Royal Caribbean, Bahamas sign tourism agreement

Royal Caribbean, Bahamas sign tourism agreement
Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie speaks at the Caribbean Energy Security Summit, Monday, Jan. 26, 2015, at the State Department in Washington.
Associated Press / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Royal Caribbean International has signed an agreement with Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie that will further promote tourism in the chain of islands, according to reports.

The March 8 multi-year agreement is “a sign of a more close partnership between the premier cruise line and the island-nation,” according to Travelers Today.

It said among the details of the partnership are the significant investment of Royal Caribbean to Coco Cay, the private island destination of the cruise line in the Bahamas.

“Extensive hospitality training will also be given to the Bahamians so that they could get a chance of scoring jobs in the company by working on their cruise ships,” Travelers Today said.

“With the curriculum crafted by training experts by Royal Caribbean itself, the company ensures the Bahamian government that, for the next five years, they will increase the number of Bahamian locals as their employees after they have completed training,” it said. “The curriculum will entail theoretical as well as practical knowledge that will help the locals achieve the kind of service standard Royal Caribbean maintains.”

The Grand Bahamas shipyard in Freeport as well is a result of the continued partnership with the cruise line and the Bahamian government, Travel Today said, adding that, every year, over 1.7 million visitors frequent the Bahamas courtesy of the Royal Caribbean.

For the next decade, they plan to double number, Travelers Today said.

“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 Michael Bayley, president and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean International. “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,” he added.

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