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Barbados 'best home port' - report

Ally

Deckhand
Barbados has been billed the largest and most active cruise line home port in the world.

And Barbadians are fast becoming the beneficiaries of this growing multi-million-dollar industry.

That was the word from Minister of Tourism Noel Lynch, as Barbados prepares to host 18 home-porting cruise ships during the coming winter tourist season.

Lynch made these disclosures during a Press conference yesterday at the Caribbean Tourism Conference (CTC 29) taking place at the Westin and Sheraton Grand Bahama Lucaya Resort, Grand Bahama Island.

"We will be having just about 17 or 18 ships turning in Barbados as a home port. And what will be happening in 2008 is that P&O Cruise Line (Pacific and Orient) is gearing up to bring an even larger ship to Barbados. Home porting contributes significantly to our numbers and to the economy. These ships cause people to be surprised about the level of provisioning that is done locally and the level of service which goes into these ships," he said.

"We have one ship by P&O, where the information technology (IT) work is actually done by a Barbadian company. These are outside the traditional ways that cruise ships contribute to the economy in terms of visitor spending.

"Imagine what happens when a 3 500-passenger ship is in port in Barbados. It needs supplies of milk, yogurt, water, IT services and beer. It serves a number of important roles because Barbadians are allowed to connect with the industry which traditionally would not have been allowed if it were not there."

Lynch said it would take ten wide-bodied charter planes to come into the island to fill up a 3 500 passenger ship.

"It means that you are talking about landing fees, talking handling charges, and transportation. I believe that we are on the right track."

Barbados recently signed a contract with Carnival Cruise Lines which assures the island 1.2 million passengers from Carnival alone for the next three years.

Lynch also disclosed that tourism officials would be using world class events to attract business to the island during slow periods. In addition to Cricket World Cup next year the island will host the World Golf Championships in December.

(The Nation)
 
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