The Federation’s market share in the tourism industry has grown by 150%, with an expected 500,000 cruise ship passengers visiting these shores.
According to the Minister Responsible for Tourism, the Honorable Richard O. Skerritt, it is a tremendous achievement especially as the cruise industry in the Eastern Caribbean has not recorded any growth in about three years.
With the cruise industry officially commencing on the 27th of October, Minister Skerrit told ZIZ News he is excited that the destination was able to attract an upsurge in activity, despite the present difficulties the cruise sector faces.
According to Minister Skerritt: “We have a massive arrivals schedule for this season. In December alone, we are going to have nearly 100,000 visitors arriving on cruise ships.
“We are facing about 500,000 to 520,000 cruise ship arrivals between October this year and September next year. It will be the largest year of activities showing since three years ago, something like a 150% increase. So this explosion of cruise ship activity at Port Zante has caused a tremendous amount of interest.
“Everybody wants to get a piece of the action, and everyone is anxious to get as much as they can, and that’s understandable, but in the process we have to ensure that we don’t kill each other and we don’t harm the industry irretrievably.
“If you cannot deliver the destination experience, as promised, then you have failed your customers. The customers are the visitors and if you fail your customers then you are going to fail as a business
In the meantime, the Federation’s tourism authority is preparing for the season. So far they have conducted training sessions for existing and new tour operators and they have also introduced a new mode of operation at Port Zante and engaged taxi drivers about establishing standards.