A cruise line commits to developing private island in the Bahamas
FLORIDA – The world’s largest cruise line, Royal Caribbean International, has committed to enhancing a private island destination in The Bahamas.
The plan to construct a pier at Coco Cay, also known as Little Stirrup Cay, situated in the Berry Islands – which will include additional guest features and amenities, and new opportunities for vendors and craftsmen – is part of a multi-year agreement the cruise company signed with The Bahamas earlier this week.
Royal Caribbean says overall, the agreement will help grow The Bahamas’ tourism, rapidly increase the cruise line’s employment of Bahamian nationals and invest in hospitality training to develop talent in the country.
At a signing ceremony attended by Prime Minister of The Bahamas Perry Christie and president/CEO of Royal Caribbean International Michael Bayley, the cruise line confirmed the plans.
As part of the agreement, Royal Caribbean plans to work with The Bahamas government to develop a training programme to provide those who aspire to a career in hospitality with a unique opportunity to participate in innovative training and development.
The cruise line will create a curriculum that will prepare many thousands of students for careers at sea on board one of Royal Caribbean’s ships. In addition to the classroom experience, students will receive on-site guidance and training from shipboard professionals.
Royal Caribbean has committed to rapidly growing the number of Bahamian nationals employed by the cruise line in the next five years. In addition, they have joint ownership of the Grand Bahamas shipyard in Freeport at which major revitalizations and drydock maintenance of its ships take place.
“Tourism is an important engine of growth for the economy of destinations in the Caribbean and The Bahamas, and we are excited to bring more visitors on our newest and most innovative ships to this popular vacation spot,” said Bayley. “Our commitment to The Bahamas is multifold. It is our responsibility to contribute to the country’s economic diversity, to its employment base and the training of Bahamian youth as well as the protection of the environment. We are excited about the continued growth of tourism in The Bahamas, and look forward to doing our part to keep that growth and progress moving along in the years to come.”
Operators of the world’s largest ships with an additional two mega ships under construction and four on order, Royal Caribbean currently brings 1.7 million visitors a year to The Bahamas. But it has plans to significantly expand that number in the next decade as they add capacity in the region.
Photo: Prime Minister of The Bahamas Perry Christie (left) and Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International (right), committed to a multi-year agreement.