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Update 30 April 2008
  Preparing for the Tourist Season
A Spontoon Atoll background essay by Ken Fletcher

Preparing for the Tourist Season

There are travelers coming through the Spontoon Atoll year-round. Some of this travel is regional, stopping at the Atoll on route between islands in the Spontoon Archipelago. Some is trans-Pacific travel coming by freighter ships that have passenger cabins, and some by scheduled passenger and mail aircraft. These travelers could be considered mostly business travelers. They may stop-over at Spontoon Atoll to make travel connections, or to rest. Because of this travel, there are some small hotels and restaurants available for travelers year-round on Casino Island, and some limited hotel service on Eastern and South Islands. If you walk around while you are visiting in the months between October and March, you would notice several large hotels and resorts that are obviously closed and shuttered, or with only one small wing or section open. These larger hotels are closed for the season because they cater to the tourists of the Summer cruise ships and chartered air flights.  

The Spontoon tourist season is generally May to September.

The tourist season is considered to start by about the second week of May. The May Day celebrations (which may spread out over several days to a weekend) are supposed to be just before the tourists arrive. The tourist committees would know at least a half-year in advance when the big cruise ships were scheduled to arrive for the Summer season.

To prepare for the tourist season, any major construction might start in January, but routine repairs and minor alterations to buildings, painting, and re-furnishing are likely to start in early March. This is when carpenters and other craftsmen would be reporting to work. This would include workers from other islands in the Spontoon Archipelago, and possibly some specialized workers from elsewhere in the Pacific. These skilled workers would arrive by early March and be staying in dormitory longhouses, rental huts in family compounds, and rental rooms (some in family homes), or staying with extended family. Preferably they are somewhat close to their work. In some cases, if they are re-opening sections of hotels or other facilities, they may be temporarily using the guest-room areas for dorms (including as an example: re-opened hotel rooms in a hotel wing closed for the winter).

The tourist season service workers coming in from the Archipelago are mostly hotel and resort staff, independent (non-hotel) restaurant and catering workers, and entertainers working at independent venues and stages. Some of these seasonal workers might also come to the Atoll to do other jobs, such as taxi and other transport work, baggage handlers and porters, gift and craft shop staff, Casino staff, other clerical, and infrastructure support (carpenters, plumbers, etc.). Many of these jobs are also done during the season by locals from the Atoll, who may move for the summer away from their villages to housing closer to their work (including moving across the Lagoon from Main Island to the tourist islands, instead of commuting by water taxi).

The businesses that hire these workers are a mix of co-operative syndicates and 'Euro'-style businesses, including corporations and sole-proprietorships. While the Spontoonie influence favors co-ops in law, leasing, and tax policy, Euro-style businesses can prosper. However, one often can't guess the style of management from the nature of the business, or appearance and style of the staff and administrators.
Service industry workers, especially new hires from elsewhere in the Archipelago, may be arriving at the Spontoon Atoll by April. This allows them to settle in to Spontoon Island society and labor organizations, bid for work, and get training for their specific jobs, and training in how to interact with tourists.

Entertainers (local or from elsewhere in the Archipelago, or from around the Pacific) may be in by April or earlier, to bid for jobs, form entertainment groups, and rehearse. The other workers are often practice audiences.

The target time for tourist preparation is the end of April. May Day, besides being a general 'workers' celebration, is a socializing blow-out for all these seasonal workers before the official start of the tourist season.

There can be tourists visiting during May Day and observing the celebrations. That is happening more and more often in the late 1930s.

Ken Fletcher
27 April 2008
Information and text released to Public Domain.
               Tourist Season
                 May Day History
                   May Day Celebrations