|Tourism Minister, Richard Sealy and Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Irene Sandiford-Garner at?? a recent press conference. (FP)|
The future is looking bright for the island’s cruise tourism sector with the return of the Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas this summer and promises of other lines in the future.
Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Richard Sealy, expressed renewed hope in the sector and the industry on the whole during a press conference to update the media on the outcome of a recent trip to the United Kingdom (UK).?? It was held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre yesterday
The Minister said 2014 would see a busy cruise ship season and he expected Barbados to capture even more of the billion-dollar cruise market, when the $400 million Sugar Point cruise terminal was completed.
Mr. Sealy said he had engaged "many cruise partners in the United States and the United Kingdom" and noted that Barbados was the only island in the Caribbean that received more British visitors than American.
He also said that more British vacation seekers were looking for more cruise options and disclosed that major players in the UK market – P&O cruises and Carnival UK, had chosen Barbados as their home port of choice in the Eastern Caribbean.?? Additionally, Mr. Sealy also revealed that Carnival UK had given an undertaking to do more business with the island.
He said: "We now have to develop a meaningful way of operating with the cruise lines because we realise that this element of the tourism sector is key going forward."
Giving an update on the Sugar Point project, Mr. Sealy noted that much of the design work had been completed and part of the 13 acres of reclaimed land would be retained for shops, accommodation and a lifestyle centre.
He also said that Pelican Village would be "reviewed and incorporated in a more meaningful way so that vending and duty free shopping would be incorporated into the Sugar Point experience," .
The Tourism Minister also disclosed that Fred Olsen cruises would increase vessels into Barbados and restart its home porting exercise. He also said that Virgin Holidays was also investing in a cruise liner and had commenced selling packages on other cruise lines.??