The Ministry of Tourism and International Transport has launched into a enterprise to expand the number of companies that provide the cruise industry with goods and services.
This initiative saw tourism ministry officials meeting with the local business community, each large businesses and numerous small operators, yesterday on the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre (LESC) to debate the way in which forward.
Explaining that the island’s approach to the cruise industry was now much more industrial and business oriented to be sure that there was a fantastic impact on the domestic economy than was the historical norm, Minister of Tourism Senator Lisa Cummins emphasised: “There’s more to the business of cruise than cruise passengers walking through the town and cruise ships within the Port.”
She further added: “We have now looked in any respect the industrial opportunities that constitute the cruise industry and designed our interventions accordingly in order that Barbados advantages from the cruise industry in meaningful ways.”
Senator Cummins explained to attendees that this was the premise on which the BTMI’s cruise operations were shifted to Miami, Florida, earlier this yr, because “that’s where the actual business is transacted long before ships arrive in Port here in Barbados”.
“Among the many things they’re charged with is the responsibility for increasing the variety of ships’ calls to Barbados, sell our shore excursions, create opportunities for employment for Barbadians, in addition to ensuring that there are greater opportunities for provisioning of ships,” Minister Cummins stated.
The Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) working along with the Bridgetown Port identified the items and quantities that were historically imported into Barbados after which provisioned to the cruise lines, with a view to establish an area market place for these things.
Through the meeting, the group of over 30 businesses sought to agree on what amongst those items could possibly be serviced from Barbados to the cruise lines, in addition to highlighted their concerns including duties, VAT, sanitary and phytosanitary measures/standards, certifications accepted and price fluctuation of inputs.
The minister with responsibility for the Bridgetown Port disclosed that after the means of determining what items and quantities could possibly be serviced that, In the primary week of October, officials from cruise lines including Carnival Cruise and Royal Caribbean would come to Barbados to start the means of contracting. “We are going to host a market place of sorts with the cruise lines here in Barbados so that they can go into the season with a transparent provisioning market from Barbadian firms,” she said.
Minister Cummins stressed that this push to extend the provisioning of products and services to cruise ships, once achieved, would profit not only local businesses but ultimately Barbados.
Bridgetown Port Inc., Divisional Manager, Operations, Ian Stewart, noted that Barbados was already servicing cruise ship, on a small-scale, within the areas of cargo handling, bunkering, provisioning, ship chandlery services, fresh water delivery and waste management services; nonetheless, this enterprise was geared toward broadening those services.
Stewart informed those present that for the upcoming cruise season 2022-2023, that 78 different vessels were expected to dock, 359 vessel calls were booked and Barbados can be the homeporting port for 21 vessels. “There’s plenty of business available and surely during our discussions here this afternoon, we wish to be sure that everybody can participate on this”, he said.
Also present on the meeting were BTMI’s, Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Jens Thraenhart, Barbados Manufacturers’ Association (BMA), Executive Director, Ms. Shardae Boyce, Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Agricultural Society, Mr. James Paul and officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and National Security. (BGIS)