Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Christie capitalises on cruise lines

Published:Monday | February 6, 2017 | 2:00 AM
Bahamian Prime Minister Perry Christie

WESTERN BUREAU:

Not only will cruise lines plying The Bahamas pay for infrastructure costs in the construction of ports in that Caribbean island, but they have now signed contracts that will see them creating and financing entrepreneurial opportunities there.

This includes the development of new attractions and amenities.

Addressing delegates at the just concluded Caribbean Travel Marketplace, Bahamian Prime Minister Perry Christie, said the contractual obligation goes as far as the provision of training and employment of Bahamians, not only onshore, but also on board the ships.

Promotion of the destination completes what he tagged as "new developments". The cruise-line partners include some of the biggest and most profitable in the business, MSC, Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Disney.

Christie says his aim is to ensure that tourism development benefits the lives of all Caribbean citizens to the fullest extent possible.

RAFT OF INITIATIVES

He plans to present a raft of initiatives at the CARICOM Heads of Government meeting later this month he told the gathering which included several tourism ministers, hoteliers, tour operators, airline partners and wholesalers.

High on his personal list of priorities, he said, was to see a region which takes full advantage of developing and marketing the incredible creative energies and entrepreneurial talent of its people.

"The Bahamas, Jamaica, Trinidad, Cuba, Barbados, the Dominican Republic ... the list goes on ... have done wonderful things to capitalise on their culture, arts, culinary offerings, and history and begin to inculcate them into their tourism offerings," he argued.

Bolstering his comments, president of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), Karolin Troubetzkoy, asserted that Caribbean tourism required stronger partnerships.

GROWTH POTENTIAL HUGE

According to her, the region's tourism growth potential in 2017 and beyond is enormous, but not without continued collaborative partnerships between the region's public and private sectors.

Troubetzkoy, who operates the storied Anse Chastanet and in St Lucia, said as the caretakers and marketers of this global treasure called the Caribbean, "we have not only the mandate to showcase it to the world, but also to ensure it is protected, enhanced and sustained".

She added that issues like climate change, the development of the region's people, and the preservation of its natural, cultural and historical resources are intertwined with its marketing and marketability.

CTM, organised by CHTA attracted more than 1,000 participants who were hosted at the Atlantis, Paradise Island.

janet.silvera@gleanerjm.com