Captain of Carnival Breeze, Rocco Lubrano, presents Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Kerrie Symmonds, with a token to commemorate the ship’s inaugural Carnival Journey specialty cruise to Barbados. (B.Hinds/BGIS)

Government is in discussion with Carnival Corporation about that entity playing a developmental role in this island’s tourism industry.

Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Kerrie Symmonds, disclosed this during a welcome ceremony to celebrate the Carnival Breeze’s Inaugural Carnival Journey specialty cruise to Barbados. In welcoming the cruise liner to the island, he exchanged commemorative plaques with Captain Rocco Lubrano and toured the ship.

According to Minister Symmonds, Government met with management of Carnival Corporation and had “extensive discussions” on deepening relations.

“We are having ongoing discussions because there has been a shared developmental perspective between Barbados and the Carnival.  While we are talking cruise, you are also contributing to some of our land based tourism… that is why I see it as a partnership,” he said.

He added that Barbados was seeking opportunities to develop its human resources, particularly in the maritime field.

“As you are well aware, Carnival has its own maritime training facilities, and we have just created a Ministry of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy.  We now want to be able to get Barbadians to take an active interest in the professional side of maritime matters. We would be hoping to train ship captains, engineers and all of the different levels of staff who could possibly come from Barbados and put them in a position where they can find employment in due course in the cruise industry,” he said.

The Tourism Minister added that the partnership with Carnival “must also include building out attractions”, since this was necessary in the island’s quest to be the best destination in a competitive world.

“It is a long road that we have to go to beat the rest of the world, but to be the best, you have to compete with the best and that means evaluating what we offer by way of tourism attractions, assessing their strengths and weaknesses, refreshing them, building additional capacity and working with entities such as Carnival Corporation which are prepared to play a developmental role,” Minister Symmonds said.

Captain Lubrano, said he was happy to visit Barbados. “You offer so much, not just the beaches, but your unique history. It is great to be here.  We will be calling here in November for another Journey cruise,” he said.

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