Access Accelerator Small Business Development Centre (Access Accelerator) and Royal Caribbean Group today launched a financing program to support Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in the tourism sector of The Bahamas.
Royal Caribbean Group will provide a $250,000 donation to the Access Accelerator to establish a fund that will soon be providing small businesses in Grand Bahama, the Berry Islands and New Providence the necessary financing for expansion of the Bahamian tourism product.
“This partnership has the potential to be the largest linkage between Bahamian MSMEs and the global market,” said Davinia Bain, Access Accelerator Executive Director. “It gives local entrepreneurs direct access to expand their offerings to cater to millions of visitors who vacation in The Bahamas including those sailing with one of the largest cruise companies in the world.”
“As Royal Caribbean Group gears up to home port in The Bahamas, there is a renewed focus on cruise visitors who have now become stopover guests. These tourists have the potential to impact the industry and are expected to increase demand for the procurement of products and services such as tour excursions, arts & crafts, and authentic cultural experiences,” said Russell Benford, Vice President, Government Relations for Royal Caribbean Group.
Bain explained, “Access to prospective procurement contracts can be a result of this deepened relationship. The opportunities are endless.” She continued, “The Access Accelerator is ready to assist with guaranteed funding to make this a reality. We want to be able to expand the experience by fostering innovation to diversify the tourism product while keeping it authentic. Let’s build on the homeport effort,” Bain said.
The contribution of Royal Caribbean Group will be facilitated and administered by the Access Accelerator, and this new fund aligns with the Access Accelerator’s programmatic priority of investing big in domestic tourism and the Orange Economy (creative economy).