Ministry of Tourism Hosts Cruise and Maritime Tour Seminar
NASSAU, Bahamas: To keep tour operators on the cutting edge of what is expected in the ever-growing cruise industry, the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation recently held a Cruise and Maritime Tours Seminar at the University of The Bahamas (UB).
Scores of tour operators around New Providence attended the event and heard from Ministry of Tourism and Aviation executives as well as Royal Caribbean Cruise Line officials.
Deputy Director General in the Ministry Ellison ‘Tommy’ Thompson opened the conference by sharing The Islands Of The Bahamas’ new campaign ‘Fly Away’ with Bahamian rock star Lenny Kravitz.
Thompson noted the importance of seminars such as this.
“We get over 4 million cruisers and yet the spend is not where it needs to be,” Mr. Thompson said. “This seminar is to assist entrepreneurs to be prepared to capitalize on the cruise passengers that are coming now and to plan for what is coming in the future. We have to look at how to diversify the products that we are offering and cater to the crews on the cruise ships who need something to do as well.”
“We want tour operators to understand that it is not just The Bahamas that is in this tourism business. This is a global exercise and everyone is fighting for the extra tourism dollar. We are an expensive destination and so we have to provide value for money. No one has more personality than Bahamians and so we need to use that and monetize that.”
Participants also heard from Executive Director of the Tourism Development Corporation (TDC) Janet Johnson, Director of Research and Statistics Georgina Delancy and Manager of Tours and Transportation Craig Mortimer.
Additionally, Director of Global Compliance at Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines T.J. Sullivan gave an overview on the growth of the cruise industry.
“We see The Bahamas as one of the premier destinations on the globe. We value every opportunity we have to interact with Bahamians. We want smaller businesses to enter into the cruise business. We were looking at what are some of the requirements when working with cruise lines and what are some of the opportunities in addressing customer service,” he said.
“We want to make sure that we are supporting these businesses and highlighting each aspect of history, culinary and walking tours. Ninety percent of cruise passengers will cruise again and so when we do stop we want to make sure that it is hot and fresh.”
Officials say there will be more training exercises in the near future.