Development Corporation before its closure. With minimal activity at the Soufriere Hills Volcano it was felt that the island should capitalise on the abandoned town as an attraction for residents and visitors.
This is also timely as the island is scheduled to receive regular cruise visitors from this December Star Legend, which is part of the Windstar cruises fleet will make 15 stops to the island starting December 8, 2015.
Director of the DMCA Billy Darroux was also unhand to coordinate the tour and to provide critical instructions for keeping the drivers and their passengers safe. The drivers are to keep in radio contact with the Montserrat Volcano Observatory once they begin entry into the zone. The MVO also keeps them in line of sight from their vantage point in Salem.