The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation (BMOTIA) senior officials look to increase cruise tourism business during Seatrade,bone of the biggest annual cruise conferences in the world. Under the theme “Resilience”, Seatrade features some 500 exhibitors and over 100 countries.
Organized by the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), the forum promotes and facilitates dialogue between cruise experts and decision makers with a focus on Cruise development, ports of call, safety and security and guest vacation experiences.
This year, The Bahamas’ showcase will include Invest Grand Bahama, the investment arm of the Grand Bahama Port Authority. “Cruise tourism is very important to tourism product and has a significant impact on our economy, said the Acting Director General of Tourism, Latia
Duncombe, and attending Seatrade, provides us the opportunity to strengthen our long-standing ties with Cruise partners”.
She shared that the main objective of attendance will be to garner support for Bahamian entrepreneurs, including Bahamian craft vendors who produce authentic products and, to secure the engagement of cruise lines with new Bahamian tours for passengers to visit historic sites and facilities.
“We will also focus discussions on expanding the number of cruise ships calling on Grand Bahama, and seek to attract increased disembarkation of passengers and crew at Nassau, the largest population centre, so as to increase visitor spend on the island. For Nassau, however, we are envisioning increased disembarkation around the renaissance of Bay Street and redevelopment of the Nassau Port,” added Duncombe.
In 2019, the last full year of tourist travel before the pandemic, The Bahamas welcomed 5.43 million cruise visitors whose spend injected $125 million into the economy. According to FCCA data, between 2017 and 2018, Bahamas cruise tourism expenditure pegged shy of half a billion dollars, and created direct and indirect Bahamian employment, more specifically, just under 15,000 jobs. Additionally, cruise tourism expenditures generated a total employment contribution of over $250 million in wages.
Prior to Seatrade, the Hon. I. Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister, BMOTIA, met with cruise industry top executives to discuss crucial operational issues and pave the way for future cruise business in The Bahamas. Leading the Seatrade delegation are Latia Duncombe, Acting Director General, and Dr. Kenneth Romer, Deputy Director General and Director of Aviation.