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Incentives to lock cruise passengers to Barbados

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Incentives to lock cruise passengers to Barbados

IN an effort to steady the slide in cruise arrivals, the Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA) is looking to lock some 600 000 passengers into long-term contracts.

Making this disclosure was Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Noel Lynch, who said that for the first time ever in the history of Barbados, cruise passengers would be offered incentives to come to Barbados for the next two to three years.

As this would ensure that there is a certain amount of people that would visit Barbados through the cruise lines, Lynch said, Going forward, what you are going to see is that Barbados for the period of time would have a contract with Carnival, Royal Caribbean and some other small lines to make sure that we get minimum 600 000 passengers for the next few years.

Lynch made this revelation at a press conference at Sherbourne Conference Centre yesterday, to welcome the new dynamic Chairman of the BTA, Peter Odle and to publicly thank outgoing president Dr. Hudson Husbands for his sterling contribution and hard work in the industry for the past six years.

The minister also indicated that the need for the contracts stemmed from the fact that oil prices continue to escalate and we do not know where the price will go in the future. But we are trying to ensure that we maintain that sustained level of cruise ship arrivals in Barbados.

Lynch added, Senator Rudy Grant led a team to Miami recently and have met with all of the major lines relative to the establishment of putting in place the contracts. The contracts have been drawn up and are with the relevant attorneys in Barbados and by September, we would have these contracts in place, signed and ready to go.

Noting that the Authority is looking at changing the way in which it does business in a very dynamic sector, Lynch reiterated, I can assure Barbados that I am putting in place steps to ensure we get the minimum amount of visitors of some 600 000 to keep the industry going.

By: Petal Barclay-Smith, The Barbados Advocate

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On our cruise last year 1/2 of the ships passengers get on or off at Barbados, mostly British. The passengers said that they had an easier time getting into Barbados vs. FLL. They said that they were offered special prices to sail on the Sea Princess which had a British crew. It looks like RC is going to capitalize on getting passengers in and out of Barbados. But for us in the states we have to pay extra just to get there which is not cost effective.

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