Ainsley Cooper of Coopa Tours will be your Tour Guide for today! Based in and around Ochi, he has driven hundreds of exhilarated vacationers to view the alluring sights and heady delights of St Ann.
Please tell us how this began.
When I lost the zeal to get up in the morning to go to routine work. Being a tour operator is exciting and I love it. Every day is... different folks, different jokes!
Describe a typical working day.
The day begins at 5am — first I wash my vehicle, then prepare myself, breakfast, then leave by 7am, making sure my daughter gets to school. After that I head to the cruise ship port for work. I read my Bible and give thanks for another day and the opportunity to provide for my family.
It is a good day if I have a scheduled booking from my company Coopa Tours, or a day of uncertainty if I have to go out into the streets to approach tourists from the cruise ships to take a taxi for an excursion or sightseeing.
Which tour experience is your personal favourite?
My favourite tour experience was in 2017 with three college students from New York on a combo tour from the Bahia Principe hotel to the Blue Hole, then calypso tubing and bamboo rafting on the White River. The girls were very ‘down to earth’ and we communicated like friends who had known each other for years.
Later when I attended my sister-in-law’s wedding in New York, the three girls called me up and took me on a tour of that city! In Jamaica we have a saying, “Real know real”.
What, if anything else, would you really love to do?
To be a big scale farmer, as I do on a small scale. It feels good to plant a seed and one day reap the benefit of your labour — a feeling of success and accomplishment.
What changes to Ocho Rios would you like to see?
Development of the cruise ship pier to allow more ships to come in daily as one or two is insufficient for all to benefit. This would give the locals a better chance to prosper.
Do carrots scream when you chop them?
They scream with excitement as they leap gladly into my blender to be dutifully whizzed up into delicious carrot juice!