Royal Caribbean is predicting that its Caribbean cruise tourism business will grow by 50 per cent by 2030, with the overall economic benefit of the sector reaching $6 billion.
President and chief executive officer, Michael Bayley, told the Caribbean Tourism Organisation outlook forum that with the region continuing to grow in popularity among cruisers – eight of the top ten cruise destinations worldwide are in the Caribbean, he said – now is the time prepare for further increases in cruise passenger numbers.
“The Caribbean was, is, will always be, the number one cruise destination in the world,” Bayley told the gathering of ministers, chief executives and policymakers.
“There are considerations that we need to take into account in terms of some of the destinations’ ability to absorb the growth that is coming – in some places the growth is perhaps already at a critical mass – but we need to find a way to accommodate the growth that is inevitably coming to cruise tourism in the Caribbean.”
The Royal Caribbean chief executive noted the success of the cruise line’s recent US$250 million private island destination experience in the Bahamas known as Perfect Day at CocoCay, saying it’s a perfect example of collaboration that benefits both the destination and the cruise line.
“Once we put this product into the market in the US and globally, our phones went crazy.
“The demand we have seen for our ships and our products that go to CocoCay has been amazing,” said Bayley.
“There is a lot of demand for these products and if we can figure out how to collaborate together to create these experiences, they don’t always have to have this shape and form, they can be other types of experiences.”
“As we evolve in terms of our ship design and experiences and what we are creating for our customers we really believe there is a huge opportunity to take all that knowledge, and transfer it into the destinations in a very meaningful way,” he concluded.