Tourism min­is­ter names new Na­tional Cruise Coun­cil

Jamaica Gleaner - - HOSPITALITY JAM -

AS PART of ef­forts to boost vis­i­tor ar­rivals, the Na­tional Cruise Coun­cil (NCC) has been re­sus­ci­tated in the Min­istry of Tourism with a man­date “to guide and grow the lo­cal cruise econ­omy in a steady and sus­tain­able man­ner mov­ing for­ward”.

The 13-mem­ber NCC was named re­cently by Min­is­ter of Tourism Ed­mund Bartlett at the Hil­ton Rose Hall Beach Re­sort and Spa.

Chaired by Michael Bel­navis, the cruise coun­cil re­flects a part­ner­ship be­tween pri­vate and pub­lic sec­tor in­ter­ests.

The other mem­bers are:Harry Maragh, CEO of Lan­na­man and Mor­ris (Ship­ping) Ltd; Mar­i­lyn Bur­rowes, pres­i­dent, Dol­phin Cove; Judy Shoen­bein of Brae­mar Tours; John Byles, CEO, Chukka Caribbean; Michael Drakulich of Mys­tic Moun­tain Rain For­est/Mys­tic Ridge Ho­tel; Stephen Facey, chair­man and CEO, PanJa­maican In­vest­ment Trust Ltd; Wil­liam Tatham, vice-pres­i­dent, Port Author­ity of Ja­maica; Verna Lugg, gen­eral man­ager, Verna’s Cre­ation; Lee Bai­ley, CEO, Caribbean Cruise Ship­ping and Tours; Denny Chandi­ram, Bijoux Jewel­ers Mon­tego Bay; Den­ton Edwards, di­rec­tor of tourism re­la­tions, Min­istry of Tourism, with the other mem­ber to come from the Ja­maica Tourist Board.


Out­lin­ing the ra­tio­nale for the coun­cil, Bartlett said the cruise in­dus­try had be­come the fastest-grow­ing seg­ment in the travel in­dus­try around the world. Ja­maica’s ex­pe­ri­ence was in line with that as cruise pas­sen­ger ar­rivals grew by 23.5 per cent for the month of June, bring­ing 110,086 pas­sen­gers from 25 cruise ship calls.

Of sig­nif­i­cance is that his­tor­i­cally, June has not been a good month for cruise ship­ping to Ja­maica and since the open­ing of the Fal­mouth Pier in 2010, at­tract­ing mega lin­ers, “the growth has been phe­nom­e­nal”.

How­ever, noted Bartlett, “what has not grown apace is the ex­pen­di­ture, even though it has moved slightly”, from US$74 per pas­sen­ger to US$87. He said the tar­get was to move it to US$100, grad­u­ally in­creas­ing to US$200 per per­son at the min­i­mum over the next five years.

Re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of the Na­tional Cruise Coun­cil in­clude ad­vo­cat­ing for the cruise busi­ness in Ja­maica, mon­i­tor­ing global cruise ship­ping trends and strate­gi­cally safe­guard­ing re­la­tion­ships with cruise ship­ping lines and en­hanc­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence of the cruise ship pas­sen­ger.

Ad­di­tion­ally, the coun­cil will make rec­om­men­da­tions that will re­sult in Ja­maica’s cruise ship­ping in­dus­try em­brac­ing prin­ci­ples of sus­tain­able tourism for de­vel­op­ment through ap­pro­pri­ate poli­cies, also for the im­prove­ment of the on­shore ex­pe­ri­ence of cruise pas­sen­gers.

In his first com­ment as chair­man, Bel­navis said he recog­nised that the cruise ship­ping busi­ness was very im­por­tant to the growth and de­vel­op­ment of the na­tional econ­omy and ex­pressed his com­mit­ment to help­ing to de­velop cruise tourism.

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