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Sept 24,2022

Barbados seeking to increase its provisioning to cruise ships


Article by

Barbados Today

The Ministry of Tourism and International Transport has embarked on a venture to expand the number of businesses that supply the cruise industry with goods and services

This initiative saw tourism ministry officials meeting with the local business community, both large businesses and a number of small operators, yesterday at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre (LESC) to discuss the way forward.

Explaining that the island’s approach to the cruise industry was now far more commercial and business oriented to ensure that there was a great impact on the domestic economy than was the historical norm, Minister of Tourism Senator Lisa Cummins emphasised: “There is more to the business of cruise than cruise passengers walking through the city and cruise ships in the Port.”

She further added: “We have looked at all the commercial opportunities that constitute the cruise industry and designed our interventions accordingly so that Barbados benefits from the cruise industry in meaningful ways.”

Senator Cummins explained to attendees that this was the basis on which the BTMI’s cruise operations were shifted to Miami, Florida, earlier this year, because “that’s where the actual business is transacted long before ships arrive in Port here in Barbados”.

“Among the things they are charged with is the responsibility for increasing the number of ships’ calls to Barbados, sell our shore excursions, create opportunities for employment for Barbadians, as well as ensuring that there are greater opportunities for provisioning of ships,” Minister Cummins stated.

The Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) working together with the Bridgetown Port identified the items and quantities that were historically imported into Barbados and then provisioned to the cruise lines, in order to establish a local market place for these items.

During the meeting, the group of over 30 businesses sought to agree on what among those items could be serviced from Barbados to the cruise lines, as well as 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 once the process of determining what items and quantities could be serviced that, In the first week of October, officials from cruise lines including Carnival Cruise and Royal Caribbean would come to Barbados to begin the process of contracting. “We will host a market place of sorts with the cruise lines here in Barbados so they can go into the season with a clear provisioning market from Barbadian companies,” she said.

Minister Cummins stressed that this push to increase the provisioning of goods and services to cruise ships, once achieved, would benefit 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, in the areas of cargo handling, bunkering, provisioning, ship chandlery services, fresh water delivery and waste management services; however, this venture was aimed at 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 would be the homeporting port for 21 vessels. “There’s lots of business to be had and surely during our discussions here this afternoon, we want to ensure that everybody can take part in this”, he said.

Also present at 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)

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