PHOTO: A FlowRider surf simulator installed aboard Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas. (photo by Jason Leppert)
On Wednesday, Royal Caribbean International announced a multi-year partnership with The Bahamas. Together, they'll grow tourism to the island nation, increasing the cruise line’s employment of Bahamian nationals and investing in hospitality training.
Royal Caribbean also confirmed plans for a significant investment in CocoCay, the cruise line’s private island destination in The Bahamas. The investment will include construction of a pier, additional guest amenities and more opportunities for locals to promote the culture.
During a ceremony held to commemorate the signing of the agreement, The Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie and Royal Caribbean International CEO Michael Bayley spoke about what the partnership means to both parties.
“Royal Caribbean has been a long-standing partner of the islands of The Bahamas and their plans to significantly increase tourism to our country as well as to develop the talent of our youth and expand employment opportunities for Bahamians is commendable,” Prime Minister Christie said in a statement.
“Tourism is an important engine of growth for the economy of destinations in the Caribbean and The Bahamas, and we are excited to bring more visitors on our newest and most innovative ships to this popular vacation spot,” Bayley said in a statement.
“Our commitment to The Bahamas is multifold. It is our responsibility to contribute to the country’s economic diversity, to its employment base and the training of Bahamian youth as well as the protection of the environment. We are excited about the continued growth of tourism in The Bahamas, and look forward to doing our part to keep that growth and progress moving along in the years to come.”
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The agreement also details how Royal Caribbean will work with the government of The Bahamas to develop a training program for people aspiring to begin a career in the hospitality industry. The courses will be crafted by the cruise line with the intention of training students for careers on board one of the company’s ships.
Royal Caribbean remains committed to hiring Bahamian nationals over the next five years, and also boasts joint ownership of a shipyard in Freeport, Grand Bahama, where employees revitalize and maintain the cruise line’s ships.
Currently, Royal Caribbean brings 1.7 million visitors a year to The Bahamas, and the cruise line plans to expand that number in the next decade as they add capacity in the region.
For more information on the partnership between Royal Caribbean and The Bahamas, check out the official website of the cruise line.