Longer cruise stay push
THE BARBADOS GOVERNMENT is trying to get cruise visitors to stay in the island longer to enjoy some of what it has to offer in night life.
Minister of International Business and International Transport George Hutson disclosed this as he spoke during the first port call of the passenger ship Seabourn Quest at the Bridgetown Harbour on Thursday.
The ship, carrying about 500 passengers, was described by Hutson as a “little different to where the industry seems to be going, where there is a general trend to larger vessels over 225 000 tonnes”, but he said he was happy to welcome the ship.
“Cruise tourism is quite significant as far as the tourism product in Barbados is concerned. We are welcoming three-quarters of a million persons as cruise passengers compared to about 600 000 long-stay or land-based tourists.”
He said cruise tourism continued to expand within the Caribbean and was a major contributor to foreign exchange earnings both in Barbados and in other Caribbean islands.
Hutson said negative news had been received recently about ships repositioning within the Caribbean in general.
“It is good to see new ships coming to replace those that are repositioning into other markets.
“We in Barbados are looking to improve the product offering for cruise passengers . . . . I hope that your passengers get to see some of the development we have.
“We as a Government are trying to get cruise ships to stay longer in port,” he told the ship’s captain, Magnus Bengtsson. (JS)