June 8, 2023

FROM THE HEART BY BEVAN SPRINGER – Cruising into a new season of opportunity

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February 17, 2023

Cruising into a new season of opportunity

The outlook for Caribbean cruise tourism is positive.

The Caribbean’s travel and tourism industry is no doubt making a strong rebound, and while results vary, some destinations are recording even more impressive results than the 2019 banner tourism year.

During the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) business meetings in Curaçao last week, many of the region’s tourism directors, ministers and commissioners of tourism spoke about the exciting state of the industry, replete with opportunities for stakeholders, not the least of whom are the residents of the Caribbean.

Over the past few days, a similar optimistic outlook was shared by executives of the cruise industry during the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association’s (FCCA) Platinum Cruise Summit as delegates sailed aboard Holland America’s Eurodam from Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades to Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas.

From Royal Caribbean and Carnival to MSC and Disney, the reports were upbeat and encouraging. Not only are ships sailing at full capacity, but plans are in place for new and improved vessels with incredible features, technologies and enhancements to be launched in the months and years ahead.

Over the past few days, FCCA platinum partners – from destination representatives to tour operators – benefited from exclusive opportunities to strengthen critical relationships with cruise line executives, share their perspectives with industry stakeholders, and learn from their colleagues.

It was especially insightful and reassuring to learn about the additional initiatives the industry is exploring to integrate sustainabilityclimate awareness and environmental consciousness into cruise operations.

It has been more than two decades since I’ve taken a cruise, and I’m pleased that my experience far surpassed any expectations I had. Of particular note, the Holland America team extended an extraordinary level of exceptional service to more than 2,000 passengers who made the three-day voyage.

With such hope, positivity and optimism for Caribbean tourism, we have much to look forward to in terms of the region’s socioeconomic development and progress.

It is in such contexts that new ideas are often birthed. In that vein, I could not help but think about the possibility of our sister organization, the Caribbean Media Exchange (CMEx), partnering with the FCCA and its member lines on a tourism conference with regional and international media sailing the high seas.

There is an abundance of talent, resources and energy within the tourism sector. Now is the time to advance cooperation and partnerships so we can take innovative ideas across the finish line for the benefit of posterity.

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