Tourism Minister working to make T&T a “must-visit” Cruise destination
Minister of Tourism, Randall Mitchell, is working to make Trinidad and Tobago a “must-visit” destination for major cruise lines.
Minister Mitchell engaged in face-to-face discussions with executives of all the major cruise lines while attending the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Conference and Trade Show held in Puerto Rico from November 5 to 9, 2018. Over one hundred (100) cruise executives were in attendance along with over thirty (30) high-ranking regional government officials. Attendees included Prime Ministers Mia Mottley and Allen Chastanet of Barbados and St. Lucia respectively, Ricardo Rosselló, Governor of Puerto Rico, and several regional Ministers of Tourism.
The executives in attendance are the key decision makers in the cruise industry and decide where ships call, what is sold and used on board and they influence investment in destinations and infrastructure.
Minister Mitchell stated, “The cruise sector is one in which ship itineraries are often booked long in advance, so attending conferences like these and understanding what the decision-makers value is essential not just for short-term gains but to lay the groundwork for sustainable, consistent growth in arrivals.”
Minister Mitchell also held discussions with a number of the Heads of Government and Ministers of Tourism in attendance.
The cruise industry is the fastest growing segment of the worldwide leisure travel market, experiencing an average passenger growth rate of 7% per annum since 1980. The cruise industry, according to the latest study launched at the event indicates that over the period January to October 2018, Trinidad and Tobago experienced growth in cruise arrivals of 145.3% compared to the same period in 2017. Ninety-one thousand, eight hundred and eighty-nine (91,889) passengers visited Trinidad and Tobago in 2018, an increase of fifty-four thousand, four hundred and thirty-two (54,432) passengers over the 2017 period. Minister Mitchell added that he was, “pleased to note that this growth included notable increases in arrivals at both islands.”
The Ministry of Tourism looks forward to providing a welcoming environment for all our visitors. The Port of Port of Spain has received two (2) cruise calls thus far this season and an additional twenty-three (23) are scheduled by April 2019.
About the FCCA
The FCCA is a not-for-profit trade organization comprised of nineteen (19) member cruise lines, operating more than one hundred (100) vessels in the Caribbean, Florida and Latin America. The FCCA’s mandate is to provide a forum for discussion on tourism development, ports, safety, security and other cruise industry issues. The FCCA seeks to build cooperative relationships with its partner destinations, to increase spend by cruise passengers, cruise lines and crew members, as well as, enhance the destination experience and the amount of cruise passengers returning as stay-over visitors. It is designed to foster a better understanding of the cruise industry and assist participants to improve cruise tourism related business activities.
The FCCA Cruise Conference blends meetings and workshops which focus on shore excursions, marketing and the latest developments in cruise ship operations.
The statistics contained in this release represent total arrivals at both islands, Trinidad and Tobago, and are compared across partial calendar years. These statistics were released at the FCCA Conference. Other statistics released recently by the Ministry of Tourism for the Port of Port of Spain were aggregated by cruise season (November to April).