Royal Caribbean International has committed to a multi-year agreement with the Bahamas that will help grow tourism to the destination.
It is hoped the deal will also rapidly increase the cruise line’s employment of Bahamian nationals and invest levels in hospitality training to develop talent in the country.
At a signing ceremony attended by Perry Christie, prime minister of the Bahamas, and Michael Bayley, president, Royal Caribbean International, the cruise line confirmed plans for a significant investment in major enhancements to CocoCay – its private island destination in The Bahamas.
Cash will be used for the construction of a pier, additional guest features and amenities, and new opportunities for vendors and craftsmen to promote the culture of the Bahamas to visitors.
“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,” said Christie.
As part of the agreement, Royal Caribbean plans to work with the Bahamas government to develop a training program to provide those who aspire to a career in hospitality with a unique opportunity to participate in innovative training and development.
The cruise line will create a curriculum that will prepare many thousands of students for careers at sea on-board one of Royal Caribbean’s ships.
The classes will be facilitated by dedicated instructors who will provide students with theoretical and practical knowledge to help them develop valuable and marketable hospitality skills.
In addition to the classroom experience, students will receive on-site guidance and training from shipboard professionals.
“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 holiday spot,” said Bayley.
“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.”